Ards Peninsula

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Satellite image of the Ards Peninsula
Map highlighting the former barony of Ards

The Ards Peninsula (from Irish: Aird Uladh, meaning 'peninsula of the Ulstermen')[1] is a peninsula in County Down, Northern Ireland, on the north-east coast of Ireland. It separates Strangford Lough from the North Channel of the Irish Sea. Towns and villages on the peninsula include Donaghadee, Millisle, Portavogie and Portaferry. The large towns of Newtownards and Bangor are at the mainland edge of the peninsula. Burr Point is the easternmost point on the island of Ireland.

History[edit]

In the Middle Ages, the Ards peninsula was inhabited by the Uí Echach Arda, a Gaelic Irish clan, and was part of the kingdom of Ulaid. In the late 12th century it was invaded and conquered by the Anglo-Normans under John de Courcy, becoming a county of the Earldom of Ulster. The Earldom collapsed in the 14th century, but the Hiberno-Norman Savage family controlled the southern portion of the peninsula (the 'Upper Ards' or 'Little Ards') over the following three centuries, while the northern portion (the 'Lower Ards' or 'Great Ards') became part of the Gaelic territory of Clannaboy. There was a failed attempt by the English to colonize the Ards in the 1570s. In the early 17th century, the Lower Ards was acquired by James Hamilton and Hugh Montgomery, who settled Scottish Protestants there as part of the Plantation of Ulster.

Places of interest[edit]

Settlements[edit]

Towns and villages of the Ards Peninsula include:

Archaeological sites[edit]

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Lough Cowey (10m elevation) 1981–2010
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 8.2
(46.8)
8.3
(46.9)
9.8
(49.6)
11.6
(52.9)
14.3
(57.7)
16.7
(62.1)
18.7
(65.7)
18.4
(65.1)
16.6
(61.9)
13.5
(56.3)
10.6
(51.1)
8.7
(47.7)
13.0
(55.4)
Average low °C (°F) 2.9
(37.2)
2.7
(36.9)
3.7
(38.7)
4.7
(40.5)
7.1
(44.8)
9.7
(49.5)
11.7
(53.1)
11.6
(52.9)
10.1
(50.2)
7.7
(45.9)
5.2
(41.4)
3.4
(38.1)
6.7
(44.1)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 77.1
(3.04)
56.3
(2.22)
60.7
(2.39)
55.3
(2.18)
56.1
(2.21)
61.7
(2.43)
58.9
(2.32)
73.1
(2.88)
69.1
(2.72)
86.9
(3.42)
87.6
(3.45)
79.7
(3.14)
822.5
(32.38)
Average rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm) 12.8 10.1 11.8 10.2 11.1 10.1 10.5 11.6 10.6 12.5 13.1 12.7 137
Mean monthly sunshine hours 55.1 77.1 113.3 159.9 201.9 169.9 172.7 161.3 133.2 100.8 65.1 48.8 1,459
Source: metoffice.gov.uk[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Place Names NI. "Ards Peninsula, County Down". Retrieved 16 July 2016.
  2. ^ "Climate Normals 1981–2010". Met Office. Retrieved 25 February 2021.

Coordinates: 54°30′N 5°30′W / 54.5°N 5.5°W / 54.5; -5.5