The Glens of Antrim, known locally as simply The Glens, is a region of County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It comprises nine glens (valleys), that radiate from the Antrim Plateau to the coast. The Glens are an area of outstanding natural beauty and are a major tourist attraction in north Antrim.
The main towns and villages in the Glens are Ballycastle, Cushendun, Cushendall, Waterfoot, Carnlough and Glenarm.
From the mid-13th century onward, the Lordship of The Glen belonged to the Bissett family, Anglo-Norman in origin but Gaelicized over generations. In the mid-16th century it came into the ownership of the MacDonnells of Antrim.
From north to south, the nine glens are:
|Glentaisie||Gleann Taise||Taise's valley/damp valley|||
|Glenshesk||Gleann Seisc||barren valley|||
|Glendun||Gleann Doinne||valley of the [river] Dun|||
|Glencorp||Gleann Corp||valley of the body (or bodies)|||
|Glenaan||Gleann Athain||valley of the burial chamber|||
|Glenballyeamon||Gleann Bhaile Uí Dhíomáin
Gleann Bhaile Éamainn
|valley of Ó Díomáin's town
valley of Éamonn's town
|Glenariff||Gleann Aireamh||valley of the ploughman/arable valley|||
|Glencloy||Gleann Claidheamh||valley of the sword|||
|Glenarm||Gleann Arma||valley of the army|||
Glenravel is sometimes considered a tenth glen. It lies to the southwest of Glenballyeamon and Glenariff, being separated from the latter by the Glenariff forest park.
The main settlements of Glenravel are Cargan, Martinstown and Skerry (Newtowncrommelin).
In the Glens there is evidence of Neolithic communities. At Glencloy, Neolithic people had megalithic tombs in the uplands, while they lived in settlements near the coast at the end of the valley. The beaches were sources of flint, as evidenced by stone tool (lithic) production sites in the glens.
At Madman's Window (near Glenarm) Neolithic chipping floors and stone axe rough-outs were found along with Neolithic pottery, scrapers, flakes, and leaf-shaped arrowheads. At Bay Farm in Carnlough, a Neolithic site near marshland, archaeologists found occupation debris, charcoal, postholes, flint cores, axes and Neolithic pottery.
The Glens are mentioned in the song "Ireland's Call". DI Sean Duffy, in the Troubles mysteries by Adrian McKinty, is from the Glens.