WHERE TO FIND US
Kilwaughter Castle, The Demesne, Kilwaughter, Larne, BT40 2PE. Gate Lodge Entrance from Deerpark Road
Kilwaughter Castle is private property and is not open to the public except on Open Days.Please check our Events Page for access on Open Days
OUR VISION STATEMENT
Our mission is to educate, promote interest in, and advocate for the preservation of the historic castle of Kilwaughter. Caring for the past, building on skills for the future, bringing recognition to the region on the significance of local heritage, thereby raising awareness and attracting economic opportunities.
ABOUT KILWAUGHTER CASTLE
The original building known as Kilwaughter Castle was a four storey tower house in the Scottish Baronial Style. With a T-shaped layout, the tower house would have been incorporated into the main bawn wall for defence typical of new buildings erected during plantation era Ulster. In fact, many new planters received orders from the English court to build a stone house in the English style and surround it with a protective bawn wall, as part of their land grants. The bartizan turrets visible on the oldest part of the castle, are a common feature of the Scottish Baronial Style.
The original structure was constructed around 1622 by Patrick Agnew. Through time, the fortunes of the Agnews increased significantly and they enjoyed a position of power in the local and wider areas. During this time architectural fashions also changed, and the typical English style mansion came into vogue. Thanks to a period of relative peace in Ulster, social stability increased and the defensive tower house and bawn of the 17th century was no longer seen as a necessary or indeed a comfortable place to live.
In 1806, with his acquired wealth, Edward Jones Agnew, a descendent of Patrick's, ordered the first major extension of Kilwaughter Castle. The famous, and occasionally infamous architect John Nash (1752-1835), was hired to complete the designs. Nash is more famous for his development of Regent Street and the plans to transform Buckingham House to a Palace. Edward would have seen evidence of Nash's work first hand, not in London, but at William Stewart's newly constructed mansion: Killymoon, Co. Tyrone. Stewart was a cousin to Agnew and is likely to have made the introductions between Agnew and Nash. Killymoon Castle