Millisle (Irish: Oileán an Mhuilinn) is a village in County Down, Northern Ireland, lying on the Ards Peninsula, about 3 miles (4.8 km) south of Donaghadee. It had a population of 1,800 in the 2001 Census. Described in County as an "unpretentious bucket-and-spade resort of fish-and-chip shops and acres of caravan sites". The village continues to grow and good things are in store.


As Nazi abuse of the Jews increased, a committee organised the Kindertransport. About ten thousand unaccompanied children aged between three and seventeen from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia, were permitted entry into Britain without visas. Some of these children were sent to Northern Ireland. Many of them were looked after by foster parents but others went to the Millisle Refugee Farm (Magill’s farm, on the Woburn Road) which took refugees from May 1938 until its closure in 1948.

Places of interest

  • Millisle Lagoon and Beach Park has 165 yd (150 m) of golden sand and a seawater lagoon providing a safe bathing area. A jetty, slipways and paddling pool complement the lagoon area situated at the shorefront of Millisle village. At the moment the land is under redevelopment and undergoing a much needed refit.
  • Millisle is surrounded by farmland, and its farming heritage is shown by the nearby Ballycopeland Windmill, where the fully restored windmill still remains in operation. A lot of said farmland has now been sold of for redevelopment.
  • The First and Last Pub which is situated in Millisle was apparently visited in 1690 by William III of England on his way south to the Battle of the Boyne, despite actually being founded in 1790 a full hundred years after the battle.
  • The house of famous local folk guitarist and philanthropist Lewis McAuley is situated in Millisle.
  • The Borstal - a former family summer home turned bad boys home and is now a police training centre. It is apparently haunted by ghosts which still walk the halls. The story is that a buttler threw the maid of the rock just off shore of the Borstal after killing her and draging her through an underground tunnel which has since been blocked.

2001 Census

Millisle is classified as a village by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (ie with population between 1,000 and 2,250. On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 1,800 people living in Millisle. Of these:

  • 19.0% were aged under 16 years and 25.5% were aged 60 and over
  • 47.7% of the population were male and 52.3% were female
  • 0.1% were from a Catholic background and 99.9% were from a Protestant background
  • 6.1% of people aged 16-74 were unemployed.

For more details see: NI Neighbourhood Information Service


See also

Coordinates: 54°36′N 5°32′W / 54.6°N 5.533°W / 54.6; -5.533

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