Armoy And Its History
Armoy (from the Irish: Oirthear Maí meaning “the east plain”) is a small village in County Antrim Northern Ireland. It is 6 miles from Ballycastle and 9 miles from Ballymoney and nestles under the shadow of Knocklayd mountain. It is on the River Bush and lies within the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council area. The village is situated between two of the nine Glens of Antrim, Glenshesk and Glentaisie. Glenshesk is part of the Armoy Race Circuit.
There are the remains of the “Round Tower” which stands in the grounds of St. Patrick’s Parish Church. (Church Bends). The tower is about 11 m high and has three storeys. An early monastery was once founded about AD 460 by Saint Olcán, a disciple of Saint Patrick. At a time, Armoy was the main religious settlement in the Irish part of the kingdom of Dál Riata.
The “ Golden Plough” Limepark. No less than nine times in the last 50-odd years have Northern Ireland won the World Ploughing Championships, despite being the smallest region taking part.
A picturesque Presbyterian Church sits on the edge of the village. The church’s striking spire, with a Viking ship weathervane on top, has been described as ’a miniature replica of the Eiffel Tower’
Legends of Armoy
- The Armoy Armada was established in 1977. The Armada consisted of Mervyn Robinson, Frank Kennedy and brothers Joey & Jim Dunlop. The Armoy Armada quartet covered 3 seasons of racing from 1977 to 1979 and through their exploits they became the inspiration to many of todays road racers. During their time these men demonstrated acts of commitment, dedication, camaraderie and talent proving that the Armoy Armada are the Original legends in the sport of Road Racing.
When you’re in Armoy visit the park on the bank of the River Bush and see the Armada Statue and the specially
designed pathways with inlays of the NW200, and Ulster Grand Prix race circuit’s highlighted.
Armoy Legends are not only Road racers!
- Olcan McFetridge was a famous Antrim hurler. He received an all-star award in 1989 and recently won a Sports Council Merit and Sunday Life Award in August 2005.
- John Armoy Knox, journalist, was born on August 10, 1851 at Armoy, the son of Thomas and Jane McBride Knox. His father and his Uncle owned the Armoy Flax and Grain Mills. He emigrated to the United States in 1871 and settled in Austin, Texas working as a journalist, before editing newspapers in New York and Atlanta. He was also a playwright and author. He died suddenly in New York on December 18, 1906.
- Charlie McCooke, a local celebrity, was from a large family and was a well known runner, winning many medals and cups. In the 1940’s he could often be seen on his practice run – a round trip to Logan’s Fashions! He, like his brothers, had a natural talent for running and was both a local and regional champion in his day.