One of the most memorable views along the north coast is that of Ballintoy Church with its deceptively mediterranean look. It was founded by the Stewart family who settled on the north coast in 1560 after losing their estates on Bute. The family also built the castle which was located where the small clachan is on the on the left before you reach the church, nothing remains today. The Church which was rebuilt in the seventeenth century originally had a steeple, this was destroyed by a hurricane in December of 1894, one of the most destructive hurricanes ever recorded here. The winds lasted for six hours at hurricane force and damage throughout the district was severe. In Portrush, waves tore a 40 foot breach in the north quay and stones weighing upwards of 10 tons were moved. Ballycastle experienced the sea reaching the Marine Hotel and the footbridge over the river Margie river was swept away. Part of the Ballintoy Church steeple came down and crashed through the church roof, many headstones were blown over and broken, houses in the village were reported as being severely damaged and in some cases demolished, stacks in the fields where scattered and several thatched cottages in the district caught fire and burned. At the harbour several boats were destroyed and the sea washed around O'Roarke's cottage (now O'Roarke's Kitchen) to a depth of four feet, due to the onshore winds combining with a high tide. Inside the church which is open to the public are two beautiful stained glass windows, one depicts Saint Patrick at Slemish mountain. Like so many small rural village in Ulster, young men from the area volunteered to go and fight for the cause of freedom and many lost their lives in the ensuing conflict. One of these was David Elder Jamieson who lost his life aboard HMS Defence at the Battle of Jutland in 1916. A memorial plaque was placed inside by his mother and sister. Outside in the graveyard you will find, like in Bonamargie Friary and on Rathlin Island, the graves of seamen washed ashore and recovered from Whitpark Bay by local people. Two ships which sank during the First World War with the loss of their crews where HMS Racoon and HMS Viknor. Two fields away from the church in the direction of Whitepark Bay and close to the cliff edge is the site of a 'famine' graveyard.
TAP FOR MENU