Ballymena - Encyclopedia

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BALLYMENA, a town of Co. Antrim, Ireland, in the mid parliamentary division, on the Braid, an affluent of the Maine, 2 m. above their junction. Pop. of urban district (190,) 10,886. It is 33 m. N.N.W. of Belfast on the Northern Counties (Midland) railway. Branch lines run to Larne and to Parkmore on the east coast. The town owes its prosperity chiefly to its linen trade, introduced in 1733, which gives employment to the greater part of the inhabitants. Brown linen is a specialty. Iron ore is raised in the neighbourhood. Antiquities in the neighbourhood are few and the present buildings of Ballymena Castle and Galgorm Castle are modern. Gracehill, however, a Moravian settlement, was founded in 1746.

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