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Kilkeel

Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  Northern Ireland  /  County Down  /  Kilkeel
(4.4/5 based on 160+ reviews for 6 attractions)
Things to do: parks, historic sites, classes
Kilkeel is a small town, civil parish and townland (of 554 acres) in County Down, Northern Ireland. It lies within the historic barony of Mourne. Kilkeel town is the main fishing port on the Down coast, and its harbour houses one of the largest fishing fleets in Ireland. It had a population of 6,338 people according to the 2001 Census. The town contains the ruins of a 14th-century church and fort, winding streets and terraced shops.GeographyKilkeel town sits on a plain south of the Mourne Mountains, west of where the Kilkeel River flows south into the North Channel. The town is centred in the townland of Magheramurphy, and extends into the neighbouring townlands of: DerryogeDrumcroDunnamanKilkeel Altogether there are 69 townlands in the civil parish and barony.HistoryKilkeel takes its name from the old church overlooking the town, it being the anglicised version of the Gaelic 'Cill Chaoil' meaning "Narrow Church" or "The Church of/in the Narrow Place." The name may be drawn from the church location on a narrow site above the town. The church was constructed in 1388 and dedicated to "St Colman Del Mourne." It was thought to be the principal Church in a group which included Kilmegan and Kilcoo despite the fact that Kilkeel was very sparsely populated in the Middle Ages. There are references to Kilkeel as a Christian settlement as far back as the 11th century. Kilkeel is the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Mourne.
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