Heavenly holiday homes in Northern Ireland

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Location: The Barbican, Glenarm Castle, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Accommodation: sleeps 2: 1 double
Contact: +353 (0)1670 4733; www.irishlandmark.com

Built into the estate wall at the end of an old stone bridge spanning the Glenarm River, the Barbican is the gatehouse of Glenarm Castle. It was commissioned in 1823 by Edmund Phelps, the second husband of Anne Catherine McDonnell, Countess of Antrim, who inherited the estate when her father, the 6th Earl of Antrim, died without male issue. The well-known Dublin architect William Vitruvius Morrison built it in 1824-5 using local coursed rubble basalt and red ashlar sandstone dressings. It has survived in better condition than the castle, which Morrison also remodelled in the ‘Tudorbethan’ style, and which is currently occupied by Viscount Dunluce, son of the 14th Earl. Called ‘the Barbican’ in the spirit of Victorian Gothic fantasy in which it was designed, the gatehouse has a narrow turret staircase which leads onto a roof terrace overlooking the surrounding countryside.

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