At the start of the seventeenth century, British rulers settled British
people in Ireland under the Plantation of Ulster. Coleraine became more
developed as a result. The town continued to grow during the industrial
revolution. Its river port made it advantageous to develop the area,
too. Railway enhancements meant that the town expanded further. Further
development occurred after World War Two, with the population doubling
because of the University of Ulster and further industrial development.
Coleraine and its environs have been inhabited for thousands of years.
An eight thousand year old Mesolithic site at Mount Sandel is testament
to this and is the earliest evidence of human habitation on the island
of Ireland. Coleraine is known as the Capital of the Causeway Coast.
Although it is some distance from the Giant's Causeway, which is steeped
in myth and legend, the fact that Coleraine is among the oldest
population centres in Ireland lends some weight to its nickname.