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Belleek - Fermanagh - Town View

general

Nowadays Belleek is a thriving market town with a variety of pubs, shops, restaurants and a hotel. It is most famous for the fine parian china produced there at the Belleek Pottery, the oldest pottery in Ireland. The china is valued by collectors from all over the world. It is also a noted location for angling and other recreational activities and is now linked to the River Shannon by canal

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Photo Details

  • County: Fermanagh
  • Town: Belleek
  • Scene: Town View
  • Date: 1910 (estimate)

Specification

  • Digitally remastered
  • 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 aboutBelleek below

 

Belleek

Belleek is a village in the west of County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland on the River Erne. It straddles the border with County Donegal, the majority of Belleek being in Fermanagh, but a small part is in the Republic of Ireland. It had a population of 836 people in the 2001 Census. It is situated in the Fermanagh District Council area.

Nowadays Belleek is a thriving market town with a variety of pubs, shops, restaurants and a hotel. It is most famous for the fine parian china produced there at the Belleek Pottery, the oldest pottery in Ireland. The china is valued by collectors from all over the world. It is also a noted location for angling and other recreational activities and is now linked to the River Shannon by canal.

History

In earlier times Neolithic settlers appeared around the village and legend has it that Fionn mac Cumhail's men sharpened their swords on the big limestone rock at Belleek Falls.

A royal castle was built at Caol Uisce near Belleek at the entrace to Lower Lough Erne by Gilbert Costello in 1212. Belleek village in its present layout was founded on the Blennerhassett estate during the Plantation of Ulster in the early 1600s.

The establishment of the pottery in 1857 saw the start of growth and the village developed further with the founding of a cooperative creamery in 1899, a police station, a courthouse, post office and dispensary.

Places of interest

  • The internationally renowned Belleek Pottery manufactured in the village is currently owned by American millionaire, George Moore. It was founded in 1857 by John Caldwell Bloomfield who declared that any piece with the slightest flaw would be destroyed and this is still the case today. The first examples of this fine Parian china were made using kaolin and feldspar deposits found in the lands surrounding Castle Caldwell. With the establishment of the pottery new houses were built for workers in Rathmore Terrace and in Hawthorn Terrace. There is a visitor's centre at the pottery.
  • A stained glass window featuring a potter’s hands is located above the altar in St. Patrick's Roman Catholic church.
  • Castle Caldwell Forest Walk lies four miles outside Belleek at the western end of Lower Lough Erne. Castle Caldwell was originally built in 1612.
  • Lough Melvin, home to large stocks of sonaghen trout, is located four miles South East of Belleek.
  • Lower Lough Erne is home to various protected wildlife, including Inland Sandwich Tern, Curlew, Lapwing, Redshank, and Snipe colonies. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds keeps up-to-date records as to colony numbers and well being.
  • Tully Castle is located 6.8km north east of Belleek. Built for the Hume family in 1619, who lived there until the Maguire Clan captured and burned it in 1641. The ruins themselves rise 2 1/2 storeys and includes an impressive view over Lough Erne.

People

  • Dr Edward Daly, Roman Catholic Bishop of Derry from 1974 to 1993, was born in Belleek on December 5, 1933.

Transport

The Enniskillen to Bundoran railway line ran through Belleek until 1956.

Ulsterbus offers services to major cities in the north of Ireland including Belfast and Derry city.

Bus Eireann offers routes to major cities in the south of Ireland including Cavan and Dublin.

Local Enterprise

  • Bellek Parian China has long been a major employer in the region, with its visitor centre hosting 150,000 guests per annum. Fermanagh District Council reports that 70 of Belleek Parian China's product is manufactured for export.
  • Belleek also hosts a street mart every third Monday of the month, where local crafts and goods can be bought and sold.

2001 Census

Belleek is classified as a small village or hamlet by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) there were 836 people living in Belleek. Of these:

  • 26.4 were aged under 16 and 22.1 were aged 60 and over
  • 46.8 of the population were male and 53.2 were female
  • 87.8 were from a Catholic background and 11.6 were from a Protestant background
  • 4.5 of people aged 16-74 were unemployed.

For more details see: NI Neighbourhood Information Service

Trivia

The highest temperature, recorded by the Met Office, 30.8 °C, occurred at Knockarevan (near Belleek) in County Fermanagh on June 30, 1976.

Sport

Local Gaelic Athletic Association club is Erne Gaels

Local Mountain Biking and Adventure running club is X-Treme North West