Celebrating Ulster's Townlands
|4. Illustrations of Townlands in Maps||
Escheated County Maps 1609, the first to show townlands: portion north and east of Omagh (Strabane barony).
“Escheated County” Barony map of Strabane showing townlands to the
north of Omagh, Omey,
separated by streams and hills. The townlands of Cranny
“place of trees” and Mullaghmore
“big summit” appear by the river, the parish church of Cappagh shown as Sostimple “church place” .
maps exist for counties Armagh, Cavan, part of
Derry, Fermanagh, Monaghan, and Tyrone.
Townland names and boundaries were marked in capitals on the Ordnance Survey 6 -inch maps after 1830, but can also be traced on smaller scale maps still available:
Ordnance Survey townland index map: Old version 1946 with townland names
in capitals: south-west of Strabane, scale 1 inch to the mile. The heavy
broken line is the River Derg
“the red one”, the dotted lines are townland boundaries, and the
black lines are roads, many converging on the village of Castlederg
“castle on the red”. The large numbers indicate the appropriate 6
-inch sheets, the small their subdivisions.
The townlands bear a mixture of English and Irish names: Churchtown, Bridgetown, Spa Mount, Berrysfort; Dartans, Kilcroagh,
Dunrevan, Knockbrack “speckled hill”. Some townlands have been
subdivided according to family holdings: Ganvaghan
Kyle, Semple, Hemphill; Craigmonaghan Funston
and Nelson, Golan
Adams, Hunter and
A) Castlederg, Co. Tyrone, old county series with townlands in capital letters, 1946
Later version 1970 based on the 1-inch map: Magheralin “plain of the church”, Co. Down. On this the townland
names are in lower case, and the boundaries are shown by fine black
lines superimposed on the 1-inch map (in grey). The heavy lines with
shading are electoral boundaries. The townland names are all Irish and
include a large proportion using Bally “settlement, townland” of plus a
Gaelic surname: Ballymacateer,
Ballymacmaine, Ballymacbredan, Ballymagin, Ballymakeonan,
Ballymagaraghan, Ballymacbrennan, Ballymacanally. Of these McBredan
and McEonan seem to have died out. [Harder to see, other surnames appear
in the minor names Watties Hill, Gamblestown, Gooleystown.]
(B) Magheralin, Co. Down, county series
Local Government District map 1974: townlands of Kilbride “church of (St) Brigid” Co. Antrim. Townland names made
up of a Scottish surname plus land: McVickersland,
Crawfordsland, Duncansland, Douglasland, Ferguson’s Land, while
around them are Irish names like Ballywee,
Dunamuggy, Drumadarragh, Dunamoy, Rashee, Coggrey, Kilbride, Doagh.
townland, fort of the ?”, ridge of the oak tree, fort of the plain,
fort of the fairy mound, borderland, St Brigid’s church, sandhills.”
To the north of these are the Scots townland names of Clatteryknowes and
(C) Local Government District map 1974: Kilbride Co. Antrim
New digitised townland bounds c.1990: the townland system around the
city of Armagh (the large
townland of Corporation which
has been amalgamated from smaller units). Much of this like the area
around Magheralin was church land, held before the Plantation by tenant
families who owed particular duties to the Church, and some of whose
members became clergy. Many of the townland names include Gaelic
surnames, this time formed with Ó “grandson” rather than Mac
Tullyworgle, Carrickaloughran, Lurgyvallen, Farmacaffley and Ballycoffey
are names of this type, represented by the modern surnames of Bradley,
Morgan, Loughran, Mallon, McAughley and Coffey.
The townlands of Navan
and Creeveroe “red branchy
tree” to the west are famous in the legends of Ulster.
(D) Unpublished digitised map, 1:50,000 sh.19: Armagh 1990
two maps following show smaller names within the townlands:
[E] 6 -inch survey (sheet 94, 1980): House clusters (clachans) near Lough Neagh, Co. Antrim: McAteerstown by a crossroads, McGeestown a little north of it in the townland of Gallagh. Further north are McCormick’s Hill and Bridge. It would be interesting to know if people of the name still live here. All three surnames are well-known in both Ireland and Scotland, although the Scottish form of McAteer is usually McIntyre. The McCormick names are in the townland of Ballydugennan Baile Uí Dhuígeannáin, “townland of O’Dugennnan” an Irish poet family usually anglicised Duignan. Further north is Staffordstown Road. Staffordstown is a townland named from the family of Francis Stafford, Governor of Ulster at the beginning of the Plantation. (PNI iv 89, 119).
(E) 1:10,000 (sheet 94, 1980) Duneane parish Co. Antrim
Fermanagh caves or pot-holes near Marble Arch, in the parish of Killesher
“St Lassair’s church” on Cuilcagh
“chalky mountain” 1:50,000 sheet 26 1984.
of the pigeons”, Pollawaddy
“cave of the fox”, Pollreagh
“speckled cave”, and another called in English the Cat’s
Hole. The pigeons, foxes and wildcats presumably only inhabited the
entrances to the caves, the underground reaches of which have been named
by hardy cavers things like Sewerage System and Flush Passage. Legnabrocky
is the “hollow of the badger-den”. The river that goes underground
near the caves is called the Owenbrean,
Abhainn Bhréan “stinking
river”, but that which emerges from Marble Arch is the Cladagh
or “washing” River , a common river name often anglicised Clady.
Crown copyright; Maps produced from Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland material with permission of the Director and Chief Executive.
(F) 1:50,000 map of Fermanagh, sheet 26: Marble Arch: 1984.