Whitehead. The town with no streets.

The Town With no Streets. A little bit of history.

Whitehead is a small seaside town on the east coast of County Antrim, Northern Ireland, lying almost midway between the towns of Carrickfergus and Larne. It lies within the civil parishes of Island Magee and Templecorran, the barony of Belfast Lower, and is part of Carrickfergus Borough Council. Before the Plantation of Ulster its name was recorded as both Whitehead and Kinbaine (from Irish: an Cionn Bán meaning "the white head").

Located at the base of Muldersleigh Hill, at the entrance to  Belfast Lough, Whitehead lies in a small bay between the limestone cliffs of Whitehead and the black volcanic cliff of Blackhead, with the Blackhead Lighthouse on top, marking the entrance to the Lough. It had a population of 3,702 in the 2001. Whitehead is unique in that there are no streets with the suffix "Street" in their name, giving rise to the nickname 'The Town With No Streets'

In late Victorian and Edwardian times, Whitehead was a popular seaside holiday destination and visitors flocked from Belfast and the surrounding area each year. The town also was home to an aerodrome during the first world war  which housed two airships. Whitehead is a Victorian railway village with a well preserved conservation area including the railway station. It is the starting point for the  Gobbins path seaside walk past Sunshine House, around Blackhead Lighthouse and along the irish sea cliffs of Islandmaggee. Whitehead is about 20 miles from Belfast. On the opposite coast of Belfast Lough, to Whitehead, the Copeland Islands, Bangor and part of the County Down coastline, are clearly visible. On a clear day, it is possible to see the Isle of Man and Scotland.

Whitehead Railway Station

Whitehead Railway Station, which was the property of the Northern Counties Committee Railway, became Headquarters of Royal Engineers 8th Railway Construction Company who had an Armoured Rail Trolley which was marked to appear to be a Cement Wagon. This trolley, which had a number of fighting slots, was propelled by a Leyland engine which powered both axles and the driver could see forward by using a periscope.From October 1940 an Ambulance Train was kept at Whitehead Platform however I believe the only use was in 1941 following the Bismarck Action when wounded sailors were landed at Londonderry and this train was used  to ferry them to Hospitals in Belfast.The Hospital Train consisted of approximately 10 ward carriages which held a total of 40 patients. It also had a Treatment Coach which incorporated an Operating Theatre, Pharmacy and Utility Room which, if circumstances dictated, could be used as an Isolation Ward or indeed Padded Cell.Personel who worked on the train were from Number 15 Ambulance Train whose compliment was approximately 45 men with 3 Training Sisters.From 22nd November 1943 until 17th May 1944 they were joined by United States Personel from 44th Hospital Train.The personel were housed in local billits.



Seamount H.A.A. Battery

Heavy Anti Aircraft battery is on the main Kilroot to Larne Road.

(On the hill above Whitehead)


The top picture shows the Control Building with a gun pit in front and the sea in the background.

The next picture shows a brick on the right side of the hatch in the
centre picture. The wording which is painted on it appears to say "DISP

The remaining 3 pictures above show coat hook number 5 which is
diagonally across from the centre picture. This shows a hatch looking out into
the middle of a walled area around the protected Fire Control Building.

The final colour picture is taken inside the shelter adjoing
Fire Control. There are steps down into this building which has wooden doors and
is an elongated "L" shape.

The picture directly above shows where the nearby camp once
stood beside the road with the Anti-Aircraft Battery on the high ground a short
distance away. Nothing remains of this camp today.


Islandmagee Radar Platform



This radar platform can be found at Ballyprior Beg on

It has been constructed with a row of steps up the
inside of the structure on the left wall which reaches the top.

There are also a number of metal pins in the ground around the
structure which may have been used for camouflage.


The adjoining field holds the Heavy Anti Aircraft Battery
mentioned below.


Islandmagee Heavy Anti-Aircraft Battery



H.A.A. Battery on Islandmagee at Ballyprior Beg has suffered from weathering
over the years and all 4 of the shelters have collapsed as well as the
strengthened Nissen Hut.


The picture above shows one of the gun battery positions in the
rear right with 2 collapsed shelters in the centre foreground and




The centre picture above shows the base on which an artillery
piece would have been mounted with the third photograph showing all 8
attachments still intact.


The 4 gun positions form the shape of a square with the
accompanying nissen hut a short distance away. This location was known as

With gratefull aknowledgement to





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