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Historic Building Details

HB Ref No:
HB20/12/018 A

Extent of Listing:

Date of Construction:
1600 - 1649

Address :
Castle Upton Antrim Road Templepatrick Co Antrim BT39 0AH


Survey 2:

Date of Listing:
29/11/1974 00:00:00

Date of De-listing:

Current Use:
Country House

Former Use
Country House

Conservation Area:

Industrial Archaeology:





OS Map No:

IG Ref:
J2275 8578

Owner Category


Exterior Description And Setting

A multi-bay split-level over exposed basement country house, dating in part from c.1600, remodelled c.1780 to designs by Robert Adam, and c.1840 to designs by Edward Blore. The house is L-shaped on plan, facing south, with full height towers dating from c.1600 (NE and S) and the 1840s (NW). The house occupies a parkland
setting to the north side of Templepatrick Village. Hipped natural slate roof, conical roofs to towers; roll top clay ridge tiles, foliated terracotta finials to south tower; rendered chimneystacks with corbelled caps; ogee cast iron rainwater goods on deep moulded eaves. Walling is roughcast. Side-hung timber casement windows throughout, transomed and mullioned to principal floors; sandstone blocked surrounds, lintels and sills (unless otherwise stated). Principal elevation is asymmetrical with raised ground floor on two levels. The seventeenth century south tower is offset to left; to its right the original north wing is three-storey over basement, to its left, two-storey over basement. Attached projecting entrance porch abuts right internal angle between tower and main block. Porch is smooth rendered with mock machicolations, tourelles and stepped parapet with Maltese Cross motif. A round headed opening with moulded archivolt on plain sandstone pilasters is accessed by 11 stone steps. Entrance door within is woodgrained six-panelled with lockbox and brass fish knocker; painted moulded masonry architrave with date 1611 to head. West elevation of main block has two windows to ground floor with label moulds and single window to first floor, all with smooth rendered surrounds. The remainder of this elevation to left consists of a single storey over basement ballroom extension with circular tower to right end; three windows to principal floor; basement has a central replacement door with windows to either side. Four stage tower to right is detailed as house with string courses; machicolated parapet and tourelle on corbelled base; musket loops to ground floor. Rear elevation of ballroom extension has snecked basalt rubble stone walling; there is a single window to principal floor set in a projecting bay corbelled out over mock machicolations. Parapet contains an open stone transomed and mullioned window surround; brick tourelle with musket loop to left. East elevation of ballroom extension is detailed as rear; right end is abutted by a stair tower with spurs, roughcast to second stage, exposed rubble stone above. North elevation of main block has a bowed bay slightly offset to right of centre. The section to its right projects slightly and is abutted by the ballroom extension. Exposed section has 1/1 and 2/2 timber sliding sash window to first floor. All windows to this elevation have with chamfered stone reveals. The bowed bay has tall transomed and mullioned window; tall projecting rubble stone plinth; four-panelled door to basement flanked by a window to either side. The left section is terminated by a circular tower (roof not visible). There is an eight-panelled pointed arched-headed door to basement with chamfered stone reveal. East elevation of main block has two windows to each floor and is abutted by tower at north corner. Setting The house is set in lawned gardens with gravel forecourt immediately to south. To rear is a small paved stone courtyard (formerly containing kitchens, demolished c.1960), enclosed by a castellated roughcast wall with tower to north-east corner, and accessed at east by a round-headed arch with sandstone surround. The house is located in a demesne accessed at south from Templepatrick Main Street via the east lodge (HB20/12/18N) and the Main Gate (HB20/12/018M). To east is the stable yard, designed by Robert Adam (HB20/12/018B-L), now converted into housing. To north-east is an estate graveyard containing the Templeton Mausoleum, also by Robert Adam (HB20/12/018P). Roof: Hipped natural slate Walling: Roughcast Windows: Transomed and mullioned with side-hung timber casements and sandstone reveals Rainwater goods: Ogee cast-iron


Blore, Edward Wallace W.K

Historical Information

According to PSAMNI (p.194), the OS memoirs and Kinahan, research suggests that the remains of the 13th century fortified Priory of the Knights of St John, who settled at Templepatrick under the command of John de Courcy, are incorporated in parts of the rear courtyard wall. The research was carried out by Sir John Campbell, and states that the chief portion of the castle consisted of ‘a room of seven arches’, which was subdivided by the later Uptons into a servant’s hall, a boot room and pantry. According to the booklet, the Knights retained the castle until 1598, during the Reformation. Girvan and Rowan argue however that no parts of St. Johns refectory survive (p.14-17) The late medieval castle, of which a significant portion remains today, was built by Sir Robert and Humphrey Norton in c.1610. The Plantation Commissioners in 1610 reported: “ we beheald materialles sufficient to finish a faire castle already built two stories high with two greate Towres of flankers the worke of Humfrey Northon Lieutenant of the Lo: Deputies foot companie, at a place called Tymple Patricke upon the said Sir Arthur Chichester’s lande by the River of Sixmylewater. He means to build a stonge bawne of lyme and stone about it towards w’ch said Sir Arthur gives 100 lister and a lease of the lands for many yeares at a small rent” (Brett p.73). The castle was sold in 1625 to Captain Henry Upton of Cornwall, later Viscount Templeton, in whose family it was to remain until the early-twentieth century. Clotworthy Upton, the first Lord Templeton and his son, later the first Viscount, commissioned Robert Adam in 1782-83 and 1788-89 to remodel the house ‘with a castle air’. Original drawings are held in the Soane Museum in London. Adam never actually visited Ireland and many of his proposed works were not carried out, however, the asymmetrical castellations are notable; although the picturesque castellated style was only just becoming popular at this time, classical symmetry was still highly regarded. Works included the raising of the two round towers, which were finished with conical roofs; he also added a wing with an additional round tower. The stable complex is completely the work of Adam, and is rigidly symmetrical, as is the neo-classical mausoleum which boasts typical Adam detailing. In 1837 Edward Blore was commissioned by the second Viscount Templeton to further remodel the house. He added mullioned windows and re-modelled Adam’s interiors. All interiors were re-decorated in Tudorbethan style. The Ordnance Survey Memoirs in 1838 date from the period almost contemporary with Blore’s work: “The Present Castle originally consisted of a quadrangular building with a larger circular tower at its NE and SW angles, and in 1798 an addition of a wing containing some very fine apartments was made by Lord Templetown on the north side of the Castle – the appearance is somewhat baronial and interesting and its extent rather considerable. Of three floors and basement the towers, four storeys with conical roofs with vanes, and with ornamental little machicolated towers at its other angles, give to the building a singular and pleasing effect – which however is not increased by its having been roughcast and whitened. Current improvements to the Castle, which is let, are by an architect Mr Blower of London.” The 1860 Griffiths Valuation valued the estate at £207. In 1963 Castle Upton was bought by Sir Robin Kinahan and the ruined Adam wing was rebuilt. The Doric frieze in the ballroom is a copy of a surviving fragment of Adam’s work in the round tower. The main building was re-roofed in the mid-twentieth century. A number of restorative works were undertaken in the ballroom between 1977-1981, including roof repairs by Isherwood & Ellis (Pierce et al. p.163). References: Primary Sources 1. PRONI: T 811/3 - Plantation Commissioner’s Report, 1610 2. PRONI OS/6/1/51/1 – First Edition OS map (1834) 3. PRONI VAL/1/B/129A - Townland Valuation Map (1836) 4. PRONI VAL/2/A/1/51C - Griffith's Valuation (1860) 5. PRONI VAL/2/B/1/10 - Griffith's Valuations (1860) 6. OS Memoirs, History of County Antrim, 1838 Secondary Sources 1. Bence-Jones, M; Burke’s Guide to the Country Houses of Ireland, 1978, p.78 2. Brett, C.E.B, The Buildings of County Antrim, UAHS, Belfast, 1996 3. De Breffny, B & Ffolliot, R; The Houses of Ireland; T&H, London, 1975 (p160, 168) 4. Irish Architectural Archive. “Dictionary of Irish Architects” [Internet source] Accessed 08/05/09 5. Kinahan, Lady C.; Castle Upton booklet 6. Northern Ireland Environment Agency. NI Sites and Monuments Record SM7 file Ant 051:059. 7. Pierce, R., Coey, A. & Oram, R. “Taken for granted: a celebration of 10 years of historic buildings conservation.” Royal Society of Ulster Architects, 1984. 8. Evans, E.E., Ancient Monuments Advisory Council for Northern Ireland, Chart, D.A. “Preliminary Survey of the Ancient Monuments of Northern Ireland, 1940. 9. Girvan, W. D. & Rowan, R. J. “Ulster Architectural Heritage Society Second List of Historic Buildings, Groups of Buildings, Areas of Architectural Importance in West Antrim, Within the Designated Area of the Antrim and Ballymena Development Commission.” Belfast: Ulster Architectural Heritage Society, 1970.

Criteria for Listing

Architectural Interest

A. Style B. Proportion C. Ornamentation D. Plan Form I. Quality and survival of Interior J. Setting K. Group value

Historic Interest

W. Northern Ireland/International Interest V. Authorship Z. Rarity


Castle Upton is an important house with a late medieval core dating from at least the early seventeenth century. The house has evolved over centuries and its current appearance bears the hallmarks of two major refurbishments by architects of national significance, Robert Adam and Edward Blore. The Castle is one of only two buildings worked on by Adam in Ireland, and is a good and early example of the Romantic eclecticism which was beginning to supercede the more rigid classicism of the eighteenth century. The house has been well preserved and retains original fabric and features dating from most of the various periods of continued occupation through the centuries. Along with the excellent Adam Yard, Mausoleum and gate lodges, this is a key group of buildings of national significance and central to the development of the local area.

General Comments

This record has been renumbered and was HB20/12/018.

Date of Survey

15 October 2008