Celebrating Ulster's Townlands

 

 

Signpost: 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 Maps 1609, the first to show townlands: portion north and east of Omagh (Strabane barony). 

Logo: Townlands

1609 “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”.

These 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:  

 

[A] 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 Sproul. 

 

A) Castlederg, Co. Tyrone, old county series with townlands in capital letters, 1946

A) Castlederg, Co. Tyrone, old county series with townlands in capital letters, 1946

 

[B] 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

(B) Magheralin, Co. Down, county series

 

[C] 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.

“yellow 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 Whappstown.

 

(C) Local Government District map 1974: Kilbride Co. Antrim

(C) Local Government District map 1974: Kilbride Co. Antrim

  [D] 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 “son”. Ballybrolly, 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

(D) Unpublished digitised map, 1:50,000 sh.19: Armagh 1990

 

The 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 

(E) 1:10,000 (sheet 94, 1980) Duneane parish Co. Antrim 

   [F] 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.

Pollnagollum “cave 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.

(F) 1:50,000 map of Fermanagh, sheet 26: Marble Arch: 1984.

 

GO TO TOP