Magherafelt, near the town centre.
|Population||8,805 (2011 Census)|
|• Belfast||35 mi (56 km)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Magherafelt (from Irish : Machaire Fíolta, meaning 'plain of Fíolta', IPA:[ˈmˠaxəɾʲəˈfʲiːlt̪ˠə]) is a small town and civil parish in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It had a population of 8,805 at the 2011 Census. It is the biggest town in the south of the county and is the social, economic and political hub of the area. It is part of Mid-Ulster District.
Magherafelt has been documented as a town since 1425. An earlier name for the area was Teach Fíolta - ‘Fíolta’s (monastic) house’. This would suggest that there was a monastic settlement here under the leadership of Fíolta.The site of the medieval parish church may be marked by the ruins of a later church and graveyard at the bottom of Broad Street.
The Salters Company of Londonwas granted the surrounding lands in South Londonderry in the seventeenth century as part of the Plantation of Ulster. Subsequently, the town began to take on its current shape with a central diamond forming the heart of the town.
During The Troubles in the late 20th century, 11 people were killed in or near Magherafelt in connection with the conflict.
The town had its own Magherafelt District Council. On 1 April 2015, it was merged with Cookstown District Council and Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council under local government reorganisation in Northern Ireland becoming Mid-Ulster District Council. The Mid Ulster District Council has 40 councillors of which five are elected by the electors of Magherafelt. In the 2019 Mid Ulster District Council election, the five elected councillors included two members of Sinn Féin, one member of the SDLP and two members of the Democratic Unionist Party.
It is located within the Mid Ulster (Assembly constituency) in the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Mid Ulster (UK Parliament constituency). The current MP is Francie Molloy of Sinn Féin.
At the foot of Broad Street is located The Bridewell. This building previously housed the town's court-house and gaol (jail). The name Bridewell is a common name in Britain and Ireland for a prison (see Bridewell Palace). It has since been refurbished and now houses the town's library and tourist centre.
Magherafelt lies on the A31 route which connects the south west of the province (Tyrone, Fermanagh) to the north east (Coleraine, Ballymena etc.). Traffic from north and south used to pass through the town centre frequently leading to considerable congestion. In the 1970s a bypass was proposed route which was eventually funded in 2013 and completed in 2016. The road is a single-carriageway around the eastern edge of the town connecting Moneymore Road and Castledawson Road. The old road through the town became the B40 when the road opened.
Magherafelt railway station opened on 10 November 1856, shut for passenger traffic on 28 August 1950 and shut altogether on 1 October 1959.
Magherafelt has several sporting teams, including Magherafelt Reds, O'Donovan Rossa Magherafelt GAC, the Rainey Old Boys Rugby Club and Magherafelt Sky Blues F.C.. There is also the Mid Ulster Athletic Club, the Mid Ulster Swimming Club and the Magherafelt District Motorclub.
At the 2011 census, there were 8,805 people living in Magherafelt.This represented an increase of 5.2% on the Census 2001 population of 8,372. Of these:
County Londonderry, also known as County Derry, is one of the six counties of Northern Ireland, one of the thirty two counties of Ireland and one of the nine counties of Ulster. Before the partition of Ireland, it was one of the counties of the Kingdom of Ireland from 1613 onward and then of the United Kingdom after the Acts of Union 1800. Adjoining the north-west shore of Lough Neagh, the county covers an area of 2,074 km2 and today has a population of about 247,132.
Omagh is the county town of County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It is situated where the rivers Drumragh and Camowen meet to form the Strule. Northern Ireland's capital city Belfast is 68 miles (109.5 km) to the east of Omagh, and Derry is 34 miles (55 km) to the north.
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Strabane, is a town in west Tyrone, Northern Ireland.
Dungiven is a small town, townland and civil parish in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It is on the main A6 Belfast to Derry road. It lies where the rivers Roe, Owenreagh and Owenbeg meet at the foot of the 1,525 ft (465 m) Benbradagh. Nearby is the Glenshane Pass, where the road rises to over 1,000 ft (300 m). It had a population of 3,288 people in the 2011 Census, an increase of 10% over the 2001 population of 2,993. It is within Causeway Coast and Glens district council area.
Coleraine is a town and civil parish near the mouth of the River Bann in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. 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. It is part of Causeway Coast and Glens district.
Moneymore is a village and townland in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It had a population of 1,369 in the 2001 Census. It is situated within Mid-Ulster District. It is an example of a plantation village in Mid-Ulster built by the Drapers' Company of London.
Draperstown is a village in the Sperrin Mountains in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It is situated in the civil parish of Ballinascreen and is part of Mid-Ulster district. It is also part of the Church of Ireland parish of Ballynascreen and the Catholic parish of Ballinascreen, and within the former barony of Loughinsholin.
Maghera is a small town in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Its population was 4,220 in the 2011 Census, increasing from 3,711 in the 2001 Census. It is situated within Mid-Ulster District, as well as the civil parish of Maghera, which it was named after, and the former barony of Loughinsholin.
Newtownabbey is a large settlement north of Belfast in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Sometimes considered to be a suburb of Belfast, it is separated from the rest of the city by Cavehill and Fortwilliam golf course. At the 2011 Census, Metropolitan Newtownabbey Settlement had a population of 65,646, making it the third largest settlement in Northern Ireland. It is part of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.
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.
Ballykelly is a village and townland in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It lies 3 miles (4.8 km) west of Limavady on the main Derry to Limavady A2 road and is 15 miles (24 km) east of Derry. It is designated as a Large Village and in 2011 the population of Ballykelly was 2,107. It lies within Causeway Coast and Glens district.
Swatragh is a small village and townland in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Swatragh is on the main A29 road north of Maghera, and is situated within Mid-Ulster District. The population was 438 in the 2011 Census. The Clady River a major watercourse in Northern Ireland, flows through the village. The village has three churches: one Roman Catholic, one Church of Ireland, and one Presbyterian. The Catholic and Church of Ireland churches are listed buildings. St John's is the local primary school.
Claudy is a village and townland in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It lies in the Faughan Valley, 6 miles (9.7 km) southeast of Derry, where the River Glenrandal joins the River Faughan. It is situated in the civil parish of Cumber Upper and the historic barony of Tirkeeran. It is also part of Derry and Strabane district.
Kilrea is a village, townland and civil parish in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It gets its name from the ancient church that was located near to where the current Church of Ireland is located on Church Street looking over the town. It is near the River Bann, which marks the boundary between County Londonderry and County Antrim. In the 2011 Census it had a population of 2,724 people. It is situated within Causeway Coast and Glens district.
Tobermore is a small village in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It lies 2.5 miles (4.0 km) south-south-west of Maghera and 5.5 miles (8.9 km) north-west of Magherafelt. Tobermore lies within the civil parish of Kilcronaghan and is part of Mid-Ulster District. It was also part of the former barony of Loughinsholin.
Curran is a small village and townland in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. In the 2001 Census it had a population of 132 people. It is within the Mid-Ulster District Council area, specifically within the Moyola District Electoral Area. The village is in the Mid-Ulster constituency for Westminster and Northern Ireland Assembly elections.
Desertmartin is a small village in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It is four miles from Magherafelt, at the foot of Slieve Gallion. In the 2001 Census the greater Desertmartin area had a population of 1,276. It lies within Desertmartin parish, Mid-Ulster District, and the historic barony of Loughinsholin. Neighbouring settlements include Draperstown, Magherafelt, Moneymore, and Tobermore.
Knockloughrim or Knockcloghrim is a small village near Maghera in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. In the 2001 Census it had a population of 186 people. Knockloughrim lies within the civil parish of Termoneeny and is part of the former barony of Loughinsholin. It is situated within the Mid Ulster District Council area.
Ballymaguigan is a hamlet and townland in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It is near the northwest shore of Lough Neagh and close to Magherafelt. The hamlet forms one part of a parish named Ardtrea North. Ballymaguigan is part of the Mid-Ulster District.
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