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Ballygally Castle.

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Ballygally Castle stands on the scenic County Antrim coast at the foot of the famous Glens of Antrim, Ballygally castle was built in 1625 by James Shaw from Greenock, Scotland Shaw came to Ireland to seek his fortune in the Plantation of Ulster, Shaw was the brother in law of Hugh Montgomery who together with James Hamilton although not acting jointly, aquire one third of the O'Neill land in Countys Down and Antrim.

Shaw rented land from the Earl of Antrim for £24 a year. Shaw set about building a castle which was necessary to enable him to maintain control of the property he understandably choose the the Scottish Baronial style, the base of the walls were five feet thick. The castle stood within a a square bawn with towers on each of the corners, renovations were carried out in the 1760's giving it's present outward appearence.

A steam ran through the keep, ensuring a supply of fresh water in the event of a siege, during the 1641 rebellion ballygally Castle was sieged unsuccessfully several times by the Irish garrison based at Glenarm, (Glen of the army.)

Ballygally Castle remained in the possession of the Shaw family untill 1799, when a William Shaw sold the castle and estate for £15,400. In the 1950's the castle was bought by Cyril Lord, who's carpet empire brought afforadable floor covering to Ulsters homes, he renovated and extended it, it is now part of the Hasting Hotels Group.

Like many Irish castles Ballygally has the requisit ghostly inhabitants, one of the most active is believed to be Lady Isobel Shaw, who was murderd by her husband, he imprisioned and starved her, and as she tried to escape she fell to her death; in her haunting she is said to knock at doors and disapears when the door is opened. Another spector is a 19th century inhabitant Mrs Nixon, she is said to be heard in her rustling silk dress as she roams around the castle.

See other Irish Ghost Stories.

On the 4th Nov 1597 Sir John Chichester brother of Sir Arthur Chichester was defeated and killed in the battle of Altfracken near Ballycarry.


Ballygally
Co Antrim
BT
Tel +44 (0)28
Fax
E Mail
Web Site
From the South replace 028 with 048

Tourist Information

Visit Ballycarry Castle web site.