Banquet Hall

This room has been set up as a banqueting hall. In the past, Kings would have held great banquets with courtiers – Kings such as Fergus, a former Ulster-Scots King of Dalriada.

So who was Fergus?  Around 1500 years ago, in the time of St Patrick, Fergus (the first King of Scotland) was returning home to County Antrim.  He had been raised near Armoy and even gave Patrick some land there.  It was Fergus who brought the famous ‘Stone of Destiny’ with him from Ireland to Scotland – since 1996 it has been on display at Edinburgh Castle with the Crown Jewels of Scotland.

Seeking a cure for his leprosy at a renowned healing well, his ship was wrecked on the rock where the Castle now stands.  He was buried at the old abbey of Monkstown, just a few miles from here on the slopes of Knockagh Hill.  For centuries, Irish and Scottish pilgrims travelled to the site to pay homage to Fergus.  The abbey site is inaccessible today, but the spectacular views from the top of Knockagh Hill are definitely worth a look.