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Ballymoney is one of the oldest towns in Ireland but its original site was some distance from the site it now occupies. Its origins lie in the great mound beside the River Bann near the present Agivey Bridge, which became the residence of the local Celtic King and a place where the river could be crossed by ford and ferry, as well as a place where fairs were held. This was Enagh Cross or the Crosses of Antrim, described by a Celtic Bard in 941 AD as "not more delightful to be in Paradice". As raiders sailing the Bann soon shattered this "paradice", many inhabitants moved back from the river and Ballymoney on its present site began. It was a settlement around two Celtic forts, on one of which the Normans built a fortified house. Around this "castle" the town developed as a route centre and market town.

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