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This imposing castle is situated to the north of the river and the picturesque village of Glenarm.
There has been a castle here since the 13th century, when the area was controlled by the Norman Bisset clan. Subsequently the castle came into the control of the Scottish McDonnells (later to become the Earls of Antrim).
The castle estate runs almost the full length of its own beautiful glen, in an area renowned for its exceptional natural beauty. The artistic talents of successive owners have added a touch of whimsey and a uniquely personal style to the decoration of the castle. This exceptional home offers an insight into the gracious living of yesteryear, while providing all modern comforts.
The Ground floor offers a Front hall with a magnificent William Kent fireplace. Elegant drawing room with empire furniture. The coved ceiling has delicately crafted scenes from La Fontaine's fables. Dining room with seating for 20. Sitting room. Cloakroom.
First floor: Three double bedrooms (two en suite). Two single bedrooms, sharing a bathroom. Billiard room.
Second floor: Two double bedrooms, both en suite. Two twin bedrooms. Two single bedrooms and one bathroom.
Note: All double beds are king size and single beds are 1.2 m x 1.8m (4ft x 6ft).
Basement: Staff quarters, fully-equipped kitchen and wine cellar.
Amenities in the area: There is fishing and shooting (with advance notice and in season) on the estate. Nearby there are golf courses, wonderful walks in the Glens of Antrim, pony-trekking, falconry and the incomparable Giant's Causeway. Old Bushmill's Distillery is open by appointment.
Visitors enter through a porch, part of the 1850s addition to the castle.
The Hall has benefited from Lady Angela‚s artistic talents as she created ceiling paintings and life sized sculptures and embellished many rooms and garden areas with a touch of whimsy and a uniquely personal style in decorating the castle. The hall offers an imposing welcome to the Castle holding the William Kent fireplace, 18th century chairs and many family portraits along with two iron-bound chests said to have been brought ashore from the wreck of the Spanish Armada galleon, The Girona, in 1588.
The Drawing Room is a formal sitting room, graced by a number of paintings and Empire furniture. The coved ceiling is highlighted by delicately crafted scenes from La Fontaine‚s fables, painted by Lady Angela. Several family heirlooms are exhibited. The fireplaces both here and in the dining room date from the eighteenth century.
The Library, located in the quiet haven of the castle library, family and guests find solace among an extensive collection of fine books ranging from rare first editions to the naval logs of McDonnell kinsman, Admiral Lord Mark Kerr, who chronicled his 1792 voyage on the HMS Lion accompanying Lord McCartney on his expedition to China.
Antique clocks and more exquisite paintings reflect the artistic tastes of a succession of Earls of Antrim; however, many heirlooms also left the castle as part of dowry settlements or legacy bequests.
The Dining Room, in keeping with the setting of the castle and the nautical careers, Lady Angela painted the ceiling of he dining room to highlight a marine theme. Beneath the full-length portrait of the fifth Earl of Antrim is an Irish Śwake‚ table; and beside that a superb eighteenth century gilded gesso table holds a collection of antique glassware.
The original Georgian chairs were replaced in the late 1800‚s by a guest who complained about the hard chairs, and refused to return until the situation was resolved. He resolved the matter by purchasing as a gift the comfortable red leather chairs seen today.
The Blue Room is a favourite room for relaxed gatherings with family and friends. On the walls are paintings of racehorses once owned by the fifth Earl, who gambled away much of his inheritance. His two daughters produced delightful tapestries, a twelve part epic poem, petit point and silhouettes, but were never allowed to marry.
The Study houses computer, fax etc. for those who wish to keep in touch with the outside world.
The Upper Floors - There are fourteen bedrooms and six bathrooms in Glenarm Castle, in addition to separate living quarters below stairs for housekeeping staff.
On the top floor, a Victorian doll‚s house and wooden rocking horse wait in the Nursery for a future generation of children.
Some bedrooms display silhouettes, royal portraits and period furnishings such as the four-poster bed and decorative canopy embroidered in 1754 recently refurbished.
This property is an exclusive rental with full staff which includes cook, butler, housekeeper and table service. If booking for a week we would stipulate that one of these nights will have to be without dinner to allow staff time off.
All the living quarters of this property are on the ground floor. There is a master bedroom up one short flight of stairs that are not steep.