The Coast Guard station in Ballymoney was built in 1874/1875. Its design was overseen by Architect Enoch (Edward) Trevor Owen (c.1833-81), assistant Architect to the Board of Works. Similar in design to the Coast Guard Station in Kilmichael and others on the east coast, it has one distinctive difference, well its history has!!
A Coast Guard Station had already been built in Ballymoney, but amazingly had been built in from the coast, all the way up in the village, its location is identified in the first edition of The Ordnance Survey, published in 1841. It is presumed that this is where Ballymoney village shop and three adjoining houses stand today.
Needless to say, a Coast Guard Station at a distance from the coast was of little benefit, as their primary purpose was to keep watch on the sea and observe the coming and goings of marine traffic.
A clear line of sight from one to the other was desirable in order to send signals from one to the other in the event of threat of attack.
So the story goes as follows:-
The British Establishment, having decided to rebuild their Coast Guard Station (in its current location), asked a Mr Andy O Connor for his plot of land, where his house was located. He was offered accommodation in the previously constructed Coast Guard Station in the village but refused the offer. The following morning his belongings were scattered over the sea banks and his house was demolished. The OPW went on to build the “new” Coast Guard Station and Andy went on to build himself a new house on the site approximately where the little sweet shop stands today.
The Coast Guard Station was described as follows:-
Detatched five-bay, two storey coastguard station on a rectangular plan with single bay two- stage watch tower to the east. Hipped slate roof, pyramidal slate roof to watch tower, clay ridge tiles, rendered brick……….
The Coast Guard Station was still occupied in 1901, vacant in 1911 and closed in 1922. It was subsequently sold and each house/apartment is now owned privately and they are used as holiday homes.