St Patrick's Church and the round tower
|Population||1,122 (2013 Estimate)|
|Irish grid reference|
|• Belfast||49 mi (79 km)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Dialling code||028, +44 28|
Armoy (from Irish : Oirthear Maí) is a village and civil parish in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It is 5.5 miles (9 km) southwest of Ballycastle and 8 miles (13 km) northeast of Ballymoney. According to an estimate in 2013 by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency it had a population of 1,122.
The village is centred on the River Bush and at the foot of two of the nine Glens of Antrim; Glenshesk and Glentaisie. The Armoy parish also includes part of Knocklayd mountain which lies to the northeast of the village.
It is one of the bigger villages in the area and has two primary schools, shops, a post office, public houses and other community facilities. The village was dominated by public sector housing for many years, but in the late 1980s and early 1990s, new housing developments began around the village.
The village is close to a number of scenic locations including the Dark Hedges, which in recent years has become a popular tourist attraction as the infamous "King's Road" in the HBO series Game of Thrones.
A monastic settlement which was founded by Saint Patrick in the 5th Century formerly sat to the northeast of the present day village, in the area of what is now St. Patrick's Parish Church. The site was excavated in recent years and archaeologists uncovered artifacts which date the location to the 6th century. The actual centre of the monastic settlement has yet to be determined, though many scholars believe it may be higher up the slope behind the graveyard on unexcavated ground.
The monastic settlement is said to be built on land given to Patrick by Fergus Mor MacEarca who would succeed his father to become the first Christian king in Ireland. Saint Olcán was a follower of Patrick who came from the area, and was baptised at Dunseverick by Patrick and later became Bishop of Armoy. One of the local primary schools still carries his name.
It is suggested that the original site of the village was built around the monastery and the round tower. However the village moved to its present-day location on the banks of the River Bush to accommodate the local mills which demanded large volumes of water. Therefore, a location by the riverbank was much more suitable.
The area surrounding the present day church is of special significance as it has several oval shaped tunnels which have been dug under the rock all the way down to a cave at the Lagge crossroads below the church. This tunnel from the tower to the crossroads was used as an escape route as it leads down to the River Bush. The word Lagge is of significance as it translates as hollow and legend has it that a giant lifted an ‘L’- shaped section of the ground at Lagge Cross and threw it into the sea creating Rathlin Island.
In recent years Armoy has played host to what has become one of the stand out events in the Irish Road Racing calendar, The Armoy Road Race, also known as "The Race of Legends".
The event was first ran in 2009 and usually takes place at the end of July/start of August every year. The track itself is 3 mile long circuit made up of public roads and runs through a part of the village. The grid for the races is set up in a grand prix style with up to 27 riders starting each race. The start/finish line is located along the A44 Hillside Road just to the north of the village on the main road to Ballycastle.
The commercial and community life of the village has been greatly enhanced by a community regeneration project at the junction of Main Street and Drones Road. The Tilley Molloy Project, implemented under the International Fund for Ireland's Community Regeneration and Improvement Special Programme (CRISP), was undertaken by Armoy Community Development Association and completed in 2000. This redevelopment of a key derelict site at the entrance to the village provided four shop units, four apartments, community care facilities and public toilets. The physical environment of the village has been further enhanced by a new Riverside Park developed by the District Council, and an environmental improvement scheme on Main Street carried out as part of the CRISP project.
Armoy is situated in the picturesque Glens of Antrim, an area renowned for its valleys shaped by glaciers during the ice age.The Armoy Moraine is located on the outskirts of the village in an area known locally as The Lagge, where the Round Tower and St. Patrick's Church now sit. Deposited here as a result of the last glacial event in Ulster it deflected the River Bush to west, blocking its previous path northwards to the sea at Ballycastle. Today the River Bush now flows west through the village, towards Stranocum and eventually reaches the sea through Bushmills and Portballintrae.
Armoy railway station opened on 18 October 1880 and was shut on 3 July 1950.It was on the Ballycastle Railway, a narrow gauge railway which ran for 17 miles linking Ballycastle to Ballymoney, on the Belfast and Northern Counties Railway (BNCR), later Northern Counties Committee (NCC), main line to Londonderry.
On 15 April 1978 RUC officer John Moore was killed by an IRA booby trap bomb attached to his car.
County Antrim is one of six counties that form Northern Ireland. Adjoined to the north-east shore of Lough Neagh, the county covers an area of 3,046 square kilometres (1,176 sq mi) and has a population of about 618,000. County Antrim has a population density of 203 people per square kilometre or 526 people per square mile. It is also one of the thirty-two traditional counties of Ireland, as well as part of the historic province of Ulster.
Ballycastle is a small seaside town in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It is on the north-easternmost coastal tip of Ireland, in the Antrim Coast and Glens Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The harbour hosts the ferry to Rathlin Island, which can be seen from the coast. The Ould Lammas Fair is held each year in Ballycastle on the last Monday and Tuesday of August. Ballycastle is the home of the Corrymeela Community.
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Ballymoney is a small town and civil parish in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It is within the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council area. The civil parish of Ballymoney is situated in the historic baronies of Dunluce Upper and Kilconway in County Antrim, and the barony of North East Liberties of Coleraine in County Londonderry. It had a population of 10,402 people in the 2011 Census.
Stranocum is a small village and townland in north County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The villages of Dervock and Armoy are nearby and the town of Ballymoney is about 5 miles (8 km) away. It had a population of 297 people in the 2011 Census.
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Ballyvoy is a small village and townland in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It is on the main A2 coast road 5 km east of Ballycastle and 17 km north west of Cushendall. In the 2001 Census it had a population of 72 people. It lies within the Antrim Coast and Glens Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is part of Causeway Coast and Glens District Council.
Olcán is the name of an early Irish saint of the Dál Riata, disciple of St Patrick, founder and bishop of the monastery in Armoy in northeast County Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Ballycastle Railway was a 3 ft narrow gauge railway line which ran from Ballycastle to Ballymoney, both in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Capecastle or Cape Castle is a small village and townland in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, between Armoy and Ballycastle. It is part of the Causeway Coast and Glens district.
Armoy was a station which served Armoy in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It was located on the Ballycastle Railway, a narrow gauge railway line which ran from Ballycastle to Ballymoney, entirely in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The track gauge was 3 ft.
Causeway Coast and Glens is a local government district covering most of the northern part of Northern Ireland. It was created on 1 April 2015 by merging the Borough of Ballymoney, the Borough of Coleraine, the Borough of Limavady and the District of Moyle. The local authority is Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.
Cary is a historic barony in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. To its north is the north-Antrim coast, and it is bordered by three other baronies: Dunluce Lower to the west; Dunluce Upper to the south; and Glenarm Lower to the south-east. The world-famous Giant's Causeway is situated on the north coast of Cary. Dunineny Castle lies in the civil parish of Ramoan within this barony.
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