|Irish: Baile Bháltair|
Ballywalter shown within Northern Ireland
|Population||1,416 (2001 Census)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||Northern Ireland|
Ballywalter (from Irish Baile, meaning "homestead" and Walter) is a village, townland and civil parish in County Down, Northern Ireland. It is on the east (Irish Sea) coast of the Ards Peninsula between Donaghadee and Ballyhalbert. Ballywalter was formerly known as Whitkirk as far back as the 12th century.
Ballywalter had a population of 1,416 people in the 2001 Census.
Places of interest
- Ballywalter Park is a stately home on the outskirts of Ballywalter, which is open to the public, by appointment—as the Mulholland family still live on the estate. The Park plays host to the Northern Ireland Game Fair, which attracts nearly 40,000 people over a single weekend.
- Irish Rebellion of 1798 - On the morning of Pike Sunday, 10 June 1798, a force of United Irishmen, mainly from Bangor, Donaghadee, Greyabbey and Ballywalter attempted to occupy the town of Newtownards. They met with musket fire from the market house and among those killed was James Cain (18), from Ballyferris outside Ballywalter. He was buried in Whitechurch graveyard. The extent to which the people of Ballywalter were involved in the 1798 Rebellion is illustrated by an announcement in the Freeman's Journal on 11 August 1798. It stated that ‘the magnitude of the punishment of many districts of County Down may be conceived from this single fact-of the inhabitants of the little village of Ballywalter nine men were actually killed and thirteen returned wounded, victims of their folly. If a trifling village suffered so much what must have been the aggregate loss in those parts of the country which were in a state of rebellion.’ A number of Presbyterian ministers in the Ards were deemed to have taken part in the rebellion and were tried, found guilty and executed, including a minister from near Ballywalter, Rev. Robert Goudy of Dunover. After the insurrection bands of soldiers and yeomen scoured the country looking for United Irishmen. It is said locally that some Ballywalter men escaped capture by spending days at sea in hiding behind the Long Rock.
- It is recorded that Ballywalter lifeboat saved 154 lives between the late 1800s and its disbandment. By 1906 the coastguards had been withdrawn from the village and there was some difficulty in finding a crew to man the lifeboat, so it too was withdrawn.
Ballywalter is classified as a Village by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (i.e. with population between 1,000 and 2,250 people). On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 1,416 people living in Ballywalter. Of these:
- 18.5% were aged under 16 years and 27.0% were aged 60 and over
- 48.9% of the population were male and 51.1% were female
- 1.0% were from a Catholic background and 95.7% were from a Protestant background
- 4.6% of people aged 16–74 were unemployed
For more details see: NI Neighbourhood Information Service
Ballywalter Recreation F.C. have became a well known due to the talent in the Younger teams right through to the runner up league and cup team the Ballywalter rec u17s.
- Thomas Jamison (1752/53-1811), born in Ballywalter, became a surgeon, government official, mercantile trader and land owner in Sydney, Australia.
- Celebrity chef Paul Rankin is from Ballywalter.
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