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16 October 2014
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Ballycastle, Co Antrim

A popular destination at the end of August when thousands flock to the 'Ould Lammas Fair'

ML 1030

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Ballycastle, Co Antrim

The Diamond, Ballycastle, Co Antrim
The Diamond, Ballycastle

A popular destination at the end of August when thousands flock to the 'Ould Lammas Fair', the seaside town of Ballycastle is situated in the north east corner of Northern Ireland.

Nestled at the foot of two glens, Glentaisie and Glenshesk, the town lies in the shadow of Knocklayde mountain and just across a sound from the island of Rathlin, which is a 40 minute boat trip away. To the east of Ballycastle the towering cliffs of Fair Head distinctively stand out on the landscape.

Ould Lammas Fair

Did you treat your Mary Ann
To dulse and yellow man
At the Ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-O?
(John McAuley - Ballycastle woodcarver)

Ireland's oldest popular fair, the 'Ould Lammas Fair' has been held in Ballycastle since the MacDonnells obtained a charter in 1606. In its heyday the fair would have lasted a week, but these days it's a two day event usually held over the Bank Holiday weekend. Two popular purchases at the fair are dulse (an edible seaweed) and 'yellow man' (a bright yellow, toffee/honeycombe type sweet, which can inflict severe damage on your fillings if you aren't careful!)


Close to the harbour a memorial recalls the experimental transmissions which Marconi and his assistant, George Kemp, established in 1898 between Ballycastle and Rathlin Island, to prove to Lloyds of London that wireless telegraphy was practicable. Signals were transmitted over a distance of 6 miles between White Lodge, a house on top of the cliff at Ballycastle, and a mast erected near Rathlin Island's east lighthouse. Other transmissions were also made to Rathlin from the spire of the Catholic church in Moyle Street.

Watching Paint Dry!

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And just over 100 years since Marconi`s first crackling wireless message, the BBC brought you the next generation of communication media right from the Marconi Wing of the Cross and Passion college in Moyle Street. your place and mine had its very own webcam broadcasting images of local artist Brian Willis as he transformed part of Ballycastle into Bangkok for the colleges`s production of the King and I.

The picture on the left is the end product of three days of intricate set painting.

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Bonamargy Friary - where the 'Black Nun' is buried.

Mysterious Carved Head - a life-sized face carved out of rock, but who is it?

Bathing at Pans Rocks , Ballycastle. Recommendations by the Council in 1934 about the control of bathing.

A poem "The Pride of Croaghmore" , written in the 19th century about a young lass from Croaghmore, near Ballycastle.

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