LISBURN, a market town, and cathedral city of Co. Antrim, Ireland, situated in a beautiful and fertile district on the Lagan, and on the Great Northern railway, 8 m. S.S.W. of Belfast. Pop. (1901) 11,461. Christ Church (1622) which possesses a fine octagonal spire, is the cathedral church of the united Protestant dioceses of Down, Connor and Dromore, and contains a monument to Jeremy Taylor, who was bishop of the see. The public park was presented to the town by Sir Richard Wallace (d. 1890), and after his death the castle gardens were also given to the town. The staple manufacture is linen, especially damasks and muslins, originally introduced by Huguenots. There are also bleaching and dyeing works, and a considerable agricultural trade. The town is governed by an urban district council. The ruins of Castle Robin, 2 m. N. of the town, stand on a summit of the White Mountains, and the building dates from the time of Queen Elizabeth. At Drumbo, 31 m. E. of Lisburn, is one of the finest examples of early fortification in Ireland, known as the Giant’s Ring, with a cromlech in the centre. Here are also a round tower and the remains of a church ascribed to St Patrick.
In the reign of James I., Lisburn, which was then known as Lisnegarvy (Gambler’s Fort), was an inconsiderable village, but in 1627 it was granted by Charles I. to Viscount Conway, who erected the castle for his residence, and laid the foundation of the prosperity of the town by the introduction of English and Welsh settlers. In November 1641 the town was taken by the insurgents, who on the approach of superior numbers set fire to it. The troops of Cromwell gained a victory near the town in 1648, and the castle surrendered to them in 1650. The church was constituted a cathedral in 1662 by Charles II., from whom the town received the privilege of returning two members to parliament, but after the Union it returned only one and in 1885 ceased to be a parliamentary borough. Lisburn gives the titles of earl and viscount to the family of Vaughan.