Glenarm Castle, Co. Antrim
Glenarm Castle is a beautiful building at present the home of the Viscount and Viscountess Dunluce and their family. It has been the home of the McDonnell family for over 400 years though the family have been in the area for over 600 years. In 1900 the Atlas and Cyclopedia of Ireland described it as:
...embosomed in a beautiful vale opening to the sea, presents an attractive view, with the turrets of the castle, and the picturesque surroundings like a moving tableau. There is not in Ireland a more fascinating and romantic little town; the beauty and variety of the adjacent scenery, and the dell-like tranquillity of the town and valley in which it is situated, are well calculated to attract the notice of the visitor and make an impression not soon to be effaced. The prospect from the adjacent basaltic cliffs, 200 feet in height, is extremely interesting, embracing the castle with its minarets and gilded vanes embosomed in the woods of the richly-planted park; while just below are seen the silvery waters of the beautiful bay of Glenarm tranquilly sleeping between the lofty precipices which guard it upon the north and south, and far along northward the varied and picturesque coast as far as the Garron Point and the fort-crowned hill of Dumane.
Glenarm Castle has only been occupied as the family seat of the McDonnells, earls of Antrim, since 1750, after the destruction of their former summer abode at Ballymagarry. The gateway to the castle, a lofty barbican, is approached by a bridge crossing the river; and beneath its arch a beautiful carriage drive leads round to the entrance hall. The edifice has been modernized and rendered one of the most elegant and commodious mansions in the island. The demesne is especially worthy of admiration, occupying a long and deep glen or ravine, well wooded and watered by a beautiful stream abounding in trout and salmon, inclosed by lofty cliffs on the north and south; a natural cascade called the Bull's Eye forming a pretty feature in the walk along the river, which is broken into a series of charming waterfalls. The hill of Slieve Mish, where the captive boy St. Patrick tended the swine of the chieftain Milcho.
Today the Castle is open to the public and regularly holds events and concerts and plays as well as guided tours.