Shane's Castle Antrim

 

 

 

 

 

Opening Hours

April to September BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

Shane's Castle is the family seat of the O'Neills of Clanaboy. The Demesne is one of the most beautiful and well maintained in Ireland. Although the Castle has been in ruins since the fire of 1816, the remaining structure, including a unique Camellia House, is a striking feature on the landscape.

The O'Neill Banshee

In olden times one of the O'Neills went to help McQuillan in one of his warlike raids. On his arrival he saw a cow caught in a thorn tree. As this tree was considered sacred by the fairies, no one would cut a branch to release the poor animal. O'Neill however did so and freed her. On his successful return home he found that his daughter, Kathleen, had been carried off by the "wee folk" to the bottom of the Lough. From then onwards when evil threatened a member of the family, her shriek was heard upon the shore and along the ruined walls of the castle. Legend also blames the banshee for the fire, which destroyed Shane’s Castle in 1816.

The Black Face of Stone

On one of the eastern walls of Shane’s Castle there is a curious female figurehead, with a sad expression. Some say that this figurehead was brought from the east and is much older than the ruins among which it stands. Folklore states that the O'Neill family will come to an end if ever it falls 

 

 

 

 

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