Report by Sandra Millsopp
On 21st October 2006 members of Bangor Historical Society visited Castle Upton and were shown around by the owner Mr Danny Kinahan. Templepatrick is at the point where ancient routes crossed - from Larne and Carrickfergus to Antrim, and from Connor to Shankill (now part of Belfast). According to tradition a stone church (Teampull) associated with a visit from Saint Patrick was built in the village.
In 1182 this ancient church became the property of the Knights of St John or Knights Hospitallers. They built a castle part of which is still incorporated in the modern Castle Upton.
The Knights of St John were driven out in 1568, after the Reformation, and some years later Sir Arthur Chichester gave the property to Captain Humfred de Norton who built much of the present Castle. Captain Henry Upton bought the house and lands in 1625 and renamed it Castle Upton.
The property remained in the hands of the Upton family until World War I. It was then rented to Sir John Campbell and in 1923 was sold to a timber merchant who felled about 20,000 oak trees. The next owner was a farmer called Mr Smith. He made several changes to the building including the lowering, by one storey, of the south front. He kept pigs in the courtyards.
The main building has been altered several times. About 1770 the Uptons employed Robert Adam to carry out improvements. Adam also designed the beautiful double stable yard. Sir Robin and Lady Kinahan bought the property in 1963 and then worked vigorously to restore it. Their son Danny is continuing this good work. It is now a comfortable family home and there are five other housing units in the courtyard.