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United Kingdom Northern Ireland adm location map.svg
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Bushmills shown within Northern Ireland
Population 1,319 (2001 Census)
  • Causeway Coast and Glens
Country Northern Ireland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district BT57
Dialling code 028
EU Parliament Northern Ireland
UK Parliament
NI Assembly
List of places
Northern Ireland
55°12′13″N6°31′24″W / 55.2037°N 6.5232°W / 55.2037; -6.5232 Coordinates: 55°12′13″N6°31′24″W / 55.2037°N 6.5232°W / 55.2037; -6.5232

Bushmills is a village on the north coast of County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Bushmills had 1,319 inhabitants in the 2001 Census. It is located 60 miles (97 km) from Belfast, 11 miles (18 km) from Ballycastle and 9 miles (14 km) from Coleraine. The village owes its name to the River Bush and to a large watermill that was built there in the early 17th century. [2]

Village Small clustered human settlement smaller than a town

A village is a clustered human settlement or community, larger than a hamlet but smaller than a town, with a population ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand. Though villages are often located in rural areas, the term urban village is also applied to certain urban neighborhoods. Villages are normally permanent, with fixed dwellings; however, transient villages can occur. Further, the dwellings of a village are fairly close to one another, not scattered broadly over the landscape, as a dispersed settlement.

County Antrim Place in Antrim, Northern Ireland

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.

Northern Ireland Part of the United Kingdom lying in the north-east of the island of Ireland, created 1921

Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom in the north-east of the island of Ireland, variously described as a country, province or region. Northern Ireland shares a border to the south and west with the Republic of Ireland. In 2011, its population was 1,810,863, constituting about 30% of the island's total population and about 3% of the UK's population. Established by the Northern Ireland Act 1998 as part of the Good Friday Agreement, the Northern Ireland Assembly holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters, while other areas are reserved for the British government. Northern Ireland co-operates with the Republic of Ireland in some areas, and the Agreement granted the Republic the ability to "put forward views and proposals" with "determined efforts to resolve disagreements between the two governments".



Bushmills is classified as a village by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA). [3] On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 1,319 people living in Bushmills. [4] Of these:

Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency

The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency is an executive agency within the Department of Finance in Northern Ireland. The organisation is responsible for the collection and publication of statistics related to the economy, population and society of Northern Ireland. It is responsible for conducting the decennial census, with the last Census in Northern Ireland held on 27 March 2011, and incorporates the General Register Office (GRO) for Northern Ireland which is responsible for the registration of births, marriages, civil partnerships and deaths.

2011 Census

On Census day in 2011:

Places of interest

The village is best known as the location of the Old Bushmills Distillery. The distillery's products include the Bushmills Original and Black Bush blends, as well as the 10-, 12-, 16-, and 21-year-old Bushmills Single Malts. To celebrate the 400th anniversary of distilling starting in the area the distillery released a unique whiskey called the "1608" which included crystal malt. The distillery draws its water, not from the River Bush itself, but from a tributary known as Saint Columbs Rill.

Old Bushmills Distillery distillery in Northern Ireland

The Old Bushmills Distillery is a distillery in Bushmills, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. As of December 2014, it was in the process of transitioning from ownership by Diageo plc to Jose Cuervo. All of the whiskey bottled under the Bushmills whiskey brand is produced at the Bushmills Distillery and uses water drawn from Saint Columb's Rill, which is a tributary of the River Bush. The distillery is a popular tourist attraction, with around 120,000 visitors per year.

Saint Columb's Rill is a tributary of the much more famous River Bush in Northern Ireland. This 'rill' or rivulet is really a small stream that rises in bog land approximately five miles southeast of the village of Bushmills in County Antrim. The rill is named after the patron saint of Derry.

The Giant's Causeway, which attracts over two million visitors per year, is located 2 miles (3.2 km) north of the town.

Giants Causeway rock formation on the Antrim coast of Northern Ireland

The Giant's Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic fissure eruption. It is located in County Antrim on the north coast of Northern Ireland, about three miles (4.8 km) northeast of the town of Bushmills.


Bushmills railway station opened on 28 January 1883, but finally closed on 1 October 1949. [5] There is a narrow-gauge steam train running in the summer from Bushmills to the Giant's Causeway.

Bushmills Station with a steam locomotive on the 3 ft gauge track. Bushmills Station - geograph.org.uk - 358153.jpg
Bushmills Station with a steam locomotive on the 3 ft gauge track.

The Belfast-Derry railway line run by Northern Ireland Railways connects to Coleraine and along the branch line to Portrush. Local Ulsterbus provides connections to the railway stations. There is a scenic walk of 7 miles from Portrush alongside Dunluce Castle and the Giant's Causeway and Bushmills Railway.

Twin towns

Bushmills is twinned with Louisville, Kentucky, in the United States. [6]


Schools in the area include Dunluce School and Bushmills Primary School.


There are a few churches in the village:


Bushmills was the location of one of the five Consol Navigation System transmitter stations in the years following the Second World War. [7]

Related Research Articles

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Coleraine town and civil parish in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland

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Portrush seaside resort town in Northern Ireland

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Moyle District Council administrative territorial entity of the United Kingdom

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Giants Causeway and Bushmills Railway

The Giant's Causeway and Bushmills Railway (GC&BR) is a 3 ft narrow gauge heritage railway operating between the Giant's Causeway and Bushmills on the coast of County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The line is two miles (3.2 km) long.

Giants Causeway Tramway

The Giant's Causeway Tramway, operated by the Giant's Causeway, Portrush and Bush Valley Railway & Tramway Company Ltd, was a pioneering 3 ft narrow gauge electric railway operating between Portrush and the Giant's Causeway on the coast of County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The line, 9 14 miles (14.9 km) long, was hailed at its opening as "the first long electric tramway in the world". The Giant's Causeway and Bushmills Railway today operates diesel and steam tourist trains over part of the Tramway’s former course.

Ballykelly, County Londonderry village in County Londonderry, United Kingdom

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Castlerock seaside village in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland

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Dunluce Castle on north Irish coast

Dunluce Castle is a now-ruined medieval castle in Northern Ireland. It is located on the edge of a basalt outcropping in County Antrim, and is accessible via a bridge connecting it to the mainland. The castle is surrounded by extremely steep drops on either side, which may have been an important factor to the early Christians and Vikings who were drawn to this place where an early Irish fort once stood.

Articlave village in United Kingdom

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Macosquin village in United Kingdom

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Portballintrae small seaside village in County Antrim, Northern Ireland

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Portrush railway station

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Ulster University at Coleraine campus of the University of Ulster

The Ulster University at Coleraine is a campus of Ulster University in Coleraine, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It houses the administrative headquarters of the university and is the most traditional in outlook, with a focus on science and the humanities. It was founded in 1968 as the New University of Ulster and was later known as the University of Ulster at Coleraine until October 2014 when it was rebranded with the rest of the university to be known as Ulster University at Coleraine. The Coleraine campus is situated on the banks of the River Bann in Coleraine with views to the Causeway Coast and the hills of County Donegal to the West.

Causeway Coast and Glens Local government district in Northern Ireland

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Dunluce Lower in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

Dunluce Lower is a barony in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. To its north runs the north-Antrim coast, and it is bordered by three other baronies: Dunluce Upper to the south, Cary to the east, and the North East Liberties of Coleraine to the west. The River Bush flows through this barony. Dunluce Lower also formed the northern part of the medieval territory known as the Route.


  1. Dunluce Castle US NI Department of the Environment. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  2. 1 2 Placenames Database of Ireland
  3. NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (ie with a population between 1,000 and 2,250 people.)
  4. NI Neighbourhood Information Service
  5. "Bushmills station" (PDF). Railscot - Irish Railways. Retrieved 2007-09-13.
  6. "Sister Cities Online Directory: UK, Europe Archived April 15, 2008, at the Wayback Machine .." Sister Cities International. Retrieved on March 26, 2007.
  7. "Dolphin Mk 3 Technical Manual" (PDF). Retrieved 21 May 2013.