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Coordinates: 55°07′59″N 6°39′40″W / 55.133°N 6.661°W / 55.133; -6.661

Coleraine
Irish: Cúil Raithin
Coleraine is located in Northern Ireland
Coleraine

 Coleraine shown within Northern Ireland
Population 24,042 (2001 Census)
Irish grid reference C844328
District Coleraine
County County Londonderry
Country Northern Ireland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town COLERAINE
Postcode district BT51, BT52
Dialling code 028
Police Northern Ireland
Fire Northern Ireland
Ambulance Northern Ireland
EU Parliament Northern Ireland
NI Assembly East Londonderry
List of places: UK • Northern Ireland • County Londonderry

Coleraine (from the Irish: Cúil Raithin meaning "ferny corner") is a large town in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland near to the mouth of the River Bann. It is 55 miles (88.5 km) northwest of Belfast and 30 miles (48.3 km) east of Derry, both of which are linked by major roads and railway connections. City of Derry Airport, 25 miles (40.2 km) to the west, Belfast International Airport, the main regional airport to the south and George Best Belfast City Airport to the south–east are all relatively accessible from Coleraine.

Contents

Description

Coleraine had a population of 24,042 people in the 2001 Census. Disposable income is well above the Northern Ireland average. The North Coast (Coleraine/Limavady) area has the highest property prices in Northern Ireland, higher indeed than those of affluent South Belfast (according to the University of Ulster Quarterly House Price Index report produced in partnership with Bank of Ireland and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive - March 2006). Championship golf courses, scenic countryside and a host of leisure facilities and attractions are all on the doorstep. It has an attractive town centre, a marina and the prestigious Riverside theatre. Coleraine, during the day is a busy town, however at night the town is relatively quiet, with much of the night life in the area located in the nearby seaside towns of Portrush and Portstewart.

Coleraine is situated at the lowest bridgeable point of the River Bann, where the river is a quarter of a mile wide. The town square is called 'The Diamond' and is the location of the Town Hall. St. Patrick's Church of Ireland is situated nearby. The University of Ulster campus was built in the 1960s but is one of the better pieces of architecture from that era and has brought a high quality theatrical space to the town in the form of the Riverside Theatre, where the quality of production often belies the small size of the town.

Coleraine is the major commercial centre in the North West of Northern Ireland and has been designated as a major growth area in the Northern Ireland Development Strategy. Although the population of the town is only 24,000, Coleraine has a large catchment area. The town also has the advantage of being near some of the most extraordinary landscape in the whole of Europe. In 2002, Coleraine won the Best Kept Town and Ulster in Bloom awards. In 2003, it was selected to represent Northern Ireland in the prestigious Britain in Bloom competition. It has its own local radio station: Q97.2FM

History

The centre of Coleraine

Coleraine has a long history of settlement. The Mesolithic site at Mount Sandel, which dates from approximately 5935 BC[1] is the earliest evidence of human settlement in Ireland.

The town was one of the two urban communities developed by the London Companies in County Londonderry (hence, Londonderry) in the Plantation of Ulster at the start of the 17th century. The slightly skewed street pattern of Coleraine's town centre is legacy of that early exercise in town planning, along with traces of the lines of the ramparts that provided the Plantation town with its defences. In 1637 the Surveyor General of Customs issued a report compiled from accounts of customs due from each port and their "subsidiary creeks". Of the Ulster ports on the list, Carrickfergus was first, followed by Bangor, Donaghadee, and Strangford. Carlingford and Coleraine each had £244 customs due and had equal ranking.[2]

With some industrialisation, the expansion of the river port, and the development of the railway, the town expanded significantly throughout the 19th century and into the early part of the 20th century. Coleraine steadily expanded after the Second World War. The population doubled due to major industrial development on extensive suburban sites, the decision to site the New University of Ulster (now known as the University of Ulster) in the town, the expansion of commerce and the development of sporting and recreational facilities. There has been a steady expansion of the urban area from the mid 20th century compact town of less than 1¼ square miles (2 km²), to the present much more dispersed town of about 7 square miles (11 km²). During the Northern Irish Troubles 13 people were killed in or near Coleraine, ten of them in two separate car bomb explosions.

Since 1980 growth has continued but at a slightly more modest pace. In the twenty years to 2001 the town’s population increased by 22% to approximately 24,000 but the rate of increase fell from 12% in the 1980s to 8% in the 1990s.[3]

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The Troubles

Governance

Coleraine has the headquarters of Coleraine Borough Council which are situated overlooking the River Bann.

Overlooking the River Bann

The Borough Council area together with the neighbouring district of Limavady, forms the East Londonderry constituency for elections to the Westminster Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly, despite some of the borough being in County Antrim.

The Unionist-controlled Coleraine Borough Council operates a rotation for position of Mayor/Deputy Mayor between the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), Democratic Unionist Party and the nationalist Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP).

Tourism

Coleraine is the main town of the world famous Causeway Coast, which attracts over two million visitors per year, spending in excess of £37 million [4]. The world famous Giant's Causeway is a twenty–five minute bus ride away. The distillery village of Bushmills is well-served by buses from the town and there is a narrow-gauge steam train running in the summer from Bushmills to the Giant's Causeway. Portrush, which is part of the Borough. The train journey takes approximately fifteen minutes from the town to the Causeway. Also north of Coleraine is the spectacularly scenic coastal town of Portstewart, with fine sandy beach and coastal walks.

North-west of Coleraine lies the small village of Castlerock, with a beach which is essentially a continuation of the beach at Portstewart, separated by the River Bann. Also nearby is the huge beach at Benone Strand and Mussenden Temple, built by Frederick Augustus Hervey, an 18th century Anglican bishop atop a precipitate cliff and overlooking County Donegal in one direction and Scotland in another. The National Trust managed Downhill forest was part of the Bishop's Palace, and although the Palace itself is now a ruin the gardens are a wonderful place full of strange hidden lakes and gloriously tended flower gardens.

Places of interest

The east side of the town is distinguished by Mountsandel Forest, which contains the impressive Mount Sandel fort, an ancient site which has been claimed as the oldest site of human settlement in Ireland. Here wooden houses dating from about 7000 BC were uncovered [5][6]. The fort can be accessed via Mountsandel forest, the closest entrance being the side near the Coleraine Courthouse. There is another fort about 2 miles south from Mountsandel one near a small village called the Loughan.

Notable people

  • Dave McElfatrick, co-writer and creator of acclaimed comic franchise Cyanide & Happiness is a native of the town.
  • Davy Boyle, the Caring Caretaker, caretaker of Coleraine Town Hall has for years been raising large amounts of money for charity. Every year he undertakes a 'sit out' in December[8] and he has received an MBE for his efforts.

Education

Coleraine is the primary campus of the University of Ulster

Coleraine has an outstanding variety of educational institutions at all levels. Most notably a major campus of The University of Ulster is located just outside the town. This was in fact the original campus of what was originally the New University of Ulster but which became the University of Ulster following its merger with the former Ulster Polytechnic at Jordanstown just north of Belfast in the early 1980s. It is a world-class centre of research for biomedical sciences.

The Causeway Institute is a College of Further and Higher Education based in Coleraine, with another campus in nearby Ballymoney.

The local schools include:

Transport

Sport

Coleraine itself contains Coleraine Rugby Club, established in 1921, Coleraine F.C., established in 1927 and currently in the IFA Premiership and CLG Eoghan Rua established in 1957. Coleraine is one of the hosting towns for the Milk Cup. Coleraine also makes part of the circuit for the North West 200, a series of motorcycle road races organised by the Coleraine and District Motor Club.

Within the local area, but not within Coleraine are a number of well known golf courses including Castlerock Golf Club, Royal Portrush Golf Club and Portstewart Golf Club.

2001 Census

Coleraine is classified as a Large Town (ie with population between 18,000 and 75,000 people).[10] On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 24,042 people living in Coleraine. Of these:

  • 24.6% were aged under 16 years and 16.4% were aged 60 and over
  • 47.3% of the population were male and 52.7% were female
  • 22.7% were from a Catholic background and 73.5% were from a Protestant background
  • 4.7% of people aged 16–74 were unemployed.

For more details see: NI Neighbourhood Information Service

Coleraine internationally

As with many Northern Irish towns, Coleraine is duplicated across the world - Coleraine in Minnesota, United States for example. In 1853, a surveyor named Lindsay Clarke was working on a township called Bryans Creek Crossing in Victoria, Australia. He renamed the town Coleraine.[11]

A wine from New Zealand, Te Mata Estate's Coleraine Cabernet/Merlot, is named after the town.[12]

The Zomba Action Project is a charity founded in 2003 under the guidance of Coleraine Borough Council to aid the municipality of Zomba in southern Malawi, which aims to help some of the citizens of that region to build a better life for themselves and their children. The region was chosen due to the historical connections between the Presbyterian and Catholic churches and Malawi, sustained by a number of specific local contacts. Donations have been used to fund computers, education, medical and other projects.[13]

A street in Montreal, Canada is named Coleraine in Pointe-Saint-Charles, which once was an Irish neighbourhood

See also

References

  1. ^ The Statesman's Yearbook 2007, Macmillan Publishing, page 678, edited by Barry Turner, ISBN 10-1403992762/ISBN 13-97814039092765
  2. ^ O'Sullivan, Aidan & Breen, Colin (2007). Maritime Ireland. An Archaeology of Coastal Communities. Stroud: Tempus. p. 212. ISBN 978-0-7524-2509-2. 
  3. ^ http://www.planningni.gov.uk/areaplans_policy/plans/Northern/draft_plan/Volume2/Part5/Coleraine/DevelopmentContext.htm Planning service Draft Northern Area Plan, Accessed 27 December 2006
  4. ^ "Investing in Coleraine". Capital of the Causeway Coast. http://www.coleraine.co.uk/htmlsite/investing.asp?step=2&id=4&pstring=4. Retrieved 2007-09-14. 
  5. ^ "Mount Sandel, Ireland". about.com. http://archaeology.about.com/od/mesolithicarchaic/a/mount_sandel.htm. Retrieved 2007-09-14. 
  6. ^ "Prehistory". Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust. http://www.ccght.org/environmental_management/cultural_heritage/prehistory/. Retrieved 2007-09-14. 
  7. ^ Cullen, Pamela V., "A Stranger in Blood: The Case Files on Dr John Bodkin Adams", London, Elliott & Thompson, 2006, ISBN 1-904027-19-9
  8. ^ Davy and his 'dreamcoat'!Coleraine Times website 2009-11-18 Retrieved 2009-12-04
  9. ^ "Coleraine station" (PDF). Railscot - Irish Railways. http://www.railscot.co.uk/Ireland/Irish_railways.pdf. Retrieved 2007-08-30. 
  10. ^ http://www.nisra.gov.uk/archive/urbanreport.pdf NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA). Accessed 27 December 2006
  11. ^ http://www.smh.com.au/news/Victoria/Coleraine/2005/02/17/1108500206358.html Accessed on 27 December 2006
  12. ^ "Te Mata - COLERAINE CABERNET/MERLOT". http://www.temata.co.nz/index.php?Cid=100092&Aid=60. Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  13. ^ "Zomba". Coleraine Borough Council Web Site. Coleraine Borough Council. http://www.colerainebc.gov.uk/zomba/show.php?s=1&id=4. Retrieved 2008-06-14. 

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Coleraine shopping street
Coleraine shopping street

Coleraine [1] (Cúil Raithin in Irish) is a town located in County Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

Get in

Coleraine is one of the few towns in Northern Ireland which retains good rail connections. It is the rail junction on the Belfast / Derry line for the branch line to the seaside resort of Portrush. Those in a hurry will wish to use the rail service from Great Victoria Street in Belfast, stopping at Botanic which is in the University area, and Central, and which takes just under 80 minutes to arrive in the modernised rail station in the heart of the town. Those with more time on their hands should use the Ulsterbus summer only Goldliner service from Laganside Bus Station along the world-famous Antrim Coast through Larne, the Glens of Antrim, and the Causeway Coast. The journey takes three hours but is one of the most beautiful journeys in Ireland or the UK. The town is well served by dual carriageway from Belfast on the A26 and the journey of just under 60 miles may be made in an hour.

Get around

Coleraine is a small town and everywhere is in easy walking distance of everywhere else. There is a suburban bus service but visitors are unlikely to need it. The branch rail line to Portrush is charming and has a halt at the University of Ulster. As elsewhere in Northern Ireland, there is a greater use of taxis than elsewhere in the islands.

See

Coleraine has the advantage of being near some of the most extraordinary landscape in Britain or Ireland. The world famous Giant's Causeway is a 25 minute bus ride away. Also the oldest whiskey distillery in the world is located in nearby Bushmills. This small distillery village is well-served by buses from the town and there is a fun little steam train running in the summer from Bushmills to the Causeway. Portrush is a 15 minute train journey north of the town and is Northern Ireland's principal seaside resort, with not one but two long strands of beach complete with sand dunes. Also north of Coleraine is the scenic coastal resort of Portstewart, with fantastic beach, long promenade and spectacular coastal walks. North-west of Coleraine lies Castlerock which can be accessed by train. There is a also a beach here but the most notable feature of the area is man made, namely the bizarre Mussenden Temple, built by an 18th century Anglican bishop (and slave trader) atop a precipitate cliff and overlooking Donegal in one direction and Scotland in another. The National Trust managed Downhill forest was part of the Bishop's Palace, and although the Palace itself is now a ruin the gardens are a wonderful place full of strange hidden lakes and gloriously tended flower gardens.

The setting of Coleraine, at the lowest bridgeable point of the River Bann, where the river is a quarter of a mile wide, is impressive. The east side of the town is distinguished by Mountsandel Forest, which contains the impressive Mountsandel fort, an ancient site which has been claimed as the oldest site of human settlement in Ireland. As in many other towns in the north of Ireland, the town square is called 'The Diamond' and the Town Hall and nearby Church of Ireland St Patrick's Church are both reasonably venerable and attractive. The University was built in the 1960's but is one of the better pieces of architecture from that era and has brought a high quality theatrical space to the town in the form of the Riverside Theatre, where the quality of production often belies the small size of the town. In recent years a number of private art galleries have opened in the town, and some of those are very interesting indeed. The town has an excellent Chinese restaurant situated in an old Boat House on the river side.

Do

Information on walks and local attractions is available from the Coleraine Tourist Information Centre (Railway Road, tel (028) 7034 4723, fax (028) 7035 1756). Coleraine is the market town for a large part of the northern part of Northern Ireland and is well-known locally for its shopping. In recent years there has been a tendency for bland shopping malls to predominate but enough characterful traders remain; there is, for example, an excellent second hand book shop, well-stocked in particular with books on local history and politics. There is an excellent modern leisure centre and swimming pool. Anderson Park has putting and tennis courts. The local Library is larger and better stocked than might be expected for a small town. The riverside walks stretch for miles. When travelling outside the town to the coast, visit Dunluce Castle just outside Portrush. It's a ruin but the clifftop setting and views to Rathlin Island and Scotland are magnificent. Then travel to Balintoy and visit the bizarre rock formations beside the Harbour, stopping to admire the eccentric 'Artist's House' on the way. Walk the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge suspended hundreds of feet above the Atlantic Ocean.

Learn

A major campus of the The University of Ulster is located just outside the town. [2] This was in fact the original campus of what was originally the New University of Ulster but which became the University of Ulster following its merger with the former Ulster Polytechnic at Jordanstown just north of Belfast in the early '80s. It is a world-class centre of research on biomedical sciences. The local secondary schools have always maintained a high reputation. Education in Northern Ireland is very good.

Buy

Travel by bus to Portstewart, 3 miles outside the town and the third point on the Coleraine - Portrush - Portstewart 'Triangle'. There buy two different types of thing. Firstly, buy ice cream at Morellis, an integral part of the childhood of many Northern Irish people. Secondly, browse the numerous private art galleries that have sprung up in recent years.

Eat

The Water Margin Chinese restaurant at Hanover Place down near the old Bridge is highly recommended. It is the only Water Margin outside Belfast. Otherwise the fare strongly relies on soda bread, although none the worse for that. If dining outside the town, there is much to be said for the pub food at the Harbour Bar in Portrush.

Drink

The Old Court House is a Wetherspoons pub at the foot of Castlerock Road situated, as the name suggests, in an ambitious conversion of the former Court House. There is a limited amount of outside seating for warm weather and the usual Wetherspoons pub food, which is decent, cheap, and unexciting. There is however a good range of beers and spirits.

Sleep

Coleraine is poorly served for accommodation, no doubt because most visitors to the region make straight for the coast. A high quality if rather unremarkable hotel is available at the Lodge Hotel. It is prohibitively expensive for the younger traveller. Younger travellers are advised to make for the Downhill hostel at Castlerock, handily situated near Castlerock railway station on the Coleraine / Derry line and in a dramatic setting at the foot of the cliffs which Mussenden Temple sits atop. Alternatively, although significantly further out of town, if you have your own car stay at the Sheep Island View Hostel at Balintoy, a friendly, clean and comfortable private hostel situated near the Rope Bridge.

Get out

The most exciting opportunity, which only has come to pass in recent years, is to take the 17 mile road journey from Coleraine to Magilligan point, a hauntingly beautiful spit of land that yearns out to Donegal (the most northerly county in Ireland and therefore naturally enough part of 'southern' Ireland) and from there to take the car ferry across a couple of hundred yards to Greencastle in Donegal. From there some of the most remote and dramatic landscape in Europe is within easy reach. Magilligan's beauty is marred for many by the presence of the enormous ugly jail and the sadness that it represents. It is a poignant place. Those traveling by bicycle will wish to cycle along the 'Murder Hole Road' to Limavady, or from that town through Dungiven right into the Sperrins.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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Simple English

Coleraine
Irish - Cúil Raithin

Population 24,042 (2001 Census)
Irish grid reference C844328
District Coleraine Borough
County County Londonderry
Constituent country Northern Ireland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town COLERAINE
Postcode district BT51, BT52
Dialling code 028
Police Northern Ireland
Fire Northern Ireland
Ambulance Northern Ireland
UK Parliament East Londonderry
European Parliament Northern Ireland
List of places: UKNorthern Ireland • County Londonderry
Coordinates: 55°07′59″N 6°39′40″W / 55.133°N 6.661°W / 55.133; -6.661

Coleraine (from the Irish: Cúil Raithin meaning "Ferny corner") is a very large town in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland near to the mouth of the River Bann. It is 55 miles (88.5 km) northwest of Belfast and 30 miles (48.3 km) east of Derry City, both of which are linked by major roads and railway connections. George Best Belfast City Airport to the south–east, City of Derry Airport, 25 miles (40.2 km) to the west, and the main regional airport, Belfast International Airport, to the south are all relatively accessible from Coleraine.

Notable people

References

  1. Cullen, Pamela V., "A Stranger in Blood: The Case Files on Dr John Bodkin Adams", London, Elliott & Thompson, 2006, ISBN 1-904027-19-9

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