Today’s townland is a new one – Sydenham Intake. It lies between Belfast Lough and the Sydenham district of East Belfast, on land reclaimed from the lough.
The building surrounded by cars in the first photo is Clare House, home to Northern Ireland’s Department of Finance. The Harbour Estate is filling up with offices like this. You can also find retail shops like IKEA and Sainsbury’s in the Holywood Exchange. The Belfast end of the townland is more industrial, with factories and storage facilities for Bombardier aircraft and Phoenix Gas.
The airport opened in 1938 as Belfast Harbour Airport, was known as Belfast City Airport for many years, and was renamed George Best Belfast City Airport in 2006, in memory of Northern Ireland’s most famous footballer.
The process of dredging the lough and reclaiming land in Sydenham Intake has created a freshwater lagoon, now managed as a nature reserve by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), under the name WOW! – Window on Wildlife.
There is a visitor centre with helpful staff who will show you how to use binoculars and telescopes, and help you identify birds. There are also two birdwatching hides, made from old shipping containers.
First, it has its own entry on the PLACENAMESNI website, which explains that “intake” is used in England to denote land reclaimed from a moor. In Northern Ireland, “intake” has a similar meaning, but is also used for land reclaimed from the sea or from lakes.
Second, it appears on the website for rates (a form of local taxation). Here is a screenshot from the Land and Property Services valuation list.
Which county is Sydenham Intake in? County Down
WOW: RSPBNI’s Nature Reserve is open every day except Tuesday, from 10am to 5pm (February – October) or 10am to 4pm (November to January). Click here for more details.