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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

County Down
Contae an Dúin
Coontie Doon/Countie Doun
Coat of arms of County Down
Nickname(s): 
Mourne Country
Motto(s): 
Absque Labore Nihil  (Latin)
"Nothing Without Labour"
Location of County Down
CountryUnited Kingdom
RegionNorthern Ireland
ProvinceUlster
Establishedearly 16th century
County townDownpatrick
Area
 • Total961 sq mi (2,489 km2)
 • Rank12th
Highest elevation2,790 ft (850 m)
Population
 (2011)
531,665
 • Rank4th
Time zoneUTC±0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
Postcode area
Websitediscovernorthernireland.com/about-northern-ireland/counties/co-down/county-down/
Contae an Dúin is the Irish name, Countie Doun[2] and Coontie Doon[3] are Ulster Scots spellings.

County Down (Irish: Contae an Dúin) is one of the six counties of Northern Ireland, one of the nine counties of Ulster and one of the traditional thirty-two counties of Ireland.[4][5] It covers an area of 961 sq mi (2,490 km2) and has a population of 531,665. It borders County Antrim to the north, the Irish Sea to the east, County Armagh to the west, and County Louth across Carlingford Lough to the southwest.

In the east of the county is Strangford Lough and the Ards Peninsula. The largest town is Bangor, on the northeast coast. Three other large towns and cities are on its border: Newry lies on the western border with County Armagh, while Lisburn and Belfast lie on the northern border with County Antrim. Down contains both the southernmost point of Northern Ireland (Cranfield Point) and the easternmost point of Ireland (Burr Point).

It was one of two counties of Northern Ireland to have a Protestant majority at the 2001 census. The other Protestant majority County is County Antrim to the north.[6][failed verification]

In March 2018, The Sunday Times published its list of Best Places to Live in Britain, including five in Northern Ireland. The list included three in County Down: Holywood, Newcastle, and Strangford.[7]

Toponymy

County Down takes its name from dún, the Irish word for dun or fort, which is a common root in Gaelic place names (such as Dundee, Dunfermline and Dumbarton in Scotland and Donegal and Dundalk in Ireland).[8] The fort in question was in the historic town of Downpatrick, originally known as Dún Lethglaise ("fort of the green side" or "fort of the two broken fetters").[9][10]

History

1885 map, with the county divided into baronies
1885 map, with the county divided into baronies

During the 2nd century the region was home to the Voluntii tribe, according to Ptolemy. From the 400s-1177 County Down formed a central part of the kingdom of Ulaid. Ulaid was a frequent target of Viking raids in the eighth and ninth centuries, however fierce local resistance prevented the Norse from setting up permanent settlements in the region. In 1001 a fleet led by Sigtrygg Silkbeard raided much of the region in retribution for the Ulaiden's refusal to offer him sanctuary from Brian Boru the previous year.

The region was invaded by the Normans in 1177. From the 1180s-1600s the region would see waves of English and Scottish immigration. In 1569 the Irish Parliament passed "An Act for turning of Countries that be not yet Shire Grounds into Shire Grounds".[11] In 1570 a commission was issued in pursance of that statute "to survey and make enquiry in the countries and territories ... that are not shire ground, or are doubtful to what shire they belong; to limit and nominate them a shire or county; to divide them into countries, baronies or hundreds, or to join them to any existing shire or barony" "for the countries or territories of Arde,[a] as well this side Blackstafe[b] as the other side, Copelande islands,[c] the Dufferin,[d] Clandeboy,[e] Kilultoghe, the Glynes[f] with the Raughlines,[g] Momerie and Carie,[h] the Rowte M'William (M'Quillan)[i] and all lands between lough Coine[j] and lough Eaghe,[k] and the water of Strangforde and the Banne.[l] To certify their proceedings before the 1st August."[12][13] The county was privately planted during the Plantation period (16th-17th centuries). During the Williamite War in Ireland (1689–1691) the county was a centre of Protestant rebellion against the rule of the Catholic James II. After forming a scratch force the Protestants were defeated by the Irish Army at the Break of Dromore and forced to retreat, leading to the whole of Down falling under Jacobite control. Later the same year Marshal Schomberg's large Williamite expedition arrived in Belfast Lough and captured Bangor. After laying siege to Carrickfergus, Schomberg marched south to Dundalk Camp, clearing County Down and much of the rest of East Ulster of Jacobite troops.

Geography

Mourne Mountains
Mourne Mountains

Down contains two significant peninsulas: Ards Peninsula and Lecale peninsula.

The county has a coastline along Belfast Lough to the north and Carlingford Lough to the south (both of which have access to the sea). Strangford Lough lies between the Ards Peninsula and the mainland. Down also contains part of the shore of Lough Neagh. Smaller loughs include Lough Island Reavy and Castlewellan Lake near Castlewellan, Clea Lough near Killyleagh, Lough Money and Loughinisland near Downpatrick and, within the Mourne Mountains, Silent Valley Reservoir, Ben Crom Reservoir, Spelga Dam and Lough Shannagh.

The River Lagan forms most of the border with County Antrim. The River Bann also flows through the southwestern areas of the county. Other rivers include the Clanrye and Quoile.

There are several islands off the Down coast: Mew Island, Light House Island and the Copeland Islands, all of which lie to the north of the Ards Peninsula. Gunn Island lies off the Lecale coast. In addition, there are a large number of small islands in Strangford Lough.

County Down is where, in the words of the song by Percy French, "The mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea", and the area around the granite Mourne Mountains continues to be known for its scenery. Slieve Donard, at 849 m (2,785 ft), is the highest peak in the Mournes, in Northern Ireland and in the province of Ulster. Another important peak is Slieve Croob, at 534 m (1,752 ft), the source of the River Lagan.

Places of interest

King John's Castle on Carlingford Lough.
King John's Castle on Carlingford Lough.

Subdivisions

Baronies

  • Ards Lower (from the Irish: Aird)
  • Ards Upper
  • Castlereagh Lower
  • Castlereagh Upper
  • Dufferin (from the Irish: Duifrian)
  • Iveagh Lower, Lower Half (from the Irish: Uíbh Eachach)
  • Iveagh Lower, Upper Half
  • Iveagh Upper, Lower Half
  • Iveagh Upper, Upper Half
  • Kinelarty (from the Irish: Cineál Fhártaigh)
  • Lecale Lower (from the Irish: Leath Cathail)
  • Lecale Upper
  • Lordship of Newry
  • Mourne (from the Irish: Múrna)

Parishes

Townlands

Settlements

Historical population
YearPop.±%
165313,207—    
165915,183+15.0%
1821325,410+2043.3%
1831352,012+8.2%
1841361,446+2.7%
1851320,817−11.2%
1861299,302−6.7%
1871277,294−7.4%
1881248,190−10.5%
1891224,008−9.7%
1901205,889−8.1%
1911204,303−0.8%
1926209,228+2.4%
1937210,687+0.7%
1951241,181+14.5%
1961266,939+10.7%
1966286,631+7.4%
1971311,876+8.8%
1981417,978+34.0%
1991454,411+8.7%
2001489,004+7.6%
2011531,665+8.7%
[17][18][19][20][21][22]

Cities

(population of 75,000 or more at 2001 Census)[23]

  • Belfast – the eastern suburbs of the city lie partly in County Down but mainly in County Antrim
  • Lisburn – the eastern suburbs of the city lie partly in County Down but mainly in County Antrim
  • Newry – in counties Armagh and Down, divided by the Clanrye River

Large towns

(population of 18,000 or more and under 75,000 at 2001 Census)[23]

Medium towns

(Population of 10,000 or more and under 18,000 at 2001 Census)[23]

Small towns

(Population of 4,500 or more and under 10,000 at 2001 Census)[23]

Intermediate settlements

(Population of 2,250 or more and under 4,500 at 2001 Census)[23]

Villages

(Population of 1,000 or more and under 2,250 at 2001 Census)[23]

Small villages or hamlets

(Population of less than 1,000 at 2001 Census)[23]

Administration

The county was administered by Down County Council from 1899 until the abolition of county councils in Northern Ireland in 1973.[24] County Down is now served by the following local government districts:

Transportation

Railways

A steam train on the Downpatrick and County Down Railway travelling through the Ulster drumlin belt near Downpatrick.
A steam train on the Downpatrick and County Down Railway travelling through the Ulster drumlin belt near Downpatrick.

Former railways within the county include the Great Northern Railway of Ireland and Belfast and County Down Railway both of which were formed in the 19th century and were closed (or amalgamated) in the 1950s. The Downpatrick and County Down Railway operates a short section of the former Belfast and County Down line as a heritage railway between Downpatrick and Inch Abbey.

Northern Ireland Railways operates the area's modern rail network.

Sport

Association football

In association football, the NIFL Premiership, which operates as the top division, has three teams in the county: Newry City F. C., Ards F.C. and Warrenpoint Town F.C., with Banbridge Town F.C., Bangor F.C. and Lisburn Distillery F.C. competing in the NIFL Championship, which operates as levels two and three.

Gaelic games

The Down County Board administers Gaelic games in the county. Down is the most successful team north of the border in terms of All-Ireland Senior Football Championships won with five (1960, 1961, 1968, 1991 and 1994) in total. In terms of Ulster, they share that accolade with Cavan who also have 5 titles. They currently have four minor All-Ireland titles, twelve Ulster titles and one under 21 all Ireland title (1979). The Ards peninsula is a hurling stronghold.

Golf

County Down is also home to the No.1-ranked golf course, Royal County Down Golf Club, in not just Ireland, but the entire Great Britain, according to Today's Golfer.[25][26]

Former No.1 golfer in the world, Rory McIlroy,[27] originates from Holywood, which is situated in the north of the county.

In popular culture

"Star of the County Down" is a popular Irish ballad.

The county is named in the lyrics of the song "Around the World", from the film Around the World in 80 Days, which was an American top ten hit for Bing Crosby and UK top ten hit for Ronnie Hilton, both in 1957, although it was Mantovani's instrumental version which was actually used in the film. Rihanna's video "We Found Love" was filmed there in 2011, causing complaints when the singer removed her clothes to reveal a bikini.[28]

The Ulster singer Van Morrison has made reference to the County Down in the lyrics to several songs including "Northern Muse (Solid Ground)", "Mystic of the East" and the nostalgic "Coney Island", which names several places and landmarks in the county. Van Morrison also covered "Star of the County Down" with The Chieftains as a part of their collaboration album Irish Heartbeat.

C.S. Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia, was inspired by the Mourne Mountains. There is a Narnia trail in Kilbroney Park, in Rostrevor.[29]

Sam Hanna Bell based his novel of Ulster rural life, December Bride (1951) in the Ards peninsula. A film version of the novel, also called December Bride, was produced in 1990 and released in November 1991.

Several areas of County Down served as filming locations for the HBO series Game of Thrones including Castle Ward (Winterfell),[30] Inch Abby (Riverlands), and Tollymore Forest Park.[31]

Notable people

See also

Notes

References

  1. ^ Northern Ireland General Register Office (1975). "Table 1: Area, Buildings for Habitation and Population, 1971". Census of Population 1971; Summary Tables (PDF). Belfast: HMSO. p. 1. Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 July 2019. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  2. ^ 2008 Annual Report in Ulster Scots Archived 29 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine North–South Ministerial Council.
  3. ^ 2006 Annual Report in Ulster Scots Archived 27 February 2013 at the Wayback Machine North–South Ministerial Council.
  4. ^ Taylor, Isaac. Names and Their Histories. Rivingtons, 1898. p.111
  5. ^ Lewis, Samuel. A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland (1837); "The See of Down" Archived 1 August 2017 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ WOUTERS, Ferre (6 March 2019). "Communal counting: The Northern Ireland census". FactCheckNI. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  7. ^ Price, Ryan (16 March 2018). "Five places in Northern Ireland included in Best Places to Live in Britain list". The Irish Post. Archived from the original on 13 April 2021. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  8. ^ Long, David (2015). Lost Britain: An A-Z of Forgotten Landmarks and Lost Traditions. Michael O'Mara Books. p. 65. ISBN 9781782434412. Archived from the original on 5 June 2020. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  9. ^ Praeger, Robert Lloyd (1900). Official Guide to County Down and the Mourne Mountains. M'Caw, Stevenson & Orr. p. 123. Retrieved 6 April 2018. Dún county down.
  10. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1922). Encyclopedia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information. University Press. p. 460. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  11. ^ 11 Elizabeth I, Session 3, Chapter 9 (1569)
  12. ^ Fiat 1530, 4 May 1570
  13. ^ Similar to Fiat 1486, 4 February 1570
  14. ^ Kearcsadmin. "St. Brigid's Day". County Kildare Archaeological Society. Archived from the original on 28 November 2017. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  15. ^ "Saint Patrick's Church". Encyclopedia Britannica. Archived from the original on 12 September 2018. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  16. ^ "Crawfordsburn Old Inn website". Archived from the original on 5 July 2006. Retrieved 1 July 2006.
  17. ^ For 1653 and 1659 figures from Civil Survey Census of those years, Paper of Mr Hardinge to Royal Irish Academy 14 March 1865.
  18. ^ "Census for post 1821 figures". Archived from the original on 9 March 2005. Retrieved 3 September 2009.
  19. ^ Histpop.org Archived 7 May 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ NISRA.gov.uk Archived 17 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ Lee, JJ (1981). "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish censuses". In Goldstrom, J. M.; Clarkson, L. A. (eds.). Irish Population, Economy, and Society: Essays in Honour of the Late K. H. Connell. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.
  22. ^ Mokyr, Joel; O Grada, Cormac (November 1984). "New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700–1850". The Economic History Review. 37 (4): 473–488. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.1984.tb00344.x. hdl:10197/1406. Archived from the original on 4 December 2012.
  23. ^ a b c d e f g "Statistical classification of settlements". NI Neighbourhood Information Service. Archived from the original on 17 February 2010. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
  24. ^ "Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972". Legislation.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 30 October 2019. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  25. ^ "Golf World Top 100: Best Links Golf Courses in Great Britain and Ireland". Today's Golfer. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  26. ^ "Golf World Top 100: Best Golf Courses in Ireland". Today's Golfer. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  27. ^ "Golf Ranking - Number 1 - History since inception". Golf Today. 1 January 2021. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  28. ^ "Rihanna video: Wildflowers to be planted in north Belfast 'hopeless place'". BBC News. 30 April 2015. Archived from the original on 16 December 2016. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  29. ^ "Mourne Mountains and Ring of Gullion". visitmournemountains.co.uk. Archived from the original on 9 November 2020. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  30. ^ "HBO's Game of Thrones at Castle Ward". National Trust. Archived from the original on 17 January 2021. Retrieved 21 March 2021.
  31. ^ "Game of Thrones Film Locations | Game Of Thrones, Things To Do, Tours And Trails | A blog full of ideas and inspiration". Visit Belfast. Archived from the original on 21 January 2021. Retrieved 21 March 2021.
  32. ^ "Ash (Music)". TV Tropes. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  33. ^ Dunn, Peter M. (1 January 2000). "Sir Joseph Barcroft of Cambridge (1872–1947) and prenatal research". Archives of Disease in Childhood - Fetal and Neonatal Edition. 82 (1): F75–F76. doi:10.1136/fn.82.1.F75. ISSN 1359-2998. PMC 1721043. PMID 10634847.
  34. ^ "Actor Colin Blakely is Dead at 56". AP News. 8 May 1987. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  35. ^ "Reverend Patrick Brontë". www.bronte.org.uk. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  36. ^ Online, Catholic. "St. Comgall - Saints & Angels". Catholic Online. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  37. ^ Club, Motherwell Football (29 October 2021). "Stephen Craigan to join Hall of Fame". Motherwell Football Club. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  38. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes: Movies | TV Shows | Movie Trailers | Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes". www.rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  39. ^ Traynor, Jessica. "Harry Ferguson, the 'Mad Mechanic' who invented the modern tractor". The Irish Times. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  40. ^ "Faulkner, (Arthur) Brian Deane | Dictionary of Irish Biography". www.dib.ie. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  41. ^ "The Betsy Gray Cafe". www.bangorhistoricalsocietyni.org. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  42. ^ "Bear Grylls Biography - Everything You Need To Know". Mpora. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  43. ^ "Frederick Temple Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, 1st marquess of Dufferin and Ava | British diplomat | Britannica". www.britannica.com. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  44. ^ "Celebrating the life of 'Home Rule Harrison', a forgotten British war hero and Parnell lieutenant". Belfast Media Group. Retrieved 28 December 2021.
  45. ^ O'Neill, Marie (1989). "Sarah Cecilia Harrison: Artist and City Councillor". Dublin Historical Record. Old Dublin Society. 42 (2): 66–81. JSTOR 30087190 – via JSTOR.
  46. ^ Luney, Graham (8 November 2021). "David Healy will target Northern Ireland manager's job, believes Linfield legend Peter Thompson". Belfast Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 28 December 2021.
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Further reading

  • Harris, Walter (attributed). 1744. The Ancient and Present Stare of the County of Down...'Dublin.
  • The Memoirs of John M. Regan, a Catholic Officer in the RIC and RUC, 1909–48, Joost Augusteijn, editor, District Inspector, Co. Down 1930s, 1919, ISBN 978-1-84682-069-4.

External links

This page was last edited on 28 June 2022, at 11:48
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