Antrim Castle & Gardens

Antrim Castle & Gardens
Antrim, Antrim, Ireland.

Antrim Castle was an enchanting structure, constructed in 1613 under the direction of Sir Hugh Clotworthy.

On the 28th of October 1922, Lord and Lady Massereene were hosting guests at the castle when a catastrophic fire broke out during the night. Confused occupants were suddenly awoken from their slumber and forced to escape by any means possible. While they scrambled together ropes made of bed sheets to climb out of the windows, others made it to the chapel roof and awaited rescue there. Tragically, one young servant was trapped in the ensuing inferno and succumbed to the smoke and flames. The castle itself was mostly destroyed and there was insufficient insurance cover to support its restoration.

An investigation into the cause of the fire uncovered several suspicious details, leading to questions over whether this was a terrible accident or something much darker. There was more than one fire in the building that night, and large water tanks located on the castle roof were empty despite having been filled earlier that day. An official enquiry was inconclusive in its verdict, but several great houses were being burnt across the land at that time. What do you think?

What remained of the once fine castle, was mostly demolished in the 1970s, leaving only a distinctive Italian stair tower and a raised grass area above ground; and a sealed tunnel beneath. The early nineteenth century gatehouse also remains and the fine gardens are open to the public.

Visitors have reported hearing the sound of heavy breathing emanating from the remains of the castle, while the ghost of a young woman has been spotted in the grounds on several occasions. Manifesting as a lady in white, the spectre is thought to be that of Ethel Gilligan, the young servant who perished on the night of the fire. Phantom footsteps have also been heard and flickering lights seen in the vicinity of the ruin.

A phantom coach is said to reenact another tragic event that took place here during the eighteenth century. On the 31st of May, a coach with four horses, left the castle and plunged into the long canal, drowning all those on board. It is thought that the driver may have been intoxicated and mistook the reflection on the water for the roadway. The vision can reportedly be seen each year on the anniversary of that fateful night.


Venue Name
Classification(s)
Address
Randalstown Road, Antrim, Antrim, BT41 4LH, Ireland

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Admission Policies
Opening Times Apply
Facilities & Services
Car Park
Gardens
Gift Shop
Guided Tours Available
Picnic Area
Toilets (opening hours may apply)

Additional Notes

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