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Plans to Breathe New Life Into Antrim’s Historic Steeple Site Are Continuing at Pace

Plans to Breathe New Life Into Antrim’s Historic Steeple Site Are Continuing at Pace

Once the location of a former medieval monastery, the 17-acre parkland includes the famous Antrim Round Tower, a scheduled monument which served as a bell-tower and place of refuge from raiders.

The Council is working closely with the Heritage Lottery Fund on plans to redevelop this important location, with the aim of attracting visitors and generating interest in the fascinating history of the area. Proposals include new interpretive signage and pathways to promote greater access to the site, showcasing the Round Tower as a unique feature.

A Unique Tourist Attraction

The site is also home to the once grand Steeple House, the former headquarters of Antrim Borough Council. The property, which dates back almost 200 years, was extensively damaged by a fire in 2019. The improvement works will see the derelict building restored to its former glory and brought back to life, with potential for the venue to be used as a meeting space, wedding venue or office accommodation.

Whilst the Round Tower, one of only two still existing in Northern Ireland, is a well-known landmark, most people outside the Borough are unaware of the history of the surrounding the area. These long-awaited improvement works will help address this by creating a unique tourist attraction, while still preserving and protecting the historic nature of the site.

It is anticipated that works will commence in autumn 2023 – please look out for updates on this scheme as it progresses.

A Unique Tourist Attraction

Public Consultation

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council invite you to participate in a consultation event on the proposed Parkland development of Steeple Park.

At this stage Council are seeking to raise awareness of the Heritage at the Steeple Park. This Park has a unique heritage and this event will be seeking local support through your views.

The involvement of local people will be critical for the future success of this new development and through attending this consultation you will help to better understand how the Park can be developed.

This work with you will help to inform as well as celebrate the Parks historic importance and meet the practical needs of the community.

Public Access Sessions

Public drop in sessions have been scheduled for the following dates at Antrim Civic Centre:

  • Wed 29 March 2023 
    • 3:00 - 4:30pm
    • 7 - 8:30pm 
  • Thurs 30 March 2023 
    • 10am - 12pm 
    • 2 - 4pm 
    • 7 - 8:30pm

The consultations will be hosted by Andrew Haley, a Heritage Landscape specialist with The Paul Hogarth Company who have worked on a number of iconic environmental projects across Ireland.

Key issues that will be discussed will include:

  • Encouraging a wider range of people to be engaged with the heritage of the area and that
  • the local area will be a better place to live, or visit and
  • Heritage will be identified and better explained and
  • where possible that proposals assist in meeting the challenges to the environment and the climate crisis, e.g. biodiversity protection and enhancement

Further consultation is planned for later in 2023.