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Your Are Here - Home > Counties > Antrim County > Ballymena
Ballymena (from the Irish: An Baile Meánach meaning "middle townland") is a town in County Antrim, Northern Ireland and the seat of Ballymena Borough Council. Ballymena had a population of 28,717 people in the 2001 Census.

The town is built on land given to the Adair family by King Charles I in 1626, on the basis that the town hold two annual fairs and a free Saturday market in perpetuity. The Saturday market still runs. The town used to host Ireland’s largest one day agricultural show at the Ballymena Showgrounds. There are still many historic buildings in the town. The Town Hall was built in 1924 on the site of the old Market House. The Town Hall has just recently be refurbished in 2007 at a cost of approx £20 million.

History
In 1900, Ballymena assumed urban status. The Adairs disposed of most of their Ballymena estate to the occupying tenants in 1904, under the provisions of the Irish Land Act of 1903. The “old” town hall building, which also contained the post office and estate office, burned down in 1919. Prince Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI) laid the cornerstone to the new town hall on July 24, 1924, and it was officially opened on November 20, 1928. The Urban District Council petitioned for borough status and the Charter was granted in December 1937. The first meeting of councillors as a borough Council was held on May 23, 1939. The population of Ballymena reached 13,000. Ballymena Castle was demolished in the 1950s. In 1973, the Urban and Rural District Councils were merged to create the present Ballymena Borough Council.

During the Second World War, Ballymena was home to a large number of Gibraltarian evacuees.


 
 
Belfast City
Antrim Town
Ballymena
Carrickfergus
 
 
     
     
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Ballymena
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Ballymena
In: Antrim
People: 28,717
Speak: English
Type: Market Town
GPS: -6.28, 54.86