Church of Ireland and bridge over the Six Mile Water
|Population||23,375 (2011 Census)|
|Irish grid reference|
|o Belfast||19 miles (31 km)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Dialling code||028 94|
Antrim (from Irish: Aontroim, meaning "lone ridge", ['e:n?tm?]) is a town and civil parish in County Antrim in the northeast of Northern Ireland, on the banks of the Six Mile Water, on the north shore of Lough Neagh. It had a population of 23,375 people in the 2011 Census. It is the county town of County Antrim and was the administrative centre of Antrim Borough Council. It is 22 miles (35 km) northwest of Belfast by rail.
According to tradition, a monastery was founded at Antrim in AD 495, thirty years after the death of Saint Patrick, to take forward his ministry, with a small settlement growing up around it. The round tower (see below), also known as "the Steeple", is all that remains. In the Middle Ages, the area was part of the Gaelic territory of Dál Araide which covered much of what is now County Antrim. At the eastern edge of town is a ringfort called Rathmore (Ráth Mór, "the great fort"), which was the royal residence of the kings of Dál Araide.
By 1596, an English settlement had grown up around a ford across the Sixmilewater River. The All Saints Parish Church has a datestone of 1596 with the words 'Gall-Antrum' carved on it - this could be translated as 'The Antrum of the English/foreigner'.Hugh Clotworthy, father of the Anglo-Irish politician John Clotworthy, 1st Viscount Massereene, supervised the building of secure military quarters beside the old Norman motte. This later became the site of Antrim Castle. Hugh was knighted in 1617 and appointed High Sheriff of County Antrim.
A battle was fought near Antrim between the English and Irish in the reign of Edward III; and in 1642 a naval engagement took place on Lough Neagh, for Viscount Massereene and Ferrard (who founded Antrim Castle in 1662) had a right to maintain a fighting fleet on the lough.
The Society of United Irishmen launched a rebellion in 1798, which began in Leinster and quickly spread to Ulster. The United Irishmen had been founded in 1791 by liberal Protestants in Belfast. Its goal was to unite Catholics and Protestants and to end British monarchical rule over Ireland and to found a sovereign, independent Irish republic. Although its membership was mainly Catholic, many of its leaders and members in northeast Ulster were Protestant Presbyterians. On 7 June 1798, about 4000 United Irishmen led by Henry Joy McCracken attacked the town. The rebels were on the verge of taking the town until British reinforcements arrived. Thanks to a rebel band led by James Hope, most of the United Irishmen were able to withdraw safely. This is known as the Battle of Antrim.
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Divisions and suburbs of Antrim include Ballycraigy, Carnbeg, Caulside, Dublin Road, Greenvale, Greystone, Islandbawn, Meadowlands, Muckamore, Newpark, Niblock, Parkhall, Rathenraw, Riverside, Belmont Heights, Springfarm, Steeple, Stiles, The Folly, Townparks, Massereene.
As with the rest of Ireland, Antrim experiences a maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters. The nearest official Met Office weather station for which online records are available is at Aldergrove, under 4 miles to the south of the town centre.
The coldest night of the year averages -6.6 °C (20.1 °F) and 39 nights should register an air frost. The absolute minimum temperature of -14.2 °C (6.4 °F) was reported during the record cold spell of December 2010. In total during that month 10 nights fell to -10.0 °C (14.0 °F) or below, and the 21st recorded a daytime maximum of just -7.7 °C (18.1 °F)
|Climate data for Aldergrove 63m asl, 1971-2000, Extremes 1926- (Weather Station 3.8 Miles South of Antrim)|
|Record high °C (°F)||14.0
|Average high °C (°F)||6.8
|Average low °C (°F)||1.5
|Record low °C (°F)||-12.8
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||86.9
|Average rainy days||15.3||11.9||14.5||11.0||11.4||11.2||12.2||13.0||12.9||13.9||14.1||14.3||155.7|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||45.6||64.4||93.3||150.6||189.4||166.5||151.9||146.0||117.6||90.5||58.5||39.4||1,313.7|
|Source: Met Office|
On Census day (27 March 2011) there were 23,375 people living in Antrim, accounting for 1.29% of the NI total, representing an increase of 16.9% on the Census 2001 population of 20,001. Of these:
There are many buildings of historic note in the town, especially in and around High Street. The courthouse sits at the end of the street, near the Barbican Gate, the old gateway to Antrim Castle. There are also hidden gems, such as a 19th-century smithy (now a shop) on Bridge Street with a distinctive horseshoe entrance.
Antrim's Aldergrove Airport known as Belfast International Airport is the largest airport in Northern Ireland, serving destinations in Britain, Europe and North America. However, Aldergrove does not have a proper Airport rail link connection.
"Junction One" (or "The Junction") is a retail park in the area with restaurants and a hotel. Supermarkets serving the town include an Asda store, Lidl outlet, Tesco Extra, and Iceland store. Castle Mall, located on High Street in the town, was formerly known as Castle Centre. It has a selection of every day shops, including the town's main Post Office.
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