All Saints Parish Church and bridge over the Six Mile Water
|Population||23,375 (2011 Census)|
|Irish grid reference||J1588|
|• Belfast||19 miles (31 km)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Antrim (Irish: Aontroim [ˈeːnˠt̪ˠɾˠɪmʲ], meaning 'lone ridge') 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 northeast 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.
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. The original name of Antrim was Aontreibh, Irish for 'lone house', referring to the monks' house. This later became, or was reinterpreted, as Aontroim ('lone ridge').
In the early 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.
In the late 12th century, the area was conquered by Anglo-Normans led by John de Courcy, becoming part of the Earldom of Ulster. They built a motte-and-bailey castle at Antrim. Its mound (motte) still stands in Antrim Castle Gardens.
The Anglo-Norman earldom collapsed in the early 14th century and Antrim became part of the Gaelic territory of Clannaboy. During the late Middle Ages, the O'Neill chiefs of Clannaboy were based at Edenduffcarrick castle (later called Shane's Castle), two miles west of Antrim.
Following the Nine Years' War (1593–1603), Antrim came under English control. The area was then colonized by English and Scottish settlers as part of the Plantation of Ulster. Hugh Clotworthy, father of the Anglo-Irish politician John Clotworthy, 1st Viscount Massereene, supervised the building of Antrim Castle, a fortified mansion beside the old Norman motte. Hugh was knighted in 1617 and appointed High Sheriff of County Antrim. In 1642, during the Irish Confederate Wars, Clotworthy's fleet fought a naval engagement on Lough Neagh.
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 4,000 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.
Before the Act of Union, the parliamentary borough of Antrim returned two members to the Irish House of Commons by virtue of letters patent granted in 1666 by Charles II. It was disenfranchised in 1801.
Steeple House, a substantial 18th-century mansion which was home to the Clark family and then became the headquarters of Antrim Borough Council, was destroyed in a fire in July 2019.
See also: UDA South East Antrim Brigade
There were several incidents in and around Antrim during the Troubles including, in 1976, when six civilians (5 Protestants and one Catholic) were shot and killed during a UVF gun attack on the Ramble Inn pub near Antrim.
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 Belfast International Airport, under 4 miles to the south of the town centre.
In a typical year the warmest day should reach a temperature of 25.4 °C (77.7 °F) and 2.1 days should attain a temperature of 25.1 °C (77.2 °F) or above in total.
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 Belfast International Airport|
WMO ID: 03917; coordinates 54°39′50″N 6°13′30″W / 54.66376°N 6.22512°W; elevation: 63 m (207 ft); 1991–2020 normals, extremes 1930–present
|Record high °C (°F)||14.5
|Average high °C (°F)||7.3
|Daily mean °C (°F)||4.7
|Average low °C (°F)||2.1
|Record low °C (°F)||−12.8
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||77.0
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||14.7||13.2||13.0||12.0||11.6||11.9||14.1||14.2||12.1||14.0||15.5||15.2||161.3|
|Average snowy days||5||5||4||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||3||19|
|Average relative humidity (%)||89||87||88||89||90||90||90||92||92||91||90||89||91|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||48.7||72.1||108.4||157.8||197.9||167.6||152.0||146.4||121.5||91.2||61.3||47.1||1,372|
|Source 1: Met Office NOAA (relative humidity and snow days 1961–-1990)|
|Source 2: KNMI Starlings Roost Weather|
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:
Antrim railway station was opened on 11 April 1848, and closed for goods traffic in 1965.
Served by passenger trains on the Belfast-Derry railway line are run by Northern Ireland Railways.
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.
The Junction, formerly Junction One (named after junction 1 of the nearby M22 Motorway), 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.
Junior schools serving the area include Antrim Primary School, Ballycraigy Primary School, Greystone Primary School, St Comgall's Primary School, and St Joseph's Primary School.
The secondary schools are Antrim Grammar School and Parkhall College.
The Greenmount campus of the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) is near Antrim.
The local Gaelic Athletic Association club is Naomh Comhghall CLG (St. Comgalls Antrim). The association football club, Chimney Corner F.C., plays its home games in Allen Park on Castle Road. Other Antrim sports clubs include Antrim Hockey Club and Muckamore Cricket Club.