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Lord Massereene visits Antrim Castle Gardens

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Billy Webb, with Lord Massereene at Antrim Castle Gardens.

The Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Councillor Billy Webb, hosted Viscount Massereene and Ferrard (Lord Massereene), when he made a welcome visit back to Antrim Castle Gardens on Wednesday 4 August, retracing the steps of his ancestors before him.

Antrim Castle before being destroyed by fire in 1922.

Antrim Castle was Lord Massereene’s family home until it was destroyed by a fire in October 1922.

Accompanied by Lady Massereene, son Henry, daughter Harriette, and some of his grandchildren, Lord Massereene took great delight in sharing many stories from the times he spent as a boy in the gardens with his grandfather and introducing his family to interesting elements of their heritage, including the family graveyard. He also took time to revisit the Barbican Gate and take a walk through the recently restored tunnels and pump house.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Councillor Billy Webb and Deputy Chief Executive Geraldine Girvan with Lord & Lady Massereene and family at Antrim Castle Gardens.

His visit coincided with the return of the original decorative stonework of Antrim Castle, which was recently returned to the Council. This stonework was removed from the facade of Antrim Castle prior to its demolition in the 1970s and has been under the care of the Historic Environment Division of Dept of Communities for the past 50 years.

One piece of the original decorative stonework.

The stonework are a significant piece of historical architectural sculpture, among the earliest examples in Ireland and the Council will liaise with Lord Massereene as to how they might be put on display.

As we approach the centenary of the fire which destroyed the castle in October 1922 and the return of these artefacts to the town, Lord Massereene’s visit proved very timely.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Billy Webb said “It was a great privilege to welcome Lord Massereene and his family back to his ancestral home. It was fascinating to hear his stories first-hand about his childhood memories of Antrim Castle Gardens. I look forward to welcoming him back to the gardens next month for a special performance of Carson & the Lady - a story about Lady Jean Massereene and her close friend and political hero Sir Edward Carson, written by local playwright Michael Cameron”.

For more details on Carson and the Lady please visit:


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