White Abbey

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White Abbey
Irish: An Mhainistir Fhionn[1]
White Abbey is located in Northern Ireland
White Abbey
White Abbey
White Abbey shown within Northern Ireland
Coordinates: 54°40′27″N 5°53′58″W / 54.674129°N 5.899315°W / 54.674129; -5.899315Coordinates: 54°40′27″N 5°53′58″W / 54.674129°N 5.899315°W / 54.674129; -5.899315
Country Northern Ireland
County Antrim
Barony Belfast Lower
Civil parish Carnmoney
Plantation grant Private plantation
First recorded 1604[2]
Settlements Newtownabbey
 • Council Newtownabbey
 • Total 150.05 ha (370.79 acres)

White Abbey is a townland in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The shoreline village spelt Whiteabbey, was established within the townland of White Abbey in the late 1800s. Today it is a location within the borough of Newtownabbey. White Abbey is part of the civil parish of Carnmoney and the former barony of Belfast Lower.


White Abbey's name is derived from a Roman Catholic Premonstratensian abbey which existed in the area in the Medieval period, the monks of which are said to have worn white robes. All traces of the abbey are now gone although the site, in a field beside the grounds of Whiteabbey Hospital at Doagh Road, remains undeveloped. It can be viewed from the adjacent Abbots Cross Garden Village.

In the first half of the 19th century, the village of Whiteabbey was home to a large bleach works and was an important landing site for coal shipments bound for Belfast. Remnants of the old pier can still be seen in the sea. The importance of Whiteabbey declined after the channel into Belfast harbour was widened and straightened allowing larger ships to reach the city directly.

In 1952, one of Northern Ireland's most controversial murders took place in Whiteabbey when Patricia Curran, the 19-year-old daughter of prominent Judge Ulster Unionist politician Sir Lancelot Curran, was found stabbed near her home, Glen House.[3]

Whiteabbey, together with Whitewell, Whitehouse, Jordanstown, Monkstown, Carnmoney and Glengormley, were the seven villages that formed Newtownabbey when it was designated a 'new town' on 1 April 1958.

Local facilities[edit]

  • Near Whiteabbey one can find a popular dog-walking route known as 'the Glen' which is a small forest area extending up to and beyond the Bleach Green railway viaduct. The Newtownabbey/Ulster Way passes through this area, as does the Threemilewater river.
  • Whiteabbey also has its own hospital which previously had an accident.
  • Whiteabbey is close to the main shopping area of Newtownabbey, containing the Abbeycentre,[4] Abbey Business Park, Abbey Retail Park, Longwood Retail Park and Valley Retail Park.

The Bureau Bar in Whiteabbey is a popular place for music at week ends and has a restaurant.

Local schools and education[edit]

Local churches[edit]

  • Whiteabbey Congregational Church
  • Whiteabbey Presbyterian Church
  • Whiteabbey Methodist Church
  • Saint James Catholic Church
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Newtownabbey


The area is served by Whiteabbey railway station on the Belfast to Larne line. The station opened in April 1848.[5] Although it lies outside Belfast the area is also served by the Translink Metro service.[6]


  1. ^ Placenames Database of Ireland
  2. ^ Place Names NI - White Abbey
  3. ^ "Patricia Curran murder case.". 
  4. ^ Abbey Centre
  5. ^ "Whiteabbey station" (PDF). Railscot - Irish Railways. Retrieved 2007-08-28. 
  6. ^ Translink Metro 2