Facts, places and people from one of the most traditional counties in Ireland
Irish Name: Aontroim: "solitary dwelling"
County Town: Belfast
Nickname: The Glensmen, The Orchard County
GAA Colors: White and Saffron
Famous People with Antrim roots: Bobby Sands, CS Lewis, Cathal Daly, Eoin Mac Neill, George Best; US Presidents Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnson, Chester Alan Arthur, Grover Cleveland, William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt.
County Antrim is one of the traditional counties of Ireland. It is located within the province of Ulster and is part of Northern Ireland. It was named after the town of Antrim.
Covering an area of 2,844 km², it has a population of approximately 616,000, most of them in and around the Belfast area. The Glens of Antrim offer isolated rugged landscapes, the Giant's Causeway is a unique landscape and a UNESCO World Heritage site, Bushmills produces legendary whiskey, and Portrush is a popular seaside resort and night-life area. The majority of the capital city of Northern Ireland, Belfast, is also in County Antrim, with the remainder being in County Down.
A large portion of Antrim is hilly, especially in the east, where the highest elevations are attained. The range runs north and south, and, following this direction the highest points are Knocklayd (1,695 ft), Slieveanorra (1,676 ft), Trostan (1,817 ft), Slemish (1,457 ft) and Divis (1,567 ft).
The inland slope is gradual, but on the northern shore the range terminates in abrupt and almost perpendicular declivities, and here, consequently, some of the finest coast scenery in the world is found, widely differing, with its unbroken lines of cliffs, from the indented coast-line of the west.
The most remarkable cliffs are those formed of perpendicular basaltic columns, extending for many miles, and most strikingly displayed in Fair Head and the celebrated Giant's Causeway. From the eastern coast the hills rise instantly but less abruptly, and the indentations are wider and deeper.
On both coasts there are several resort towns, including Portrush (with well-known golf links), Portballintrae and Ballycastle; on the east Cushendun, Cushendall and Waterfoot on Red Bay, Carnlough and Glenarm, Larne on the Sea of Moyle, and Whitehead on Belfast Lough. All are somewhat exposed to the easterly winds prevalent in spring.
The only island of size is Rathlin Island, off Ballycastle, 6½ miles in length by 1½ in breadth, 7 miles from the coast, and of similar basaltic and limestone formation to that of the mainland. It is partially arable, and supports a small population. Islandmagee is in fact a peninsula separating Larne Lough from the North Channel.
The valleys of the Bann and Lagan, with the intervening shores of Lough Neagh, form the fertile lowlands. These two rivers, both rising in County Down, are the only ones of importance. The latter flows to Belfast Lough, the former drains Lough Neagh, which is fed by a number of smaller streams.
The fisheries of the Bann and of Lough Neagh (especially for salmon and eels) are of value both commercially and to sportsmen, the small town of Toome, at the outflow of the river, being the centre. Immediately below this point lies Lough Beg, the "Small Lake," about fifteen feet lower than Lough Neagh.
Common Surnames in Antrim: Smith, Johnston, Stewart, Wilson, Thompson, O'Neill, Campbell, Moore, Bell, Robinson, Millar, Brown, Boyd, Scott and Graham