' Lissanoure Castle, County
The ruins of Lissanoure Castle lie a mile or so off the Ballymena-Coleraine road, their beauty unsuspected by the multitude who do not seek the byways. The old castle stands at the edge of Loughguile, a silver lake with a tiny island where the herons build. The lands were granted by King John to Alan of Galloway, Duke of Atholl, in 1210, and the first stone castle was built by Richard de Burgo in the thirteenth or early fourteenth century.
Today, however, the Macartney family, present owners of the estate, live in a comparatively modern house near the castle. They are descendants of the original Macartneys, who came of County Cork stock and bought Lissanoure Castle from the O'Haras about 1730. George, Lord Macartney, the great earl who lived between 1737 and 1806, loved Lissanoure and spared no expense to make it beautiful. He reclaimed the marshes and planted seventy acres of timber. He had a brilliant diplomatic career abroad ; he was Envoy - Extraordinary in Russia, Ambassador to China, and Captain-General of the Cape of Good Hope.
Sam Henry , who tells the story of Lissanoure tonight, is a well-known Ulster antiquarian and broadcaster.
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