Situated along the Antrim coastline, Bonamargy Friary was established in 1485 by Rory MacQuillan. The site itself is believed to be the place at which the MacDonnell and McQuillan clans battled, with the MacDonnell’s eventually winning over the friary in 1558.
In 1626 the friary was used as a resting place for the Franciscan monks doing missionary work in the Scottish Highlands and Isles.
Originally consisting of a thatched church, cloisters and living space, remnants of Bonamargy Friary can still be found on a visit today but without the thatched roof and some of the walls now destroyed. Also within the site is a locked vault that is said to hold the remains of the chieftain Sorley Boy MacDonnell, a few of the Earls of Antrim, and further members of the MacDonnell clan.
In 1822 four manuscripts were found containing writing in Latin, believed to have been written in the 12th-century and some of them the work of Saint Thomas Aquinas.