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Events and activities marking the Centenary of the Antrim Castle Fire

On Saturday 28 October 1922, as the Massereene family hosted a grand ball, a devastating fire swept through Antrim Castle, damaging it beyond repair.

100 years on, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council are marking the occasion with a programme of events and activities allowing audiences to explore the story of that fateful evening and the mystery surrounding the fire.

From Thursday 27 October members of the public will be able to enjoy a new free walking tour with Head Ranger Christopher Bryant and local historian Lyndsy Spence. The tour will cover the various personal and political accounts from the event and portray the horror which unfolded on that fateful night.

Kicking off on the same evening (Thursday 27 and Friday 28 October), Antrim town centre will come to life in a sea of spectacular light for Son et Lumiere shows at the Old Courthouse. Directed by Michael Poynor (Ulster Theatre Company) the show explores the story and mystery of the Antrim Castle Fire, as well as the evolution of Antrim Castle Gardens right up to today.

From 24 October the Garden Heritage Room in Clotworthy House will host an exhibition telling the story of the Castle Fire and its aftermath through contemporary newspaper reports and the recollections and stories of those involved. Plans to rebuild the Castle and correspondence surrounding its subsequent demolition will also be on display for the first time, as will some of the very significant stone sculpture removed from the facade of the building in its final days and which have remained locked away from public view for over fifty years.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Alderman Stephen Ross commented:

“I am really proud of the programme we have put together to mark the centenary of such an important event in Antrim’s history.

 There is no doubt the events of that tragic evening have shaped the place we live in today and I really encourage you to join us, as we take a step back and remember an event that has shaped, not just Antrim town, but the Borough as a whole.”

All events are free to the public, with only the Antrim Castle Fire Centenary Walking Tour requiring booking in advance. To book, click here.