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Town and district (pop., 2001: 48,366), Northern Ireland. It is also the name of a former Northern Irish county. The town borders Lough Neagh. In 1798 it was the scene of a battle in which several thousand nationalist insurgents led by Henry J. McCracken were defeated by the British. A busy market centre, Antrim town was formerly an important locale for the linen industry. The area has evidence of human inhabitation dating to c. 6000 BC. Anglo-Norman adventurers arrived in the 12th century AD, and the area became part of the earldom of Ulster. The invasion by Edward Bruce from Scotland in 1315 caused the decline of British power. In the 1973 administrative reorganization of Northern Ireland, the county was divided into several districts.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Antrim, visit Britannica.com.