Ballygally Castle lies in the village of Ballygally, in County Antrim, in Northern Ireland.
Ballygally Castle was built in Scottish baronial style in 1625 by James Shaw. James Shaw was a Scot originating from Greenock who had come to Ireland in 1606 to find his fortune. He built the castle on land that was granted to him by the Earl of Antrim.
At those times the castle was probably more fortified than at present for it served as a place of refuge for the Protestants during the Civil Wars. During the rebellion of 1641 the Irish garrison stationed at Glenarm tried to take the castle several times but without succes.
Ballygally Castle passed through many troubles and was used again as a fortress as late as the 18th century. Around 1760 considerable additions were made to the castle buildings as the squire, Henry Shaw, married a Miss Hamilton, who had two sisters and who all came to live within the castle.
Around 1800 the Shaw family lost their lands and wealth and the estate was sold to the Agnew family. After that Ballygally Castle was used as a coastguard station before it was used as a private residence again. In the early 1950's the castle was bought by a textile millionaire, Cyril Lord, who refurbished it as a hotel. At the present the castle is still used as a hotel. The official website of the hotel is Hastings Hotels.
The rectangular castle has 4 storeys, walls of about 1.5 meters thick, 4 corner turrets and a flanking tower at the north east side with an entrance and stone spiral stairs. It was surrounded by a bawn with 4 corner turrets but the side nearest the sea was removed when the coast road was built in the 1840's.
A nice little castle which you would expect to find somewhere in Scotland instead of here. It is said to house a ghost so maybe it would be nice to stay there sometime.