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ANTRIM, a market-town in the west of the county Antrim, Ireland, in the south parliamentary division, on the banks of the Six-Mile Water, half a mile from Lough Neagh, in a beautiful and fertile valley. Pop. (1901) 1826. It is 21¾ m. north-west of Belfast by the Northern Counties (Midland) railway, and is also the terminus of a branch of the Great Northern railway from Lisburn. There is nothing in the town specially worthy of notice, but the environs, including Shane’s Castle and Antrim Castle, possess features of considerable interest. About a mile from the town is one of the most perfect of the round towers of Ireland, 93 ft. high and 50 in circumference at the base. It stands in the grounds of Steeple, a neighbouring seat, where is also the “Witches’ Stone,” a prehistoric monument. A battle was fought near Antrim between the English and Irish in the reign of Edward III.; and in 1642 a naval engagement took place on Lough Neagh, for Viscount Massereene and Ferrard (who founded Antrim Castle in 1662) had a right to maintain a fighting fleet on the lough. On the 7th of June 1798 there was a smart action in the town between the king’s troops and a large body of rebels, in which the latter were defeated, and Lord O’Neill mortally wounded. Before the Union Antrim returned two members to parliament by virtue of letters patent granted in 1666 by Charles II. There are manufactures of paper, linen, and woollen cloth. The government is in the hands of town commissioners.
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