Arthur Cottage – Cullybackey, Northern Ireland - Atlas Obscura

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Arthur Cottage

Cullybackey, Northern Ireland

The ancestral home of the 21st president of the United States of America.  


Arthur Cottage is the ancestral home of Chester Alan Arthur, the 21st President of the United States of America. This carefully restored thatched cottage is reminiscent of rural homes that were present all across Ulster in the 18th-century and it contains many of the utensils, furniture, and homeware of the period.

The Arthur Cottage and Interpretative Centre is now widely used for tourism and educational visits, where visitors can learn about Arthur and life during the period. They even showcase Ulster Scots, a dialect of the historic Scots language.

Arthur’s father (William Arthur) hailed from the townland of Dreen in the County Antrim village of Cullybackey. In 1815 at the age of 19, he left Northern Ireland for the United States where he met and married Malvina Stone from Vermont, and in 1829, Chester Alan Arthur was born.

Arthur although born in Vermont, but actually grew up in upstate New York where he practiced law. But after a stint as a quartermaster general in the New York militia during the American Civil War, he quickly became interested in Republican politics and rose to the level of state senator.

His greatest achievement came after the assassination of President James A Garfield only 11 weeks after his success at the polls. As Garfield’s vice president, Arthur was catapulted into the Oval Office as president, where he remained until 1885 when he was succeeded by Grover Cleveland.

Know Before You Go

The best way to get to the Arthur Cottage and Interpretative Centre in Cullybackey is to make your way to Ballymena town and turn onto Cullybackey Road.

Follow this road until you reach the County Antrim village of Cullybackey and park somewhere off Main Street in one of the free car parks. From here, you need to walk across the bridge over the River Maine and follow the Dreen Road until you see the signage for the Arthur Cottage, turn off here and walk up this laneway. Follow until you reach the Arthur Cottage and Interpretation Centre. Alternatively, you can take the train to Cullybackey and walk to Arthur Cottage from the train station. 

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March 30, 2022

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