gh - long band 2

13 New Road



Co. Antrim

Northern Ireland

BT44 0AA

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Shops & Services












PAST TIME long Entrance to village Jacky Nessie farmer hotel JMcC farmers hearse thomas mullan post office

1800s – Present

Older residents of Glenarm remember when the village bustled, people shopped local and a visit to Larne or Ballymena was an event.

Below is a history of some of the shops and services in Glenarm and memories of the village.  The information hints at the complex relationships within the village and the dynamic nature of its inhabitants and the shops along the main street, known as Toberwine Street.







This pub was run by the McKay family for many generations, the last being Margaret who married Mr Duffin, a teacher at Feystown. James McKay, publican and butcher is recorded as being here in the 1911 census.

























Locals remember that there was always a lovely Corbetts sign on the sea facing wall.






On August 30th, 1864 Bridge Inn was focus of a cholera epidemic when a lodger was found dead of the disease as people gathered in the village for the fair day. Not wanting to cause disruption to the business of this busy day the pub owner, Alex McCambridge, delayed calling a doctor until the end of the day. By this time the disease had spread to the pub owner and his family and despite residents staying at home and visitors being barred, the disease continued to spread around the village. A number of people succumbed to the disease and only the bravest residents, including the 3 local clergy, comforted victims and buried the death.

(From Felix McKillop)


Information from the 1911 Census of Ireland

House no in 1911:No. 26

Present day: No. 1

Head of family: James McKay (74) Publican and Flesher

Wife Margaret McKay

Daughters: Lizzie (37) and Maggie (33)

Sons: Alexander (36) butcher, Charles (31) butcher and James (27)




The Coast Road Inn was previously known as the Charles Posting Establishment & Farmers Hotel and was run by Thomas McMullan in 1911. According to local David Stewart, many deals were done here and lots of land bought and sold. People would have come from other villages to buy/sell.

McMullan bought the establishment from Thomas Charles in 1908 for the sum of £780. This price included Mr Charles’ horses and undertaking business. The McMullans ran the hotel and undertakes as a father son business. Their hearse was the first can in the village and can now be seen at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum.



























(Photo reproduced by kind permission of James McAuley. All Rights Reserved.)
























(Photo reproduced by kind permission of Thomas McMullan. All Rights Reserved.)


Information from the 1911 Census of Ireland

House no in 1911:No. 27

Present day: No. 3

Head of family: Thomas McMullan (36) Publican

Wife Lizzie McMullan (29)

Daugher: Eva (3)

Brother: James McMullan (55) Car Driver

Servant: Mary Scott (23) Domestic servant




This building is remembered as B.A. Kearns Chemist, which was here from around 1930. The 1911 Census records a shop here, but it does not appear to be in use at this time.

Local residents Jackie and Francis Wilson recall that Kearns Chemist was filled with lovely old chemist jars and glass cabinets.


Information from the 1911 Census of Ireland

House no in 1911:No. 29

Present day: No. 5/7

Recorded as an uninhabited shop




In 1911 this property would have been Orr’s Hardware Shop. James Orr is recorded here on the 1911 census. It sold, the store later became the new modern shop, James McAllister’s grocery shop, ran by his son Gerry. Fresh supplies were delivered once a week from the markets in Belfast.


Information from the 1911 Census of Ireland

House no in 1911:No. 31

Present day: 13/15

Head of family: James Orr (61) Painter, general contractor and grocer

Wife Susan Orr (66)

Sons: James (33), painter and general jobbing and Alexander (26) seaman

Daughter: Elizabeth McAuley (30), shop attendant, widow

Grand son: George Orr McAuley




Jimmy Crawford’s ran a Saddler’s shop here, making leather items including school bags and horses reigns etc. These would have been essential items for people travelling by horse.

























(Photo reproduced by kind permission of Doris Morrow. All Rights Reserved)


Information from the 1911 Census of Ireland

House no in 1911:No. 35

Present day: 21/23

Head of family: James Crawford (27) Saddler

Wife Sarah Jane (20)

Son: David Crawford (2)




The Seaview Hotel is thought to have been started by Henry McNeill. Henry, from Deerpark, Glenarm, is known to some as ‘the Father of Ulster Tourism’. He saw the tourist potential offered by the creation of the coast road in the 1830s. He ran the Seaview Hotel from 1893, along with other hotels in Larne, until his death in 1904. He also operated a tourist ‘bus’ along the coast road. The Seaview was the main halting point for the char-a-bancs in the village.

(McKillop page 64,65).


His company Henry McNeill Ltd continued ownership until 1919 when it was purchased by Thomas McMullan.


McMullan later sold it to James McAllistair after WWII. The hotel had a large oblong clock hanging above the front door spelling out Seaview Hotel on the hour hands.


Locals Francis and Jackie Wilson remember that the large gateway here led down to a big yard where the McAllister’s had an egg packing station. Eggs were collected from country people (sometimes in lieu of their groceries), sorted into sizes and stamped with date stamp and sold on. Any with hair cracks were sold cheaper to hotels etc for baking. In the large hall there pictures were shown once a week by a traveling ‘picture man’, and concerts or travelling shows also. Later when the family started ‘Quality Supplies’ furniture it was used as their showroom.

The yard was also used to slaughter pigs for meat. Locals remember hearing the squeals down the street!


Information from the 1911 Census of Ireland

The 1911 census records Henry McNeill Ltd. as the owner and John Clarke as manager of the hotel.

House no in 1911:No. 37

Present day: No. 27/29

Head of family: Sean Ó’Cleirigh or John Clarke (42) Hotel Manager

Wife Isabella Clarke (48)

Servant Margaret Reed (37) Domestic servant





A hardware shop run by James McAllister’s family. They originally had a grocery shop where the community hall and tourist centre are on the bridge.

Most of these buildings were occupied by 4 or 5 different families, mostly made up of 2 or 3 rooms and all outside toilets.

McAllister’s Hardware Shop later became Quality Supplies run by brothers Clement and Neil McAllister.





In 1911 this store was run by William O’Kane.

It was later run by Mrs Mulvenna and her husband Felix. The Mulvenna family lived above their shop.


Information from the 1911 Census of Ireland

House no in 1911:No. 44

Present day: No. 35/37

Head of family: William O’Kane (49) Shopkeeper and grocer

Wife Mary O’Kane (49)

Boarders: Eilly Dinnien (22) N Teacher, Nora Regan (23) N Teacher, Agnes Bonnar (25) N Teacher  and James McAlister (35) Bread server.




Tuppen and Son was a general grocery store run by William Tuppen and his son. Jane Tuppen, his wife had a draper next door. When she died, it became a general merchants shop. Their daughter, Kathleen, married Dicky Pullins.

Dicky Pullins took over the post office services when Mrs Hunter died and this shop became Glenarm Post Office. He later passed it to his son, Willie Pullins, who still lives in the village.

The post office was closed down a few years ago but the old shop front remains.


Information from the 1911 Census of Ireland

House no in 1911:No. 45

Present day: No. 39/41

Head of family: William Henry Tuppen (34) Grocer

Wife Jane Tuppen (30)

Daughter: Kathleen (10 months)





The court house lies on the site of original Castle of Glenarm, built by the Bysets in mid-13th century. It was broken down in 1597 and Sir Randall McDonnell began building the present castle in 1603.


According to OS memoirs written in 1830s “the market house is a very rude clumsy old building standing in the centre of the town at the angle of two streets. It is not known when it was built, but there is mention made in the records of the court leet for 1757 of its have been repaired at that time. The room upstairs is used as a place for holding manor courts – the orthodox Presbyterian congregation use it as a place of worship. The lower part is used as a sort of market place.”


In 1911 the building had a number of functions, as the 1911 Street directory details:

Petty Sessions Court, first Monday every month—Thomas Hunter, clerk. Fines would have been given for offences such as having no lights on your bike or poaching salmon from the rivers.

Commissioner for taking affidavits—Thos. Hunter

Belfast Bank—Attendance, Tuesday and Friday

Part of the building also acted as a dispensary.

In more recent history, badminton was played in the upstairs room along with whist drives and concerts. During WWII it was also a canteen for the forces. It also had a reading room and Mrs Black, the caretaker, and her family lived downstairs.


Information from the 1911 Census of Ireland

House no in 1911:No. 48

Present day: 43/45

Recorded as P. Sessions Room – no inhabitants





A shop owned by William McMullin was recorded in the 1911 census but this shop is mainly remembered in the village as Ledlie and Benson’s shop. This shop had petrol pumps as well as a grocery and drapers shop.


Information from the 1911 Census of Ireland

House no in 1911:No. 24

Present day: 4/8

Head of family: William McMullin (53) Shop keeper

Servant: Julianna Hawthorn (19), milliner

Visitor: Margaret Jane Quinn (10)





Nos 20-24 are remembered as Fleck’s drapers shop.

The shop was previously run by Harper’s Ballymena as a general drapers, then Sammy Fleck bought it and ran it as a general draper’s also, selling shoes, wool and clothes.

People remember the humorous signs Sammy would have on display





Post Office and Sorting Office, ran by the Hunter’s in 1911. They also lived above the premises. Thomas Hunter was also the Clerk for the Petty Sessions at the Court House.





































(Patrick McCambridge, James McAuley (telegram boy from Castle Street) and William McKay outside Glenarm Post Office (c.1920).


Information from the 1911 Census of Ireland

House no in 1911:No. 18

Present day: 24/26

Head of family: Thomas Hunter (67) Clark of Petty Sessions

Wife Annie Hunter (51)

Daughters: Annie (20) and Jane (13)

Sons: John (16) and Arthur (11)





In 1911 this property was the Commercial Hotel, run by John Wilson.

It later became the Temperance Hotel, still run by the Wilson family. After this it the property was owned by spinster Kate Todd, who ran it as a house and small sweet shop.

According to Francis and Jackie Wilson, people remember tea being served here on Fair Days.


Information from the 1911 Census of Ireland

House no in 1911:No. 15

Present day: 30

Head of family: John Wilson (30) farmer

Wife Susan Wilson (33)

Sons: Alexander (10) and James (5)

Daughters: Susan (7), Mary (2) and Katie (1)





In total we had 3 butchers in the village and these people also had vans going to the country areas to serve the people.


Information from the 1911 Census of Ireland

House no in 1911:No. 14

Present day: 36/38

Head of family: John McAteer (69) Flesher, widower

Son: John McAteer (30) flesher

Daughter: Ellen (28)





House no in 1911:??

Present day: 42





In 1911 the Rustic Bar was run by Felix Mulvenna

Census records a Public House here, this was the Rustic Bar.


Information from the 1911 Census of Ireland

House no in 1911:No. 8

Present day: 48 ???

Head of Family: Felix Mulvenna (25) carpenter

Wife Annie Mulvenna (23)

Uncle William Mulvenna (65) Retired mariner?





In 1911 this building was the Antrim Arms Hotel, owned by Jane Stewart with Mrs Rafferty proprietor.

There was a building erected here in 1743 by William Clarke but converted into a hotel around 1840.  The Antrim Arms later incorporated the RIC barracks next door.

In the hotel’s heyday it boasted window boxes full of colourful flowers at each window.


Information from the 1911 Census of Ireland

House no in 1911:No. 7

Present day: 54

Head of Family: Mary Ann Rafferty (44) hotel keeper

Martha Bunting (16) servant






In 1911 this was the Royal Irish Constabulary Barracks. This building was used as a barracks/police station until the new barracks in the Cloney were built in 1929.

In the early 19th C (1800s) the police barracks was originally located in what is now 50 Toberwine St. the Constabulary act of 1822 created Ireland’s first police force. It was moved to 56 some years later.

Sometime after 1930 the barracks building was incorporated into the Antrim Arms Hotel next door.


Information from the 1911 Census of Ireland

House no in 1911:No. 6.1

Present day: 56

The 1911 census recorded Sergeant John Duffy (occupation farmer), Constable Wm J Foster (occupation farmer), Constable Owen Grant (occupation farmer) and Constable Samuel Donaldson (occupation Law clerk).






After it the shop was known as Petticrew’s Butchers it later became Paddy Mulvenna’s Butcher. Paddy always wore a blue striped butcher’s apron.

The corner between Toberwine Street and Vennel Street (Bank Corner) was previously known as Petticrew’s corner.


Information from the 1911 Census of Ireland

House no in 1911:No. 1

Present day: 58/60 ??

Alex Petticrew Butchers. His sister, Mary Pettiecrew was also recorded as a flesher.

Lived with mother Eliza Pettiecrew, age 82

Had lodger: Rose Hamill, 84 and 2 boarders Patrick R McCormick, 5 and Alexander Mulvenna from Scotland, aged 1.






House no in 1911:N/A

The Belfast Bank was built around 1920 and later became the Northern Bank before becoming a workshop and shop run by Steensons Jewellery Makers.

Glenarm Penny Bank, first of its kind in Ireland was established in Dec 1858. Previous to this building the Belfast Banking Co. opened a weekly agency in the court house












James Crawford saddlers