The townland is a unique feature of the Irish landscape and is one of the most ancient divisions in the country. There are approximately 62,000 townlands in Ireland and great variations are evident in townland sizes due to the fact that their shapes and sizes are related to local landscape and farming practices.
The Causeway Coast and Glens commissioned Quarto Consultants to explore and document the history of the Binevenagh Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, specifically the townlands and fieldnames. The project looked at names given to townlands and fields over the years and how they tell the story of the heritage, folklore and the landscape associated with the area.
This information was presented in a mobile exhibition which tours the area, free to all to host. The origin of the townland remains obscure, they existed long before the parishes and counties and up until recently the townland was commonly used for postal address purposes.
They often take their names from local landscape features. Given the natural vegetation of the island many townlands take their names from local trees and plants. Field Names also offer a window into the past of our landscape and are part of our culture.
Many of the townlands and fieldnames of the area are recorded here: Townlands & Fieldnames Recorded,
Alongside the the mobile exhibition which has been hosted in Green Lane Museum, Roe Valley Arts and Cultural and Hazlett House to name a few, it has been offered to all schools in the area. A worksheet was created to capture townland and fieldname information, encouaging children to talk to their parents, grandparents and explore their local landscape.
The information in these worksheets will be digitized by CCGHT as they are returned.
Below is information gathered from Hezlett Primary School;
|What is it called?||Why is it called this?|
|Aghadowey||Duffy’s Field.The largest townland in Europe.|
|Agivey||Meaning ford of the impasse or difficult ford.|
|Altikeeragh||The height of the Glen.|
|Articlave||Height of the basket/ Height of the house of swords.|
|Articlave Upper||Is the higher townland of Articlave|
|Articlave Plantation||Woodland planted in the late eighteenth century.|
|Artidillon||The height of the house of Dillon|
|Bellarena||Means mouth of the Queen’s Ford.“the only townland name in Ireland which is not Irish”|
|Belvedere||Named after a Summer House in the grounds of Downhill Demense|
|Big Glebe||Named after a fort|
|Binevenagh||Foikne’s Peak, from the Irish Binn Fhoibhne|
|Black Glen||The dark rocks in the glen cast a darkness in the glen.|
|Carneety||Referring to White’s Cairn or Old Cairn.|
|Castle Roe||Named after a fort which was built there, and means Red House|
|Drumagully||Ridge of the charcoal|
|Dunalis||Means coves, caves and forts|
|Dunboe||Dunboe means ‘Fort of the Cow’.A story goes that during the famine a cow was stolen and tethered to a rock at Downhill beach so the local community could all get milk.|
|Dungannon Hill||Named after a battle area dating back to 1882.The top of the hill is flat as Bishop Harvey blew the top of the hill off to plant trees.|
|Exorna||The corn of barley|
|Fairview Lane||Named after Fairview House.|
|Gortycavan||Fort on James Blairs land|
|Grange||A reflection of the French word meaning barn, pointing to the manors or monastic farms which were found during the Norman period (12th & 13th Centuries)|
|Grangemore||Means The Grange or farm of grain.|
|Killowen||Originally known as Drumtarsy but changed to Killowen in 1607|
|Knockmult||Hill of the weathers|
|Liffock||A strip, shred or fragment.|
|Magilligan||Named after Mac Gilligan’s country|
|Masteragwee||The master of the yellow plain/field.The master of the wind.|
|Mayoghill||Translates as Maigh Eochaill in Irish meaning plain of the yew wood.|
|The Warren||Common for rabbits.|