For over 250 years Limepark was a thriving farmstead. As well as farm animals, much of the land was arable, growing flax for the linen mill, selling eggs in the farm shop, shoeing horses and making iron gates in the forge (still in existence and in working order). It required a big workforce and provided the surrounding towns and villages with employment. A bell from the eaves rang calling workers in from the fields for lunch.
Where it all began
History & Values
Limepark has been owned by multiple farming families over the years but none longer than the Craig family who were tenants at Limepark from the early 1850’s until 1992. James Craig succeeded by his son Arthur Brooke Craig in 1900, and by grandson James Alexander Craig in 1919
It was James Alexander Craig who oversaw the hosting of the 7th world ploughing contest at Limepark in 1959, drawing competitors with their Massey Ferguson and other tractors and spectators from all over the world. This was probably Limepark’s finest hour as a working farm. By this time it was said Limepark had 365 acres of best quality land and the farmstead had 52 windows. (A acre for each day of the year and a window for each week).
As farming modernised, the quaint stone buildings and narrow lanes became impractical and most farms replaced their existing farm yards with steel sheds and space for ever increasing farm machinery.
Limepark survived this and retained its charm but became unsustainable. It’s outbuildings had to take on new uses. A boxing club held sessions in what is now The Long Barn. The local rugby club used it as changing rooms, and in 1970 the world renown Armoy Armada (four road racers), used Limepark as a base for their motorbikes.
In 1992 the Ward family became the owners of Limepark and what true custodians they were. By 1998 a major sensitive restoration project was completed on Limepark’s outbuildings and it began a new life as a vibrant events venue, hosting art exhibitions, international painting classes, alternative therapy events, writing workshops, supper clubs and corporate days. It was featured on ‘lesser spotted ulster’, ‘the thirsty traveller’ and several other television programmes.
The restoration of Limepark was loving continued throughout the Ward’s 29-year tenancy, before John and Melanie made the tough decision to retire in 2021. We, The Biesty family have now been entrusted to continue on Limepark’s legacy and are excited about what the future will bring as we expand on what the previous owners have set in motion. We hope you journey with us as we start our own Limepark story …
Start Your Story
If you are thinking about the perfect venue for your big day, come and see what we have on offer. You can book a viewing of our 17th-century surroundings and see for yourself why people choose us to host their special day.
You have the choice of stone cottages that exude their own charms. Our award-winning lodging provides respite for the discerning traveller or families looking for a perfect setting to get together.