Ballygally 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.

The castle was built in 1625 by James Shaw, of Scotland, who had come to the area and rented the land from the Earl of Antrim. Over the main entrance door to the castle, leading to the tower, is the Middle Scots inscription 'Godis Providens is my Inheritans'. The castle did come under attack, from the Irish garrison at Glenarm, several times during the rebellion of 1641 but each assault was unsuccessful. The castle was owned by the Shaw family until it passed into the hands of William Shaw in 1799. In the 1950s the castle was bought by the carpet tycoon Cyril Lord and was extended and renovated. It is now owned and run by the Hastings Hotels Group.




Your name

Website (optional)


Founded: 1625
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

More Information


4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Elizabeth Galloway (19 months ago)
Fabulous place beautiful food excellent staff. I did get married here 28 years ago and it just gets better with every visit.
Jan Blunt (19 months ago)
What a beautiful, comfortable place to stay! We loved the seaside room with full ocean view, and walking through the lovely gardens behind the hotel. The bed was extra comfortable, and the bath with heated floor luxurious. Dinner and breakfast were excellent!! Be sure to check out the Ghost Room, but be careful climbing up the narrow tower stairs!
Christine Watson (19 months ago)
I’ve delivered training in this picturesque location twice now & dined on at least 4 different locations. Facing the sea this historic castle that I’ve been lucky to stay overnight in has rooms with views of the sea, a small beach opposite and a free car park right in front of the hotel. Full of history including stories of a ghost the hotel is managed by gentleman Norman the service is friendly and the training room was ideal for my needs. Also check out the game of thrones carved door. Found on the causeway coastal route.
natasha lafferty (20 months ago)
My husband and I have had an amazing Honeymoon experience.. The food was amazing.. Service was the best we have had in a long time.. The rooms are very warm the bed was very comfy.. we would highly recommend it.
Chef Luigi (20 months ago)
I ordered pasta and meatballs with no sauce. I told them twice not to put sauce on it and a few minutes later, they came back with sauce on it. They got it cooked again without sauce which was good. Dessert was delicious and I loved the paper straws which gave a sign that it was a eco friendly hotel and restaurant. Could go again but the staff need to improve their listening skills.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Luxembourg Palace

The famous Italian Medici family have given two queens to France: Catherine, the spouse of Henry II, and Marie, widow of Henry IV, who built the current Luxembourg palace. Maria di Medici had never been happy at the Louvre, still semi-medieval, where the fickle king, did not hesitate to receive his mistresses. The death of Henry IV, assassinated in 1610, left the way open for Marie's project. When she became regent, she was able to give special attention to the construction of an imposing modern residence that would be reminiscent of the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, where she grew up. The development of the 25-hectare park, which was to serve as a jewel-case for the palace, began immediately.

The architect, Salomon de Brosse, began the work in 1615. Only 16 years later was the palace was completed. Palace of Luxembourg affords a transition between the Renaissance and the Classical period.

In 1750, the Director of the King's Buildings installed in the wing the first public art-gallery in France, in which French and foreign canvases of the royal collections are shown. The Count of Provence and future Louis XVIII, who was living in Petit Luxembourg, had this gallery closed in 1780: leaving to emigrate, he fled from the palace in June 1791.

During the French Revolution the palace was first abandoned and then moved as a national prison. After that it was the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. The old apartments of Maria di Medici were altered. The floor, which the 80 senators only occupied in 1804, was built in the middle of the present Conference Hall.

Beginning in 1835 the architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden wing parallel to the old corps de logis, replicating the look of the original 17th-century facade so precisely that it is difficult to distinguish at first glance the old from the new. The new senate chamber was located in what would have been the courtyard area in-between.

The new wing included a library (bibliothèque) with a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences, which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.

During the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Hermann Göring took over the palace as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, taking for himself a sumptuous suite of rooms to accommodate his visits to the French capital. Since 1958 the Luxembourg palace has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic.