Celebrating Ulster's Townlands

 

 

Signpost: Townlands

   

Aghanloo Post Office, Limavady, Co. Derry: EHS

Aghanloo Post Office, Limavady, Co. Derry: EHS

  1. Celebrating Ulster's Townlands
Logo: Townlands The Ulster Place-Name Society has created this travelling exhibition to celebrate the history and promote the future of Ulster's place-name heritage, supported by the United Kingdom Heritage Lottery Fund. There is a special emphasis on the names of townlands, a land division which exists all over Ireland, but nowhere else. The exhibition concentrates on the province of Ulster, and particularly that part of it in Northern Ireland, the area covered by the Northern Ireland Place-Name Project database in Queen's University Belfast. Many other place-names are included, in the various languages which have been spoken in Ulster, but the emphasis is on those names which now need explanations of their meaning.
 

In Northern Ireland, as in the rest of the island, the townland was for centuries the building block of local society. The local national school, railway halt, large farmer's house, post office or orange hall were all named after it, and made the townland visible to passers-by. 

National School, Donaghmore, Co. Down: Ulster Architectural Heritage Society 

National School, Donaghmore, Co. Down: Ulster Architectural Heritage Society 

 

 

It was also the most important part of the local address, a function now being taken over by road names. Some of the roads are named after townlands. However, when Donaghanie Road begins at the West Tyrone Hospital in Omagh, goes through the townlands of Cranny, Garvaghy, Edenberry, Donaghanie, Eskermore and Clogherny Glebe Lower and ends up at Beragh, it is clear that many of these townland names are under threat. Fermanagh Council has stood against road names, but even in Fermanagh people may be told by outsiders that a townland address can't be correct.

 

 

Thanks to Fermanagh Council the cottage at Mullylusty keeps its original address:

townland: Mullylusty Mullach Losaide "summit of the kneading trough" (a picturesque name for a productive small field),

townland / post town: Belcoo Béal Cú "approach to the narrows" (the crossing between upper and lower Loughs Macnean)

county: Fermanagh Fir Manach "men of the Manaigh" (an early tribe in the area).

 

 

 

Drumcovitt House bears a townland name, but is now number 704 on Feeny Road:

townland: Drumcovit Droim Coimhéadta "ridge of the watching place"

townland / post town: Feeny Na Fineadha "woody places"

county: Londonderry (although based on the existing city of Derry Doire "oakwood", which had grown up around an early monastery, the county was created and named by the London Companies granted land in the city and area in AD 1610).

Orange Hall, Bocombra, Co. Armagh: Jim Blaney.

Orange Hall, Bocombra, Co. Armagh: Jim Blaney.

 

Railway Station, Cullybackey, Co. Antrim: Charles Friel

Railway Station, Cullybackey, Co. Antrim: Charles Friel

 

Cottage at Mullylusty, Belcoo, Fermanagh (private home): Robert Blair, NITB.

Cottage at Mullylusty, Belcoo, Fermanagh (private home): Robert Blair, NITB.

 

Drumcovitt House, 704 Feeny Road, Co. Londonderry (guesthouse): F. Sloan 

Drumcovitt House, 704 Feeny Road, Co. Londonderry (guesthouse): F. Sloan 

 

 

 

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