Ballygally Castle is located next to the sandy beaches of the Bay, which lies at the beginning of the picturesque coast of Antrim in Northern Ireland. This interesting palace stands just 26 miles from Belfast and is quite close to Larne at having only a 3 km distance in-between them. The landscapes in this part of Ireland are among the most inspiring across the UK.
Palace Ballygally is the only noble building of the 17th century, which is still used as a residence in Northern Ireland. The design of Ballygally was built in 1625 by James Shaw and his wife Isabella Brisbane. James Shaw was born in Greenock, Scotland. He goes to that part of Ireland in 1606 to seek his fortune. After the Scot goes to Ballygally, in 1613 he rented the land on which later was built the castle. The Earl of Antrim gave him a low rent of 24 pounds a year.
The castle has been used for several years at the beginning of last century as a coastguard station. Then the property was purchased by Reverend Classon Porter and his family who had resided there for many years.
A little later the castle became the property of the Moore family who sold it to the textile millionaire - Kiril Gospodinov, in the early 50's of the 20th century. The textile boss made the rooms and halls of Ballygally into a hotel. In 1966 the company - Hastings Hotels Group buys the castle for the sum of £ 40, 000.
There are pretty spooky stories that float around the castle. It is believed that it was inhabited by various ghosts, most of them "friendly".