Gilford History

Gilford is a village in County Down, Northern Ireland. The village sits on the River Bann between the towns of Banbridge, Tandragee and Portadown. It covers the townlands of Loughans, Ballymacanallen and Drumaran. It had a population of 1,573 people in the 2001 Census. Gilford is within the Banbridge (district) area.

In the 1650s Cromwellian land confiscation and subsequent plantation era, following the Irish Rebellion of 1641, Captain John Magill acquired land in the Tullylish area and founded Gilford, the name of the village being derived from "Magill’s ford". He afterwards became Sir John Magill and built Gill Hall in Dromore, County Down. The Magill lands passed by marriage to the Meade family, who were created Barons Gillford in 1766 and later earls of Clanwilliam. Somewhat later Gilford expanded around development of a linen mill and many mill houses can still be found. Gilford Castle is situated at the edge of the village.

Education is provided through both Gilford Primary School and St John's Primary School. The schools are within the Southern Education and Library Board area.

Gilford is classified as a village by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (ie with population between 1,000 and 2,250 people). On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 1,573 people living in Gilford.

Of these:

  •  22.7% were aged under 16 and 14.6% were aged 60 and over
  •  50.2% of the population were male and 49.8% were female
  •  51.0% were from a Catholic background and 47.0% were from a Protestant background
  •  3.8% of people aged 16–74 were unemployed.
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