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Historic Buildings of Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland

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Historic Buildings of Co. Antrim

Northern Ireland

The object of this project is to provide information about historic buildings in Co. Antrim, with links to sub-projects for specific buildings as appropriate. GENi profiles of people associated with those establishments can be linked to this project and/or to individual projects where they have been set up.

Image right - Ballygally Castle

© Copyright Kenneth Allen and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.Geograph
See Historic Houses of Britain and Ireland - Main Page

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If you have information about any of the Buildings mentioned below please share it here. If you have ancestors linked to any of the places please add them to the project.


Historic houses in alphabetical order

Including Castles, Abbeys, Priories, Manor Houses, Mansions, Stately Homes, Country houses, Estate houses, Courts, Halls, Parks and other listed buildings of historic interest

Full sizes of the thumbnail images can be seen in the Gallery attached to the project or by clicking the thumbnail image. TIP - Use ctrl+the link to open the image in a separate tab, or use "back" to return to this project page) Sources for the images can be found in the image details as seen in the gallery.

Names with Bold links are to Geni profiles or projects. Other links take you to external biographical web pages. Please copy and paste the bullet used - ● - instead of * when adding items to the list.


Abbeylands Whiteabbey. Associated name McCalmont. Victorian house

Aberdelghy Lambeg. Associated name - Richardson - seat of Alexander Airth Richardson son of Jonathan Richardson MP of Lambeg and his wife Margaret Airth

Antrim Castle and Clotworthy House Associated names Skeffington; Massereene and Ferrard. A castle on the edge of the Sixmilewater built originally in 1613 by Sir Hugh Clotworthy and completed by his son Sir John Clotworthy, 1st Viscount Massareene. The castle was rebuilt in 1813. Burnt in 1922

Ardoyne House, Edenderry. Associated with thAndrews. Late 17th century.

Arthur Cottage


// Ballydivity Ballymoney. Associated names Stewart; Moore. c.1760. Tenants in Stewarts Survey James Moore and Captain Robert Stewart. In 1776 James Moore granted to Robert Maxwell one-eighth of the townland of Ballydivity for lives renewable. Ballydivity and Carnfeogue were sold by Lord Antrim in 1813 to Samuel Allen, Lisconnan, and resold in 1822 by Dr Allen. The Moores were early settlers at Ballydivity. James Moore, who died in 1788, was the last Moore of Ballydivity. Leaving no male issue, the estates passed to his nephew, James Stewart, grandson of Andrew Stewart, who went to Ireland after the Battle of Culloden in 1746, resulting in the name Stewart-Moore. He was a magistrate for County Antrim and High Sheriff in 1798. He was present at the Battle of Antrim, where his life is said to have been saved by his faithful henchman, Billy Laverty, of Cluntice; James Stewart Moore was married to Margaret, daughter of Rev.Wm Sturrock, rector of Ballintoy and Archdeacon of Armagh, and died in 1843. His son, James Stewart-Moore was captain in the 11th Dragoon Guards, and was a Waterloo veteran, where he was wounded, died 1870.

// Ballygally Castle is in the village of Ballygally, located approximately three miles north of Larne. The castle overlooks the sea at the head of Ballygally Bay. Now run as a hotel, it is the only 17th century building still used as a residence in Northern Ireland, and is reputed to be one of the most haunted places in all of Ulster. Built in 1625 by James Shaw and his wife Isabella Brisbane. Shaw, a native of Greenock, Scotland, came to Ireland in 1606 to seek his fortune. In 1613, he received a sub-grant of land from the Earl of Antrim. It was on this land that the castle was built. The original castle served as a place of refuge for the Protestants during the Civil Wars. During that time, it was handed down from fathers to sons and in 1799 it was passed to William Shaw, the last squire of Ballygally. In the early 1800s the Shaw family lost their wealth and the estate was sold to the Agnew family for £15,400. For several years it was used as a coastguard station, before the Reverend Classon Porter and his family took residence. It was then taken over by the Moore family. They then sold it to textile millionaire Mr. Cyril Lord in the early 1950s, who refurbished it as a hotel.

// Ballylough House, Bushmills. Associated with the name Traill; 18th century house originally belonging to Archibald Stewart of Ballintoy. It was purchased by Venerable Anthony Traill in 1789. The 17th century demesne, which contains the ruins of MacQuillan castle (a stronghold of the MacQuillans and MacDonnells), has been in the ownership of the Traills since 1789.

Lord Belmont in Northern Ireland

Ballynacree House Ballymoney. Assoiated with family if Moore - Bt. of Moore Lodge.

Balnamore House Victorian 'Stucco House in the Italianate style'. A listed building erected in 1863-64 and designed by the well known architect 'Fitzgibbon Louch'

Ballymena Castle Ballymena. - associated with the Adair family. Scottish baronial castle of 1870s by William Henry Lynn. In 1626 William Adair acquired newly-settled lands at Ballymena in exchange for part of his patrimony in Wigtownshire, and his son, Sir Robert, built the castle as a centre for the new estate. The original building burned down in 1740 and was at best patched up afterwards. A completely new Scots Baronial style house with a massive seven-storey tower at one end was built by Lanyon & Lynn of Belfast for Sir Robert Adair, later 1st Baron Waveney, in 1865-87. The Adair estate at Ballymena was sold to the tenants in 1904 and the castle fell into disuse. It was still standing in 1953, but badly damaged by arson in 1955 and condemned as unsafe the following year. When the local Council demolished it in 1957 Maj-Gen. Sir Allan Adair bought Holy Hill House, 78,Ballee Rd, Strabane, Co. Tyrone and installed ten stained glass windows from the castle there, where they still remain. Stained glass windows commemorate various Adair family members.


// Beardville House Cloyfin. Associated names MacNaghten; Lecky. Mid 18th century originally inhabited by the MacNaghtens of Dundarave. Passed to the lecky family in the 19th century.

Edmond Alexander MacNaghten (1762-1832), of Beardiville, co. Antrim. MP

Edmond Alexander Macnaghten

Belmont in Northern Ireland - Beardiville House

// Belfast Castle The original Belfast Castle, built in the late 12th century by the Normans, was located in the town itself. This was the home of Sir Arthur Chichester,1st Baron Chichester. It was burned down in 1708, leaving only street names to mark the site. Rather than rebuild on the original site, the Chichesters built a new residence in the city's suburbs; today's Belfast Castle emerging as a result. The building that stands today was built from 1811–70 by The 3rd Marquess of Donegall. It was designed in the Scottish baronial style by Charles Lanyon and his son, of the architectural firm Lanyon, Lynn and Lanyon. After Donegall's death and the family's financial demise, Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 8th Earl of Shaftesbury completed the house. His son, Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 9th Earl of Shaftesbury, presented the castle to the City of Belfast in 1934. In 1978, Belfast City Council began a major refurbishment over a period of ten years at a cost of over two million pounds. The architect was the Hewitt and Haslam Partnership. The building officially re-opened to the public on 11 November 1988.

// Benvarden House, Dervock. Associated names MacNaghten; Montgomery. Originally the seat of the MacNaghtens, including John MacNaghten who shot Mary Anne Knox of Prehen 1760 while trying to abduct her, and was consequently hanged.

John Meeke was apparently a gardener at Benvarden House.

Lord Belmont of Northern Ireland - Benvarden House

Brooklands House Belfast. Associated names Owden, sub Greer - The seat of the Owden family. John Owden (1799-1867) built Brooklands, Belfast in about 1840 on the site of an old farm. The original farm fronted the present Malone Road, though it was broken up by the new Lisburn Road in 1819, and the railway line twenty years later.

Lord Belont in Northern Ireland - Owden of Brooklands


// Carrickfergus Castle Norman castle situated in the town of Carrickfergus on the northern shore of Belfast Lough. It was built by John de Courcy in 1177 as his headquarters, after he conquered eastern Ulster in 1177 and ruled as a petty king until 1204. It first appears in the official English records in 1210 when King John laid siege to it and took control of what was then Ulster's premier strategic garrison. After the collapse of the Earldom of Ulster in 1333, the castle remained the Crown's principal residential and administrative centre in the north of Ireland. During the early stages of the Nine Years War (1595–1603) crown forces were supplied and maintained through the town's port. And in 1597, the surrounding country was the scene for the Battle of Carrickfergus. Marshal Schomberg besieged and took the castle in the week-long Siege of Carrickfergus in 1689. This is also the place where Schomberg's leader, King William III first set foot in Ireland on 14 June 1690. After fierce fighting In 1760 the castle was surrendered to French invaders commanded by Francois Thurot. They looted the castle and town and then left, only to be caught by the Royal Navy.
On various occasions the castle had been used to house prisoners of war. In 1797 it became a prison and it was heavily defended during the Napoleonic Wars; six guns on the east battery remain of the twenty-two that were used in 1811. It remained a magazine and armoury. During the First World War it was used as a garrison and ordnance store and during the Second World War as an air raid shelter. In 1928 its ownership was transferred from the British Army to the new Government of Northern Ireland for preservation as an ancient monument. Many of its post-Norman and Victorian additions were then removed to restore the castle's original Norman appearance. It remains open to the public. The banqueting hall has been fully restored and there are many exhibits to show what life was like in medieval times.

WIKI Carrickfergus Castle

// Castle Upton (originally Castle Norton), is situated in the village of Templepatrick. One side of the main street in the village consists of the 18th Century demesne wall of Castle Upton. The core of the main house is a tower house, originally thought to be part of a Commanderie of the Knights of Saint John (Hospitallers) with walls up to five feet thick, and the main bulk of the building was created in 1611 by Sir Robert Norton. It was purchased in 1625 by Captain Henry Upton, who became Member of Parliament for Carrickfergus in 1634 and renamed the building.

The Templeton and Upton family mausoleum is in the care of the National Trust and is open to visitors. Many Templetown viscounts and barons are buried there. The mausoleum was built in the form of a triumphal arch by Robert Adam, who also extended the house in 1783. The house is currently inhabited by the Kinahan family, being purchased by Sir Robert George Caldwell "Robin" Kinahan in the 1960s, and extensively restored by Lady Coralie Kinahan. Today private property which houses an art gallery

Castle Upton - Templeton Mausoleum


Dunaneeny Castle (or Dunineny Castle, Irish Dún an Aonaigh) is a ruined castle near Ballycastle, Antrim. The castle was home to the chiefs of Clan MacDonald of Dunnyveg and later the MacDonnells of Antrim.

Dundarave House

Dunluce Castle

Dunseverick Castle - ruinous castle, protected by the National Trust 8 miles east of Portrush - near the small village of Dunseverick and the Giant's Causeway. Saint Patrick is recorded as having visited Dunseverick castle in the 5th century AD, where he baptised Olcán, a local man who later became a Bishop of Ireland. The original stone fort that occupied the position was attacked by Viking raiders in 870 AD.

In the later part of the 6th century AD, this was the seat of Fergus Mor MacEirc (Fergus the Great). Fergus was King of Dalriada and great-uncle of the High King of Ireland, Muirceartaigh (Murtagh) MacEirc. It is the AD 500 departure point from Ireland of the Lia Fail or coronation stone. Murtagh loaned it to Fergus for the latter's coronation in western Scotland part of which Fergus had settled as his sea-kingdom expanded.

The O'Cahan family held it from circa 1000 AD to circa 1320 AD, then regained it in the mid 16th century. Last one to have the castle was Giolla Dubh Ó Catháin, who left it in 1657 to settle in the Craig/Lisbellanagroagh area. Post 1660 they use the anglicised name McCain/O'Kane. The castle was captured and destroyed by General Robert Munro in 1642 and his Cromwellian troops in the 1650s, and today only the ruins of the gatelodge remain. A small residential tower survived until 1978 when it eventually surrendered to the sea below.

WIKI Dunseverick Castle


Galgorm Castle (formerly Mount Colville) Associated names Moore, sub Perceval-Maxwell; Hughes-Young; St. Helens; Chichester, sub O'Neill. Mid-17th century country house, probably built for Rev. Dr Alexander Colville, within a bawn wall of the early 17th century. It was renovated in the 1830s by the Earl Mount Cashell. It is a grade A listed building and remains a private residence. Inherited by The Earls Mount Cashell; the 3rd earl altered and modernised the castle c. 1830.. It was sold in 1851 to Dr. William Young, and was eventually passed to Mrs. Arthur Chichester, daughter of Rr Hon. W R Young.

/images/photo_silhouette_u_missing.gifGardenvale Manor House Gracehill, built, in 1789 it was initially comprising of 365 acres. Originally belonging to the McNeil family who sought to develop a family estate following their exploits in the Australian gold rush of 1851. The property has passed through many hands and has been reduced to 20 acres. Today it is proudly owned by the Irwin family who have made vast improvements over the course of the past two decades.

Glenarm Castle was the site of a medieval tower house, which was ruined by the mid 18th century when Alexander MacDonnell, 5th Earl of Antrim, commissioned Christopher Myers to rebuild it as his principal residence. This was completed in 1756 in the Palladian style, and extended in the 1780s. In the 1820s, Anne, Countess of Antrim, commissioned Sir Richard and William Vitruvius Morrison to remodel the house and build the gatehouse in a "Jacobethan" style. The house was gutted by fire in 1929 and damaged by another fire in 1966, but was restored each time. It remains in the MacDonnell family and is a grade A listed building


Kinbane Castle Constructed by Colla MacDonnell on a coastal promontory, it was shortly after damaged by the cannons of the English under Sir James Croft in 1551. It was besieged again in 1555 and Colla died at the castle in 1558. In the 17th century it was held by the MacAlisters, and was occupied into the 18th century. The ruins came into state care in the 1970s, and comprise the remains of curtain wall and a ruined tower

Kilwaughter Castle The present house was commissioned in 1807 by Edward Jones-Agnew to designs by John Nash. It was not completed until 1830, with further alterations continuing into the 1850s. It passed by marriage to an Italian family, and by 1939 it was owned by two sisters who lived in Italy. With the outbreak of the Second World War it was seized by the Custodian of Enemy Property, and used as a military training camp until 1945. The abandoned building was unroofed and stripped in the 1950s, and remains an empty shell. Investigation in the 1950s showed that it incorporates a 17th-century Scottish style tower house at its core

Landed families of Britain and Ireland


Lissanoure Castle A medieval castle stood at Loch Guile, which was replaced by the Macartneys in the 18th century. This was rebuilt in the 19th century but subsequently demolished. Only the estate buildings now remain, constructed using stone from the castle.


MacQuillan Castle ruins in the grounds of Ballylough House above.

Moneyglass House


Olderfleet Castle Probably built in the 16th century as a fortified storehouse and watchtower, overlooking the entrance to Larne Lough. This building was known as Coraine or The Curran. A separate structure formerly known as Olderfleete was located to the north-west, though nothing of this remains.


Rathlin Castle or Bruce's Castle Limited remains of a medieval castle stand on a promontory on the island's east coast. It is said to have been the location where Robert the Bruce, King of Scots, stayed in 1306 after his flight from Scotland.

Red Bay Castle Sir James MacDonnell built a castle here in 1563, on the site of an earlier promontory fort. This was attacked and destroyed by Shane O'Neill two years later, but rebuilt by Sorley Boy MacDonnell in 1568. The site was robbed of stones for the repair of Dunluce Castle, but was restored in 1604. Cromwell's troops destroyed it once more in 1652 and only fragments of masonry remain above ground.


Sea Park House, Greenisland, Carrickfergus. - 1853 - new house for John Owden

Thomas Greer (1837-1905)]

Sentry Hill

Shane's Castle A series of buildings have stood on this site, a major seat of the O'Neills. A late medieval tower house forms the core of the complex, which was extended in the 17th century. This was replaced by a large country house in the 18th century. The Earl O'Neill commissioned John Nash to build a new extension in the early 19th century, but these were left unfinished when the main house burned down in 1816. The ruins of the various buildings are now in state care and open to the public


/images/photo_silhouette_u_missing.gif Templeton Mausoleum - Grade A listed building located in a small graveyard in Templepatrick. It was built and designed in 1798 by Robert Adam in the Neo-classical style. The mauseleum is important for its architectural rarity but also for the great beauty of its design. It was built in the shape of a triumphal arch and is decorated in classical urns, leafy swags and circular reliefs.
* General George Frederick Upton, 3rd Viscount Templetown CB





References and Sources

Co. Antrim Specific


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