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Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
(from Irish: Carraig Fhearghais, meaning "Fergus's rock"),[3] colloquially known as "Carrick", is a large town in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It sits on the north shore of Belfast
Belfast
Lough, 11 miles (18 km) from Belfast. The town had a population of 27,903 at the 2011 Census. It is County Antrim's oldest town and one of the oldest towns in Ireland
Ireland
as a whole.[4] Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
was the administrative centre for Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
Borough Council, before this was amalgamated into the Mid and East Antrim District Council
Mid and East Antrim District Council
in 2015, and forms part of the Belfast
Belfast
Metropolitan Area. It is also a townland of 65 acres, a civil parish and a barony.[5] The town is the subject of the classic Irish folk song "Carrickfergus", a 19th-century translation of an Irish-language song (Do Bhí Bean Uasal)[6] from Munster, which begins with the words, "I wish I was in Carrickfergus".[7] The British peerage title of Baron Carrickfergus, which had become extinct in 1883, was bestowed upon Prince William
Prince William
on his wedding day in 2011.

Contents

1 History

1.1 Recent history 1.2 The Troubles

2 Demography 3 Notable residents

3.1 Historical 3.2 20th century 3.3 Contemporary

4 Transport 5 Politics 6 Schools and education 7 Sports 8 Sister cities 9 See also 10 References 11 External links

History[edit]

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Castle and dock of Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
in 1830

The town is said to take its name from Fergus Mór (Fergus the Great), the legendary king of Dál Riata. According to one tale, his ship ran aground on a rock by the shore, which became known as "Carraig Fhearghais" – the rock of Fergus.[8] As an urban settlement, Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
far pre-dates the capital city Belfast
Belfast
and was for a lengthy period both larger and more prominent than the nearby city. Belfast
Belfast
Lough itself was known as 'Carrickfergus Bay' well into the 17th century. Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
and the surrounding area was, for a time, treated as a separate county. The historical walled town originally occupied an area of around 97,000 square metres, which now comprises the town centre, bordered by Albert Road to the west, the Marine Highway to the south, Shaftesbury Park to the north and Joymount Presbyterian Church grounds to the east. Segments of the town wall are still visible in various parts of the town and in various states of preservation. Archaeological excavations close to the walls' foundations have yielded many artefacts that have helped historians piece together a picture of the lives of the 12th and 13th century inhabitants.[4][8] Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
became an inhabited town shortly after 1170, when Anglo-Norman knight John de Courcy
John de Courcy
invaded Ulster, established his headquarters in the area and built Carrickfergus Castle
Carrickfergus Castle
on the "rock of Fergus" in 1177.[9] The castle, which is the most prominent landmark of Carrickfergus, is widely known as one of the best-preserved Norman castles in Ireland.[10] Sometime between 1203 and 1205, De Courcy was expelled from Ulster
Ulster
by Hugh de Lacy, as authorised by King John. de Lacy oversaw the final construction of the castle, which included the gatehouse, drum towers and outer ward. It was at this time that he established the nearby St Nicholas' Church. de Lacy was relieved of his command of the town in 1210, when King John himself arrived and placed the castle under royal authority. de Lacy eventually regained his title of Earl of Ulster
Ulster
in 1227, however the castle and its walled town were captured several more times following his death (in 1242) and the town largely destroyed by the Scots in 1402.[8][9] The Battle of Carrickfergus, part of the Nine Years War, took place in and around the town in November 1597. It was fought between the crown forces of Queen Elizabeth I and the Scots clan of MacDonnell, and resulted in a defeat for the English. A contemporary Elizabethan illustration of Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
shows ten tower-houses, as well as terraces of single-storey houses, some detached cottages and 70 or more Irish beehive-type huts in the town.[11]

A drawing of Carrickfergus Castle
Carrickfergus Castle
circa 1840.

Sir Arthur Chichester was appointed by the Earl of Essex to govern the castle and town in 1599 and was responsible for the plantation of English and Scottish peoples in the town, as well as the building of the town wall.[12] 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
Ulster
ports on the list, Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
was first, followed by Bangor, Donaghadee, and Strangford.[13] In the same year the town sold its customs rights - which ran from Groomsport, County Down
County Down
up to Larne, County Antrim
County Antrim
to Belfast. This in part led to its decline in importance as the province of Ulster
Ulster
grew.[citation needed]

A plaque at the harbour commemorates the landing of William of Orange in the town in 1690.

Nevertheless, the decaying castle withstood several days of siege by the forces of William of Orange in 1689, before surrendering on 28 August. William himself subsequently landed at Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
on 14 June 1690. During the Seven Years' War, in February 1760, the whole town was briefly captured and held to ransom by French troops landed from Francois Thurot's naval squadron, after the defenders ran out of ammunition. In 1711 Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
was the scene of the last witchcraft trial in Ireland. Eight women were charged with bewitching a young girl, and were convicted, despite a strong indication from one of the judges that the jury should acquit. They were sentenced to a year in prison and four sessions in the pillory.[citation needed] In April 1778, during the American War of Independence, John Paul Jones, in command of the American ship Ranger, attempted to capture a British Royal Navy
Royal Navy
sloop of war, HMS Drake, moored at Carrickfergus. Having failed, he returned a few days later and challenged Drake to a fight out in the North Channel which the Americans won decisively. During the 1790s there was considerable support in the Carrickfergus area for the United Irishmen.[14] On 14 October 1797 William Orr was hanged in the town following what was widely regarded as a show trial held in Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
Courthouse[15] (now the Town Hall[16]) and in 1798 United Irish founder Henry Joy McCracken was captured on the outskirts of the town while trying to escape to America.[17] In 1912 the people of Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
turned out in their thousands to watch as the RMS Titanic
RMS Titanic
made its first ever journey up the lough from its construction dock in Belfast. The famous passenger liner was anchored overnight just off the coast of Carrickfergus, before continuing on its journey.[18] During World War II, Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
was an important military base for United States
United States
Naval and Air Operations and a training ground for American G.I.s. The First Battalions of the elite US Rangers were activated and based in Sunnylands Camp for their initial training. The US Rangers Centre in nearby Boneybefore
Boneybefore
pays homage to this period in history.[18] It is rumoured that Italian and German POWs were held in the town, the Italians in a camp at Sullatober mill, and Germans at Sunnylands.[19] Recent history[edit]

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In the 1970s, the town became an important centre for the textile industry. An ICI man-made fibres factory was opened at Kilroot
Kilroot
and was followed by the Rothman's cigarette factory. Courtaulds
Courtaulds
operated a large rayon works there until the 1980s. In 1981, Kilroot
Kilroot
power station opened and is the largest power station in Northern Ireland. Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
now is a centre for leisure sailing, and is home to Carrickfergus Marina
Carrickfergus Marina
and Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
Sailing Club. The town is part of the Greater Belfast
Belfast
conurbation, being 11 miles (18 km) from Belfast
Belfast
city centre. On 8 September 2007, Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
was the Northern Irish host for the Last Night at the Proms, featuring Alison Balsom, Alfie Boe, and Ulster
Ulster
conductor Kenneth Montgomery. The Troubles[edit] Further information: The Troubles Throughout the course of The Troubles, there was a reasonably large paramilitary presence in the town, namely the Ulster
Ulster
Volunteer Force and Ulster
Ulster
Defence Association.[20] Census figures show that the Catholic population of Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
declined from 16.2% in 1971 to 9.56% in 2011.[21] Demography[edit]

West Street on a quiet day.

The marina complex in Carrickfergus.

The war memorial at Joymount, in Carrick's town centre.

The wall mural and replica pillory in the town centre are popular attractions for visiting tourists.

Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
is classified by the Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA)[22] as a large town (i.e. population between 18,000 and 75,000 people) and within the Belfast
Belfast
Metropolitan Urban Area (BMUA). On Census day (27 March 2011) there were 37,659 people living in Carrickfergus. Of these:

20.1% were aged under 16 years and 17.9% were aged 60 and over 48.74% of the population were male and 51.26% were female 9.56% were from a Roman Catholic community background and 85.08% were from the Protestant or other Christian community backgrounds.[23]

Notable residents[edit]

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Historical[edit]

John de Courcy
John de Courcy
(1160-1219) Anglo Norman knight and builder of Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
Castle Hugh de Lacy, 1st Earl of Ulster
Ulster
(c.1176-c.1242) Edward Bruce
Edward Bruce
(c. 1280-1319), High King of Ireland
Ireland
and Earl of Carrick, brother to Robert the Bruce, King of Scots. Robert Adrain
Robert Adrain
(1775–1843), mathematician, considered one of the best mathematical minds of his time, was born in Carrickfergus[24] Andrew Jackson, the father of the 7th President of the United States of the same name, was born in Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
around 1738.[25] A heritage centre in the village pays tribute to the younger Jackson's legacy. Sir John Jamison (1776–1844), naval surgeon, physician and, later, an important Australian
Australian
land-owning pioneer and constitutional reformer, was from Carrickfergus. Richard Kane (1662–1736), British general, governor of Menorca (called "Minorca" by the British) and Gibraltar, was from Carrickfergus. Minorca Place in the town is named for him. William Orr, United Irishman was hanged in Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
on 14 October 1797 for his part in the failed rebellion. Jonathan Swift, the poet and satirist lived in Kilroot, on the outskirts of the town, and wrote A Tale of a Tub
A Tale of a Tub
there. Charlotte Riddell, writer of the Victorian period, was born Charlotte Eliza Lawson Cowan (1832) in Carrickfergus.

20th century[edit]

Bob Gilmore (1961-2015), musicologist and player of piano and keyboards, was born in nearby Larne; lived in Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
during his childhood. Two Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
recipients, Daniel Cambridge
Daniel Cambridge
and James Crichton Seán Lester
Seán Lester
(1888–1959) was born in Carrickfergus. He was the last Secretary General of the League of Nations, from 1940-46. Louis MacNeice's family moved to the town when the poet was two years old (his father was appointed Rector of St Nicholas' Church of Ireland Church), and he left at the age of ten to attend boarding school in England; one of his poems, Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
(1937), relates his ambiguous feelings about the town where he spent his early boyhood. Sammy Curran, a prolific Irish League goalscorer between the wars playing for Woodburn and Belfast
Belfast
Celtic among others, who was also capped 4 times by Ireland. Billy McMillan, former Belfast
Belfast
Celtic and dual IFA and FAI Irish international footballer who lived his entire life in Carrickfergus. Patrick Joseph Kelly, member and leader of the IRA's East Tyrone Brigade, killed by the SAS in Loughgall, was born in Carrickfergus.

Contemporary[edit]

Jackie Woodburne, actress (Neighbours), was born in Carrickfergus. Adrian McKinty, novelist, was born and raised in Carrickfergus. Kristina Grimes, runner up in the final of the third series of the British version of The Apprentice once lived in the town. Stuart Robinson, host of Northern Ireland's Young Star Search and presenter on Cool FM. Dave Finlay, former WWE wrestler, was born and raised in the satellite village of Greenisland. Ryan Eagleson, Derbyshire and Irish international cricketer, 65 caps for Ireland, 1995-2004. Niamh Kavanagh, Irish Eurovision entrant and winner of 1993. Jimmy Hill (Norwich City) and Billy McCullough (Arsenal), Northern Ireland
Ireland
international footballers born in Carrickfergus. Willie Irvine
Willie Irvine
(Burnley) and Bobby Irvine (Stoke City), Northern Ireland
Ireland
international footballers who were born in nearby Eden before moving to Carrickfergus. Seán Neeson, politician and activist; former leader of the Alliance Party NI sat on Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
Council (1977-2013), and represented East Antrim in the NI Assembly (1998-2011)

Transport[edit]

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Carrickfergus railway station
Carrickfergus railway station
opened on 1 October 1862.[26] In addition, the northwest of the town is served by Clipperstown railway station, and the east by Downshire railway station. All three stations have regular commuter services to Belfast
Belfast
and Larne. Three historic stations in Carrickfergus, Barn, Eden and Mount, closed in the 1970s. Translink also operates a local 'town-service' bus route and regular services to both Whitehead and Belfast. Politics[edit] Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
is covered by the East Antrim constituency. The Parliamentary constituency of Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
existed from 1801-85. Local MLAs for the area are:[27]

David Hilditch (DUP) Gordon Lyons (DUP) Roy Beggs (UUP) John Stewart (UUP) Stewart Dickson
Stewart Dickson
(Alliance)

Local Councillors for the area are:

Andrew Wilson (UUP) John Stewart (UUP) Beryl McKnight (UUP) Eric Ferguson (UUP) James McClurg (DUP) Billy Ashe (DUP) Lynn McClurg (DUP Terry Clements (DUP) Cheryl Johnston (DUP) David Hilditch MLA (DUP) Deborah Emerson (DUP) May Beattie (DUP) Sean Neeson (ALL) Isobel Day (ALL) Noel Williams (ALL) Jim Brown (IND) Billy Hamilton (IND)

Schools and education[edit] There are many primary and secondary schools in Carrickfergus, including: Secondary

Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
Grammar School Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
College Downshire School Ulidia Integrated College

Primary

Acorn Integrated Primary School Central Primary School Eden Primary School Model Primary School Oakfield Primary School Victoria Primary School Woodburn Primary School Woodlawn Primary School St Nicholas' Primary School Sunnylands Primary School

Sports[edit] Sporting establishments in the town include:

Bentra Golf Course Carrick Rangers F.C. Barn United F.C. Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
Golf Club Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
Sailing
Sailing
Club Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
Cricket Club Carrickfergus Knights American Football Club Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
Rugby Club Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
Ladies Hockey Club

Sister cities[edit]

Ruda Śląska, Poland[28] Anderson, South Carolina, USA[29] Danville, Kentucky, USA[30] Jackson, Michigan, USA[31] Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA[32]

See also[edit]

Baron Carrickfergus Abbeys and priories in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
(County Antrim) List of towns in Northern Ireland List of villages in Northern Ireland Market Houses in Northern Ireland

References[edit]

^ North-South Ministerial Council 2002 annual report (Ulster-Scots) Archived 29 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine. ^ The Online Scots Dictionary; retrieved 21 August 2012. ^ Placenames Database of Ireland ^ a b History of Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
Archived 9 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Carrickfergus". IreAtlas Townlands Database. Retrieved 20 April 2015.  ^ Amhránleabhar Ógra Éireann, Folens, Dublin (8th edition, 1971) ^ George Petrie: Ancient Music of Ireland, M.H. Gill, Dublin 1855 (re-printed 2005, University of Leeds; ISBN 978-1-85918-398-4) ^ a b c Mediæval Times in Carrickfergus' History Archived 5 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine., carrickfergus.org; accessed 2 May 2016. ^ a b Culture Northern Ireland: A History of Carrickfergus ^ Maxwell, David (2014-03-12). "History unearthed at medieval castle". BBC
BBC
News. Retrieved 2018-02-19.  ^ O'Neill, B (ed). (2002). Irish Castles and Historic Houses. London, UK: Caxton Editions. p. 14.  ^ 1500s and Beyond in Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
Archived 5 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine., carrickfergus.org; accessed 8 March 2016. ^ O'Sullivan, Aidan; Breen, Colin (2007). Maritime Ireland. An Archaeology of Coastal Communities. Stroud, UK: Tempus. p. 212. ISBN 978-0-7524-2509-2.  ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 February 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-09.  ^ [1] ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 April 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-09.  ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2012.  ^ a b Recent Times Archived 5 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine., Carrickfergus.org; accessed 2 May 2016. ^ " Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
History The Complete History of Carrick Part 2 Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
History". Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
History. Retrieved 2018-02-19.  ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 February 2012. Retrieved 22 August 2014.  ^ Census data, cain.ulst.ac.uk; accessed 24 September 2015. ^ NI Statistics and Research Agency website. ^ [2] ^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Marquis Who's Who. 1967.  ^ Gullan, Harold I. (2004). First fathers: the men who inspired our Presidents. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons. pp. xii, 308. ISBN 0-471-46597-6. OCLC 53090968. Retrieved January 14, 2010.  ^ "Carrickfergus" (PDF). Railscot - Irish Railways. Retrieved 27 August 2007.  ^ East Antrim MLAs Archived 29 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Ruda Slaska webpage". Retrieved 24 September 2015. [permanent dead link] ^ "Anderson, sister city join hands". Anderson Independent Mail. 30 July 2009. Retrieved 24 September 2015. [permanent dead link] ^ " Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
strengthens links with America". 5 August 2009. Archived from the original on 27 February 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2015.  ^ Fessel, Lynn (9 May 2006). "Jackson City
City
Council Meeting: Minutes, 9 May 2006" Archived 21 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine., City
City
of Jackson, Michigan
Michigan
website; accessed 24 September 2015. ^ Portsmouth- Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
agreement, 20 May 1994. [3].

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Carrickfergus.

Wikisource
Wikisource
has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Carrickfergus.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Carrickfergus.

Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
Borough Council Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
in Bloom St. Nicholas Church, Carrickfergus Louis MacNeice
Louis MacNeice
talks about Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
on the BBC
BBC
website Culture Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
website.

v t e

Towns in Northern Ireland

List of towns by population

Large

Antrim Ballymena Bangor Carrickfergus Coleraine Enniskillen Larne Lisburn Lurgan Newry Newtownabbey Newtownards Omagh Portadown

Medium

Armagh Banbridge Cookstown Craigavon Downpatrick Dundonald Dungannon Holywood Limavady Strabane

Small

Ballycastle Ballyclare Ballymoney Ballynahinch Carryduff Coalisland Comber Donaghadee Dromore Kilkeel Magherafelt Newcastle Portrush Portstewart Randalstown Warrenpoint

Italics denote settlements that are classed as towns but also have city status

v t e

Places in County Antrim

List of places in County Antrim

Cities

Belfast
Belfast
(part) Lisburn
Lisburn
(part)

Towns

Antrim Ballycastle Ballyclare Ballymena Ballymoney Carrickfergus Larne Newtownabbey Portrush Randalstown

Villages

Aghagallon Aghalee Ahoghill Aldergrove Armoy Aughafatten Ballinderry Upper Ballinderry Lower Ballintoy Ballybogy Ballycarry Ballyeaston Ballygally Ballylinny Ballynure Ballyrobert Ballystrudder Ballyvoy Balnamore Bendooragh Broughshane Buckna Bushmills Capecastle Cargan Carnalbanagh Carncastle Carnlough Clogh Cloghmills Cogry-Kilbride Craigarogan Crumlin Cullybackey Cushendall Cushendun Dervock Derrymore Doagh Donegore Drains Bay Dunadry Dundrod Dunloy Gawley's Gate Glenarm Glenavy Glenoe Glynn Gracehill Grange Corner Greenisland Groggan Kells-Connor Kellswater Keshbridge Killead Knocknacarry Longkesh Loughguile Lurganure Lurganville Maghaberry Magheramorne Martinstown Mill Bay Millbank Milltown Moneyglass Monkstown Moss-Side Mounthill Mullaghboy Newtown Crommelin Parkgate Portballintrae Portbraddon Portglenone Rasharkin Roughfort Stoneyford Straid Stranocum Templepatrick Toome Tullynacross Waterfoot Whitehead

Townlands

Ballycraigy Barmeen Bonnybefore Broomhedge Broomhedge
Broomhedge
Lower Carnmoney Dunamuggy Dunmurry Dunseverick Galgorm Parks Glengormley Jordanstown Kilroot Lambeg Lisnagarvy Loughlynch Monkstown Rathcoole Solar Tobergill White Abbey

Landforms

Belfast
Belfast
Lough Benbane Head Black Mountain Cavehill Divis Fair Head Giant's Causeway Glens of Antrim Glenariff Forest Park Islandmagee Lagan Valley Larne
Larne
Lough Lough Beg Portmore Lough Rathlin Island Scawt Hill Slemish Slieve True Slieveanorra Forest Tievebulliagh Waterloo Bay

Baronies

Antrim Lower Antrim Upper Belfast
Belfast
Lower Belfast
Belfast
Upper Carrickfergus Cary Dunluce Lower Dunluce Upper Glenarm
Glenarm
Lower Glenarm
Glenarm
Upper Kilconway Massereene Lower Massereene Upper Toome
Toome
Lower Toome
Toome
Upper

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