Irish: An Mhainistir Fhionn[1]
A row of houses on the Shore Road, Whiteabbey
A row of houses on the Shore Road, Whiteabbey
Whiteabbey is located in Northern Ireland
Whiteabbey shown within Northern Ireland
Whiteabbey is located in the United Kingdom
Whiteabbey (the United Kingdom)
Coordinates: 54°40′27″N 5°53′58″W / 54.674129°N 5.899315°W / 54.674129; -5.899315
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
CountryNorthern Ireland
BaronyBelfast Lower
Civil parishCarnmoney
 • CouncilAntrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council
 • Total370.79 acres (150.05 ha)

Whiteabbey (Irish: An Mhainistir Fhionn[1]) is a townland (of 406 acres) in Newtownabbey, north of Belfast in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.[2]

The original village of Whiteabbey stood at the foot of the Three Mile Water, on the shore of Belfast Lough. In 1958, it and six other villages were joined to form the new district of Newtownabbey. Whiteabbey is part of the civil parish of Carnmoney and the historic barony of Belfast Lower.[1][2]


The ruins of the White Abbey, which gave the village its name

Whiteabbey took its name from the medieval abbey of Druim La Croix, which stood near present-day Whiteabbey Hospital. The abbey was a daughter house of Dryburgh Abbey in Scotland and belonged to the Premonstratensian Order, who were popularly known as the White Canons. Parts of the ruined chapter house remained visible until the 20th century, but the last traces of the building were removed in 1926.[3]

In the first half of the 19th century, the village of Whiteabbey was home to a large bleach works, and was an important landing site for coal shipments bound for Belfast. Remnants of the old pier can still be seen in Belfast Lough. The importance of Whiteabbey declined after the channel into Belfast Harbour was widened and straightened, allowing larger ships to reach the city directly.

Abbeylands, a Victorian house in Whiteabbey belonging to Sir Hugh McCalmont, was used as a training ground by the Ulster Volunteers during the Home Rule Crisis. In 1914, the building was torched by Suffragettes in response to Edward Carson's opposition to votes for women, causing £20,000 of damage.[4][5]

In 1952, one of Northern Ireland's most controversial murders took place in Whiteabbey when Patricia Curran, the 19-year-old daughter of prominent judge and politician Sir Lancelot Curran, was found stabbed near her home, Glen House.[6]

Whiteabbey, together with Whitewell, Whitehouse, Jordanstown, Monkstown, Carnmoney, and Glengormley, were the seven villages that formed Newtownabbey when it gained district council status on 1 April 1958.


The Glen, which follows the Three Mile Water up to the Bleach Green railway viaducts, is a local walking route.

Whiteabbey is close to the main shopping area of Newtownabbey, including the Abbey Centre.[7] Whiteabbey Hospital is also located near the village.


Local churches


The area is served by Whiteabbey railway station on the Belfast to Larne line. The station opened in April 1848. Although it lies outside Belfast, the area is also served by the Translink Metro service.[12]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "An Mhainistir Fhionn/Whiteabbey". Placenames Database of Ireland. Retrieved 19 September 2022.
  2. ^ a b "White Abbey". IreAtlas Townlands Database. Retrieved 12 April 2015.
  3. ^ "Whiteabbey". The Northern Ireland Place-Names Project.
  4. ^ "The Women's Suffrage Movement" (PDF). NI Assembly Education. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
  5. ^ "A role in Home Rule". Irish Times. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
  6. ^ "Patricia Curran murder case".
  7. ^ Abbey Centre
  8. ^ "Northern Regional College". Nrc.ac.uk. Retrieved 16 August 2022.
  9. ^ "Home - Ulster University". Ulster.ac.uk. Retrieved 16 August 2022.
  10. ^ "Whiteabbey Primary School, Newtownabbey, Belfast, Antrim, Northern Ireland, NI". Whiteabbeyps.co.uk. Retrieved 16 August 2022.
  11. ^ "Whiteabbey Presbyterian". Archived from the original on 14 September 2009. Retrieved 19 February 2010.
  12. ^ "Translink Metro 2" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 November 2011. Retrieved 19 September 2011.