Ballycastle, County Antrim – Wikipedia

Ballycastle is located in Northern Ireland Source: Ballycastle, County Antrim – Wikipedia

View of Antrim coastline with Rathlin Island in the distance

Attribution; Taibhseoir, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Scots: Ballykessel, Bellykessel or Bellycaissle
Irish: Baile an Chaistil


Ballycastle (Irish: Baile a Chaistil, ‘town of the castle’) is a tiny seaside town in Northern Ireland’s County Antrim. It is located in the Antrim Coast and Glens Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, on Ireland’s north-easternmost coastline tip. The ferry to Rathlin Island, which can be seen from the coast, departs from the harbour. Every year on the last Monday and Tuesday in August, Ballycastle hosts the Ould Lammas Fair. Ballycastle is the home of the Corrymeela Community.(The Corrymeela Community (a Christian organisation promoting peace and reconciliation, founded in 1965) is based at Corrymeela, just outside Ballycastle.)

Ballycastle Harbour, near to Ballycastle, Ireland. More specifically, this is the Rathlin Ferry terminal at Ballycastle Harbour. On the right is a secure compound where passengers’ cars can be left, as visitors are not allowed to take their cars over to the island.

Attribution By Anne Burgess, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Rathlin Island Ferry, Ballycastle Harbour

Attribution By User: Johnlp, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Bus services in Ballycastle are operated by Translink.

A ferry, currently operated by the Rathlin Island Ferry Company, runs between the town and Rathlin Island as part of a lifeline service. The ferry service to the island was formerly operated by Caledonian MacBrayne. Ferries formerly sailed between Ballycastle and Campbeltown in Scotland, but the service was suspended in June 2002. A passenger ferry service to Campbeltown, and Port Ellen on Islay, operated by Kintyre Express, now runs seven days during summer months and on Mondays and Fridays during winter months.[13]

Ballycastle railway station opened on 18 October 1880, but was closed on 3 July 1950. It was on the Ballycastle Railway, a narrow gauge railway which ran 17 miles (27 km) connecting Ballycastle to Ballymoney station, on the Belfast and Northern Counties Railway (BNCR), later Northern Counties Committee (NCC) and now part of Northern Ireland Railways.

tTansport in Ballycastle – Wikipedia
View from the Rathlin boat

Attribution By Brian O’Neill – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Antrim Coast Near Ballycastle Waves in Ballycastle; Scotland can be seen in the background

Attribution: Marshall Henrie, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Marconi Memorial

Attribution By Man vyi – Self-photographed, Public Domain,

Ballycastle had a population of 5,237 at the 2011 census. It was the seat and main settlement of the old Moyle District Council.

Buildings of Note

Church of the Holy Trinity

Attribution By Andreas F. Borchert, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Holy Trinity Parish Church is a Church of Ireland church in The Diamond, Ballycastle’s main square. Like the rest of The Diamond, the church is Grade ‘A’ listed. Built by Colonel Hugh Boyd, who bore the total cost, the church was completed in 1756 and is popularly known as Boyd’s Church. It was built in Graeco-Italian style with an apse-shaped chancel, and an octagonal spire about 100 feet (30 m) high. It was effectively a chapel for the Boyd family and its estate for many years. The remains of many Boyd descendants are in the vaults below – although it was always subject to Episcopal jurisdiction. It was given to the Church of Ireland in about 1950. The church is open every day from 9am-5pm.,_County_Antrim#Buildings_of_note

Bonamargy Friary

Attribution By JohnArmagh – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Bonamargy Friary is located off the Cushendall Road on the way to Ballycastle in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The name Bonamargy refers to the river formed by the confluence of the Cary and Shesk rivers, which is known as the Margy River.

Rory MacQuillan founded the late Franciscan foundation in 1485. The initial battle between the feuding MacDonnell and MacQuillan clans is reported to have taken place on nearby ground. A tiny, two-story gatehouse guards the friary’s main entrance and serves as a store and workroom. The dormitory is reached through a set of well-worn steps. The ruins of an altar can still be found in the nearby church, and the vaults are locked.

Kinbane Castle

Attribution Bob Embleton, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Kinbane Castle was originally a two storey building built in 1547 by Colla MacDonnell, who died within its walls in 1558. Behind its defences lies a large courtyard with traces of other buildings, probably constructed out of wood. It also offers spectacular views of Rathlin Island and Dunagregor Iron Age fort.


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