ROBERT SHAFTO, his heir;
William Robert, died at Harrow School;
Alexander, of Hetherton Park;
ROBERT ALEXANDER SHAFTO, his successor;
In 1865, Adair began the construction in the demesne of Ballymena Castle, a substantial family residence in the Scottish baronial style. The castle was not completed until 1887, and was demolished in 1957 after having lain empty for some years and being vandalised; the site is now a car park. In 1870, Adair donated a People's Park to Ballymena, engaging fifty labourers to work for six months landscaping it.
Hugh Alexander (1858-68);
FREDERICK EDWARD SHAFTO, his successor;
ROBERT SHAFTO, succeeded his brother;
Camilla Beatrix Mary.
Robert Desmond Shafto, died in infancy;
ALLAN HENRY SHAFTO, of whom hereafter;
Camilla Mary Shafto.
DESMOND ALLAN SHAFTO, predeceased his father;
Robert Dudley Shafto (1923-25);
Bridget Mary; Juliet Enid; Annabel Violet.
The town is built on land given to the Adair family by CHARLES I in 1626, on the provision that the town held two annual fairs and a free Saturday market in perpetuity.
The Adairs were Scottish lairds from Kinhilt in south-western Scotland. The Ballymena estate was temporarily re-named "Kinhilstown" after the Adairs' lands in Scotland.
The original castle of Ballymena was built in the early 17th century, situated to take advantage of an ancient ford over the River Braid.
In 1865, Adair began the construction in the demesne of Ballymena Castle, a substantial family residence in the Scottish baronial style.
It was a large Scottish-Baronial building to the design of W H Lynn; of rough-hewn ashlar, with a tall tower in the manner of Balmoral Castle.
Some of the rooms had stained-glass windows, commemorating various members of the Adair family.
The Castle stood high above the Braid River near where the Leisure Centre is today.
The Adairs were relatively good landlords and they prospered, as did the growing town of Ballymena.
The original Ballymena Castle, built by the Adairs, was burned down in 1720.
Work on the Victorian mansion began in 1865 and, by 1887 (as stated earlier) it had been completed and was ready for occupation.
In 1955, this castle, which had been unoccupied for some time, was badly damaged by fire, and in
1956 it was declared unsafe and was subsequently demolished.
The Adairs owned 6,546 acres in Victorian times.
The land for the People's Park was donated in 1870 by Lord Waveney.
He financed and planned the landscaping, which took six months.
The park is a good example of a public park of that era, which includes maximum variety of areas, through the device of using twisting paths on the undulating ground and strategic planting.
There are stout stone walls, round the park (with modern realignment in places); and a shelter belt of Scots pine on the sides of the prevailing winds.
The lake, the ‘Park Dam’ was made from an artificially dammed mill pond, half of which was later drained to make a flat area for games.
There is a statue, known as the ‘Big Woman in the Park’ of 1872 on top of a hill; ‘Todd’s Hill’; and a notable cast iron drinking fountain of 1909.
Many changes have taken place over the years, such as the introduction of tennis courts, a children’s playground, paths and the making and selling off the bowling green.
Plans for refurbishment of the park were drawn up in 1997, as former assets had become obsolete or worn out.
The individual additions have not, so far, imposed on the original concept of the park. The park-keeper's lodge was designed and built by Lord Waveney.
First published in March, 2010.