PATRICK AGNEW, said to be a kinsman of the Agnew Baronets, of Lochnaw, Wigtownshire, was collector of rents in County Antrim.
This Patrick married Janet Shaw, and built a castle at Kilwaughter, County Antrim, in 1622.
He was succeeded by his son,
JOHN AGNEW, who wedded his cousin, Eleanor Shaw; and was succeeded by his son,
PATRICK AGNEW, who married and purchased the remaining lands at Kilwaughter which, until 1660, were owned by the Agnews of Lochnaw:
Sir Patrick Agnew, 1st Baronet, 8th Hereditary Sheriff of Lochnaw, father of Colonel Alexander Agnew, of Whitehills, who, with Andrew his brother, afterwards 9th Sheriff, was frequently in Ulster.Mr Agnew, High Sheriff of Antrim in 1669, was succeeded by his son,
PATRICK AGNEW, who married and, dying in 1724, had issue,
PATRICK, of whom we treat;The eldest son,
Margaret, m James Crawford;
Jean, m Robert Blair, of Blairmount;
Helen, m James Stewart.
PATRICK AGNEW, married Martha Houston (or Houseton) and left issue,
WILLIAM, of whom we treat;The eldest son,
Henry, m Grace Harries, and left issue;
WILLIAM AGNEW, married his cousin, Margaret Stewart, of Killymoon Castle, Cookstown, County Tyrone, and left issue,
James, died unmarried;Mr Agnew's elder daughter,
William, died unmarried;
MARIA, of whom we treat;
Jane, m Henry Shaw, afterwards of Ballygally.
MARIA AGNEW, wedded firstly, James Ross; and secondly, Valentine Jones.
By her second marriage, she had issue, with one daughter, Margaret, a son,
EDWARD JONES AGNEW, succeeded his grandfather and assumed the additional surname of AGNEW.
He married Eleanor Galbraith, and dying in 1834, left issue,
William, b 1824, who succeeded though died unm;William Agnew was succeeded in the Kilwaughter estate by his niece,
Maria, m T C Simon.
AUGUSTA, COUNTESS BALZANI, only child of T C Simon and Maria (Agnew) Simon.
The Countess Balzani died in 1895, leaving two daughters,
Gendoluni, Madame Valensin;
KILWAUGHTER CASTLE lies about three miles in a westerly direction from Larne in County Antrim.
The original tower-house was four storeys high with turrets, built for the Agnew family, tax collectors for JAMES VI.
The present building incorporates a Scottish style plantation house of ca 1622, built by Patrick Agnew, whose sister-in-law lived at Ballygalley Castle, which is near by.
Between 1803-07 the present Georgian castle was built for Edward Jones Agnew by John Nash in his "romantic castle" style.
There is a wide, round tower at one corner; and a polygonal tower at another.
The castle incorporates the substantial remains of a 17th century tower house.
The exact date and origin of the tower house is uncertain, though when it first became exposed due to dereliction in the 1950s it was identified as being of T-plan, four storeys in height, in Scottish style.
There are corbelled bartizan turrets at the four main corners, originally with narrow slit windows which were later enlarged.
The process of remodelling begun by Nash continued for some years, until at least 1830, when the oriel window on the east front was added.
The chief architect was recorded in 1840 as John Nash, but Millar and Nelson of Belfast were seemingly also employed as architects.
Old photographs show that the Nash remodelling originally had elaborate Gothic-style timber tracery in all main windows on the south and east fronts.
The single-storey block on the south front was inserted between the original 17th century castle and the square end tower at some stage between 1832 and 1857.
On Edward Jones Agnew's death in 1834, ownership passed to his granddaughter who married her music teacher, an Italian count called Balzani.
On the death of Count Ugo Balzani in 1916, the property passed to his daughters, Madame Valensin, of Florence, and her sister, Signorina Nora Balzani, of Rome.
At the outbreak of the 2nd World War in 1939, the sisters being resident in Italy, Kilwaughter Castle was declared "enemy holding" by the Custodian of Enemy Property and was transformed into an army camp.
Various British regiments were based there and finally it became an American Transit Camp.
It was occupied by military forces until 1945 and thereafter abandoned.
In 1951 it was bought by E H McConnell (Metals) Ltd of Belfast, who purchased it in order to recover lead, woodwork, slates and other fittings.
Thereafter it was left to decay.
The roof (part of which was originally sheathed with mere sand and tar) has collapsed, as have the floors.
Kilwaughter's parkland is early 19th century, possibly the work of the landscape gardener, John Sutherland; and provided a setting for the now-ruinous house.
The Ordnance Survey Memoirs of 1835 noted that the date "1566" was inscribed on a piece of iron on an oak door existing at that time; and it is known that the site had a Norman origin, because the remains of a motte exist nearby.
The 18th century house was set in a formal landscape, with a straight approach avenue aligned on the front door.
The parkland of ca 1810 has had its extensive shelter belts depleted and many parkland tress have been lost.
The artificial lake, created as a result of massive damming, is in danger of silting up.
The walled garden, in separate ownership from the greater part of the park, is partly cultivated. There is an ice house near the lake.
The main entrance gates were designed by Nash ca 1807, but the lodge, ca 1835, is possibly by Millar and Nelson; a picturesque cottage with barge-boards and latticed windows.
First published in March, 2010.