Holywood facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsHolywood
St Colmcille's church on High Street
|Population||12,131 (2011 Census)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||Northern Ireland|
|Website||Holywood virtual community|
Holywood (// HOL-ee-wuud) is a town in the metropolitan area of Belfast in County Down, Northern Ireland. It is a civil parish and townland of 755 acres lying on the shore of Belfast Lough, between Belfast and Bangor. Holywood Exchange and Belfast City Airport are nearby. The town hosts an annual jazz and blues festival.
The English name Holywood comes from Latin Sanctus Boscus, meaning 'holy wood'. This was the name the Normans gave to the woodland surrounding the monastery of St Laiseran, son of Nasca. The monastery was founded by Laiseran before 640 and was on the site of the present Holywood Priory. The earliest Anglicized form appears as Haliwode in a 14th-century document. Today, the name is pronounced the same as Hollywood.
The Irish name for Holywood is Ard Mhic Nasca meaning "high ground of Mac Nasca".
In the 17th century, Ulster ports began to rise in prominence. In 1625, William Pitt was appointed as Customer of the ports of Newcastle, Dundrum, Killough, Portaferry, Donaghadee, Bangor and Holywood.
In the early 19th century, Holywood, like many other coastal villages throughout Ireland, became popular as a resort for sea-bathing. Many wealthy Belfast merchants chose the town and the surrounding area to build large homes for themselves. These included the Kennedys of Cultra and the Harrisons of Holywood. Dalchoolin House stood on the site of the present Ulster Transport Museum, while Cultra Manor was built between 1902–04 and now houses part of the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum.
The railway line from Belfast to Holywood opened in 1848, and this led to rapid development. The population of Holywood was approximately 3,500 in 1900 and had grown to 12,000 by 2001. This growth, coupled with that of other towns and villages along the coastal strip to Bangor, necessitated the construction of the Holywood Bypass in the early 1970s. Holywood today is a popular residential area and is well known for its fashionable shops, boutiques, arts and crafts.
The Old Priory ruins lie at the bottom of the High Street. The tower dates from 1800, but the oldest ruins date from the early 13th century. The Priory graveyard is the resting place for many distinguished citizens including the educational reformer, Dr Robert Sullivan, and the Praeger family. Robert Lloyd Praeger (1865–1953) was an internationally renowned botanist and his sister, Rosamond Praeger (1867–1954), gained fame as a sculptor and writer. "Johnny the Jig", one of her sculptures, is situated in the town. Praeger House at Sullivan Upper Grammar School is named after the family. Bishop Robert Bent Knox is also buried there.
Holywood Urban Area is a medium town within the Belfast Metropolitan Urban Area (BMUA) as classified by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (i.e. with population between 10,000 and 18,000 people). On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 12,037 people living in Holywood. Of these:
- 19.9% were aged under 16 years and 20.6% were aged 60 and over
- 50.6% of the population were male and 49.4% were female
- 68.6% were from a Protestant background and 23.0% were from a Catholic background
- 3.0% of people aged 16–74 were unemployed.
Places of interest
- Holywood is famous for its maypole at the crossroads in the centre of town. Its origin is uncertain, but, according to local folklore, it dates from 1700, when a Dutch ship is said to have run aground on the shore nearby, and the crew erected the broken mast to show their appreciation of the assistance offered to them by the townsfolk. The maypole is still used for dancing at the annual May Day fair.
- Nearly as famous, is the adjacent Maypole Bar, locally known as Ned's or Carty's. It was first licensed in 1857, and, from then until 2006, it has had only 3 proprietors. County Donegal native, Ned Carty, bought it from Mick O'Kane in the late 1960s. It had been owned by O'Kane since 1908. It is now run by Ned's son, Brian Carty.
- There is a Norman motte in the town which may have been constructed on an earlier burial mound.
- The Ulster Folk and Transport Museum illustrating the way of life and traditions of the people of Ulster is nearby, at Cultra.
The first section of the Belfast and County Down Railway (BCDR) line from Belfast to Holywood, along with Holywood railway station, opened on 2 August 1848. The line was extended to Bangor by the Belfast, Holywood and Bangor Railway (BHBR), opening on 1 May 1865, and acquired by the BCDR in 1884. Holywood station was closed for goods traffic on 24 April 1950.
Records of the marine algae include: Polysiphonia elongata (Huds.) Spreng.; Laurencia obtuse (Huds.) Lamour.; Chondria dasyphylla (Woodw.) C.Ag.; Pterothamnion plumula (Ellis) Näg.; Rhodophyllis divaricate (Stackh.) Papenf.; Coccotylus truncates (Pall.) Wynne et Heine.
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Holywood Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.