High above the settlement of Greenisland on the eastern coast of County Antrim stands a giant stone obelisk known as the Knockagh Monument, named after the hill that it sits upon. The Knockagh Monument was erected in remembrance of the County Antrim men who fell in battle during the First World War (1914–1918), but was later rededicated to all those who died during the Second World War (1939–1945), as well.
The high sheriff of the county, Henry Dupre Malkin Barton, started the building project. The giant stone monument took 14 years to complete between 1922 and 1936 and it stands 110 feet (34 meters) high on top of Knockagh hill, overlooking the town of Carrickfergus. From the monument’s grounds you can see unparalleled panoramic views of Carrickfergus, Belfast, and even across Belfast Lough toward Bangor and the Copeland Islands.
An inscription on the monument was adapted from the hymn “O Valiant Hearts” by John S. Arkwright, which reads, “Nobly you fought, your knightly virtue proved your memory hallowed in the land you loved.” There is also a message from the high sheriff of the county that reads,“To the glory of God and in proud and affectionate remembrance of the men of County Antrim who fell in the Great War this memorial is erected by their grateful county.”
In 2006, the monument was rededicated with a ceremony by the Royal British Legion. The monument received another inscription—“We will remember them”—from the “Ode of Remembrance,” which is often read as a tribute to fallen soldiers. Nowadays, the Knockagh monument is a popular scenic picnic location while also remaining a sombre tribute to the fallen soldiers of years past. A remembrance service is held at the monument every year as part of Remembrance Sunday in November.
Know Before You Go
The best way to get there is to travel to Carrickfergus by car and then make your way to the Top Road (also known as Middle Road) at the turn off at Woodburn Road, followed by a left at Knockagh Road. This sometimes narrow, windy country road will take you to Monument Road, where the Knockagh Monument is located at the end.
The Monument has a small parking lot, where you can leave your car or your bicycles before entering the monument's grounds.