|Population||13,823 (2011 Census)|
|Irish grid reference|
|• Belfast||88 miles (142 km)|
|• Dublin||89 mi (143 km)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||BT74, BT92-94|
Enniskillen ( // EN-iss-KIL-ən, from Irish : Inis Ceithleann [ˈɪnʲɪʃ ˈcɛlʲən̪ˠ] , 'Ceithlenn's island') is a town and civil parish in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. It is almost exactly in the centre of the county, between the Upper and Lower sections of Lough Erne. It had a population of 13,823 at the 2011 Census. It was the seat of local government for the former Fermanagh District Council, and is the county town of Fermanagh as well as its largest town. Enniskillen was named as one of the best places to live in the UK in 2019 by the Times of London; the area comprising Hollyhill, Chanterhill Road and Cooper Crescent was described as 'the best address' for having the 'finest properties' and due to its close proximity to the centre of town.
The town's name comes from the Irish : Inis Ceithleann. This refers to Cethlenn, a figure in Irish mythology who may have been a goddess. Local legend has it that Cethlenn was wounded in battle by an arrow and attempted to swim across the River Erne, which surrounds the island, but she never reached the other side, so the island was named in reference to her. It has been anglicised many ways over the centuries – Iniskellen, Iniskellin, Iniskillin, Iniskillen, Inishkellen, Inishkellin, Inishkillin, Inishkillen and so on.
The town's oldest building is Enniskillen Castle, built by Hugh (Maguire) the Hospitable who died in 1428.An earthwork, the Skonce on the shore of Lough Erne, may be the remains of an earlier motte. The castle was the stronghold of the junior branch of the Maguires. The first watergate was built around 1580 by Cú Chonnacht Maguire, though subsequent lowering of the level of the lough has left it without water. The strategic position of the castle made its capture important for the English in 1593, to support their plans for the control of Ulster. The castle was besieged three times in 1594–95. The English, led by a Captain Dowdall, captured it in February 1594. Maguire then laid siege to it, and defeated a relieving force at the Battle of the Ford of the Biscuits at Drumane Bridge on the Arney River. Although the defenders were relieved, Maguire gained possession of the castle from 1595 to 1598 and it was not finally captured by the English until 1607.
This was part of a wider campaign to bring the province of Ulster under English control; the final capture of Enniskillen Castle in 1607 was followed by the Plantation of Ulster, during which the lands of the native Irish were seized and handed over to planters loyal to the English Crown. The Maguires were supplanted by William Cole, originally from Devon, who was appointed by James I to build an English settlement there.
Captain Cole was installed as Constable and strengthened the castle wall and built a "fair house" on the old foundation as the centre point of the county town. The first Protestant parish church was erected on the hilltop in 1627. The Royal Free School of Fermanagh was moved onto the island in 1643. The first bridges were drawbridges; permanent bridges were not installed before 1688.
By 1689 the town had grown significantly. During the conflict which resulted from the ousting of King James II by his Protestant rival, William III, Enniskillen and Derry were the focus of Williamite resistance in Ireland, including the nearby Battle of Newtownbutler.
Enniskillen and Derry were the two garrisons in Ulster that were not wholly loyal to James II, and it was the last town to fall before the siege of Derry. As a direct result of this conflict, Enniskillen developed not only as a market town but also as a garrison, which became home to two regiments.
The current site of Fermanagh College (now part of the South West College) was the former Enniskillen Gaol. Many people were tried and hanged in the square during the times of public execution. Part of the old Gaol is still used by the college. Enniskillen Town Hall was designed by William Scott and completed in 1901.
Enniskillen is the site of the foundation of two British Army regiments:
The town's name (with the archaic spelling) continues to form part of the title to The Royal Irish Regiment (27th (Inniskilling) 83rd and 87th and Ulster Defence Regiment). Enniskillen Castle features on the cap badge of both regiments.
Enniskillen was the site of several events during The Troubles, the most notable being the Remembrance Day bombing in which 11 people were killed. Bill Clinton opened the Clinton centre in 2002 on the site of the bombing. The Provisional Irish Republican Army claimed responsibility for the attack.
In 2019, at least nine men reported to the police and the press and said in public forums that, in the 1980s and 90s, when they were children, they were repeatedly molested and raped by a paedophile ring of at least 20 men in the Enniskillen area.Investigations are continuing.
On Census day (27 March 2011) there were 13,823 people living in Enniskillen (5,733 households), accounting for 0.76% of the NI totaland representing an increase of 1.6% on the Census 2001 population of 13,599. Of these:
Enniskillen has a maritime climate with a narrow range of temperatures and rainfall. The nearest official Met Office weather station for which online records are available is at Lough Navar Forest, 8+1⁄2 mi (14 km) northwest of Enniskillen. Data has also more recently been collected from Enniskillen/St Angelo Airport, under 4 mi (6 km) north of the town centre, which should in time give a more accurate representation of the climate of the Enniskillen area.about
The absolute maximum temperature is 29.8 °C (85.6 °F), recorded during July 2006. In an 'average' year, the warmest day is 25.5 °C (77.9 °F) and only 2.4 days a year should rise to 25.1 °C (77.2 °F) or above. The respective absolute maximum for St Angelo is 29.4 °C (84.9 °F)
The absolute minimum temperature is −12.9 °C (8.8 °F), recorded during January 1984. In an 'average' year, the coldest night should fall to −8.2 °C (17.2 °F). Lough Navar is a frosty location, with some 76 air frosts recorded in a typical year. It is likely that Enniskillen town centre is significantly less frosty than this. The absolute minimum at St Angelo is −14.5 °C (5.9 °F), reported during the record cold month of December 2010.
The warmest month on record at St Angelo was August 1995 with a mean temperature of 18.8 °C (65.8 °F) (mean maximum 23.3 °C (73.9 °F), mean minimum 12.9 °C (55.2 °F), while the coldest month was December 2010, with a mean temperature of −1.8 °C (28.8 °F) (mean maximum 2.9 °C (37.2 °F), mean minimum −5.9 °C (21.4 °F).
Rainfall is high, averaging over 1500 mm. 212 days of the year report at least 1 mm of precipitation, ranging from 15 days during April, May and June, to 20 days in October, November, December, January and March.
The Köppen climate classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb" (Marine West Coast Climate/Oceanic climate).
|Climate data for Lough Navar Forest 126m asl 1971–2000, extremes 1960– (Weather station 8.5 miles (14 km) North West of Enniskillen)|
|Record high °C (°F)||13.0|
|Average high °C (°F)||6.4|
|Average low °C (°F)||0.3|
|Record low °C (°F)||−12.9|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||163.38|
|Source 1: YR.NO|
|Source 2: Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute|
The town has two association football teams called Enniskillen Rangers and Enniskillen Town United F.C.
Enniskillen Rangers are the current holders of the Irish Junior Cup, defeating Hill Street 5–1 on Monday, 1 May 2017. The match was played at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast.They play their home games at the Ball Range.
Enniskillen Rangers have several notable former players including Sandy Fulton and Jim Cleary.
Enniskillen Town United F.C. currently play in the Fermanagh & Western 1st Division. Their most notable former player is Michael McGovern who currently plays for Norwich City F.C. At the moment, Enniskillen Town play their home games at The Lakeland Forum playing fields in Enniskillen.
Enniskillen Rugby Football Club was founded in 1925 and plays their home games at Mullaghmeen. The club currently fields 4 senior men's teams, a senior ladies teams, a range of male and female youth teams, a vibrant mini section and a disability tag team called The Enniskillen Elks. Enniskillen XV won the Ulster Towns Cup in the 2018/19 season, defeating Ballyclare 19–0. The team currently play in Kukri Ulster Rugby Championship Division 1.
The rugby club was formed on 28 August 1925, when 37 attended a meeting in Enniskillen Town Hall. The name Enniskillen Rugby Club was agreed and the club adopted the rules of Dublin University. The first match was played on 30 September 1925 against Ballyshannon in County Donegal.
Enniskillen Gaels are a Gaelic Athletic Association club founded in 1927. They play their home games at Brewster Park, Enniskillen.
Enniskillen was the venue of the 39th G8 summit which was held on 17 and 18 June 2013. It was held at the Lough Erne Resort, a five-star hotel and golf resort on the shore of Lough Erne. The gathering was the biggest international diplomatic gathering ever held in Northern Ireland. Among the G8 leaders who attended were British Prime Minister David Cameron, United States President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In the past, Enniskillen has hosted an array of international events, most notably stages of the World Waterski World Cup, annually from 2005 to 2007 at the Broadmeadow.Despite its success, Enniskillen was not chosen as a World Cup Stop for 2008.
In January 2009, Enniskillen hosted the ceremonial start of Rally Ireland 2009, the first stage of the WRC FIA World Rally Championship 2009 Calendar.
Enniskillen has hosted the Happy Days arts festival since 2012, which celebrates "the work and influence of Nobel Prize-winning writer Samuel Beckett" and is the "first annual, international, multi-arts festival to be held in Northern Ireland since the launch of the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s in 1962".
There are numerous schools and colleges in and around the Enniskillen area, from primary level to secondary level, including some further education colleges such as the technical college.
Railway lines from Enniskillen railway station linked the town with Derry from 1854, Dundalk from 1861, Bundoran from 1868 and Sligo from 1882.By 1883 the Great Northern Railway (Ireland) absorbed all the lines except the Sligo, Leitrim and Northern Counties Railway, which remained independent throughout its existence. In October 1957 the Government of Northern Ireland closed the GNR line, which made it impossible for the SL&NCR continue and forced it also to close.
The nearest railway station to Enniskillen is Sligo station which is served by trains to Dublin Connolly and is operated by Iarnród Éireann. The Dublin-Sligo railway line has a two-hourly service run by Iarnród Éireann Official site – Timetables, bookings and operations The connecting bus from Sligo via Manorhamilton to Enniskillen is route 66 operated by Bus Éireann.
Bus service to Enniskillen is provided by both Ulsterbus and Bus Éireann, from Enniskillen bus station. Number 261, 261b and X261 Goldline buses run from Belfast to Enniskillen. Bus Éireann Route 30 runs from Donegal to Dublin Airport/Dublin City via Enniskillen.
Enniskillen has a World War II-era airport, Enniskillen/St Angelo Airport. The airport had scheduled flights in the past but now serves mainly private traffic.
The town is on the main A4/N16 route linking Belfast and Sligo, and on the main Dublin to Ballyshannon route, the N3/A46/A509.
Enniskillen was originally twinned with Brackwede – a Bielefeld suburb – where the Inniskilling Dragoon Guards were stationed in the late 1950s when the twinning was initiated; however, this suburb was incorporated into Stadt Bielefeld in 1973, the city with which Enniskillen is now officially twinned.
Though the twinning arrangements are still operational, at a meeting of the Regeneration and Community Committee, in February 2018, it was agreed that the twinning arrangements would be formally terminated at the end of the Council term in June 2018. However, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council still have plans to send representatives to Brackwede for the 60th anniversary celebrations of the twinning. Therefore, the future of the twinning is now somewhat unclear.
County Fermanagh is one of the thirty-two counties of Ireland, one of the six counties of Northern Ireland and one of the nine counties of Ulster. The county covers an area of 1,691 km2 and has a population of 61,805 as of 2011. Enniskillen is the county town and largest in both size and population.
Lisnaskea is the second-biggest settlement in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. It is situated mainly in the townland of Lisoneill, with some areas in the townland of Castle Balfour Demesne, both in the civil parish of Aghalurcher and the historic barony of Magherastephana. It had a population of 2,956 people at the 2011 Census.
County Cavan is a county in Ireland. It is in the province of Ulster and is part of the Border Region. It is named after the town of Cavan and is based on the historic Gaelic territory of East Breffny (Bréifne). Cavan County Council is the local authority for the county, which had a population of 76,176 at the 2016 census.
The most notable buildings are Necarne Castle, formerly known as Castle Irvine, and Castle Archdale. Irvinestown is situated within Fermanagh and Omagh district.
Lough Erne is the name of two connected lakes in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. It is the second-biggest lake system in Northern Ireland and Ulster, and the fourth biggest in Ireland. The lakes are widened sections of the River Erne, which flows north and then curves west into the Atlantic. The smaller southern lake is called the Upper Lough as it is higher up the river. The bigger northern lake is called the Lower Lough or Broad Lough. The town of Enniskillen lies on the short stretch of river between the lakes. The lake has more than 150 islands, along with many coves and inlets. When windy, navigation on Lower Lough Erne, running for 26 miles (42 km) almost to the Atlantic, can be something of a challenge with waves of open-sea dimensions. Shallow Upper Lough Erne, spreading southeast of Enniskillen for about 12 miles, is a maze of islands. The River Erne is 80 miles (129 km) long and drains an area of about 1680 square miles (4,350 km2).
Derrygonnelly is a small village and townland in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. Near Lower Lough Erne, the village was home to 680 people at the 2011 Census and dates to the Plantation era. It is situated within Fermanagh and Omagh district.
Derrylin is a village and townland in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. It is on the A509 road between Enniskillen and the border with County Cavan. It had a population of 624 in the 2011 census and is situated within Fermanagh and Omagh district.
The Sligo, Leitrim and Northern Counties Railway (SL&NCR) was a 5 ft 3 in railway in counties Cavan, Fermanagh, Leitrim and Sligo in north-west Ireland. It consisted of one main line, with no branch lines and remained privately owned until its closure.
Belleek is a village and civil parish in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. While the greater part of the village lies within County Fermanagh, part of it crosses the border and the River Erne into County Donegal. It lies in the historic barony of Lurg. It had a population of 904 people in the 2011 Census, and is situated within Fermanagh and Omagh district.
The River Erne in the northwest of the island of Ireland, is the second-longest river in Ulster, flowing through Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and forming part of their border.
Belcoo ( is a small village and townland in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, 10 miles from Enniskillen. It is on the County Fermanagh/County Cavan border beside the village of Blacklion in the Republic of Ireland. It had a population of 540 in the 2011 Census. It is situated within the Fermanagh and Omagh District.
Kesh is a village in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. It is on the Kesh River about 1 mile (1.6 km) from Lower Lough Erne. The 2011 Census recorded a population of 1,039 people. It is within Fermanagh and Omagh district.
Blacklion is a border village in west County Cavan, Ireland. It is situated on the N16 national primary road, just across the border from the County Fermanagh village of Belcoo.
Enniskillen Castle is situated in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. It was originally built in the 16th century and now houses the Fermanagh County Museum and the regimental museum of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards.
Portora Castle is a castle in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. The castle was built for Sir William Cole who purchased the land in 1612. It is strategically positioned by the narrow exit of the River Erne into the Lower Lough Erne. It is a State Care Historic Monument sited in the townland of Portora, in Fermanagh District Council area, at grid ref: H2221 4531.
The A46 is a road in County Fermanagh, in Northern Ireland. It forms part of the route from Dublin to Ballyshannon. It stretches 23.6 miles from Enniskillen to Belleek along the southwestern shoreline of Lower Lough Erne.
Ninnidh was a 6th-century Irish Christian saint. St. Ninnidh is regarded as one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland. He is associated with shores of Lough Erne and particularly the island of Inishmacsaint and the parish of Knockninny, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. His feast day is 18 January.
Tirkennedy is a barony in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. To its west lies Lower Lough Erne and south Upper Lough Erne, and it is bordered by seven other baronies: Clanawley and Magheraboy to the west; Lurg and Omagh East to the north; Clogher to the east; Magherastephana and Knockninny to the south.
William Frederick Wakeman was an Irish archaeologist, initially producing works as an artist and then as an author.
The Siege of Enniskillen took place at Enniskillen in Fermanagh, Ireland, in 1594 and 1595, during the Nine Years' War. In February 1594, the English had captured Enniskillen Castle from the Irish after a waterborne assault and massacred the defenders after they surrendered. From May 1594, an Irish army under Hugh Maguire and Cormac MacBaron O'Neill besieged the English garrison in the castle, and in August they defeated an English relief force. A second relief force was allowed to resupply the garrison, but the castle remained cut off. Eventually, in May 1595, the English garrison surrendered to the Irish and were then executed.
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