|Location||Loughguile, Country of Antrim, Northern Ireland (Google Maps)|
|Open for Visitors||Yes|
|Owned by||Peter and Emily Mackie|
|Official Website||Lissanoure Castle|
|Rooms Available||Yes (Weddings, Events, Filming, Photo Shoots)|
Lissanoure Castle is beautifully situated on an island site at the foot of the Glens of Antrim, in the heart of a private family demesne owned by Peter and Emily Mackie. Today, Lissanoure Castle is one of the most beautiful wedding venues in Northern Ireland, surrounded by ornamental canals, lakes, and parkland.
Lissanoure Castle History
It is said that there was a settlement at Lissanoure since Celtic times because of its natural defensive position. The story also goes that a crannóg, an artificial island, was built on Lough Guile. It was the site of a dungeon where prisoners were held before being executed on Gallows Hill to the south.
The earliest record of a castle situated at Lissanoure was probably built by Sir Robert Savage, Seneschal of Ulster, known as ‘The Great,’ who died in 1360. However, other records show that Richard Óg de Burgh, the second Earl of Ulster, also called ‘The Red Earl,’ may have built the first castle. Therefore, it is unclear who built the castle. However, it is known that the estate passed to the O’Hara family in the early part of the fourteenth century. There are also maps dated 1610 and published by John Speed, which show the castle sited on the north shore of the lake.
Lissanoure Castle was owned by the O’Hara family between 1600- 1733. In 1733, it was purchased for £5,985 by George Macartney for 6,146 acres in 8 townlands. He was MP for Belfast and was the oldest member of the House of Commons, having sat in Parliament for over 54 years. The castle and estate remained with the Macartney family until 1943, when the Mackie family acquired it. Today, it is still a traditional family estate with farming and forestry and is owned and managed by Peter and Emily Mackie. They have continued the restoration work of the castle and estate, started by Peter’s parents.
Lissanoure Castle Architecture
The fourth, George Macartney, rebuilt the old castle and converted it into a Gothic mansion. He had thousands of trees of different varieties planted throughout the estate. He also brought back exotic plants and trees from his many travels and created what he called his ‘Pleasure Garden.’ He also ordered artificial lakes to be built, one with five islands in it.
In 1828 under the guidance of George Hume, the Gothic mansion was transformed into a Georgian-styled mansion. He extended the living quarters for the house. He also built the stables and coach houses with an impressive Tudor revival archway and clock tower entrance. However, due to a horrific accident, the castle came to ruins leaving the coach house and stables intact.
Lissanoure Castle today sits in the centre of the demesne, an active and extensive farm with a combination of forestry, livestock, turbary, let land and property. Over 40,000 deciduous and specimen trees have been planted since 2000, replicating the extensive planting carried out by George, Earl of Macartney, almost two hundred years before.
Lissanoure Castle Wedding
Lissanoure Castle Wedding is very popular for its picturesque setting, and the beautiful natural landscape provides the perfect backdrop for all important photos and memories on this special day. You can inquire about Lissanoure Castle’s wedding prices on their official website.
Lissanoure Castle Nearby Hotels
You can take up accommodation near Lissanoure Castle as there are many hotels nearby. There is a beautiful B&B near Lissanoure Castle called Evaron House, which is both comfortable and easy on the purse strings if you are planning to travel there.
There are also many fun things to do near Lissanoure Castle that would make your day all the more exciting. These include taking a horse-riding trip along the breathtaking surroundings and visiting the Glenariff Forest Park, which covers over 1,000 hectares with planted woodland, lakes, and outdoor recreation spaces. Also, if you’re interested in fishing, you can pick up your fishing rods and head to Bann Valley for a fantastic day of fishing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Lissanoure Castle?
Lissanoure Castle is located in the village of Loughguile, in the County of Antrim, in Northern Ireland. The closest train station to the castle is Ballymoney, and the closest airport is Belfast International Airport, which is only 45 mins away.
What hotels are near Lissanoure Castle?
The hotels near Lissanoure Castle are The Lodge Hotel, Brown Trout Golf & Country Inn, The Bushmills Inn Hotel, Adair Arms Hotel, and Royal Court Hotel.
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