Antrim: From Darini to Norse and Everything In-between

by | 14 Apr, 2023 | County History

Antrim: From Darini to Norse and Everything In-between

Antrim, a county in Northern Ireland, is a fascinating place with a rich history that spans thousands of years. From the first inhabitants, the Darini, to the Norse rule and Viking influence, Antrim has been shaped by many different cultures and societies. In this article, we will take a closer look at Antrim’s history, its role in the plantation of Ulster, and its involvement in The Troubles. We will also explore the county’s modern culture, attractions, and more.

Antrim: A Look into Its History

Antrim has a long and complex history, with evidence of settlements dating back to the Mesolithic period. The county has been inhabited by many different groups over the centuries, including the Celts, the Romans, and the Normans. It was also the site of many battles during the Plantation of Ulster and The Troubles.

Darini – The First Inhabitants

The Darini were the first known inhabitants of Antrim, and they were a Celtic tribe who lived in the area from around 500 BC. They were skilled farmers and metalworkers, and they left behind many artifacts, including the famous Turoe stone, which is now housed in the National Museum of Ireland.

Norse Rule and Viking Influence

Antrim was ruled by the Vikings for a time, and their influence can still be seen in the place names and local dialect of the area. The Vikings were skilled sailors and traders, and they brought many goods and ideas to Antrim. They also established a number of settlements in the area, including the town of Larne.

Antrim’s Role in the Plantation of Ulster

Antrim played a significant role in the Plantation of Ulster, which took place in the 17th century. The Plantation was a scheme by the English government to settle Protestant colonists in the area, and it had a lasting impact on the religious and political landscape of Northern Ireland. Many of the towns and villages in Antrim were founded during this period, including Ballymena and Carrickfergus.

The Troubles and Antrim’s Involvement

Antrim was heavily affected by The Troubles, a period of conflict in Northern Ireland that lasted from the late 1960s to the late 1990s. The county saw many bombings and shootings during this time, and it was also the site of several high-profile murders. However, in recent years, Antrim has become a safer and more peaceful place to live, and the scars of The Troubles are slowly healing.

Antrim Today: Culture, Attractions, and More

Today, Antrim is a vibrant and diverse county with a rich culture and many attractions for visitors to enjoy. Some of the highlights include the Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, and the Glens of Antrim. The county is also home to a number of festivals and events throughout the year, including the Ballycastle Lammas Fair and the Armoy Road Races. And, of course, no trip to Antrim would be complete without sampling some of the local delicacies, such as Irish stew and soda bread.

Antrim may have a complicated history, but it is also a place of great beauty and warmth. Whether you are interested in history, culture, or simply enjoying the great outdoors, Antrim has something to offer everyone. So why not come and see for yourself what this fascinating county has to offer?

County Antrim most common surnames:

Smith, Johnston, Thompson, Wilson, Campbell, Stewart, Robinson, Bell, Brown and Boyd.

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