(L-R) Laura Patrick, Chair of the THI Board, Cllr Cheryl Johnston and Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr Peter Johnston.
(L-R) Laura Patrick, Chair of the THI Board, Cllr Cheryl Johnston and Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr Peter Johnston.

Carrickfergus Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) has launched a new publication focussing on the ever-changing face of historic Carrickfergus over the centuries.

The THI is an ambitious regeneration scheme for the town’s conservation area supported by £1.55 million in funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, and £0.55million from Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.

Director of the Northern Ireland National Lottery Heritage Fund, Paul Mullan, said:

“I’d like to congratulate Carrickfergus THI on the launch of this new publication. We’re delighted that, thanks to National Lottery players, we’re able to support important projects like this, which help to explore and uncover the unique stories associated with Carrickfergus’ history.”

Entitled ‘Carrickfergus – Through The Ages’, the THI’s brand new publication looks at the rich built history that the town has to offer.

Not only does Carrickfergus have the best preserved Anglo-Norman castles anywhere in Ireland, and the Anglo-Norman church of St Nicholas’, there is also the elegant Market House dating to 1755, and the current Town Hall, built as the County of Antrim Court House in 1779. These are just a fraction of the buildings illustrated in the brand new publication, which was officially launched by the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.

Mayor, Councillor Peter Johnston, said: “I would like to thank all those who contributed to this fantastic publication which showcases the captivating heritage of Carrickfergus.

“There is so much history attached to the town and so much that we can all learn about from this book. To have all of this compiled in the one place makes it the perfect gift for anyone of all ages to enjoy.”

The Chair of Carrickfergus THI Project Board, Councillor Cheryl Johnston, said “we are delighted to be launching this publication, as part of our Education Programme. The book features several of the properties already regenerated or to be restored through the THI funding programme. Carrickfergus is a much older settlement than many other local places, including Belfast, and this book will provide you examples of medieval buildings through the Victorian era up to the Second World War.”

Edited by Laura Patrick, the book brings together a range of experts to highlight the stories of buildings, from the 1100s through to the 20th century, including the beautiful historic maps of the town. A special thanks to RuairÍ Ó Baoill, Dr Lisa Townsend, D. Helen Rankin, Philip Orr and Alan Freeburn for their contributions, and is is hoped you enjoy a walk through the historic town and harbour.

Freely available from the Civic Centre Mall, this would be a lovely addition to any Christmas stocking.