Antrim Castle stood proudly on this site in various guises and styles from 1610 until it was destroyed by fire in 1922. A continuous line of stone sets around the lawn now mark the footprint of the building.
The facade of the castle was dominated by a unique Jacobean style frontispiece above the main entrance door featuring various stone carvings relating to the Massereene family. These included separate coats of arms for Sir Hugh Clotworthy, and his wife, Lady Marian Langford, and the coat of arms of the 4th Viscount Massereene, which included elements from those of his wife, a daughter of the 3rd Earl of Donegal.
Illustration showing Antrim Castle with gables and towers as completed by Sir John Clotworthy, 1st Viscount Massereene, in 1663
As a sign of the family’s position within the hierarchy at the Court of King Charles ll, a bust of the king and his coat of arms took pride of place at the very top of the facade.
Copies of some of these carvings are mounted on the two granite plinths at the centre of the Castle site.
Engraving of Antrim Castle from 1825 showing the restyled Georgian Gothic exterior following restoration by Chichester Skeffingtion, 8th Viscount Massereene, in 1813
In the 1880s, the 11th Viscount Massereene extended the rear of the Castle and incorporated his own coat of arms. A copy has been placed on one of the plinths
Aerial photograph showing the aftermath of the 1922 fire
Photograph showing Antrim Castle in its final form before the disastrous fire of 26th October 1922