Today’s place-name is Carrickfergus, which is not only a townland, but a parish and town (and song) as well.

The ‘Carrick” part of the name comes from the Irish carraig meaning ‘rock’.  The rock has been reinforced by a castle.

Is that a real soldier on the battlements?

The name of the town is often shortened to Carrick, and the local football team is called Carrick Rangers.

Who was Fergus? A local story suggests that a Scottish king was shipwrecked on the Irish shore. On the day of my visit the sea was sparkling and calm.After absorbing the fortifications and military history, I relaxed beside the lavender in the garden at Joymount Presbyterian Church.

As Belfast is so much bigger than Carrickfergus now, it is easy to forget how important Carrick has been in the past.  We describe the sea inlet between County Down and County Antrim as Belfast Lough, but back in 1625 this map called it ‘the bay of Carickfvargus’.

Carrickfergus townland only covers the harbour and a narrow slice of the town. Around it are other townlands called ‘divisions’.  In the churchyard of St Nicholas Church of Ireland I photographed this gravestone commemorating the Herdman family of West Division.


Carrickfergus is also the name of a song, discussed in this article by Bernd Biege.

Which county is Carrickfergus in? County Antrim

Which civil parish is Carrickfergus in? Carrickfergus

Which townlands border Carrickfergus?  North East Division, Middle Division, West Division.

Click here for a map of West Division on Townlands.IE.

Click here to read more about the name West Division on

Click here for a map of Carrickfergus on Townlands.IE.

And finally, click here to read more about the history of the name Carrickfergus on


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