Kilwaughter Castle lies near the village of Kilwaughter, south west of the town of Larne, in County Antrim, in Northern Ireland.
Kilwaughter Castle was built as a T-plan tower house probably in the 17th century by the Agnew family on lands they obtained from King James VI. It was 4 storeys high with corner turrets.
Around 1803 the present castle like mansion, incorporating the earlier tower house, was built by the architect John Nash, who also built Regent's Street in London, for the Agnew family. They were the tax collectors for the County of Antrim.
A daughter of Squire Agnew went to Italy were she married a Count. She returned to Kilwaughter around 1897 as Countess Balzani.
During World War I, wounded American officers were among those who found comfort at Kilwaughter Castle, then the home of a fellow American, Mrs. Elizabeth Galt Smith. Her family leased and refurbished the castle for over 30 years until 1922.
During World War II the fact that the castle was the property of the Italian Balzani family had resulted in it being declared enemy territory. Kilwaughter Castle was occupied by soldiers including, in 1944, members of the American 644th Tank Destroyer Battalion preparing for D-day. After the war the castle remained unoccupied and gradually fell to ruin.
At present the castle ruin is part of a farm. The roofs (part of which were originally sheathed with just sand and tar) have collapsed, as have the floors.
Although Kilwaughter Castle is mostly non-medieval I like it. Its ruined towers and collapsed interior give it a desolate atmosphere. The castle is private property and can not be visited.