Along the Carrickfergus promenade sits a restored Churchill MK VII Tank from World War II. The tank was originally designed and produced by Belfast’s Harland and Wolff factory during the war. However, during The Blitz, Belfast and other parts of the United Kingdom decided to move certain manufacturing operations to safer locations. One location was Carrickfergus. Along the Woodburn Road, these types of tanks and others such as the Matilda and Centaur series were constructed.
The Churchill MK VII tank was renamed “Carrickfergus” after a vehicle of the same name had been in service with a Northern Irish Squadron called “North Irish Horse.” The squadron saw action in Northern Africa and Italy during WWII. The tank weighed over 40 tons, carried a crew of four engineers, and had a maximum speed of 12.5 miles per hour. It was armed with a 75 Main Cannon and two Birmingham Small Arm (BSA) Machine Guns.
The restoration project was funded through a grant award from the Heritage Lottery Fund. It was part of a project focused on military and industrial heritage. The tank was unveiled by the Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for the County of Antrim, Mrs. Joan Christie OBE on Armed Forces Day June 28, 2014.
Know Before You Go
The Carrickfergus Tank is located along the Marine Highway in Carrickfergus next to Marine Gardens and the Carrickfergus War Memorial. There is plenty of parking within the vicinity of the site. It's within 10–15 minutes walking distance of both the Carrickfergus Train Station and Downshire Train Station.