Coordinates: 55°03′11″N 6°56′46″W / 55.053°N 6.946°W / 55.053; -6.946

Scots: Limavadie[1]
Irish: Léim a' Mhadaidh
Main Street, Limavady - - 1455684.jpg
Main Street
Limavady is located in Northern Ireland

 Limavady shown within Northern Ireland
Population 12,135 (2001 Census)
District Limavady
County County Londonderry
Country Northern Ireland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LIMAVADY
Postcode district BT49
Dialling code 028
Police Northern Ireland
Fire Northern Ireland
Ambulance Northern Ireland
EU Parliament Northern Ireland
NI Assembly East Londonderry
List of places: UK • Northern Ireland • County Londonderry

Limavady (play /lɪməˈvædi/; from Irish: Léim a' Mhadaidh meaning "leap of the dog") is a market town in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, with Binevenagh as a backdrop. It lies 17 miles (27 km) east of Derry and 14 miles (23 km) south west of Coleraine. It had a population of 12,135 people in the 2001 Census, an increase of some 17% compared to 1991. In the 30 years after 1971 Limavady’s population almost doubled.[2]



During the past 50 years the town has experienced sustained growth, related to significant development of modern industry and its perception as an attractive residential town. Limavady is a prosperous service centre for the Roe valley, but as a retail centre it is subject to increasing competition from Derry, Coleraine and to a lesser extent Ballymena. One of the distinctive features of the town’s growth has been the predominant southward and eastward expansion of its suburbs, with the River Roe flood plain continuing to contain the town to the west and north. From mid 1988 to mid 2004, a total of 1,332 dwellings were built in the town, mainly at Bovally along the south eastern edge of the town. The large industrial estate at Aghanloo is 3 km north of the town.[2]


Limavady and its surrounding settlements derive from Celtic roots, although no-one is sure about the exact date of Limavady's origins. Estimates date from around 5 AD. Early records tell of Saint Columba, who presided over a meeting of the Kings at Mullagh Hill near Limavady in 575 AD, a location which is now part of the Roe Park Golf Resort.[3]

Celtic Ireland was divided into kingdoms, each ruled by their own family or clan. In the Limavady area, the predominate family was the O'Cahans. Their mark is found everywhere in the town and surrounding area. O'Cahan's Rock is one of Limavady's main historical points. This is where, according to local myth, a dog belonging to one of the Chiefs jumped the river to get help from nearby clans after a surprise enemy attack. This gave Limavady its name, Limavady being the anglicised version of Leim an Mhadaidh, which means leap of the dog.[3] This rock, along with other relics of Limavady's history, can be seen at Roe Valley Country Park.

The town developed from a small Plantation settlement founded in the early 17th century. It had an early association with the linen industry, but did not benefit from subsequent expansion of linen manufacturing in the 19th century. as a result it remained a modest sized market town until the late 20th century.[2]

During the troubles in Northern Ireland, four people were killed in or near Limavady by the IRA. Two were members of the security forces and two were civilians who were killed by a bomb as they drove past Limavady RUC station.


Limavady sprang up within the townland of Rathbrady Beg in the parish of Drumachose and was original known as Newtown Limavady.[4] Over time, the urban area has expanded into the surrounding townlands. These include:[5][6]

  • Bovally (from Irish: Bó Bhaile meaning "townland of cows")
  • Coolessan (from Irish: Cúil Leasáin meaning "nook of the little fort")
  • Enagh (from Irish: Eanach meaning "marsh")
  • Killane (from Irish: Coill Leathan meaning "broad wood")
  • Rathbrady Beg (from Irish: Ráth Brighde Beag meaning "little fort of St. Brigid")
  • Rathbrady More (from Irish: Ráth Brighde Mór meaning "great fort of St. Brigid")


The headquarters of Limavady Borough Council are based on Connell Street. Together with the neighbouring district of Coleraine, it forms the East Londonderry constituency for elections to the Westminster Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly.

Places of interest

Popular culture

Danny Boy

Limavady is most famous for the tune Londonderry Air collected by Jane Ross in the mid-19th century from a local fiddle player. The tune was later (ca 1913) used for the song Danny Boy.[3]

Between the 12th and 17th centuries the area was ruled by the O'Cahan clan. World famous song Danny Boy is taken from a melody composed by O’Cahan bard Rory Dall O’Cahan. The original version concerns the passing of the Chief Cooey-na-Gall whose death brought an end to a long line of O’Cahan chiefs in Northern Ireland.[7]


The town hosts international events such as the Danny Boy Festival, the Limavady Jazz and Blues Festival and the Roe Valley Folk Festival.[3]


Limavady is in close proximity to City of Derry Airport, 15 km to the west, and the port of Derry, 22 km to the west.[2]


  • In 2003 a road bypass was completed to the north of Limavady at a cost of £11.5 million.[8] This bypass aimed to reduce the time taken to travel on the A2 between Derry and Coleraine.


  • The Limavady Railway was a branch line to the main DerryBelfast line. Limavady station opened on 29 December 1852, closed for passenger traffic on 3 July 1950 and finally closed altogether on 2 May 1955. Limavady Junction station opened on 1 March 1855 and finally closed on 17 October 1976.[9] Limavady is no longer served by rail links – the nearest station is at Bellarena, approximately 5 miles (8.0 km) from the town.


  • The Broharris Canal was constructed in the 1820s when a cut, some 2 miles (3.2 km) long on the south shore of Lough Foyle near Ballykelly was made in the direction of Limavady. The inhabitants of Limavady appealed for the building of a canal from Lough Foyle to the town but were turned down, and the Broharris Canal was the nearest they came to achieving such a navigable link.


There are four primary schools, three secondary schools, a regional college and a special needs school in Limavady. Limavady's schools are closely located in an 'education circle'. The three secondary schools are all located along the same stretch of road (Ballyquin Road and Irish Green Street), with Limegrove Special School opposite Limavady Grammar School, Termoncanice Primary opposite Limavady High School and St. Mary's High School. Limavady Central Primary School is located a short distance from the other schools.

Primary schools

  • Termoncanice Primary School
  • Roe Valley Integrated Primary
  • Limavady Central Primary School
  • Drumachose Primary School

Gaelscoil Leim an mhadaidh

Secondary schools

Regional college

Special needs schools

  • Rossmar Special School (formerly Limegrove/Greystone Hall)


2001 Census

Limavady is classified as a medium town by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (i.e. with population between 10,000 and 18,000 people). On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 12,135 people living in Limavady. Of these:

  • 25.4% were aged under 16 years and 14.3% were aged 60 and over
  • 48.8% of the population were male and 51.2% were female
  • 41.6% were from a Catholic background and 56.5% were from a Protestant background [10]
  • 5.1% of people aged 16–74 were unemployed.

For more details see: NI Neighbourhood Information Service


Notable people who have come from or have been resident in the town and environs include:

See also


External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Limavady — (lɪməˈvædi; irisch: Léim an Mhadaidh; dt.: „Sprung des Hundes“) ist eine größere Marktstadt im County Londonderry in Nordirland sowie Verwaltungssitz des gleichnamigen Districts. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Der Ort 2 Musikkultur …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Limavady — (Newtown Limavady, spr. njútaun limmāwéddĭ), Stadt in der irischen Grafschaft Londonderry, am Roe, mit (1891) 2796 Einw., ein Hauptsitz der Flachsindustrie. Früher Sitz der O Cahans, spielte der Ort in den Kriegen Wilhelms von Oranien eine Rolle …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Limavady —   [lɪmə vædɪ],    1) Stadt in Nordirland, östlich von Derry, 10 800 Einwohner; Verwaltungssitz des gleichnamigen Distrikts; Textilindustrie (Chemiefaserverarbeitung).    2) Distrikt in Nordirland, 586 km2, 30 900 Einwohner …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Limavady — Town (pop., 1991: 10,350), seat of Limavady district (pop., 2001: 32,422), Northern Ireland. The town is on the River Roe east of the old city of Londonderry. It dates from the Plantation of Ulster in the early 17th century; it was later settled… …   Universalium

  • Limavady — Original name in latin Limavady Name in other language Leim an Mhadaidh, Limavadi, Limavadis, Limavehdi, Lim an Mhadaidh, Newtown Limavady, Лимавади, Лимавэди State code GB Continent/City Europe/London longitude 55.05045 latitude 6.95074 altitude …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

  • Limavady — ► Distrito de Gran Bretaña, en Irlanda del Norte; 590 km2 y 30 000 h. * * * Ciudad (pob., 1991: 10.350 hab.), capital del distrito de Limavady (pob., 2001: 32.422 hab.) en Irlanda del Norte. Está situada a orillas del río Roe, al este de la… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Limavady — Sp Limavãdis Ap Limavady L Š. Airijos mst. ir apygarda, Jungtinė Karalystė …   Pasaulio vietovardžiai. Internetinė duomenų bazė

  • Limavady — Sp Limavãdis Ap Limavady L Š. Airijos mst. ir apygarda, D. Britanija …   Pasaulio vietovardžiai. Internetinė duomenų bazė

  • Limavady (Borough) — Limavady Borough Buirg Léim an Mhadaidh …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Limavady United — Football Club Limavady United …   Wikipédia en Français

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