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Community archaeology project in search of lost 17th century castle in Co Antrim

The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens, Councillor Ciarán McQuillan with staff from Council’s Museum Services, staff and students from Queen’s University Belfast Centre for Community Archaeology, and volunteers onsite at the Clare Road excavation.

The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens, Councillor Ciarán McQuillan with staff from Council’s Museum Services, staff and students from Queen’s University Belfast Centre for Community Archaeology, and volunteers onsite at the Clare Road excavation.


Causeway Coast and Glens Council’s Museum Services is excited to have kicked off a community archaeology project as part of their Ballycastle Museum restoration and extension programme, which has been supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

 

In partnership with Queen’s University Belfast’s Centre for Community Archaeology, the museum hopes to uncover the remains of Clare Castle, the 17th century home of the McNeills before they built their stately home at Clare Park just outside Ballycastle.




 

While nothing of Clare Castle is visible above the ground, a probable site has been identified through the use of archival records and historic aerial photographs.

 

The excavation will be carried out on private land by volunteers and school groups over two weeks, with public site tours scheduled for Saturday 15th June. These tours will take place at 10.30am, 1pm and 3pm.

 

The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens, Councillor Ciarán McQuillan said:


“This project is such a wonderful way to engage volunteers and local schools with the fascinating history buried beneath their feet.”




 

He added: “On behalf of Council, I would like thank all of our volunteer archaeologists for their enthusiasm and dedication to local heritage, and of course to The National Lottery Heritage Fund, for their ongoing support and enabling our Museum Services to bring this project to life.”

 

Cllr McQuillan continued: “I would encourage everyone to contact Museum Services to book a space on one of the site tours on Saturday to visit the excavation and find out more about this intriguing project.”

 

For more information, or to book a place on the site tours, please email museums@causewaycoastandglens, or call 028 2766 0230.



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