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Coleraine - Derry - Town View

tinted color photo

As with many Irish towns, Coleraine is duplicated across the world - Coleraine in Minnesota, United States for example. In 1853, a surveyor named Lindsay Clarke was working on a township called Bryans Creek Crossing in Victoria, Australia. He renamed the town Coleraine. A wine from New Zealand, Te Mata Estate's Coleraine Cabernet/Merlot, is named after the town

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Photo Details

  • County: Derry / Londonderry
  • Town: Coleraine
  • Scene: Town view from across fields
  • Date: circa 1910
  • Digitally remastered

Specification

  • 10' x 8' printed on quality photo paper
  • Also available mounted & framed, ask for details
  • Colour images can be printed in black& white if preferred.
  • Read about Coleraine below

Coleraine

Coleraine (from the Irish: Cúil Raithin meaning 'Ferny corner') is a large town in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland near to the mouth of the River Bann. It is 55miles (90km) north–west of Belfast and 30miles (50km) east of Derry City, both of which are linked by major roads and railway connections. George Best Belfast City Airport to the south–east, City of Derry Airport, 25miles (36km) to the west, and the main regional airport, Belfast International Airport, to the south are all relatively accessible from Coleraine.

Coleraine had a population of 24,042 people in the 2001 Census. Disposable income is well above the Northern Ireland average. The North Coast (Coleraine/Limavady) area of Northern Ireland has the highest property prices in the province, higher indeed than those of affluent South Belfast (according to the University of Ulster Quarterly House Price Index report produced in partnership with Bank of Ireland and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive - March 2006). Championship golf courses, scenic countryside and a host of leisure facilities and attractions are all on the doorstep. It has an attractive town centre, a marina and the prestigious Riverside theatre. Coleraine, during the day is a busy town, however at night the town is relatively quiet, with much of the night life in the area located in the nearby seaside towns of Portrush and Portstewart.

The setting of Coleraine, at the lowest bridgeable point of the River Bann, where the river is a quarter of a mile wide, is impressive. The town square is called 'The Diamond'; the Town Hall and the nearby St. Patrick's Church of Ireland are both located there. The University was built in the 1960s but is one of the better pieces of architecture from that era and has brought a high quality theatrical space to the town in the form of the Riverside Theatre, where the quality of production often belies the small size of the town.

Coleraine town centre has seen unprecedented growth in recent years. It is the major commercial centre in the North East of the province and has been designated as a major growth area in the Northern Ireland Development Strategy. Although the population of the town is only 24,000, Coleraine has a large catchment area. Over 251,000 people live within a 30 minute drive of the town making it one of the most important towns in Northern Ireland. The town also has the advantage of being near some of the most extraordinary landscape in the whole of Europe. In 2002, Coleraine won the Best Kept Town and Ulster in Bloom awards. In 2003, it was selected to represent Northern Ireland in the prestigious Britain in Bloom competition. It has its own local radio station: Q97.2FM

Despite having a large unionist majority, the town 'has generally good relations between the main communities'.[ The Unionist-controlled Coleraine Borough Council operates a rotation for position of Mayor/Deputy Mayor between the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), Democratic Unionist Party and the nationalist Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP).

History

Coleraine has a long history of settlement. The Mesolithic site at Mount Sandel, which dates from approximately 5935 BC is the earliest evidence of human settlement on the island of Ireland.

The town was one of the two urban communities developed by the London Companies in County Londonderry (hence, Londonderry) in the Plantation of Ulster at the start of the 17th century. The slightly skewed street pattern of Coleraine's town centre is legacy of that early exercise in town planning, along with traces of the lines of the ramparts that provided the Plantation town with its defences. With some industrialisation, the expansion of the river port, and the development of the railway, the town expanded significantly throughout the 19th century and into the early part of the 20th century.

Coleraine steadily expanded after the Second World War. The population doubled due to major industrial development on extensive suburban sites, the decision to site the New University in the town, the expansion of commerce and the development of sporting and recreational facilities. There has been a steady expansion of the urban area from the mid 20th century compact town of less than 1¼squaremiles (2 km²), to the present much more dispersed town of about 7squaremiles (11km²).

Since 1980 growth has continued but at a slightly more modest pace. In the twenty years to 2001 the town’s population increased by 22 to approximately 24,000, but the rate of increase fell from 12 in the 1980s to 8 in the 1990s.

Places of interest

The east side of the town is distinguished by Mountsandel Forest, which contains the impressive Mount Sandel fort, an ancient site which has been claimed as the oldest site of human settlement in Ireland. Here wooden houss dating from about 7000 BC were uncovered. The fort can be accessed via Mountsandel forest, the closest entrance being the side near the Coleraine Courthouse.

There is another fort about 2 miles south from Mountsandel one near a small village called the Loughan. The entrance to the slightly smaller fort can be found on the right hand side of the road as you go down the Loughan Hill.

Administration

Coleraine also has the headquarters of Coleraine Boroug Council which are situated in a splendid position overlooking the River Bann.

The Borough Council area together with the neighbouring district of Limavady, forms the East Londonderry constituency for elections to the Westminster Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly. This is despite some of the borough, including Coleraine itself, are actually in County Antrim.

Tourism

Coleraine is the main town or “Capital” of the world famous Causeway Coast, which attracts over two million visitors per year, spending in excess of £37million. The world famous Giant's Causeway is a twenty–five minute bus ride away. The little distillery village of Bushmills is well-served by buses from the town and there is a little steam train running in the summer from Bushmills to the Giant's Causeway. Portrush, which is part of the Borough, is fifteen minutes on the train north of the town and is Northern Ireland's principal seaside resort, with not one but two long strands of beach complete with sand dunes. Also north of Coleraine is the spectacularly scenic coastal town of Portstewart, with fine sandy beach and coastal walks.

North-west of Coleraine lies the small village of Castlerock, with a beach which is essentially a continuation of the beach at Portstewart, separated by the River Bann. Also nearby is the huge beach at Benone Strand and Mussenden Temple, built by Frederick Augustus Hervey, an 18th century Anglican bishop atop a precipitate cliff and overlooking County Donegal in one direction and Scotland in another. The National Trust managed Downhill forest was part of the Bishop's Palace, and although the Palace itself is now a ruin the gardens are a wonderful place full of strange hidden lakes and gloriously tended flower gardens.

People

  • Well-known people from Coleraine include the actor James Nesbitt, David Cunningham from the band The Flying Lizards, who produced the zeitgeist-defining hit single 'Money' in the early 1980s and also the Ulstr and Ireland rugby player Andrew Trimble. Film producer Janey Moffatt grew up in the town.
  • The ancestors of James Knox Polk, 11th President of the United States, were among the first Ulster-Scots settlers, emigrating from Coleraine in 1680 to become a powerful political family in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. He moved to Tennessee and became its Governor before winning the Presidency.
  • Coleraine was also the home of Andrew Bonar Law, Prime minister of the United Kingdom for a short period in the 1920s. He lived in the manse beside the 1st Coleraine Presbyterian Church on Abbey Street.
  • Suspected serial killer John Bodkin Adams, lived in Coleraine (Mount Sandel) from 1911 to 1916 and attended the Coleraine Academical Institution. He became a general practitioner and worked in Eastbourne from 1922. He was charged in 1957 with the murder of 2 patients but was acquitted. He was, however, suspected of causing the death of 163 other patients.

Education

Coleraine has an outstanding variety of educational institutions at all levels. Most notably a major campus of The University of Ulster is located just outside the town. This was in fact the original campus of what was originally the New University of Ulster but which became the University of Ulster following its merger with the former Ulster Polytechnic at Jordanstown just north of Belfast in the early 1980s. It is a world-class centre of research for biomedical sciences.

The Causeway Institute is a College of Further and Higher Education based in Coleraine, with another campus in nearby Ballymoney.

The local schools include:

  • Irish Society's Primary School
  • Coleraine Academical Institution: Grammar school for boys
  • Coleraine College
  • Coleraine High School: Grammar school for girls
  • D.H Christie Memorial Primary School
  • Killowen Primary School
  • Loreto College, Coleraine: Co-educational Roman Catholic grammar school
  • Millburn Primary School
  • North Coast Integrated College: Non-denominational

Sport

  • CLG Eoghan Rua
  • Coleraine F.C.
  • North West 200
  • Coleraine Rugby Club

2001 Census

Coleraine is classified as a Large Town (ie with population between 18,000 and 75,000 people). On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 24,042 people living in Coleraine. Of these:

  • 24.6 were aged under 16 years and 16.4 were aged 60 and over
  • 47.3 of the population were male and 52.7 were female
  • 22.7 were from a Catholic background and 73.5 were from a Protestant background
  • 4.7 of people aged 16–74 were unemployed.

For more details see: NI Neighbourhood Information Service

Coleraine internationally

As with many Irish towns, Coleraine is duplicated across the world - Coleraine in Minnesota, United States for example. In 1853, a surveyor named Lindsay Clarke was working on a township called Bryans Creek Crossing in Victoria, Australia. He renamed the town Coleraine.

A wine from New Zealand, Te Mata Estate's Coleraine Cabernet/Merlot, is named after the town