Magherafelt town is the largest settlement in Magherafelt District, with an estimated population in 2001 of 8,289 within the existing limit of development. Magherafelt accommodates approximately 21% of the total population of the District.
Magherafelt is located to the north-west of Lough Neagh. It is some 56 kilometres to the north-west of Belfast and some 65 kilometres to the south-east of Londonderry.
Magherafelt lies on the A31 trunk road and is close to the A6 Belfast / Londonderry strategic route.
The town has its roots in the Plantation of Ulster having been established by the Salters’ Company in c.1614. The Plantation legacy is still evident in the town’s wide Broad Street with the Market Square at the top (site of the Plantation castle and bawn), and the ruins of the Planters’ church at the lower end.
The 19th Century Magherafelt consisted of four principal streets; Broad Street, Charity (Rainey) Street, The Pass (Queen Street) and Meeting (Market) Street. Modern development has taken place on and between the arterial routes radiating out from the town centre.