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Castledawson - Derry - Main St
Castledawson is a tiny, quiet village in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland and was built on the older townland of Shanemullagh. It lies four miles from the north-western shore of Lough Neagh close to the market town of Magherafelt and at the foot of the Sperrins. It had a population of 2,089 in the 2001 Census.
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Read about Castledawson below
Castledawson is a village in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland and was built on the older townland of Shanemullagh. It lies four miles from the north-western shore of Lough Neagh close to the market town of Magherafelt and at the foot of the Sperrins. It had a population of 2,089 in the 2001 Census.
The village was named after its 'castle' (actually a large manor house) built by Joshua Dawson in 1713. He was chief secretary for Ireland and founded the village in 1710.
The River Moyola, which dissects the village, is popular with anglers and has managed stocks of salmon (but also has perch, eel, trout and bream) and is crossed in the village by the largest single-span stone bridge in Ireland. Dominating the horizon to the west of the village is a dramatic ráth.
Famous residents have included Lord Moyola who was the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland in 1971.
The poet Seamus Heaney, who was awarded the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature, was born at a farm near Castledawson in 1939, although was brought up in the nearby village of Bellaghy.
Novelist Anne Dunlop was born and grew up in Castledawson.
Castledawson was the hub of the Mid-Ulster shirt-making industry, with its prime location midway between Belfast and Derry being crucial. The village skyline was dominated by two impressive disused red brick chimneys - one (demolished 2005) previously part of a Nestle's chocolate factory (closed since the 1970s).
The village has a small business park called Moyola Industrial Estate.
Castledawson now has a small 12 bedroom hotel - The Inn at Castledawson - in the 200 year old Castledawson House.
The village is also home to the award-winning Ditty's Home Bakery - which successfully markets its products across the UK
Castledawson is home to the football club Moyola Park FC, Castledawson GAC and the eighteen hole Moyola golf club.
Castledawson is classified as a village by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (ie with a population between 1,000 and 2,250 people). On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 2,977 people living in Castledawson. Of these:
23.8 were aged under 16 and 14.6 were aged 60 and over
48.9 of the population were male and 51.1 were female
48.0 were from a Catholic background and 50.3 were from a Protestant background
2.5 of people aged 16-74 were unemployed.
The average age of the population in Castledawson ward was 33.9 years