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Rathlin Island
Rathlin Island
(from Irish: Reachlainn) is an island and civil parish off the coast of County Antrim
County Antrim
and the northernmost point of Northern Ireland.

Contents

1 Geography

1.1 Townland

2 Transport 3 Natural history 4 History

4.1 Massacres

5 Commerce 6 Communications 7 Archaeology 8 Gallery of panorama photos 9 Gallery 10 See also 11 References 12 Notes 13 External links

Geography[edit] Rathlin is the only inhabited offshore island of Northern Ireland, with a steadily growing population of approximately 150 people, and is the most northerly inhabited island off the coast of the island of Ireland. The reverse L-shaped Rathlin Island
Rathlin Island
is 4 miles (6 km) from east to west, and 2.5 miles (4 km) from north to south. The highest point on the island is Slieveard, 134 metres (440 feet) above sea level. Rathlin is 15.5 miles (25 km) from the Mull of Kintyre, the southern tip of Scotland's Kintyre
Kintyre
peninsula. It is part of the Causeway Coast
Coast
and Glens council area, and is represented by the Rathlin Development & Community Association.[1] Townland[edit] Rathlin is part of the traditional barony Cary (around the town of Ballycastle), and of current district Moyle. The island constitutes a civil parish and is subdivided into 22 townlands:

Townland Area acres[2] Population

Ballycarry 298 ...

Ballyconagan 168 ...

Ballygill Middle 244 ...

Ballygill North 149 ...

Ballygill South 145 ...

Ballynagard 161 ...

Ballynoe 80 ...

Carravinally (Corravina Beg) 116 ...

Carravindoon (Corravindoon) 188 ...

Church Quarter 51 ...

Cleggan (Clagan) 202 ...

Craigmacagan (Craigmacogan) 153 ...

Demesne 67 ...

Glebe 24 ...

Kebble 269 ...

Kilpatrick 169 ...

Kinkeel 131 ...

Kinramer North 167 ...

Kinramer South (Kinramer) 173 ...

Knockans 257 ...

Mullindross (Mullindress) 46 ...

Roonivoolin 130 ...

Rathlin with subdivision into townlands

Transport[edit] A ferry operated by Rathlin Island
Rathlin Island
Ferry Ltd connects the main port of the island, Church Bay, with the mainland at Ballycastle, 6 miles (10 km) away. Two ferries operate on the route – the fast foot-passenger-only catamaran ferry Rathlin Express and a purpose built larger ferry, commissioned in May 2017, Spirit of Rathlin, which carries both foot passengers and a small number of vehicles, weather permitting.[3][4] Rathlin Island
Rathlin Island
Ferry Ltd won a six-year contract for the service in 2008 providing it as a subsidised "lifeline" service.[5] There is an ongoing investigation on how the transfer was handled between the Environment Minister and the new owners.[6] Natural history[edit] Rathlin is of prehistoric volcanic origin, having been created as part of the British Tertiary Volcanic
Volcanic
Province.[7] Rathlin is one of 43 Special
Special
Areas of Conservation in Northern Ireland. It is home to tens of thousands of seabirds, including common guillemots, kittiwakes, puffins and razorbills – about thirty bird families in total. It is visited by birdwatchers, with a Royal Society for the Protection of Birds nature reserve that has views of Rathlin’s bird colony. The RSPB has also successfully managed natural habitat to facilitate the return of the red-billed chough. Northern Ireland's only breeding pair of choughs can be seen during the summer months. The cliffs on this relatively bare island are impressive, standing 70 metres (230 ft) tall. Bruce's Cave[8] is named after Robert the Bruce, also known as Robert I of Scotland: it was here that he was said to have seen the legendary spider which is described as inspiring Bruce to continue his fight for Scottish independence.[9] The island is also the northernmost point of the Antrim Coast
Coast
and Glens Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.[10] In 2008-09 the Maritime and Coastguard Agency
Maritime and Coastguard Agency
of the United Kingdom and the Marine Institute Ireland
Ireland
undertook bathymetric survey work north of Antrim, updating Admiralty charts (Joint Irish Bathymetric Survey Project). In doing so a number of interesting submarine geological features were identified around Rathlin Island, including a submerged crater or lake on a plateau with clear evidence of water courses feeding it. This suggests the events leading to inundation - subsidence of land or rising water levels - were extremely quick. Marine investigations in the area have also identified new species of anemone, rediscovered the fan mussel (the UK's largest and rarest bivalve mollusc - thought to be found only in Plymouth Sound and a few sites off the west of Scotland) and a number of shipwreck sites,[11][12] including HMS Drake,[13] which was torpedoed and sank just off the island in 1917. History[edit]

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Clan MacDonald- Clan Campbell
Clan Campbell
feuds

Rathlin Island
Rathlin Island
(1642) Battle of Inverlochy (1645) Lagganmore (1646) Rhunahaorine Moss (1647) Castle Sween
Castle Sween
(1647) Dunaverty (1647) Glencoe (1692) Sheriffmuir (1715) Jacobite rising of 1745

The Malone hoard of polished axes from Tievebulliagh
Tievebulliagh
or Rathlin Island

Rathlin was probably known to the Romans, Pliny referring to "Reginia" and Ptolemy
Ptolemy
to "Rhicina" or "Eggarikenna". In the 7th century Adomnán mentions "Rechru" and "Rechrea insula", which may also have been early names for Rathlin.[14] The 11th-century Irish version of the Historia Brittonum states that the Fir Bolg
Fir Bolg
"took possession of Man and of other islands besides - Arran, Islay and 'Racha'" – another possible early variant.[15] Rathlin was the site of the first Viking
Viking
raid on Ireland, according to the Annals of Ulster. The pillaging of the island's church and burning of its buildings took place in 795 (The burning of Reachrainn by plunderers; and its shrines were broken and plundered.) In 1306, Robert the Bruce sought refuge upon Rathlin, owned by the Irish Bissett family. He stayed in Rathlin Castle, originally belonging to their lordship the Glens of Antrim. The Bissetts were dispossessed of Rathlin by the English, who were in control of the Earldom of Ulster, for welcoming Bruce. Later, in the 16th century, the island came into the possession of the MacDonnells of Antrim. Massacres[edit] Main article: Rathlin Island
Rathlin Island
massacre Rathlin has been the site of a number of massacres. On an expedition in 1557, Sir Henry Sidney
Henry Sidney
devastated the island. In July 1575, the Earl of Essex sent Francis Drake
Francis Drake
and John Norreys
John Norreys
to confront Scottish refugees on the island, and in the ensuing massacre, hundreds of men, women and children of Clan MacDonnell were killed.[16][17] Also in 1642, Covenanter
Covenanter
Campbell soldiers of the Argyll's Foot were encouraged by their commanding officer Sir Duncan Campbell of Auchinbreck to kill the local Catholic MacDonalds, near relatives of their arch clan enemy in the Scottish Highlands Clan MacDonald. They threw scores of MacDonald women over cliffs to their deaths on rocks below.[18][19] The number of victims of this massacre has been put as low as one hundred and as high as three thousand. Commerce[edit] In the later 18th century, kelp production became important, with Rathlin becoming a major centre for production. The shoreline is still littered with kilns and storage places. This was a commercial enterprise sponsored by the landlords of the island and involved the whole community.[20] A 19th-century British visitor to the island found that they had an unusual form of government where they elected a judge who sat on a "throne of turf".[21] Tourism is now a commercial activity. The island had a population of over one thousand in the 19th century. Its current permanent population is around 125. This is swollen by visitors in the summer, with most coming to view the cliffs and their huge seabird populations. Many visitors come for the day, and the island has around 30 beds for overnight visitors. The Boathouse Visitors' Centre at Church Bay is open seven days a week from April to September, with minibus tours and bicycle hire also available. The island is also popular with scuba divers, who come to explore the many wrecked ships in the surrounding waters. Richard Branson
Richard Branson
crashed his hot air balloon into the sea off Rathlin Island in 1987 after his record-breaking cross-Atlantic flight from Maine.[citation needed] On 29 January 2008 the RNLI
RNLI
Portrush
Portrush
lifeboat Katie Hannan grounded after a swell hit its stern on breakwater rocks just outside the harbour on Rathlin while trying to refloat an islander's RIB. The lifeboat was handed over to a salvage company.[22][23] Communications[edit] The world's first commercial wireless telegraphy link was established by employees of Guglielmo Marconi
Guglielmo Marconi
between East Lighthouse on Rathlin and Kenmara House in Ballycastle on 6 July 1898.[24] In July 2013, BT Ireland
Ireland
installed a high-speed wireless broadband pilot project to a number of premises, the first deployment of its kind in the UK or Ireland, 'wireless to the cabinet' to deliver 80Mbs to users.[25] Archaeology[edit] Tievebulliagh
Tievebulliagh
mountain near Cushendall
Cushendall
features a Neolithic
Neolithic
stone axe factory, and a similar one is to be found in Brockley, a cluster of houses within the townland of Ballygill Middle,[26] featuring the same porcellanite stone. The island was also settled during the Mesolithic and Neolithic
Neolithic
periods. There is an unexcavated Viking
Viking
vessel in a mound formation.[27] Gallery of panorama photos[edit]

panorama of Rathlin Island
Rathlin Island
as seen from the boat to Ballycastle

panorama of Rathlin Island
Rathlin Island
harbour

panorama of Rathlin Island

panorama of Rathlin Island

panorama of Rathlin Island
Rathlin Island
beach

Rathlin Island
Rathlin Island
harbour

Gallery[edit]

Rathlin Island
Rathlin Island
Seafront

Rathlin Island
Rathlin Island
cliffs

Rathlin lighthouse

Rathlin Island
Rathlin Island
harbour

Rathlin Island
Rathlin Island
beach

Rathlin island cliffs

Rathlin Island
Rathlin Island
cliffs and lighthouse

Rathlin Island
Rathlin Island
Harbour

Rathlin Island
Rathlin Island
from Bengore Head on the North Antrim Coast

The old Rathlin Island
Rathlin Island
Ferry

Rue Point on the south leg of Rathlin Island
Rathlin Island
looking towards Fair Head

The island seen from Torr Head with Fair Head
Fair Head
visible to the left

The old Rathlin Island
Rathlin Island
Ferry at Ballycastle

See also[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rathlin Island.

Conservation in the United Kingdom Northern Ireland List of islands of Ireland List of islands of the United Kingdom List of civil parishes of County Antrim

References[edit]

Chadwick, Hector Munro (1949) Early Scotland: the Picts, the Scots & the Welsh of southern Scotland. Cambridge University Press. Watson, W. J. (1994) The Celtic Place-Names of Scotland. Edinburgh; Birlinn. ISBN 1-84158-323-5. First published in Edinburgh; The Royal Celtic Society, 1926.

Notes[edit]

^ "The official website of the Rathlin Development & Community Association". Rathlin Community. Retrieved 2012-01-12.  ^ The Ire Atlas TOWNLAND DATABASE, Civil Parish: Rathlin Island ^ "Rathlin". Rathlinweather.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-01-12.  ^ "Press Release" (PDF). Rathlin Island
Rathlin Island
Ferry Ltd. 28 April 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-02.  ^ "Improved service for Rathlin ferry will half travel time". Northern Ireland
Ireland
Executive. 21 April 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-02.  ^ "Probe into tendering contract of ferry run". News Letter (Johnston Press). 18 June 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-02.  ^ "Causeway Coast
Coast
and Rathlin Island
Rathlin Island
Geodiversity Profile". Northern Ireland
Ireland
Environment Agency. Retrieved 2009-08-02.  ^ "Bruce's Cave". Bruce Rathlin 700. The Ulster-Scots Agency. Retrieved 2012-12-29. Verifying Rathlin Island's connections with King Robert the Bruce  ^ "The Spider
Spider
Legend". Bruce Rathlin 700. The Ulster-Scots Agency. Retrieved 2012-12-29. It’s a famous story, but is it true?  ^ "Antrim Coast
Coast
and Glens AONB". Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Environment Agency. Retrieved 2009-08-02.  ^ "The Joint Irish Bathymetric
Bathymetric
Survey Project" (Video). MCA. Retrieved 2009-08-02.  ^ "Prehistoric land under the sea". BBC News. 2008-07-30. Retrieved 2009-08-02.  ^ Wilson, Ian (2011) HMS Drake. Rathlin Island
Rathlin Island
Shipwreck. Rathlin Island: Rathlin Island
Rathlin Island
Books. ISBN 978-0-9568942-0-5 ^ Watson (1994) pp. 6, 37 ^ Chadwick (1949) p. 83 ^ John Sugden, "Sir Francis Drake", Touchstone-book, published Simon+Schuster, New York, ISBN 0-671-75863-2 ^ "Sir Francis Drake
Francis Drake
and Music". The Standing Stones. Retrieved 2009-08-02.  ^ Royle, Trevor (2004), Civil War: The Wars of the Three Kingdoms 1638-1660, London: Abacus, ISBN 0-349-11564-8  p.143 ^ "The Carolingian Era". MacDonnell Of Leinster Association. Retrieved 2008-08-28.  ^ O'Sullivan, Aidan & Breen, Colin (2007). Maritime Ireland. An Archaeology of Coastal Communities. Stroud: Tempus. p. 225. ISBN 978-0-7524-2509-2.  ^ The Saturday Magazine. John William Parker. 1834. p. 134. Retrieved 2015-06-13.  ^ "£2m lifeboat's rescue called off". BBC News. 30 January 2008. Retrieved 8 February 2016.  ^ "Permanent replacement lifeboat for Portrush". RNLI
RNLI
press release. 18 April 2008. Retrieved 8 February 2016.  ^ " Guglielmo Marconi
Guglielmo Marconi
1874-1937". northantrim.com. Retrieved 2009-08-02.  ^ "BT Ireland". btireland.com. Retrieved 2013-07-04.  ^ Weir, A (1980). Early Ireland. A Field Guide. Belfast: Blackstaff Press. p. 96.  ^ O'Sullivan, Aidan & Breen, Colin (2007). Maritime Ireland. An Archaeology of Coastal Communities. Stroud: Tempus. p. 55. ISBN 978-0-7524-2509-2. 

External links[edit]

The official website of the Rathlin Development & Community Association. Current weather conditions. The RSPB's Rathlin Island
Rathlin Island
Seabird
Seabird
Centre The website of publishing company Rathlin Island
Rathlin Island
Books The website of Rathlin Islander and local historian, the late Gusty McCurdy. Ferry information for both ferries. Information on and pictures of Rathlin Island Basic information about Rathlin Landscapes Unlocked - Aerial footage from the BBC Sky High series explaining the physical, social and economic geography of Northern Ireland. The History of the Sea Caves of Rathlin Scuba Diving Rathlin Island
Rathlin Island
Information about the dive sites around Rathlin Island.

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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

WikiProject Northern Ireland WikiProject Ireland Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Portal United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Portal Ireland
Ireland
Portal

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Geology
Geology
of Northern Ireland

Volcanism

Antrim plateau Benevenagh Black Mountain Cavehill Divis Donald's Hill Giant's Causeway Murlough Bay Rathlin Island

Basalt columns at Giant's Causeway

Volcanic
Volcanic
plugs

Carrick a Rede Scawt Hill Slemish Slieve Gallion Slieve Gullion Tievebulliagh

Dykes and Sills

Fair Head Ring of Gullion The Maidens The Skerries

Metamorphic

Benbradagh Loughermore Mourne Mountains Mullaghcarn Mullaghmore Sawel Mountain Slieve Bearnagh Slieve Binnian Slieve Commedagh Slieve Croob Slieve Donard Slieve Gallion Slieve Muck Sperrins

Sedimentary

Belmore Mountain Benaughlin Mountain Cuilcagh Hibernian Greensands Group Islandmagee Magheramorne Marble Arch Caves Slieve Rushen Ulster White Limestone Group Waterloo Bay

Lists

Geological faults o

.