Glimpse into life at Kilwaughter Castle

Kilwaughter Castle pictured in 1907.
Kilwaughter Castle pictured in 1907.

One of East Antrim’s historic castles will be the subject of a special exhibition which starts on August 31 and will run during September.

‘Kilwaughter Castle from Plantation to Modern Day’ will be the subject of an exhibition in Carrickfergus Museum and Civic Centre until September 28.

The castle was built in the 17th century on the site of a Norman Agnew castle and was later renovated by the well-known architect John Nash.

For many years it was the home of the Agnew family, one of whom was a Member of Parliament in the old Dublin parliament prior to the 1800 Act of Union.

During the First World War it was the rented home of John Galt Smith, a Belfast linen merchant, and his American wife Betsy.

During the Second World War, the castle was declared ‘enemy territory’ by the state as it was owned by the Italian Balzani family and it was used as a military camp during the period.

After the war decline set in and today the building, outside Larne, is a pale reflection of its former self, when servants and tenants used to be part of what was once a thriving social centre. The Kilwaughter Castle Trust hopes to restore the castle to former glory.