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The castle was built by the Norman lord, Richard de Burgo in 1305. His grandson, William succeeded to the Earldom in 1328 but became involved in a quarrel with his cousin Walter who belonged to the Connaught branch of the family. William imprisoned his cousin in a dungeon and starved him to death. This event is commemorated by a skeleton on the coat of arms of the City of Derry. After the Plantation, the castle was granted to Sir Arthur Chichester but subsequently fell into ruins.