Larne

From Academic Kids

Larne (Latharna in Irish which means 'the lands of Lathar' who was an Irish prince) is a town in County Antrim, Northern Ireland with a population of approximately 20,000 people. It has been used as a seaport for over 1000 years, and is now mostly used by freight.

Larne contains the headquarters of Larne Borough Council. Together with the neighbouring district of Carrickfergus and part of Newtownabbey, it forms the East Antrim constituency for elections to the Westminster Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly.

Contents

Points of note

Notable buildings in the town include the ruins of sixteenth century Olderfleet Castle and The Chaine Memorial, a replica of the traditional Irish round tower and known locally as "the giant's pencil".

Larne Lough is designated as an Area of Special Scientific Interest, Special Protection Area, and Ramsar Site in order to protect the wetland environment, particularly due to the presence of certain bird species and shellfish.

The town is also known as the birthplace of the author and poet Amanda M’Kittrick Ros who has been described by critics as "The world's worst author".

Larne is twinned with Clover, South Carolina.

History

Both fossils and prehistoric human artefacts have been found in the sea cliffs around Larne.

Larne was one of the earliest Viking settlements in Ireland, who also called it "Ulfreksfjord" (the name of the present-day townland, "Olderfleet", is derived from this Viking name), and Viking burial sites have been discovered in the area.

Edward the Bruce, brother of the Scottish King Robert the Bruce, landed in Larne with the largest military force to invade Ireland.

Weapons for the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) were landed in the town in 1914 in what became known as the Larne Gun Running (with smaller quantities being dropped in Bangor and Donaghadee) and were stored at Drumalis, home of the Smiley family and today a convent. This played a significant part in the unionist opposition to Home rule in Ireland, and the subsequent creation of the province of Northern Ireland.

Transport

Ferries sail from the harbour to destinations including Cairnryan and Troon in Scotland, and Fleetwood in England.

Larne is connected to Belfast by the A8 road. The A2 road or 'Antrim coast road' which runs along the Antrim coast, and passes through the scenic Glens of Antrim, also serves the town. South of the town the A2 passes the side of Larne Lough, via Glynn, Magheramorne, and Ballycarry, to Whitehead and Carrickfergus. The A38 road runs from the town to Ballymena.

A railway route to Belfast, via Whitehead and Carrickfergus, also connects Larne to the Northern Ireland Railways network. Currently there is no freight transport by rail in Northern Ireland.

See also

External links

ga:Latharna

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