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County Down
County Down
is one of six counties that form Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
in the northeast of the island of Ireland.[3][4] Along the southeast shore of Lough Neagh, it covers an area of 2,448 km² (945 sq mi) and has a population of 531,665. It is also one of the thirty-two traditional counties of Ireland
Ireland
and is within the province of Ulster. It borders County Antrim
County Antrim
to the north, the Irish Sea
Irish Sea
to the east, County Armagh to the west, and County Louth
County Louth
across Carlingford Lough
Carlingford Lough
to the southwest. In the east of the county is Strangford Lough
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
Newry
lies on the western border with County Armagh, while Lisburn
Lisburn
and Belfast
Belfast
lie on the northern border with County Antrim. Down contains both the southernmost point of Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
(Cranfield Point) and the easternmost point of Ireland
Ireland
(Burr Point). It was one of only two counties of Ireland
Ireland
to have a Protestant majority at the 2001 census. The other is County Antrim
County Antrim
to the north.

Contents

1 Toponymy 2 History 3 Geography

3.1 Places of interest 3.2 Subdivisions 3.3 Settlements

3.3.1 Cities 3.3.2 Large towns 3.3.3 Medium towns 3.3.4 Small towns 3.3.5 Intermediate settlements 3.3.6 Villages 3.3.7 Small villages or hamlets

4 Transportation

4.1 Railways

4.1.1 Historic railways 4.1.2 21st century railways

5 Sport

5.1 Association Football 5.2 Gaelic games 5.3 Golf

6 In popular culture 7 People associated with County Down 8 See also 9 References 10 Further reading 11 External links

Toponymy[edit] County Down
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
Dunfermline
and Dumbarton
Dumbarton
in Scotland and Donegal
Donegal
and Dundalk
Dundalk
in Ireland).[5] 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").[6][7] History[edit]

1885 map, with the county divided into baronies

During the Williamite
Williamite
War in Ireland
Ireland
(1689–1691) the county was a centre of Protestant
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
Williamite
expedition arrived in Belfast Lough and captured Bangor. After laying siege to Carrickfergus Schomberg marched south to Dundalk
Dundalk
Camp, clearing County Down
County Down
and much of the rest of East Ulster
Ulster
of Jacobite troops. Geography[edit]

Mourne Mountains

Down contains two significant peninsulas: Ards Peninsula
Ards Peninsula
and Lecale peninsula. The county has a coastline along Belfast
Belfast
Lough to the north and Carlingford Lough
Carlingford Lough
to the south (both of which have access to the sea). Strangford Lough
Strangford Lough
lies between the Ards Peninsula
Ards Peninsula
and the mainland. Down also contains part of the shore of Lough Neagh. Smaller loughs include Lough Island
Island
Reavy. The River Lagan
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
Island
and the Copeland Islands, all of which lie to the north of the Ards Peninsula. Gunn Island
Island
lies off the Lecale coast. In addition there are a large number of small islands in Strangford
Strangford
Lough. County Down
County Down
is where, in the words of the famous song by Percy French, "The mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea", and the granite Mourne Mountains
Mourne Mountains
continue to be renowned for their beauty. Slieve Donard, at 849 m (2,785 ft), is the highest peak in the Mournes, in Northern Ireland
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[edit]

King John's Castle on Carlingford Lough.

An area of County Down
County Down
is known as the Brontë Homeland (situated between Rathfriland
Rathfriland
and Banbridge, where Patrick Brontë
Patrick Brontë
had his church), after Patrick Brontë
Patrick Brontë
(originally Brunty), father of Anne, Charlotte, Emily and Branwell. Patrick Brontë
Patrick Brontë
was born in this region. The city of Newry
Newry
in the south of the county contains St Patrick's (Church of Ireland, 1578), overlooking the city centre from Church street, on the east side of the city, which is considered to be Ireland's first ever Protestant
Protestant
church.[8] The Newry
Newry
Canal is also the first summit-level canal ever to be built in the British Isles. Castlewellan
Castlewellan
Forest Park. Down is also home to Exploris, the Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Aquarium, located in Portaferry, on the shores of Strangford
Strangford
Lough, on the Ards Peninsula. The Old Inn in Crawfordsburn
Crawfordsburn
is one of Ireland's oldest hostelries, with records dating back to 1614. It is predated however by Donaghadee's Grace Neill's which was opened in 1611. The Old inn claims that people who have stayed there include Jonathan Swift, Dick Turpin, Peter the Great, Lord Tennyson, Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope, former US president George H. W. Bush, and C. S. Lewis, who honeymooned there.[9] Tollymore Forest Park. Scrabo Tower, in Newtownards, was built as a memorial to Charles Stewart, 3rd Marquess of Londonderry. Saint Patrick
Saint Patrick
is reputed to be buried at Down Cathedral
Down Cathedral
in Downpatrick, reputedly alongside St. Brigid and St. Columcille.[10] Saul, County Down
Saul, County Down
(from the Irish: Sabhall meaning "Barn") – where Saint Patrick
Saint Patrick
said his first eucharist in Ireland

Subdivisions[edit] Baronies Main article: Barony (Ireland)

Ards Lower
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
Kinelarty
(from the Irish: Cineál Fhártaigh) Lecale Lower
Lecale Lower
(from the Irish: Leath Cathail) Lecale Upper Lordship of Newry Mourne (from the Irish: Múrna)

Parishes Main article: List of civil parishes of County Down Townlands Main article: List of townlands in County Down Settlements[edit]

Historical population

Year Pop. ±%

1653 13,207 —    

1659 15,183 +15.0%

1821 325,410 +2043.3%

1831 352,012 +8.2%

1841 361,446 +2.7%

1851 320,817 −11.2%

1861 299,302 −6.7%

1871 277,294 −7.4%

1881 248,190 −10.5%

1891 224,008 −9.7%

1901 205,889 −8.1%

1911 204,303 −0.8%

1926 209,228 +2.4%

1937 210,687 +0.7%

1951 241,181 +14.5%

1961 266,939 +10.7%

1966 286,631 +7.4%

1971 311,876 +8.8%

1981 417,978 +34.0%

1991 454,411 +8.7%

2001 489,004 +7.6%

2011 531,665 +8.7%

[11][12][13][14][15][16]

Cities[edit] (population of 75,000 or more at 2001 Census)[17]

Belfast
Belfast
- the eastern suburbs of the city lie partly in County Down but mainly County Antrim Lisburn
Lisburn
- the eastern suburbs of the city lie partly in County Down but mainly County Antrim Newry
Newry
- the eastern suburbs of the city lie partly in County Down
County Down
but mainly County Armagh

Large towns[edit] (population of 18,000 or more and under 75,000 at 2001 Census)[17]

Bangor Dundonald Newtownards

Medium towns[edit] (Population of 10,000 or more and under 18,000 at 2001 Census)[17]

Banbridge Downpatrick Holywood Carryduff

Small towns[edit] (Population of 4,500 or more and under 10,000 at 2001 Census)[17]

Ballygowan Ballynahinch Comber Donaghadee Dromore Kilkeel Newcastle Saintfield Warrenpoint

Intermediate settlements[edit] (population of 2,250 or more and under 4,500 at 2001 Census)[17]

Ballygowan Castlewellan Hillsborough Killyleagh Moira Portaferry Rostrevor Saintfield Waringstown

Villages[edit] (population of 1,000 or more and under 2,250 at 2001 Census)[17]

Annahilt Annalong Ardglass Ballywalter Crossgar Drumaness Drumbeg Dundrum Gilford Greyabbey Helen's Bay Kilcoo Kircubbin Magheralin Millisle Portavogie Rathfriland

Small villages or hamlets[edit] (Population of less than 1,000 at 2001 Census)[17]

Atticall Annsborough Ballela Ballyhalbert Ballyhornan Ballykinler Ballymartin Bryansford Burren Cabra, County Down Carrowdore Clough Cloughey Crawfordsburn Donaghcloney Dromara Gilnahirk Groomsport Hilltown Killinchy Killough Lawrencetown Leitrim Listooder Longstone Loughbrickland Loughinisland Mayobridge Saul Scarva Seaforde Sheeptown Strangford Toye

Transportation[edit] Railways[edit]

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

Historic railways[edit]

Belfast
Belfast
and County Down
County Down
Railway Great Northern Railway of Ireland

21st century railways[edit]

Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Railways Downpatrick
Downpatrick
and County Down
County Down
Railway

Sport[edit] Association Football[edit] In association football, the NIFL Premiership, which operates as the top division, has one team in the county: Ards F.C., with Warrenpoint Town F.C., Banbridge
Banbridge
Town F.C., Bangor F.C.
Bangor F.C.
and Lisburn
Lisburn
Distillery F.C. competing in the NIFL Championship, which operates as levels two and three. Gaelic games[edit] The Down County Board administers Gaelic games
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 in total. In terms of Ulster
Ulster
they share that accolade with Cavan who also have 5 titles. They currently have four minor all Ireland
Ireland
titles (1977, 1987, 1999 and 2005), twelve Ulster
Ulster
titles (1959, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1971, 1978, 1981, 1991, 1994) and one under 21 all Ireland
Ireland
title (1979). Golf[edit] County Down
County Down
is also home to the No.1-ranked golf course outside of the US, according to Today's Golfer, Royal County Down, which is situated in Newcastle. Currently ranked No.1 golfer in the world, Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy
originates from Holywood, situated in the north of the county. In popular culture[edit] "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
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.[18] The Northern Irish singer Van Morrison
Van Morrison
has made reference to the County Down
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
The Chieftains
as a part of their collaboration Irish Heartbeat. People associated with County Down[edit]

Edward McGarry (Wisconsin politician) was born in County Down Rory McIlroy, former world number one golfer, from Holywood Josh Magennis, Professional footballer currently for Charlton Athletic F.C. from Bangor. Christine Bleakley, TV Presenter was born in Newtownards. Zöe Salmon, TV presenter and miss UK contestant is from Bangor. Keith Gillespie, former Manchester United & Newcastle professional footballer grew up in Bangor. Bear Grylls, Chief scout and TV personality Bear was born in Donaghadee. Pat Jennings, former NI goalkeeper is from Newry. Gary Lightbody, lead singer of Snow Patrol
Snow Patrol
is from Bangor. Lembit Öpik, former Liberal Democrat MP and Shadow Welsh and Shadow Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Secretary, is from Bangor. Foy Vance, singer songwriter from Bangor. Motherwell and Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
defender Stephen Craigan, Newtownards. Jamie Dornan, actor in 50 Shades of Grey is from Holywood. Kristian Nairn, portrayed Hodor in Game Of Thrones
Game Of Thrones
is from Lisburn. Colin Murray
Colin Murray
Sports TV Presenter is from Dundonald. Paddy Wallace, rugby union footballer for Ulster
Ulster
and Ireland, Dundonald. Ulster
Ulster
Rugby, winger Craig Gilroy was raised in Bangor. David Healy Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
record goal scorer is from Killyleagh. Patrick Kielty, comedian and television presenter is from Dundrum.

See also[edit]

Abbeys and priories in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
(County Down) List of places in County Down Lord Lieutenant of Down High Sheriff of Down

References[edit]

^ 2008 Annual Report in Ulster
Ulster
Scots Archived 29 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine. North–South Ministerial Council. ^ 2006 Annual Report in Ulster
Ulster
Scots Archived 27 February 2013 at the Wayback Machine. North–South Ministerial Council. ^ Taylor, Isaac. Names and Their Histories. Rivingtons, 1898. p.111 ^ Lewis, Samuel. A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland
Ireland
(1837); "The See of Down". ^ Long, David (2015). Lost Britain: An A-Z of Forgotten Landmarks and Lost Traditions. Michael O'Mara Books. p. 65. ISBN 9781782434412. Retrieved 6 April 2018.  ^ Praeger, Robert Lloyd (1900). Official Guide to County Down
County Down
and the Mourne Mountains. M'Caw, Stevenson & Orr. p. 123. Retrieved 6 April 2018.  ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1922). Encyclopedia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information. University Press. p. 460. Retrieved 6 April 2018.  ^ "Saint Patrick's Church". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 6 July 2017.  ^ Crawfordsburn
Crawfordsburn
Old Inn website ^ Kearcsadmin. "St. Brigid's Day". County Kildare
County Kildare
Archaeological Society. Retrieved 6 July 2017.  ^ For 1653 and 1659 figures from Civil Survey Census of those years, Paper of Mr Hardinge to Royal Irish Academy 14 March 1865. ^ Census for post 1821 figures. ^ Histpop.org Archived 7 May 2016 at the Wayback Machine. ^ NISRA.gov.uk Archived 17 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Lee, JJ (1981). "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish censuses". In Goldstrom, J. M.; Clarkson, L. A. Irish Population, Economy, and Society: Essays in Honour of the Late K. H. Connell. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.  ^ 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.  ^ a b c d e f g "Statistical classification of settlements". NI Neighbourhood Information Service. Retrieved 23 February 2009.  ^ " Rihanna
Rihanna
video: Wildflowers to be planted in north Belfast
Belfast
'hopeless place'". BBC. Retrieved 6 July 2017. 

Further reading[edit]

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[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to County Down.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for County Down.

County Down
County Down
at Curlie (based on DMOZ) Culture Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
– Industrial Heritage of County Down

Places adjacent to County Down

County Antrim
County Antrim

County Armagh
County Armagh

County Down

Irish Sea

County Louth Irish Sea

v t e

Places in County Down

List of places in County Down

Cities

Belfast
Belfast
(part) Lisburn
Lisburn
(part) Newry
Newry
(part)

Towns

Ballynahinch Banbridge Bangor Carryduff Comber Donaghadee Downpatrick Dromore Dundonald Holywood Kilkeel Newcastle Newtownards Warrenpoint

Villages and townlands

Annahilt Annalong Annsborough Ardglass Attical Aughnacloy Ballela Balloo Ballybannan Ballydargan Ballygowan Ballyhalbert Ballyhay Ballyholme Ballyhornan Ballykinler Ballylesson Ballylough Ballymacmaine Ballymartin Ballynagarrick Ballynahatty Ballynoe Ballyskeagh Ballywalter Benraw Blackskull Bleary Braniel Bryansford Burren Cabra Carnalea Carrowdore Castlewellan Clandeboye Cloghy Clough Conlig Corbet Corcreeny/Gibson's Hill Crawfordsburn Cregagh Crossgar Cultra Derryneill Dollingstown Donaghcloney Dromara Drumaness Drumbeg Drumbo Drumlough, Hillsborough Drumlough, Rathfriland Dundrum Dunnaval Edenderry Gamblestown Gilford Gilnahirk Gransha Greencastle Greyabbey Groomsport Helen's Bay Hillhall Hillsborough Hilltown Katesbridge Kilcoo Kilcooley Killinchy Killinure Killough Killowen Killyleagh Kinallen Kircubbin Lawrencetown Legacurry Legananny Leitrim Lenaderg Loughbrickland Loughinisland Lurganare Lurganville Magheraconluce Magheralin Mayobridge Maze Millisle Moira Moneyreagh Moneyslane Monteith Portaferry Portavogie Poyntzpass Rathfriland Ravernet Ringhaddy Rostrevor Saintfield Saul Scarva Seaforde Seahill Sheeptown Shrigley Spa Strangford Struell Tievenadarragh Tullylish Tullynakill Waringsford Waringstown Whiterock

Landforms

Ards Peninsula Burr Point Carlingford Lough Cloughmore Copeland Islands Cranfield Point Lecale peninsula Lough Island
Island
Reavy Mournes Slieve Croob Strangford
Strangford
Lough

Baronies

Ards Lower Ards Upper Castlereagh Lower Castlereagh Upper Dufferin Iveagh Lower Iveagh Upper Kinelarty Lecale Lower Lecale Upper Lordship of Newry Mourne

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Counties

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Cities

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Counties of Ireland

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Antrim† Armagh† Cavan Donegal Down† Fermanagh† Londonderry† Monaghan Tyrone†

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