Ballintoy is situated in one of the most picturesque parts of North Antrim between the Giants Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and looks out to Rathlin Island and beyond to Scotland. As you come over the Knocksoghey Brae from Ballycastle or in from Whitepark Bay you are greeted by spectacular views, each one characterized by Ballintoy Church.
The church may deceptively give you the impression of a Norman tower or even a Mediterranean building, in fact the square tapering tower once supported a steeple which was removed by a hurricane in December,1894, leaving the church with its 'unique' look.
A narrow winding road takes you down to the harbour of Ballintoy, the last house which will catch your attention on the right hand side is called 'Bendhu' and was built by Newton Penprase.
It is well sheltered from the Atlantic by scores of black basalt islands and looks out across Boheeshane Bay to Larry Bane Head, Sheep Island, Rathlin Island and Scotland. There are many family names linked to Ballintoy, one we know a lot about are the Stewart family who first settled at Dunseverick in 1560 and later moved to Ballinstraid.
In 1625, Archibald Stewart received a grant from Randal MacDonnell, the first Earl of Antrim for two districts known as Ballyclough and Ballintoy, the yearly rent was nine pounds.This grant included Sheep Island and the little islands of Camplie. The Earl reserved the salmon fishing of Portnalarabane, (Larry Bane) and the Deer park (the ridge of high ground south of the village of Ballintoy known as Altmore).
One story tells of members of the family getting possession of a portion of their Ballintoy property by foul mean, having murdered the rightful owner on a hill near Knocksoghey. The victim's name is said to have been Maelderig or 'Red Chief' and his people where afterwards known as Reid's on the Antrim coast, a name closely linked to Ballintoy and the coast of Kintyre in Scotland.
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