Holywood Maypole

At the junction of High Street and Shore Road and Church Road.

The unique Holywood Maypole may well date to the early days of the Hamilton/Montgomery Plantation. Thomas Raven was commissioned to map the estate of James Hamilton, which included Holywood, in 1625 and a maypole is featured. According to the Plantation Commissioners, in 1611 the new town of Holywood consisted of

"80 newe houses, all inhabited with Scotyshmen and Englishmen…”

The Maypole was probably erected by the latter as the Scots Presbyterians disapproved of such pagan frivolity.  The only surviving maypole in Ireland, it is still used each May Day. You can see the Raven Maps of Hamilton’s estate at North Down Museum.

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