County Down Home Page.

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The Territory of the Ards, By James O'Laverty. 1878
County Down from Samuel Lewis' Topographical Directory of Ireland 1837
Town's in County Down from the Belfast and Ulster Towns Directory 1910.
Towns in County Down listed on this site.
County Down from Atlas and Cyclopedia of Ireland (1900) by P W Joyce.
County Down from Bassett's County Down Guide and Directory, 1886.
County Down from Thom's Irish Almanac and Official Directory for 1862
Parishes of County Down. 
The The Barony of Iveagh, By James O'Laverty. 1878
The Bloody Bridge.
Strangford Lough.
County Down Papers.
The Killowen Historical Society

County Down is one of the six counties of Northern Ireland. The county is situated between the sea inlets of Belfast Lough and Carlingford Lough. It is bounded on the east by the Irish Sea. Strangford Lough is located within the county boundaries. The county of Down has an area of 2,466 square kilometers (952 sq miles) although the county is only about 50 miles long its coastline amounts to about 200 miles. In the west, it extends to the Southeast corner of Lough Neagh, Ireland's largest lake.

County Down is famed for The Mountains of Mourne depicted on the right.

Much of the county of Down is a low flat area. A feature of the landscape is the clusters of small egg shaped hills called drumlins. In the centre of the county, the mountains of Slieve Croob rise to a height of 534 meters (1751 ft) above sea level.

Leisure activities in County Down.

North Down extends from the head of Strangford Lough which is entirely within the county, to the shores of Belfast Lough. The Ards Peninsula is the long peninsular of land between Strangford Lough and the Irish Sea. The low-lying plain around Downpatrick on the other side of Strangford Lough is known as Lecale.

To the south is the magnificent scenic area of the Mountains of Mourne. Slieve Donard, the highest peak in Northern Ireland, reaches 852 meters (2,796 Ft)

In the Mourne Mountains are the dams of the Silent Valley, Spelga and Ben Crom which together with Lough Neagh supply much of Northern Ireland's water. Tollymore Forest Park, on the eastern slopes of the Mourne's, extends to approximately 500 hectares (1235 acres) of forest. It is popular for picnicking and camping.

The climate of Down is relatively mild with average rainfall varying from 840 mm (31 inches) on the East coast to 1,700 mm (69 inches) in the Mourne's. The average temperature in January is 5 °C and in July is 15 °C.

Strangford Lough is dotted with hundreds of small islands, on which seabirds nest in great numbers. There is a swift tidal race at the Lough's narrow entrance. A very expensive car ferry connects the villages of Portaferry and Strangford across the narrows, although you will need to drive some fifty miles to make the journey by road.

The county boasts several stately homes, Mount Stewart the family seat of the Londonderry family is situated on the Ards peninsular, a few miles south of the town of Newtownards. Picturesquely located on the eastern shore of Strangford Lough, overlooking the narrows and Audleys' Castle is Castle Ward the Ward family came to County Down in the latter years of the 16th century around 1610 they built a tower house which still survives. The present house dates from the 1760's, it is unique in that the east and west facade are in completely different architectural styles, reflecting the different tastes of the first Viscount and his wife.

St Patrick's Centre
Market Street
Co Down
BT30 6LZ
Tel +44 (0)28 4461 2233
E Mail
Web Site

Tourist Information

Discover many interesting facts about County Down from Lewis' Topographical Directory of Ireland 1837.

County Down Papers.

The Economy.

Agriculture is an important part of the economy of Down. In the eastern part of the county, farmers specialize in dairy produce and market gardening. In the low lying parts to the east, and the Ards Peninsula, grain crops such as wheat, barley and oats. Potatoes are also an important part of the agricultural economy, as is the rearing of sheep, which traditionally was confined to the less fertile upland areas, today however sheep are to be seen throughout the entire county.

The rearing of beef cattle and dairy farming are important to agriculture, in the past almost every farm kept at least one sow and a few pigs, today pig farming tends to be carried out in specialized units.

Read about farming practices in County Down in 1837 from Samuel Lewis' Topographical Directory of Ireland.

Tourism makes a significant contribution to the economy of the county, taking advantage of county's natural resources ranging from rugged mountains to rolling plains, traversed by meandering rivers, and dotted with little lakes.

The coast line and sea Lough's are well provided with water sports facilities. It is on the eastern coast that most of the county's castle and towers are situated, many a legacy of the Norman conquest of Ireland.



Google Map of County Down.