The Antrim Arms Hotel was built by the Earl of Antrim about 1840, and was run by the Antrim family for many years. A house to the right of the main hotel building was formerly a Royal Irish Constabulary barracks, but had latterly become part of the hotel.
It is somewhat earlier in date than the main building, and its roof structure includes some early purlins that are roughly shaped tree trunks.
In the 1950s the hotel was enlarged and modernised to include ‘three fine sitting rooms upstairs in which visitors can be sure of complete quiet’; bed and breakfast was available for 12/6d per night, and the weekly tariff ‘en pension’ was 7-8 guineas. By the early 1970s however the hotel functioned as little more than a pub, and when a bomb was placed at the rear of the building in 1973, the owners decided to close down. The building remained vacant until restoration started to convert the building into flats in 1984. As one of the largest buildings in the main street of Glenarm, its restoration was very important to the village.
The bomb had caused relatively little damage to the limestone rubble structure of the building, and restoration was fairly straightforward, although the conversion required some ingenuity. The former barracks was restored as a separate house, and old outbuildings at the rear were demolished and replaced with a terrace of five pensioners’ cottages designed along traditional lines. The pavement in front of the Antrim Arms was laid with cobbles from evidence in old photographs.
The building was extensively improved in 2010-11 to bring it up to modern standards with extensive thermal and acoustic insulation and new air source heat pumps.
Hearth Housing Association
John Neil Partnership
Martin & Hamilton, Ballymena
JDC Joinery, Cookstown