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  • [Dundonal or Dundoanal] Error: {{Lang-xx}}: text has italic markup (help)
  • Irish: Dún Dónaill
Dundonald Moat and St Elizabeth's Church - - 40530.jpg
Dundonald Moat and St Elizabeth's Church
Dundonald is located in Northern Ireland
Population 16,098 (2011 Census)
  • Lisburn and Castlereagh
Country Northern Ireland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BELFAST
Postcode district BT16
Dialling code 028
EU Parliament Northern Ireland
UK Parliament
  • Belfast East
NI Assembly
  • Belfast East
List of places
Northern Ireland

Dundonald (from Irish: Dún Dónaill, meaning "Dónall's stronghold") is a large settlement and civil parish in County Down. It lies east of Belfast and is often deemed to be a suburb of the city. It includes the large housing estate of Ballybeen, and many new housing developments have emerged in the past ten years.


Dundonald refers to a 12th-century Norman fort, or Dún, Dún Dónaill, that stood in the town. One of the largest in Ireland, the man-made hill that the fort stood on is still in existence.

Although the mound is commonly referred to as 'the moat' this is, in fact, a corruption of the word 'motte' and refers to the fact that this defensive structure was built in the style of a motte and bailey. St. Elizabeth's Church is located beside the moat, with the Cleland Mausoleum in the adjacent graveyard.

Dundonald acquired rail links to Belfast and Newtownards in 1850, Downpatrick in 1859 and Newcastle in 1869. The town was located on the once extensive Belfast and County Down Railway mainline. The rail link with Belfast encouraged Dundonald to expand as a commuter town, but in 1950 the railway line running through Dundonald was closed. Dundonald railway station was opened on 6 May 1850, but finally closed on 24 April 1950. In the 1960s, Dundonald was deemed a small village. A number of property developments, most notably the housing estate Ballybeen, were then built and Dundonald's population rapidly grew.


For census purposes, Dundonald is not treated as a separate entity by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA). Instead, it is combined with a large part of east and southeast Belfast to form the "Castlereagh Urban Area". A fairly accurate population count can be found by combining the data of the electoral wards that make up Dundonald. These wards are Ballyhanwood 1, Carrowreagh, Dundonald, Enler, and Grahams Bridge. However, the wards also include part of the countryside surrounding Dundonald.

On the day of the last census (27 March 2011), the combined population of these wards was 16,098 . This is within the bounds of the medium-sized town (a population between 10,000 and 18,000).

Of this population:

  • 71.3% were Protestant or from a Protestant background
  • 3.6% were Catholic or from a Catholic background
  • 25.1% were of other religious backgrounds or no religious background.


Dundonald sprang up within the small parish of the same name. Like the rest of Ireland, this parish has long been divided into townlands, whose names mostly come from the Irish language. Over time, more rural townlands have been built upon and they have given their names to many roads and housing estates. The following is a list of townlands within Dundonald's urban area, alongside their likely etymologies:

  • Ballybeen (likely from Baile Binne meaning "townland of the peak" or Baile Bín meaning "Bín's townland")
  • Ballymiscaw (likely from Baile Lios na Scáth meaning "townland of the fort of shadows")
  • Ballyoran (likely from Baile Fhuaráin meaning "townland of the spring")
  • Ballyregan (likely from Baile Uí Riagáin meaning "Ó Riagáin's townland")
  • Carrowreagh (likely from an Cheathrú Riabhach meaning "the speckled quarterland")
  • Dunlady (likely from Dún Léide meaning "Léide's stronghold")

Places of interest

The Comber Greenway is a direct traffic free link into Belfast and it passes through Dundonald. It is enjoyed by thousands of cyclists and walkers on a daily basis.

In 1986, The Dundonald International Ice Bowl was opened in the town. This originally comprised an Olympic sized ice rink and a 20 lane AMF ten pin bowling alley. In later years, "Indianaland", a children's Aztec themed indoor adventure playground was added along with Laser Quest, a simulated combat arena using laser tag equipment. The bowling alley was upgraded to 30 lanes in the 1990s and an extensive miniature golf course has recently been built. The site also contains a David Lloyd fitness centre. In 2006, the area was designated as the Dundonald Leisure Park, as part of the Draft Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan 2015. In 2008, an Omniplex cinema was built on the opposite side of the Old Dundonald Road, together with several leisure and restaurant units.

The Ulster Hospital is located in Dundonald, known colloquially as "The Ulster".


Civil parish of Dundonald

The civil parish contains the settlement of Dundonald.


The civil parish contains the following townlands:

  • Ballybeen
  • Ballylisbredan
  • Ballymiscaw
  • Ballyoran
  • Ballyrainey
  • Ballyregan
  • Carrowreagh
  • Castlebeg
  • Church Quarter
  • Dunlady
  • Killeen
  • Unicarval


See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Dundonald para niños

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