Ballygally castle is one of the best preserved early 17th-century fortified houses in Ulster.
Ballygally castle is one of the best preserved early 17th-century fortified houses in Ulster. Built c. 1625, it is typically Scottish in style, with a steeply pitched roof and corner turrets carried out on moulded corbels. The original doorway bears the inscription: ‘GODIS PROVIDENS IS MYN INHERITANS’ and the year 1625, above which is a coat of arms and the initials IS and IB – believed to be John or James Shaw and his wife Isabel Brisbane. Shaw was from Greenock in Scotland and had probably first come to Ulster with Sir Hugh Montgomery and settled for a time in County Down, before moving to County Antrim and acquiring a grant of land from the Earl of Antrim.
Members of the Shaw family continued to live here until the early 1800s when it was purchased by the Agnews of nearby Kilwaughter. By the 1830s it was being used as the dwelling of the principal officer of the local Coastguard, a situation that amused a contemporary visitor who remarked that ‘it would appear that it has been subject to a complete reversal of destiny, having been supposed at one time to have been a stronghold for smuggling.’ Later in the 1800s it was the home of Rev. Classon Porter, a noted local historian. In the early 1950s the building was renovated as a hotel by the textile manufacturer Cyril Lord, who was known as the ‘Carpet King’. Since 1966 the castle has been part of the Hastings Hotel Group. It is a popular stop for people wishing to explore the Causeway Coast and Glens of Antrim.
Coast Road, Ballygally, County Antrim, BT40 2QZ
0044 28 2858 1066