Antrim, County Antrim

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Massereene Bridge, Antrim - - 1310867.jpg
Church of Ireland and bridge over the Six Mile Water
Antrim is located in Northern Ireland
Location within Northern Ireland
Population23,375 (2011 Census)
Irish grid referenceJ1588
• Belfast19 miles (31 km)
CountryNorthern Ireland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townANTRIM
Postcode districtBT41
Dialling code028
PoliceNorthern Ireland
FireNorthern Ireland
AmbulanceNorthern Ireland
UK Parliament
NI Assembly
List of places
Northern Ireland
54°43′02″N 6°12′20″W / 54.7173°N 6.2055°W / 54.7173; -6.2055Coordinates: 54°43′02″N 6°12′20″W / 54.7173°N 6.2055°W / 54.7173; -6.2055

Antrim (from Irish: Aontroim, meaning "lone ridge", [ˈeːnˠt̪ˠɾˠɪmʲ])[4] is a town and civil parish in County Antrim in the northeast of Northern Ireland, on the banks of the Six Mile Water, on the north shore of Lough Neagh. It had a population of 23,375 people in the 2011 Census.[5] It is the county town of County Antrim and was the administrative centre of Antrim Borough Council. It is 22 miles (35 km) northwest of Belfast by rail.


According to tradition, a monastery was founded at Antrim in AD 495, thirty years after the death of Saint Patrick, to take forward his ministry, with a small settlement growing up around it. The round tower (see below), also known as "the Steeple", is all that remains.[6] In the Middle Ages, the area was part of the Gaelic territory of Dál Araide which covered much of what is now County Antrim.[7] At the eastern edge of town is a ringfort called Rathmore (Ráth Mór, "the great fort"), which was the royal residence of the kings of Dál Araide.[8]

By 1596, an English settlement had grown up around a ford across the Sixmilewater River. The All Saints Parish Church[9] has a datestone of 1596 with the words 'Gall-Antrum' carved on it – this could be translated as 'The Antrum of the English/foreigner'.[10] Hugh Clotworthy, father of the Anglo-Irish politician John Clotworthy, 1st Viscount Massereene, supervised the building of secure military quarters beside the old Norman motte. This later became the site of Antrim Castle. Hugh was knighted in 1617 and appointed High Sheriff of County Antrim.[6]

A battle was fought near Antrim between the English and Irish in the reign of Edward III; and in 1642 a naval engagement took place on Lough Neagh, for Viscount Massereene and Ferrard (who founded Antrim Castle in 1662) had a right to maintain a fighting fleet on the lough.[11]

The Society of United Irishmen launched a rebellion in 1798, which began in Leinster and quickly spread to Ulster. The United Irishmen had been founded in 1791 by liberal Protestants in Belfast. Its goal was to unite Catholics and Protestants and to end British monarchical rule over Ireland and to found a sovereign, independent Irish republic. Although its membership was mainly Catholic, many of its leaders and members in northeast Ulster were Protestant Presbyterians. On 7 June 1798, about 4000 United Irishmen led by Henry Joy McCracken attacked the town. The rebels were on the verge of taking the town until British reinforcements arrived. Thanks to a rebel band led by James Hope, most of the United Irishmen were able to withdraw safely. This is known as the Battle of Antrim.

Before the Act of Union, Antrim returned two members to the Irish Parliament by virtue of letters patent granted in 1666 by Charles II.[11]

The Troubles[edit]


Divisions and suburbs of Antrim include Ballycraigy, Carnbeg, Caulside, Dublin Road, Greenvale, Greystone, Islandbawn, Meadowlands, Muckamore, Newpark, Niblock, Parkhall, Rathenraw, Riverside, Belmont Heights, Springfarm, Millhouse, Steeple, Stiles, The Folly, Townparks, Massereene.


As with the rest of Ireland, Antrim experiences a maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters. The nearest official Met Office weather station for which online records are available is at Aldergrove,[12] under 4 miles to the south of the town centre.

In a typical year the warmest day should reach a temperature of 25.4 °C (77.7 °F)[13] and 2.1 days[14] should attain a temperature of 25.1 °C (77.2 °F) or above in total.

The coldest night of the year averages −6.6 °C (20.1 °F)[15] and 39 nights should register an air frost.[16] The absolute minimum temperature of −14.2 °C (6.4 °F) was reported during the record cold spell of December 2010.[17] In total during that month 10 nights fell to −10.0 °C (14.0 °F) or below, and the 21st recorded a daytime maximum of just −7.7 °C (18.1 °F)

Climate data for Aldergrove 63m asl, 1971–2000, Extremes 1926– (Weather Station 3.8 Miles South of Antrim)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 14.0
Average high °C (°F) 6.8
Average low °C (°F) 1.5
Record low °C (°F) −12.8
Average precipitation mm (inches) 86.9
Average rainy days 15.3 11.9 14.5 11.0 11.4 11.2 12.2 13.0 12.9 13.9 14.1 14.3 155.7
Mean monthly sunshine hours 45.6 64.4 93.3 150.6 189.4 166.5 151.9 146.0 117.6 90.5 58.5 39.4 1,313.7
Source: Met Office[18]


On Census day (27 March 2011) there were 23,375 people living in Antrim, accounting for 1.29% of the NI total,[5] representing an increase of 16.9% on the Census 2001 population of 20,001.[19] Of these:

  • 21.47% were aged under 16 years and 13.33% were aged 65 and over;
  • 48.72% of the usually resident population were male and 51.28% were female;
  • 54.80% belong to or were brought up'Protestant and Other (non Catholic Christian) (including Christian related)'and 34.12% belong to or were brought up Catholic ;
  • 61.47% indicated that they had a British national identity, 30.76% had a Northern Irish national identity and 11.56% had an Irish national identity (respondents could indicate more than one national identity);
  • 35 years was the average (median) age of the population.
  • 8.43% had some knowledge of Ulster Scots and 5.20% had some knowledge of the Irish language.


Antrim Masonic Hall

There are many buildings of historic note in the town, especially in and around High Street. The courthouse sits at the end of the street, near the Barbican Gate, the old gateway to Antrim Castle. There are also hidden gems, such as a 19th-century smithy (now a shop) on Bridge Street with a distinctive horseshoe entrance.

  • Shane's Castle and Antrim Castle
  • In the north of the town is one of the most perfect of the round towers of Ireland, 93 feet high and 50 feet in circumference at the base. It stands in the grounds of Steeple, where there is also the "Witches' Stone", a prehistoric monument.[11]
  • There was a Castle, near the Six Mile Water, which was destroyed in a fire in 1922. All that remains is an octagonal tower.
  • The river allowed the linen industry to be established. The linen industry has been replaced by a Technology Park, the only one in Northern Ireland.
  • Antrim Market House is a 2–story building, nine bays long, three deep built in 1726. Formerly a Court House, it has recently been refurbished and is currently used as a tourist information centre and has a small theatre and café.
  • The Castle Grounds, that is beside the Antrim Castle.
  • The Springfarm Rath


Antrim railway station was opened on 11 April 1848, and closed for goods traffic on 4 January 1965.[20] Served by passenger trains on the Belfast-Derry railway line run by Northern Ireland Railways.

Antrim's Aldergrove Airport known as Belfast International Airport is the largest airport in Northern Ireland, serving destinations in Britain, Europe and North America. However, Aldergrove does not have a proper Airport rail link connection.

Junction One Retail Park


The Junction, formerly Junction One (named after junction 1 of the nearby M22 Motorway), is a retail park in the area with restaurants and a hotel.[citation needed] Supermarkets serving the town include an Asda store, Lidl outlet, Tesco Extra, and Iceland store.[citation needed] Castle Mall, located on High Street in the town, was formerly known as Castle Centre. It has a selection of every day shops, including the town's main Post Office.[citation needed]


Junior Schools[edit]

High Schools and Colleges[edit]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ballycopelann Wun-mäll – Department of the Environment" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 August 2011. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  2. ^ Languages/Cultural Diversity Archived 29 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine Dep. of Culture, Arts and Leisure.
  3. ^ The Ulster-Scot, July 2011 Archived 1 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine Charlie 'Tha Poocher' Rennals.
  4. ^ Postal Towns/Bailte Poist Archived 7 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Northern Ireland Place-name Project. Queen's University Belfast. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
  5. ^ a b "Census 2011 Population Statistics for Antrim Settlement". Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA). Retrieved 10 August 2019.
  6. ^ a b Hanna, John (2002). Old Antrim. Catrine, Ayrshire: Stenlake Publishing. p. 3. ISBN 9781840331868. Archived from the original on 25 August 2015.
  7. ^ Boyd, Hugh Alexander. Irish Dalriada. The Glynns: Journal of The Glens of Antrim Historical Society. Volume 76 (1978).
  8. ^ Rathmore: Place Names NI
  9. ^ "All Saints Parish Church". Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  10. ^ "gall in English". Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  11. ^ a b c  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Antrim". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 154.
  12. ^ "Station Locations". MetOffice. Archived from the original on 6 October 2012.
  13. ^ "Annual average warmest day". Archived from the original on 7 November 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  14. ^ ">25c days". Archived from the original on 6 November 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  15. ^ ">Annual average coldest night". Archived from the original on 7 November 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  16. ^ ">Average frost incidence". Archived from the original on 7 November 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  17. ^ ">2010 minimum". Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  18. ^ "Aldergrove 1971–2000 averages". Met Office. Archived from the original on 13 September 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  19. ^ "Census 2001 Usually Resident Population: KS01 (Settlements) - Table view". Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA). p. 1. Retrieved 10 August 2019.
  20. ^ "Antrim" (PDF). Railscot – Irish Railways. Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 27 August 2007.
  21. ^ "Ballycraigy Primary School". Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  22. ^ "St. Comgall's Primary School". Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  23. ^ "St. Joseph's Primary School". Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  24. ^ "St. Comgalls Antrim – CLG Naomh Comhghall". St. Comgalls Antrim. Archived from the original on 22 March 2018. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  25. ^ Antrim Forum website. Archived 19 May 2006 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]