County Down  Ireland

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In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described County Down like this:

Down.-- a maritime co. of Ulster province, in the NE. of Ireland, having co. Antrim on the N., co. Armagh on the W., and the sea on all other sides; greatest length, NE. and SW., 50 miles; greatest breadth, NW. and SE., 35 miles; average breadth, 24 miles; coast-line, about 67 miles (or 139 miles including all the inlets); area, 612,399 ac. ...

(3004 water), or 2.9 per cent, of the total area of Ireland; pop. 272,107, of whom 29.8 per cent, are Roman Catholics, 23.4 Episcopalians, 40.1 Presbyterians, and 1.9 Methodists. The coast is deeply indented by the spacious inlets of Belfast Lough, Strangford Lough, Dundrum Bay, and Carlingford Lough. There are numerous islands in Strangford Lough, and Copeland Island lies off the entrance to Belfast Lough. The surface on the whole is irregular and hilly. The Mourne Mountains occupy the S., the highest summit of which is Slieve Donard, alt. 2796 ft. The prevailing rock is clay slate; trap and limestone are abundant in the N., and granite occurs among the Mourne Mountains. Mineral springs are numerous. The principal rivers are the Lagan and the Upper Bann. Good crops of oats, wheat, flax, and potatoes are raised. (For agricultural statistics, see Appendix.) The mfr. of fine linen fabrics, such as muslin, forms a leading industry. The fisheries are extensive. The co. comprises 12 bars.-- Ards (Lower and Upper), Castlereagh (Lower and Upper), Dufferin, Iveagh (Lower and Upper), Kinelarty, Lecale (Lower and Upper), Mourne, and Newry lordship; 70 pars.: part of Belfast; the greater part of the parl. bor. of Newry (1 member); and the towns of Banbridge, Bangor, Downpatrick, Dromore, Holywood, Lisburn (part of), Newtownards, &C. For parliamentary purposes it is divided into 4 divisions, viz., North, East, West, and South, 1 member for each division.

Vision of Ireland presents long-run change by redistricting historical statistics to modern units. However, none of our modern units covers an area close to that of County Down. If you want trends covering a particular location within the county, find it on our historical maps and then select "Tell me more".

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of County Down | Map and description for the county, A Vision of Ireland through Time.


Date accessed: 21st July 2024

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