Thursday, 25 March 2021



STRANGFORD, a small post, market, and seaport town, in the parish of Ballyculter, barony of Lecale, County Down.

It stands on the west shore of the sound or entrance of Strangford Lough, five furlongs south-west, by water, of Portaferry, six miles east-north-east of Downpatrick, 7¾ north-north-east of Ardglass, 27 south-east of Belfast.

It is a neat little town, and occupies a beautiful situation.

The Square, Strangford (Image: Robert French)

Adjoining and almost embracing it is the Viscount Bangor's improved and charmingly situated demesne of Castle Ward.

Of 27 castles which were built by John de Courcy on the shores of Strangford Lough, four are in the vicinity of the town - Kilclief Castle, Portaferry Castle, Audley's Castle, and Walsh's Castle.

The public buildings are the chapel of ease to the parish church, a small Methodist meeting-house, a custom-house, and a quay - the last chiefly for the accommodation of fishing vessels, and of the boats employed in the ferry across the sound.

The chief items of exports were corn, meal, flour, potatoes; cows and oxen; miscellaneous goods; butter; horses; kelp; linen.

The chief items of imports were coals, culm, cinders; miscellaneous goods; corn, meal, and flour; unwrought iron; oak bark for tanners; herrings and other fish; corn and malt; unwrought lead.

Strangford is alleged to have derived its name from the strong ford or current of the tide in the sound.

Area of the town, 30 acres.

Population in 1831, 583; in 1841, 571.

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