List of rural and urban districts in Northern Ireland

The urban districts and rural districts of Northern Ireland had their origin in 1899, when the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898 came into effect. They were based on the system of district councils introduced in England and Wales four years earlier. (See List of Irish local government areas 1898–1921 for a historical list of districts in all of Ireland.)

At the time of Northern Ireland's creation in 1921, Ireland as a whole was divided into thirty-three administrative counties and six county boroughs; the administrative counties were in turn subdivided into a number of boroughs, urban districts, and rural districts. Each district was itself divided into a number of District Electoral Divisions. Northern Ireland received a total of six administrative counties, together with the county boroughs of Belfast and Derry. The six administrative counties all included a number of urban and rural districts in 1921, but no boroughs.

Evolution and reformEdit

Urban District Councils could petition for a charter of incorporation, changing the status of the urban district to that of a Borough. The following districts became boroughs in this way:

  • Bangor by letters patent dated 30 December 1927,[1] taking effect on 23 January 1928;[2]
  • Coleraine by letters patent dated 29 December 1928,[3] taking effect on 23 January 1929;[4]
  • Newtownards by letters patent dated 8 November 1937,[5] taking effect on 23 May 1938;
  • Ballymena by letters patent dated 21 December 1937,[6] taking effect on 23 May 1939;
  • Larne by letters patent dated 15 November 1938,[7] taking effect on 23 May 1939;
  • Portadown by letters patent dated 24 July 1947,[8] taking effect on 2 October 1947;
  • Enniskillen by letters patent dated 29 April 1949,[9] taking effect on 30 May 1949;
  • Carrickfergus by letters patent dated 27 May 1949,[10] taking effect on 1 July 1949;
  • Lurgan by letters patent dated 27 May 1949,[11] taking effect on 7 July 1949; and
  • Lisburn by letters patent dated 24 March 1964,[12] taking effect on 2 June 1964.

A small number of districts were abolished or created after 1921.

The entire system of local government in Northern Ireland was overhauled by the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972, which replaced the county boroughs, administrative counties, urban districts, and rural districts with 26 local government districts. The new system came into effect on 1 October 1973.

Urban and rural districts by administrative countyEdit

 
Map of the Rural and Urban Districts of Northern Ireland in 1967

County AntrimEdit

Name of district Changes between 1921 and 1973 Successor district(s) in 1973
Antrim Rural District Antrim, Ballymena, Belfast City Council, Lisburn, Newtownabbey
Ballycastle Rural District Moyle
Ballycastle Urban District Moyle
Ballyclare Urban District Newtownabbey
Ballymena Rural District Antrim, Ballymena, Ballymoney
Ballymena Urban District Reconstituted as a borough in 1939 Ballymena
Ballymoney Rural District Ballymoney, Coleraine, Moyle
Ballymoney Urban District Ballymoney
Belfast Rural District Abolished in 1958
Carrickfergus Urban District Reconstituted as a borough in 1949 Carrickfergus
Larne Rural District Carrickfergus, Larne, Moyle, Newtownabbey
Larne Urban District Reconstituted as a borough in 1939 Larne
Lisburn Rural District Belfast City Council, Craigavon, Lisburn
Lisburn Urban District Reconstituted as a borough in 1964 Lisburn
Newtownabbey Urban District Created in 1958 Belfast, Newtownabbey
Portrush Urban District Coleraine
Whitehead Urban District Established on 1 April 1927[13] from part of Larne RD,
by virtue of the Whitehead Urban District Order, 1926[14]
Carrickfergus

County ArmaghEdit

Name of district Changes between 1921 and 1973 Successor district(s) in 1973
Armagh Rural District Armagh, Craigavon, Dungannon
Armagh Urban District Armagh
Craigavon Urban District Created in 1967§ Craigavon
Keady Urban District Armagh
Lurgan Rural District Abolished in 1967§
Lurgan Urban District Reconstituted as a borough in 1949 Craigavon
Newry No. 2 Rural District Armagh, Newry and Mourne
Portadown Urban District Reconstituted as a borough in 1947 Craigavon
Tandragee Rural District Armagh, Craigavon
Tandragee Urban District Armagh

§ Lurgan Rural District was abolished on 1 April 1967, and a small part transferred to Lurgan Borough. The rest was assigned to the new Craigavon Urban District, but Craigavon Development Commission rather than Lurgan Rural District Council became Craigavon Urban District Council.[15]

County DownEdit

Name of district Changes between 1921 and 1973 Successor district(s) in 1973
Banbridge Rural District[16] Banbridge
Banbridge Urban District Banbridge
Bangor Urban District Reconstituted as a borough in 1928 North Down
Castlereagh Rural District Belfast, Castlereagh, North Down
Donaghadee Urban District Ards
Downpatrick Urban District Created in 1925 from part of Downpatrick RD,
by virtue of the Downpatrick Urban District Order, 1924[17]
Down
Dromore Urban District Banbridge
East Down Rural District Known as Downpatrick Rural District before 1 January 1962 Ards, Down
Hillsborough Rural District Banbridge, Belfast, Castlereagh, Down, Lisburn
Holywood Urban District North Down
Kilkeel Urban District Created in 1937 from part of Kilkeel Rural District,
by virtue of the Kilkeel Urban District Order, 1936[18]
Newry and Mourne
Moira Rural District Banbridge, Craigavon, Lisburn
Newcastle Urban District Down
Newry Urban District Newry and Mourne
Newry No. 1 Rural District Banbridge, Newry and Mourne
Newtownards Urban District Reconstituted as a borough in 1938 Ards
North Down Rural District
(offices in Newtownards)[19]
Known as Newtownards Rural District before 1 August 1954 Ards, Castlereagh, Down, North Down
South Down Rural District
(offices in Kilkeel)[20]
Known as Kilkeel Rural District before 4 July 1966 Down, Newry and Mourne
Warrenpoint Urban District Newry and Mourne

County FermanaghEdit

Name of district Changes between 1921 and 1973 Successor district(s) in 1973
Enniskillen Urban District Reconstituted as a borough in 1949; abolished in 1967† Fermanagh
Enniskillen Rural District Abolished in 1967† Fermanagh
Irvinestown Rural District Abolished in 1967† Fermanagh
Lisnaskea Rural District Abolished in 1967† Fermanagh

† All district councils in Fermanagh were abolished in 1968, merging with Fermanagh County Council to create a unitary county council.

County LondonderryEdit

Name of district Changes between 1921 and 1973 Successor district(s) in 1973
Coleraine Rural District Coleraine, Magherafelt
Coleraine Urban District Reconstituted as a borough in 1929 Coleraine
Limavady Rural District Limavady
Limavady Urban District Limavady, Londonderry
Londonderry Rural District Reconstituted as an Urban District in 1969‡ Londonderry
Magherafelt Rural District Cookstown, Magherafelt
Portstewart Urban District Coleraine

† The district is now known as Derry.

‡ In 1969 Londonderry Rural District was redesignated as Londonderry Urban District, its council was abolished, and its municipal governance transferred to the Londonderry Development Commission, which had also replaced the corporation of Londonderry County Borough (which the rural district surrounded).[21]

County TyroneEdit

Name of district Changes between 1921 and 1973 Successor district(s) in 1973
Castlederg Rural District Omagh, Strabane
Clogher Rural District Dungannon, Omagh
Cookstown Rural District Cookstown
Cookstown Urban District Cookstown
Dungannon Rural District Dungannon
Dungannon Urban District Dungannon
Omagh Rural District Fermanagh, Omagh, Strabane
Omagh Urban District Omagh
Strabane Rural District Strabane
Strabane Urban District Strabane

SourcesEdit

  • Local Government (Boundaries) Act (Northern Ireland) 1971, (Eliz II 19 & 20 c.9)
  • Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972 (Eliz II 20 & 21 c.9)
  • Local Government (Boundaries) Order (Northern Ireland) 1972 (S.R. & O. 1972, No. 131).

External linksEdit

  • "North-east sheet". Boundaries of Administrative Counties, Co. Boroughs, Urban & Dispensary Districts & District Electoral Divisions. Ordnance Survey Ireland. 1961 [1935]. Retrieved 31 December 2017.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ The Belfast Gazette, No. 343 of 20 January 1928, p. 63
  2. ^ Census of Population of Northern Ireland 1937 (County of Down), publ. HMSO, Belfast, 1938, p. vi
  3. ^ The Belfast Gazette, No. 395 of 18 January 1929, p. 43
  4. ^ Census of Population of Northern Ireland 1937 (County and County Borough of Londonderry), publ. HMSO, Belfast, 1938, p. vi
  5. ^ The Belfast Gazette, No. 855 of 12 November 1937, p. 370
  6. ^ The Belfast Gazette, No. 861 of 24 December 1937, p. 441
  7. ^ The Belfast Gazette, No. 908 of 18 November 1938, p. 394
  8. ^ The Belfast Gazette, No. 1361 of 25 July 1947, p. 179
  9. ^ The Belfast Gazette, No. 1454 of 6 May 1949, p. 99
  10. ^ The Belfast Gazette, No. 1458 of 3 June 1939, p. 126
  11. ^ The Belfast Gazette, No. 1458 of 3 June 1939, p. 126
  12. ^ The Belfast Gazette, No. 2237 of 27 March 1964, p. 111
  13. ^ Census of Population of Northern Ireland 1937 (County of Antrim), publ. HMSO, Belfast, 1938, p. vi
  14. ^ The Belfast Gazette, No. 271 of 3 September 1926, p. 461
  15. ^ The New Towns (Municipal Functions - Craigavon) Order (Northern Ireland) 1967
  16. ^ A list of its 20 District Electoral Divisions, and the townlands comprising each, is in The Belfast Gazette, No. 104 of 22 June 1923, p. 241
  17. ^ The Belfast Gazette, No. 155 of 13 June 1924, p. 836
  18. ^ The Belfast Gazette, No. 787 of 24 July 1936, p. 274
  19. ^ Belfast and Northern Ireland Directory, 1973, p. 1387
  20. ^ Belfast and Northern Ireland Directory, 1973, p. 1267
  21. ^ A Commentary by the Government of Northern Ireland to Accompany the Cameron Report. Command papers. Cmd. 534. Belfast: HMSO. September 1969. ¶35. Retrieved 6 August 2020 – via CAIN.