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The Square, Strangford, June 2011 (01).JPG
Strangford is located in County Down
Location within County Down
Population474 (2001 Census)
Irish grid referenceH8396
CountryNorthern Ireland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtBT30
Dialling code028
UK Parliament
NI Assembly
List of places
Northern Ireland
54°22′14″N 5°33′20″W / 54.37065°N 5.55547°W / 54.37065; -5.55547Coordinates: 54°22′14″N 5°33′20″W / 54.37065°N 5.55547°W / 54.37065; -5.55547

Strangford (from the Irish Baile Loch Cuan, meaning town on Strangford Lough)[3][4] is a small village at the mouth of Strangford Lough in County Down, Northern Ireland. It has a population of 475 according to the 2001 Census.

On the other side of the lough is Portaferry. The village is known for its unique ferry crossing service. Transport NI, an executive agency of the Department for Infrastructure, operates the Portaferry - Strangford Ferry service across Strangford Lough between the villages of Strangford and Portaferry. This crossing service has being running, in some sort for more than 4 centuries. To travel the distance between Strangford and Portaferry by road is approximately 75 kilometres and takes about an hour and a half by car. By contrast, the ferry route is approximately 0.6 nautical miles (1.1 km) with a typical crossing time of about 8 minutes.[5] The village has a small harbour, which is overlooked by rows of 19th-century cottages and a fine Georgian terrace.


In 1549 the name of the townland is recorded as vill’ de Ballenpery als Strangford. Ballinpery is from Irish: Baile na Peireadh, meaning 'townland of the ferry'. The Irish name of Strangford Lough is Loch Cuan - ‘sea-inlet of bays/havens’ and the name is documented as early as the year c.830. The village of Strangford is known in Irish as Baile Loch Cuan - ‘town on Strangford Lough’.[6][7]

In 1637 the Surveyor General of Customs issued a report compiled from accounts of customs due from each port and their "subsidiary creeks". Of the Ulster ports on the list, Carrickfergus was first, followed by Bangor, Donaghadee and Strangford.[8]

Strangford (strong-fjord) was the designated home of King Magnus (bare legs) Olafson. Upon his attempted siege of Uladh (ulster) he set up his fort in the (strong fjord) of Strangford. This was an ideal place for him to base himself and his army as he had good fortified grounds and quick access to an inland lough that leads directly out to the east onto the Irish Sea.

Despite having the same name, the village (and the wider ward of Strangford) is not in the Strangford parliamentary constituency or Assembly constituency, instead being in the South Down parliamentary constituency and Assembly constituency.


Strangford has two men's football teams who compete in the Newcastle & District Football League.

Places of interest[edit]



  1. ^ Jordan's Castle – Department of the Environment
  2. ^ Placenames Database of Ireland
  3. ^ "Strangford, County Down". Place Names NI. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  4. ^ McKay, P (1999). A Dictionary of Ulster Placenames.
  5. ^ "About the Ferry". Northern Ireland Roads Department. Archived from the original on 7 December 2009. Retrieved 13 September 2009.
  6. ^ "Strangford, County Down". Place Names NI. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  7. ^ McKay, P (1999). A Dictionary of Ulster Placenames.
  8. ^ O'Sullivan, Aidan & Breen, Colin (2007). Maritime Ireland — An Archaeology of Coastal Communities. Stroud: Tempus. p. 212. ISBN 978-0-7524-2509-2.
  9. ^ Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland (1983). Historic Monuments of Northern Ireland. Belfast: HMSO. pp. 97–98.
  10. ^ Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland (1983). Historic Monuments of Northern Ireland. Belfast: HMSO. p. 88.

External links[edit]