Hiring a State Care Monument

The Department for Communities welcomes the use of State Care Monuments by the public, other Departments and Government bodies for activities. However, activities at these sites are specially regulated by the provisions of the Historic Monuments and Archaeological Objects (NI) Order 1995, and permission must be sought and granted beforehand.

State Care Monuments may be used for;

  • public events (including markets and craft fairs, cultural events like poetry readings or theatrical plays, ceremonies and other gatherings, etc.)
  • private events (including meetings, birthdays, etc.)
  • wedding ceremonies and photography
  • film and photography (including aerial observation/filming work)

This is not an exhaustive list of regulated activities, but provides an example of permitted use.

Please contact the Department if you wish to discuss your use of a State Care Monument, or to submit an application form (available below).

Due to their nature and location, some of our sites may have restricted access and limited facilities and some may be closed during winter or adverse weather. For opening times and further information about our sites, please visit discovernorthernireland.com or contact us directly via the details above.

Activity Application Process

All activities at State Care sites require an application.

The application process involves the following:

  • Submission of application form to scmenquiries@communities-ni.gov.uk
  • Confirmation email to applicant if the activity date is acceptable and request for further relevant information depending on the type of activity, i.e. RA including children and vulnerable adults safeguarding policy if applicable, PLI, event plan (if applicable), screenplay/stage play (if applicable) and charges (if applicable)
  • Consideration, including consultation with internal staff and stakeholders involved in the maintenance, care and running of relevant sites, and DfC Press Office regarding filming requests
  • Site meeting (if required)
  • Revision of proposal if necessary: all concerns raised are returned to the applicant to address, and the process is repeated again
  • HED Activity Permit is issued to the applicant and copy signed by applicant must be returned to scmenquiries@communities-ni.gov.uk

Application Forms

Note: Exceptions for some activities apply at Carrickfergus Castle and Dunluce Castle as below.

If your activity involves the use of both internal and external areas of the site, please use Activity Application form only.

Activity Booking at Carrickfergus Castle

Applications for the following activities at Carrickfergus Castle should be submitted directly to the Castle’s management;

  • Room bookings
  • Wedding ceremony/photography
  • Tour bookings (no application form required, contact only)

Applications for all other activities must be submitted to scmenquiries@communities-ni.gov.uk as detailed above.

Application Forms

Contacting Carrickfergus Castle

    Activity booking at Dunluce Castle

    Tours at Dunluce Castle must be booked directly with the Castle’s management team.

    Requests for all other activities should be submitted to scmenquiries@communities-ni.gov.uk as detailed above.

    Contacting Dunluce Castle

    Lead Times

    All applications must be submitted at least 20 working days before the requested activity date. The consultation process for larger events may take considerably longer and the recommended lead time is 12 weeks.

    As per our commitment detailed in the Historic Environment Customer Charter, we will determine applications for use of State Care Monuments within 10 working days of receipt of all required information.

    Charges and Fees

    Activity bookings at State Care Monuments may be subject to charges. We can advise you of potential charges after we have received your activity application.

    Late applications are subject to additional administrative charges;

    • Applications submitted 10 - 19 working days before the activity date will incur an additional £25 administrative charge
    • Applications submitted 9 working days or less before the activity date will incur an additional £50 administrative charge
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