Carnlough village is beautifully situated on the famous Antrim Coast Road(A42), 14 miles north of Larne, Co.Antrim, Northern Ireland, UK. It boasts a magnificent backdrop -Glencloy - the second of the Nine Glens of Antrim - the 'Glen of thehedges'. There are many local tales of how the village got its name but the most popular relates to Ireland's patron saint. Local legend has it that St. Patrick founded a Christian group in the area and that one of hisdisciples, La, was left in charge of the new converts. Unfortunately, under La's leadership the converts gradually returned to their pagan ways and on Patrick's return, La was so overcome by remorse that he chopped off his handand buried it beneath a memorial cairn - hence Cairn of La. The Cairn is believed to have been built on the site of the present Carnlough Integrated Primary School, opposite the Londonderry Arms Hotel.|
A Brief History...
It is believed that the first settlers in Glencloy were primitive hunters and fishermen who arrived in the valley around 6000 BC. These first residents of Carnlough were attracted to the area by an abundance of flint which they used for tools and weapons. The glen also provided a source of food such as deer, wild pig, hare, fox and wolf and the nearby sea allowed the settlers to hunt for fish and shell fish. The area around the modern village is scattered with numerous sites of archeological significance and bears testimony to the ancient history of the village and its people. Early visitors to the area included the Vikings and the Normans but it was in the 14th Century that the area came under the control of the warlike MacDonnells, mercenaries from the Western Isles of Scotland. The MacDonnell family continued to dominate the area and in the early 17thCentury, in an attempt to improve relations with England, Randal MacDonnell, the first Earl of Antrim granted around 25 lowland Scots families leases in the glens area. This 'plantation' of the glens gave rise to the unique mixture of Irish and Scots-Irish heritage which the visitor can enjoy to this day.
View of Carnlough from Ballyvaddy Road 2003
View from Carnlough Harbour, overlooking Harbour Road and beyond to thenow disused Carnlough Limestone Quarry.
Carnlough Harbour from the Largy Road looking through 'The Plantain' andbeyond to two of the headlands and the first of the Nine Glens of Antrim'Glenarm Glen' in the background. Bali-Hai Mail Order Nursery further up this road on the left.
Carnlough Village from the air showing the harbour which is constructedmainly of a unique white limestone. To the left of the picture is the localNorthern Bank, Carnlough Integrated Primary School, the famous LondonderryArms Hotel, the Townhall which is now a Library and the well known CarnloughBridge constructed 1854 as a mineral railway to carry limestone from thelocal Quarry to the cargo boats destined for Scotland. Havelock Placeopposite the Harbour links Harbour Road to the High Street and the LargyRoad. Bali-Hai Mail Order Nursery, which is situated on the Largy Road (No 42 ), isopen to the public by appointment only.
Harbour Road showing the Carnlough Limestone Bridge.
Close up of Carnlough Harbour.
Close up of Carnlough Harbour taken July 2004.
Carnlough taken from Gortnacory Road showing Carnlough Bay and the "Black Rock".
Another view of Carnlough village taken from the Ballyvaddy Road showingthe bay and the disused Carnlough Limestone Quarry.
Cranny Waterfalls, accessed via the Waterfall Road, is the first localNature Reserve.
Largy Coastal Apartments Carnlough's new 5 Star Self-CateringApartments overlooking Carnlough Bay and the North Channel to Scotland.(Clickphoto to view apartments)
Garron Tower, now St. MacNissis College, was once the summer residence ofthe Marchioness of Londonderry, Frances Ann Vane who inherited the estate in1834 and thereafter developed the limestone industry in Carnlough.