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Lambeg (historically Lanbeg, from Irish Lann Bheag, meaning "little church") is an urban townland and civil parish in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Located between Belfast and Lisburn, it was once a small rural village, but is now within the Greater Belfast conurbation. Lambeg is also an electoral ward of Lisburn Council. In the 2001 Census it had a population of 60 people. The civil parish of Lambeg covers areas of County Down as well as County Antrim.
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Lambeg was originally one townland, but has since been split into Lambeg North and Lambeg South. The old village of Lambeg was in the northern half.
The River Lagan flowed alongside the village and it was because of the river and the damp climate of the Lagan Valley, that flax was first grown there. This resulted in Lambeg becoming a centre for the Linen industry in the area. The fertile land of the Lagan Valley was part of the manor granted in 1611 to Sir Fulke Conway. English tenants, mainly from the north of England according to Rankin, were brought over by Conway to settle on his estate. It is suggested that they also brought experience of textile making with them. The earliest documentary evidence of the textile industry in Lambeg records the setting up of a bleach green in 1626.
By 1760, Mr John Williamson owned most of the village and played a prominent role in the development of the linen trade, through ownership of the Lambeg bleach green.
The Wolfendens were another foreign family who went into exile in Lambeg and assisted in the establishing of the manufacture of linen cloth in the village. They are buried in Lambeg graveyard. The bridge over the River Lagan is still referred to as Wolfenden's Bridge.
In 1921 the Government of Northern Ireland set up a "Linen Industry Research Association" (LIRA). This was situated in Lambeg, for the scientific and technical research of textiles, especially linen. Due to the decline of the industry the centre closed in 1993, although its library of books and journals are now housed in the Lisburn Museum.
Locally significant buildings include Lambeg Old National School (1849), which is now converted to a dwelling and is a listed building.
The Lambeg drum is named after Lambeg.
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