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The Old Courthouse

Well positioned in the heart of Antrim town, the historic Old Courthouse was re-opened in 2010 following extensive restoration by the Council to include a multi-purpose auditorium and coffee shop.

The Courthouse is a classically designed, two-storey building, completed in 1726 for the sum of £150. The turret (cupola) on top dates from 1817. The Court occupied the upper floor, while the lower storey provided an arched market hall.

Many cases of highway robbery and animal theft were tried here; strict animal laws resulted in transportation or death for relatively trivial offences, even the stealing of sheep.

By 1836, the lower floor had been converted to a prison yard for prisoners attending trials and for confining drunkards and rioters. In later years it was converted into a public library and the building continued to be used as a Courthouse until 1994.

Virtual Tour