Glens of Antrim

The Glens of Antrim,[1] known locally as simply The Glens, is a region of County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It comprises nine glens (valleys), that radiate from the Antrim Plateau to the coast. The Glens are an area of outstanding natural beauty and are a major tourist attraction in north Antrim.

Glendun: the Glendun Viaduct can just be made out among the trees in the middle distance, and on the skyline is Crocknamoyle

The main towns and villages in the Glens are Ballycastle, Cushendun, Cushendall, Waterfoot, Carnlough and Glenarm.

The Lordship of the GlensEdit

From the mid-13th century onward, the Lordship of The Glen belonged to the Bissett family, Anglo-Norman in origin but Gaelicized over generations. In the mid-16th century it came into the ownership of the MacDonnells of Antrim.

The nine glensEdit

From north to south, the nine glens are:

Irish name Meaning Ref
Glentaisie Gleann Taise Taise's valley/damp valley [1][2]
Glenshesk Gleann Seisc barren valley [1]
Glendun Gleann Doinne valley of the [river] Dun [1][2]
Glencorp Gleann Corp valley of the body (or bodies) [1][3]
Glenaan Gleann Athain valley of the burial chamber [2][4]
Glenballyeamon Gleann Bhaile Uí Dhíomáin
Gleann Bhaile Éamainn
valley of Ó Díomáin's town
valley of Éamonn's town
Glenariff Gleann Aireamh valley of the ploughman/arable valley [1][4]
Glencloy Gleann Claidheamh valley of the sword [1]
Glenarm Gleann Arma valley of the army [1][4]

Tenth glenEdit

Glenravel is sometimes considered a tenth glen. It lies to the southwest of Glenballyeamon and Glenariff, being separated from the latter by the Glenariff forest park.

The main settlements of Glenravel are Cargan, Martinstown and Skerry (Newtowncrommelin).


Madman's Window in Antrim, ca. 1860 (National Library of Ireland)

Artifacts of the Neolithic period have been found in various places of the Glens of Antrim including Bay Farm II and Madman's Window.[5]

In popular cultureEdit

The Glens are mentioned in the song "Ireland's Call". DI Sean Duffy, in the Troubles mysteries by Adrian McKinty, is from the Glens.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i (Placenames Database of Ireland)
  2. ^ a b c d Moyle District Council Area, Northern Ireland Place-Name Project, Queen's University Belfast
  3. ^ "Glencorp". Place Names - NI. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  4. ^ a b c Place Names NI Archived October 1, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ O'Sullivan, Aidan; Breen, Colin (2007). Maritime Ireland. An Archaeology of Coastal Communities. Stroud: Tempus. p. 63. ISBN 978-0-7524-2509-2.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 55°09′36″N 6°06′00″W / 55.16000°N 6.10000°W / 55.16000; -6.10000