Ballycastle Museum restoration, extension, and refurbishment project

Uncharted Histories: Free Heritage Resources for the Causeway Coast
16th November 2023
A pile of old children's shoes. The photo is black and white, but one show in the center is picked out in red.
Kanada: a play on words
17th January 2024

Ballycastle Museum restoration, extension, and refurbishment project

Project Attributes


Ballycastle Museum


Ballycastle Museum


1st January 2024

The building now housing Ballycastle Museum was constructed in 1735 or 1736 to be used as the manor courts, administering justice locally for Ballycastle.

Court sessions were held in the upper floor, while the ground floor was used as a shambles, or open market for selling meat. In 1816 the courts and market house were the only public building in Ballycastle. At the back of the shambles were the court’s goal cells, two above ground and two below. Shackles could still be seen hanging from the walls to the rear of the building during the early 20th century.

The courthouse continued to be used into the 1980s, when it also served as a public library and a credit union office. The ground floor of the building was used as a shambles until 1856 when was taken over as Sharpe’s Grocers. In 1921 it became a hardware store run by the McAlisters, and then became the office for the Urban Council in 1929. In the 1970s, the ground floor was used as a folk museum before Ballycastle Museum was formally opened in July 1987.

In 2023, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council was awarded Development Phase funding from the National Lottery heritage Fund to embark on a programme to restore, extend and refurbish the Ballycastle Museum. We anticipate the Lottery-funded programme of works will be completed in 2027, greatly improving this unique asset to the town. Accompanying the capital works, Ballycastle Museum will be working with schools, community groups, and the Friends of Ballycastle Museum volunteer organisation to make out heritage more accessible to all.

The links below will guide you through our activities as the project progresses.


Development phase funding announcement

Causeway Coast and Glens Museum Services are delighted to announce that they have received initial support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for their Ballycastle Museum project.
Click here to read the funding announcement


2024 Fireside Talks programme

A programme of online talks delivered during the winter of 2024 featured a series of talks by guest speakers focused on the heritage of Ballycastle and the wider Causeway Coast and Glens.
Click here to watch the 2024 series of Fireside Talks


Clare Castle Community Excavation

A community archaeology project looking for evidence of one of the lost castles of Ballycastle.
Click here to find out more about the Clare Castle community excavation