Bangor, County Down

Located within the Belfast metropolitan area, Bangor is a large seaside town in the North Down district of County Down. It is positioned on the southern shore of Belfast Lough on the inlet of the sea. The town is the seat for the east-central Bangor Marina, which holds the Blue Flag status and is one of the largest marinas in Northern Ireland. This cathedral town has derived its name from the Irish word Beannchar, archaically termed as Beannchor, which means horned or peaked curve with a staked enclosure. The town is named so because of the shape of Bangor Bay appears similar to that of the horns of a bull.

The name of the town was originally recognized as "Inver Beg", which was christened after the stream which ran past the abbey. However, the water of this stream is now channelled beneath the embankment. The Vale of Angels is another name given to this area; this name denotes the stay of Saint Patrick, who was an Irish glorified soul believed to have had a vision filled with angels.

In about 555 A.D., St. Comgall laid the foundations of a monastery in the heart of the town. This monastery, since then, has been considered a celebrated seat of learning. In the late 9th century, invasions of Danes destroyed Bangor. In the mid 12th century, the town was partially restored by St. Malachy, which includes the part of his stone church. Presently, the town has boomed as an important seaside resort with a small harbour. Along with numerous local industries, including light industry and a large retail centre, the town houses the headquarters of the Royal Ulster Yacht Club. Bangor also serves as a centre of cotton production and a Victorian and Edwardian holiday resort.

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