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Notes On The Townlands And Placenames Of Termonfeckin



(By Declan Quaile)


(First published in our Review journals of 2002 & 2005) 


Click HERE to open our Townland Map in a separate web page


INTRODUCTION

A townland is a geographical area peculiar to the island of Ireland. It may be defined as a sub-parochial land division and is the smallest administrative area in Ireland, both geographically and politically. There are over 60,000 townlands on the island of Ireland, ranging in size from less than an acre (such as Longstones in Monasterboice parish) to Sheskin townland in Mayo measuring over 7,000 acres.1
Townlands, or their ancient equivalent, existed in Ireland long before the 12th century Norman conquest and the medieval Irish were very much aware of their identity as inhabitants of a ‘home’ area of which they were part. Despite various attempts at mapping the island in the 17th and 18th centuries it wasn’t until the 19th century that the British finally decided to undertake the first comprehensive survey of Ireland, mainly for economic reasons. This ‘Ordnance Survey’ commenced in the 1830s and a group led by a John O’Donovan was brought in later to standardise the names of all the collected townlands. Confusion arose when the Irish word for ‘home’, ‘baile’ was taken to mean ‘town’ and therefore instead of a place named a ‘home area’ it became a ‘townland’ in the translation process. They eventually achieved some kind of uniformity, however, by approximating the Gaelic sound of a place name to its nearest English language equivalent, but with the unfortunate consequence of losing many of the original meanings and thus ensuring much debate for future generations of historians.

Although townlands are the only ones still in regular use today, other mechanisms for delineating counties, such as  ‘baronies’, ‘poor law unions’ and ‘civil parishes’ have been used in the past and continue to be useful as guides for those involved in local geographical and genealogical research. Civil parishes, in particular, were the basis of the first major written compilation of townlands, published in 1861. They were originally ecclesiastical divisions that evolved into local administrative units and were generally the same size as the Protestant parish, but usually smaller than the equivalent Catholic parish.

The present day parish of Termonfeckin lies in the Barony of Ferrard and Drogheda Poor Law Union and comprises twenty-eight townlands, four of which are in the civil parish of Beaulieu, e.g. Ballinreask, Banktown, Beaulieu & Beltichburne; and three in the civil parish of Drumshallon, e.g. Donnellystown, Kiltallaght & part of Priorstown. The parish of Clogherhead borders Termonfeckin to the north, the Irish Sea lies to its east with the Boyne estuary on its south side. To its west lie the parishes of Mellifont (Newtownstalaban), St. Peters, Drogheda and Monasterboice. The whole parish, from Kiltallaght in the north to Beaulieu in the south and from Carstown in the east to Meaghsland in the west, measures just under 7,600 statute acres. Termonfeckin is first noted in the seventh century as the traditional site of a convent founded by St. Fechin of Fore and is mentioned again in the 11th century in the Annals of the Four Masters. Fifteenth and sixteenth century details from Octavians Register and Dowdall Deeds record many areas in and around Termonfeckin with such unusual names as ‘Ballysley’, Le Hoore Stone’, ‘Le Bogge Meadu’, ‘Carmalan’, ‘Le Read Crosse’ and ‘Le Rowserhe Lane’. These names have long since disappeared but the following should go some way in conveying the wealth of old placenames, many still in their original Irish form, that still exist in our locality. It is a comprehensive survey without being definitive as there will always be lanes and hills, corners and streams that have local names known only to a select few. Thus the following can only be a start, with the hope of much more for the future.

 

Notes on the Article

All townlands were measured in statute acres. The following imperial measures of area applied: 40 square perches = 1 rood, 4 roods = 1 acre.

Townlands in the parish of Termonfeckin as opposed to ordinary placenames are shown in Bold Lettering.

 

 


ALLANS HILL

A local placename mentioned in the 1937 School manuscripts. Its current location is not known.

 

BALDOYLE

Baldoyle is an area in Banktown townland, west of the Baltray-Termonfeckin road. A hamlet existed at one time in the area. The area is mentioned in the ‘Placenames in the county of Louth’ in 1905.

 

BALFEDDOCK (BAILE PHEADOC)

Description:

A townland, south of Termonfeckin village measuring 116a 0r 31p, it is bounded to its east and west sides by the Drogheda and Baltray roads respectively. It is bordered to the north by Termonfeckin townland, to the east by Newtown , to the south by Ballydonnell and to the west by Betaghstown.

Historical References:

The name is first recorded in Elizabethan records from 1570 as ‘Balfadoke’ and by 1777 had evolved into ‘Bellfeddock’ in the Taylor & Skinner map of the area. Derivation:

The official townland database translates Balfeddock as the ‘Town(land) of the plovers (a seashore bird). However the Irish 'feadóg', which is the source word in the name, can also be translated as a whistle or the horsetail plant. Either could have been associated with the area in past times.  

Surnames associated with the area:

1850s – Kirwan, Martin,

1930s – Fleming, Faulkner, Synnott, Mooney, McCormack, Leech

Notes:

An Arthur Donnelly is recorded in Termonfeckin cemetery as being from ‘Ballyfedock’ in 1856.

 

BALLINREASK (BAILE AN REISC)

Description:

One of the smallest townlands in the parish, it measures 49a 3r 21p. It is situated in the Civil Parish of Beaulieu, just northeast of Newtown cross, on the Drogheda-Termonfeckin road. It is bordered by Canonstown to the north, Beltichburne to the east and south and Newtownstalaban to the west.

Historical references:

It is first written about in Primate Swayne’s Register, in 1431, as ‘Reskeston’. In 1540 its modern name appears to have been established as ‘Balreske’, but ‘Resktone’ and ‘Reskton’ are used in the 17th century, before reverting back to its present day name by 1836.

Derivation:

The Irish translation is ‘Town(land) of the morass or marsh’.

Surnames associated with the area:

1830s – Flanagan, Martin

1850s – Flanagan, Martin, Morgan

Notes:

Judith Kirwan, the mother of Termonfeckin curate Richard Flanagan came from this townland.

 

BALL’S CROSS

The crossroads at the bottom of Sunhill is known as Balls Cross. The name originates from a family called Ball, who lived on the Sunhill-Blackhall road corner. This family were tenants of the Pentlands of Blackhall and emigrated to America sometime during or after the Great Famine.

 

BALLYDONNELL (BAILE DHONAILL)

Description:

The townland of Ballydonnell measures 164a 3r 30p and lies to the south of Balfeddock, west of Baltray, to the north of Beltichburne and Banktown and to the east of Canonstown.

Historical references: 

It is first mentioned in a Plea Roll from 1301 as ‘Donenaldi’. Its local name had become ‘Donelstowne’ by 1540 but by 1655 its modern name had come into use.

Derivation:

It seems to translate simply as O’Donnell’s town(land).

Surnames associated with the area:

1830s – Brabazon

1850s – Craven, Fleming  Garvey

Notes:

A James Garvey from Ballydonnell is listed in valuation notes from April 1837 as being in possession of a ‘house and offices’ to the value of £8: 0: 0.

 

BALLYMAGLANE (BAILE MHIC GIOLLA EAIN)

Description:

A townland in the centre of Termonfeckin Parish measuring 156a 3r 30p. It is bounded to the north by Milltown and Bellcotton, to the east by Termonfeckin townland, to the south by Carstown and to the west by Newhouse and Carstown.

Historical References:

The townland is first referred to in 1644 as ‘Ballymaglane’ and with only the occasional minor change has remained the same ever since.

Derivation:

Its Irish translation seems to be ‘Mac Lanes town(land)’ and in parish records from February 1802 it is noted as ‘Ballymaglahin’, while Fr. Eugene Mulholland (1827-1833) noted it as ‘Baile mc lein’.

Surnames associated with the area:

1830s – Garvey, McGurk

1850s – Garvey, Maguinness, McKeon

Notes:

Ballymaglane Lane, partly in Ballymaglane townland and partly in Newhouse, is also known locally as Morgan’s lane. It begins just north of Channelrow Bridge in Newhouse townland, heads east for several hundred yards, then turns south and exits onto the Sheetland road, west of Garveystown, where the new cemetery is now situated. The surname Collins was associated with this lane in times past.

 

BALLYNARAGUE (No definitive spelling)

In Priorstown townland, this was a placename situated south of Kiltallaght House. From the Irish word ‘reilig’ it may translate as ‘Baile na Reilig’ the ‘town(land) of the graveyard’, and may also be linked to nearby Kiltallaght. The McEvoy surname was (and still is) associated with this area.


BALLYWATER
RIVER

The main source of the Ballywater rises in Drumshallon Lough, north-west of Piperstown House in Drumshallon town land, parish of Monasterboice. It flows eastwards, entering the parish along the northern boundary of Donnellystown before turning south below Kiltallaght House. It is joined there by another stream which itself rises some miles westwards, in Carricknashanagh town land also in Monasterboice parish. This new single stream flows past Sandpit House, meandering on, parallel to the Sheetland road where a third stream, rising just north of Tullyesker Hill, joins it to the west of Nunneryland lane. The river then divides briefly at the Mill Race, where it previously drove a corn mill, before merging again and entering Termonfeckin village at the bridge. The river passes through Feighan Valley, below the Castle, the rear entrance to An Grianan and finally passes Seapoint Golf Club, where it enters the sea at Seapoint.

     
                                              Ballywater River entering the sea at Seapoint

BALLYWULKAN (No definitive spelling)

An area lying close to Crocksheeby in Canonstown townland. Fr. Gogarty translated the name as ‘Baile an Bhulcan’, ‘The town of the strong drink’. Was poitin distilled here at one time?                                           

 

BALTRAY (BAILE TRA)
























                          Baltray - Rear of 'the 19th' pub with The Meadow in front

Description:

A townland and village in the southeast corner of Termonfeckin Parish. The townland measures 438a 2r 9p. It borders Newtown to the north and Balfeddock, Ballydonnell and Braghan to the west. The river Boyne lies to its south with the Irish Sea to the east.

Historical References:

It is first mentioned in antiquity in 1301 as ‘Balytane’, but by 1540 was known as ‘Baltra’ and the name changed little after that.

Derivation:

Its meaning in Irish is ‘The town(land) of the Strand’.

Surnames associated with the area:
Medieval times – (1490s) Mcwogyr, Taylor, Waltyr, Proctour, Tanner, Oneyll, (1614) Ussher

1830s – Markey

1850s – Owens, McQuirke, Boylan, Smith, Mulholland

1930s – McGuirk, Reynolds, Owens, Duffy, Boylan, O’Connor, Sheridan, Sweeney, Garvey

Notes:

Ancient standing Neolithic standing stones

The Armagh Rent Rolls from 1703 show that there were “...two farm houses and about 12 cabbins & small gardens. White and Boyland with several cottiers are tenants & have a small turfe bogg on the land.” Many houses in the village suffered from flooding of the river Boyne and in the early years of the 19th century the local landlord built a protecting wall along the estuary bank.

In 1831 there were 81 houses in Baltray, most of them thatched, while in 1837 428 people lived in the townland. In valuation notes from April 1837 a James Marky had a ‘house and offices’ worth £9:10:0: Mary Owens had a ‘new house and offices’ valued at £4:10:0 and a Francis Mulholland had a ‘new house’ valued at £3:8:0.

The mussel industry was Baltray’s main source of income throughout most of the 19th century with its main market being the town of Drogheda.

The County Louth Golf Club was founded at Baltray in 1892 by a Scotsman Tom Gilroy and George H. Pentland of Blackhall. 





















                                      Baltray village looking west c.1900

 

BANKTOWN (BAILE AN BHAINC)

Description:

Banktown lies in the Civil Parish of Beaulieu and is situated between Baltray and Queensboro, with its western boundary marked by the Termonfeckin-Baltray road. It measures 185a 2r 14p and is bordered to the north by Beltichburne and Ballydonnell, to the east by Braghan and to the west by Beaulieu, with the Boyne river to the south. Part of the townland is known locally as ‘Upper Banktown’.

Historical References:

It is first mentioned in 1279 as ‘Rodebank’ or ‘Redebank’, and by 1502, in Dowdall Deeds, it is known as ‘Bakyston’. In the Edwardian Fiants of 1548 it is simply known as ‘Banke’. However a century later it had gained its modern name and was called ‘Banktowne’ in the Down Survey of 1657.

Derivation:

Banktown translates simply as ‘Baile an Bhainc’ or ‘Town(land) of the bank’, which was probably a reference to the earthen bank along the river Boyne estuary.

Surnames associated with the area:

Medieval times – (1490s) Brady, Crompe, Butterly

1850s – Browne, Drew, Halligan, Maguire, McGuinness, Reynolds

Notes:

Sir Henry Tichburne acquired 125 acres of land in Banktown from the Plunketts in the 1660’s.

In Griffith valuation notes from April 1837 four people in the townland were in possession of houses with a valuation of more than three pound. These were Alexander Wright, who had ‘Corn mills, kiln offices & millers house’; Nicholas Kelly who owned a ‘house and offices’; Robert Carroll ‘ house and offices’ and Laurence Garvey with a ‘house and offices’.

Before the Boyne viaduct was completed in 1855, men from Banktown were associated with driving the mail coaches from Drogheda to Dundalk and from Drogheda to Dublin.

 

BARN HILL

Formally a field and part of the grounds at Rath House (shown on the 1835 O.S. map). Now known locally as the area at Barn Hill (or Slate Row) cross. Surnames associated with the area in the 1850s include Campbells and Thorntons.

 

THE BAUGH (No definitive spelling)

Situated in Baltray village, the lane running alongside the public house ‘The 19th’ was known as the Baugh.

 

THE BAWN

TL_Termonfeckin_Castle_on_Castle_Hill_EditThe general area surrounding Termonfeckin castle is known as ‘The Bawn’. The word ‘bawn’ is the Anglicized ‘Badhun’ or cattle enclosure and generally refers to an enclosed area around a castle, where cattle or other animals were herded to safety at night or in times of danger.

The area immediately south of the bridge in Termonfeckin, on the site of the old Primates palace, is also known as ‘The Bawn’, the name probably referring back to the walled enclosure that surrounded the Primates castle at this location.



Termonfeckin Castle on Castle Hill,  c1930s




   

 

BEAULIEU (BEILINN)

Description:

A townland in the Civil Parish of Beaulieu, measuring 465a 3r 33p, it is situated in the southwest corner of the parish. It lies to the south of Beltichburne, to the west of Banktown and to the east of Newtownstalaban, with the river Boyne to the south.

Historical References:

The townland is first mentioned in a 1301 Plea Roll as ‘Baulen’ and in a 1327 Edward III document as ‘Beauleu’. It is mentioned on many subsequent occasions through the centuries but generally in variations of the above examples. By the time of the 1741 Corn Census of Co. Louth it is shown as ‘Beaulieu’, the spelling of today.

Derivation:

Translates as ‘Beal Linne’ or the ‘mouth of the pool’ in Irish. The word Beaulieu means ‘beautiful place’ in French but it is pronounced ‘Bewley’ by all associated with the area.

Surnames associated with the area:

Medieval times – de Verdun, Plunkett (see below)

1740s – Aston

1850s – Groome, Maguire, Montgomery, Reid, Reynolds, Smythe, Wright, Mooney

Notes:

The land around what is now Beaulieu was owned by the de Verdun family at the end of the 12th century. The Plunkett family, originally from Dublin, married into the de Verduns and became associated with the area from the early 14th century onwards. In a Plea Roll from c.1317 John Plunkett, Lord of Beaulieu,(and a professional lawyer) who was in dispute with Primate Jorse and the Prior of Louth over the presentation of clergy to St. Brigid’s church at Beaulieu, made the following plea: “Bewley, being distant two leagues from Termonfechin church, and the land between being covered with water in winter and rainy seasons, so that travellers could not pass, whereby his tenants were prevented attending Divine Service in Termonfechin church.” Following various ecclesiastical consultations it was decreed that a new parish be set up and a new church to be built in Beaulieu. It was built circa 1327 and was dedicated to St. Bridget.

William & George Plunkett eventually came to forfeit the estate after the Confederate and Cromwellian Wars and some 468 acres were subsequently acquired by Sir Henry Tichbourne. His son William initiated the construction of Beaulieu House in c.1660 and completed it some six years later .It was later inherited, through the female line, by the Montgomerys. In 1837, the townland had a population of 535 and in a list from April of the same year had seven occupants of houses with a valuation of more than four pound. These were William Roy, Rev. Alexander Montgomery, Joseph Wright, Captain Robert Ball, Doctor Pentland, Ralph Smyth, and Rev. Edward Groom, all with a ‘house and offices’. 

The hamlet of Queensboro’ lies in this townland.









































                                                   Beaulieu House



THE BECKA (No definitive spelling)

The Becka was a grassy area or commonage beside Moors Greens to the west of Termonfeckin and close to the present day waterworks facility. The name may be derived from ‘beiche’ or bees, which may have been common in the area at one time.

BELAVEATHY

The Irish translation for Betaghstown townland (Baile an Bhiataigh). This is still in popular use by local inhabitants. Based on cemetery inscriptions other less common variants are Betystown and Ballyvathy. (See Betaghstown.)

 

BELLCOTTON (LAITHREACH MINSI)

Description:

Bellcotton is a small townland in the northern half of the parish, measuring 123a 2r 2p. It is bounded by Blackhall to the north, Termonfeckin to the east and south and Milltown to the west.

Historical References:

The area is first mentioned in a Plea Roll from 1301 A.D. as ‘Lawrathminchy’ and variations of the words were in use right up to 1777 in the Taylor & Skinner map. However, research indicates that the name ‘Bellcotton’ was in use as far back as 1712 when it is mentioned in an Eastwood will from that time.

Derivation:

It’s ancient Irish name was ‘Laragh mensie’, meaning in Irish ‘the site of the manse or convent’; this probably being a reference to the convent which was situated at the end of Nunneryland lane up to middle of the 16th century and which is adjacent to Bellcotton townland. Bellcotton is a more modern name for the townland, though appearing as far back as the early 18th century.

Surnames associated with the area:

Medieval – Gaffeney (1460s)
1790s - Phillips

1830s – Brennan

1850s – Brennan, Martin, Dillon

Notes:

In valuation notes from March 1837 a Patrick Brennan owned a ‘house and offices’ to the value of £10:10: 0.

 

BELTICHBURNE (BAILE TICHBURNE)

Description:

A townland in the southern half of the parish and in the Civil Parish of Beaulieu, it measures 196a 2r 13p. It borders Canonstown and Ballydonnell to the north, Banktown to the east, Beaulieu to the south and Newtownstalaban and Ballinreask to the west.

Historical References:

It is named after Sir Henry Tichburne who acquired the land in the 1660’s and is first mentioned in the Louth corn census taken in 1740/41.

Derivation:

Translates literally as ‘The town(land) of Tichburne’.

Surnames associated with the area:

1740s – Price, Levins

1830s – Flanigan, Leland, McCulla, Rafferty

1850s – Fleming, Johnston, Leland, Murphy, Mooney, McEvoy, Reynolds

Notes:

A polished stone axehead from the Neolithic period (c.3000 B.C. ) was found in Beltichburne townland in the 1970s.

In valuation lists from April 1837, a John Leland had a ‘house and offices’ valued at £11:10: 0, Thomas North’s ‘house and offices’ were valued at £13:17: 0 and Patrick Reynold’s ‘house and offices’ were valued at £5: 8: 0.

 

BELTON’S HILL

The steep hill leading up towards Thunder Hill from the Strand road was known locally as ‘Beltons Hill’. It also included the field between the Strand road and the graveyard, which known as ‘Beltons field’. A family of this name lived in some houses at the bottom of the hill, on the Strand road, leading towards the village. Fr. Alex Connolly mentions the name as a place of prayer and where the first chapel in the village may have been built in the latter half of the 18th century, although this would appear to be the chapel which was built at nearby Thunder Hill.

 

BELVIEW

Belview is an area in Carstown townland in the west of the parish, just south of Carstown house. On the 1777 Taylor & Skinner map, it is shown as ‘Bellview’, with a bleach-yard nearby. One of the few surviving thatched cottages in the parish is situated in this area. The Cunningham surname was (and still is) associated with this area.

 

BETAGHSTOWN (BAILE AN BHIATAIGH)

Description:

Betaghstown measures 175a 0r 34p and is bordered by Termonfeckin townland to its north, Balfeddock to the east, Ballydonnell and Canonstown to the south and Primatepark and Carstown to the west.

Historical References:

It is first mentioned in antiquity in a 1301 Plea roll as ‘Bedach’, but by 1540 was known as Betaghton with the same form more or less in use from then on.

Derivation:

Baile an Bhiataigh translates as ‘The town(land) of the victualler’ or ‘The town(land) of hospitality’. Medieval lords nominated a person in their area to provide sustenance for travellers or those in need. The Normans carried this tradition on and the word eventually became a surname. 

Surnames associated with the area:

Medieval Times – Ussher

1740s – Randle

1850s – Ball, Reynolds, Reilly,

Notes:

A John Randall was the main tenant of the primatial lands in 1703 and under him were several cottiers with thatched cabins. In valuation notes from March 1837 a Patrick Reynolds owned a ‘house and offices’ with a valuation of £5: 0: 0.

The townland was known locally, right up to the present day, as’ Belaveathy’ (a corruption of the Irish translation) and even occasionally ‘Bettystown’. Twenty-eight people lived in seven houses in Betaghstown in 1937, most of these on Betaghstown Lane. This lane runs in a westerly then northerly direction through most of the townland and was a traditional short cut to mass in Termonfeckin for those who lived in the Ganderpark and Crockadoctor areas. A Penal Times mass rock or mound existed in a field on the boundary of Betaghstown and Carstown townlands and was noted up until the 1930’s.

 

BIG STREET

Originally known as Big Ash Street from an Ash tree, which stood at the centre of the crossroads. It is mentioned in a letter to the Drogheda Journal of 6th October 1832 when the writer mentioned on a notice which was posted on the ‘big tree’ of Termonfeckin. The Ordnance Survey Letters from 1835 state that there was an old tree trunk at the junction at that time and local people called it ‘Crois Mhoir’. Tradition had it that during local funerals the cortege would circle the trunk three times before making its way to the cemetery. The tree trunk was removed shortly afterwards and the street over time became known simply as Big Street.























                                   Big Street, Termonfeckin c.1900

 

BLACKHALL (AN HALLA DUBH)

Description:

A townland in the northern part of the parish, it measures 173a 3r 1p including a small portion measuring 6a 1r 9p separated from it in Priorstown townland. It is bordered by Curstown to the east, Belcotton and Milltown to the south, Galroostown to the west and Priorstown to the west and north.

TL_Blackhall_Cross_EditHistorical References:

In a monastic plea from 1540, a place known as ‘Le black crofte‘ is mentioned, but it is uncertain whether this refers to the area now called Blackhall. By the time of the Census of 1660 the area had gained its current name.

Derivation:

The origin of its name is unknown, although the name ‘Blackhall’ is quite common in Ireland. However the Drogheda historian Jim Garry translated the name as ‘Drum Mac Ubla’ or ‘Mac Ubla’s Ridge’. A variation of this being ‘Drom Dubhghaill’ noted on the address of an official letter in the 1950s. ‘Scrabachloc’ meaning ‘Untidy hollow’ or ‘pit’ was the local name for the area and was noted by Fr. Gogarty in the early 1900s. The word 'Srath', meaning damp low lying land, may have been part of this word.


Blackhall Cross

Surnames associated with the area:

1830s – Pentland

1850s – Pentland (see below), Connolly

Notes:

This townland is generally associated with the Pentland estate which flourished at Blackhall House from the early 1800s up to the early 1920s. The Pentland family originated from Midlothian in Scotland. Just outside Edinburgh (in Midlothian) is the town of Blackhall. In September 1838 valuation notes listed Pentland’s ‘house and offices’ to the value of £62: 0: 0. Along with Beaulieu it was the most afforested of the townlands, with many acres of trees being planted around Blackhall Demesne, such as those on the Blackhall road and on the hills in Curstown. Sadly, little of these now survive other than those along the Blackhall road.


BLACKSTAFF RIVER

This small river runs through the south-western boundaries of the parish. It initially rises at Tullyesker Hill in Monasterboice parish and flows westwards, amalgamating with several other steams on its way to the coast. The stream flows under Blackstaff Bridge on the Sandpit-Drogheda road. This bridge was known as ‘Ath an Mhaide Dubh’, ‘Ford of the Black Stick’. A local tradition has it that a bodysnatcher came to rest his heavy load on bridge one night. He was found dead the next morning - strangled by the rope tied to the body bag. The story was known as ‘The corpse which hanged a man’!

The river finally empties into the Boyne estuary at Braghan Bridge, just west of Baltray village.

 

THE BOG

The Bog was a short pathway, now disused, which led from the Bawn at Termonfeckin castle, down Castle Hill or Jubilee Hill and exited onto the Strand road, across from the back entrance to Newtown estate. 

 

BOGTOWN

Bogtown is an area in Carstown townland on the Drogheda road, around the Crockadoctor and Ganderpark area. A fulacth fiaidh was discovered in this locality. A marriage between a Thomas Purfield and a Mary Ward from ‘Bogtown’ is recorded in the parish records from October 1804.

 

BRAGHAN (BRACHAN)

Description:

The smallest townland in Termonfeckin parish measuring only 36a 2r 36p, it lies to the immediate west of Baltray village. It is surrounded by Ballydonnell to the north, Baltray townland to the east, Banktown to the west and the Boyne estuary to its south.

Historical References:

It is first mentioned in 1372 in Dowdall Deeds as ‘Ardbarchan’ or ‘Hardbrachan’ and by the time of the corn census of 1741 it is known as ‘Brouhull’. By the time of the 1836 Ordnance Survey letters it is referred to by its modern name.

Derivation:

The word ‘Brachan’ translates as ‘soft’ in Irish in reference to the type of land in the area.

Surnames associated with the area:

Medieval Times – Parys

1830s – Drew, Fitzpatrick, Sheridan

1850s – Drew, Martin, Gogarty, Halligan, Owens

Notes:

In valuation notes from April 1837 a Mathew Drew and a Robert Carroll each owned a ‘house and offices’ worth £3: 7: 0 and £4: 2: 0 respectively.

The Braghan stream, with several tributaries, the main one rising in Tullyesker, enters the Boyne estuary at Braghan Bridge beside the old 20th Store.

 

THE ‘BRITCHES’

The junction of Curstown lane and the Sunhill-Almondstown road was known locally as ‘the Britches’,  probably because of its ‘Y’ shape resemblance to a pair of trousers!

 

BULLINBREAGH (No definitive spelling)

Recorded in Fr. McGuire’s death register in 1804 when a Peter Walsh died there; also in 1805 with the death of a Mary McDaniel. May be the same area as Ballinareague at Kiltallaght. 

 

CAILLLEACH DUBH

(Phonetic= Callya Du) The old Irish name for Nunneryland, with specific reference to the convent of nuns who resided at the end of the lane prior to the 1540s. ‘Cailleach’ in Gaelic means ‘old woman’ or ‘hag’, though it can also mean ‘veiled one’, hence the association with nuns.  See also Nunneryland. 

 

CANONSTOWN (BAILE AN GCANONACH)

Description:

A townland in Termonfeckin Parish, measuring 254a 0r 18p. It borders Primate Park and Betaghstown to the north, Ballydonnell to the east, Beltichburne, Ballinreask and Townrath to the south and Carstown to the west. The Sandpit-Drogheda road also bounds its western limits.

Historical References:

As far back as 1301 it was referred to as ‘Canoneston’ and even by the time of the Reformation, circa 1540 , it was recorded as ‘Cannontowne’.

Derivation:

Translates directly from the Irish as ‘The town(land) of the Canons’. Its name lends to having some connection with the parish’s ecclesiastical past and the various monasteries that are associated with the area, but there is no direct evidence of a monastic site in the townland.

Surnames associated with the area:

1740s – Randle, Diven, McEvoy

1830s – Darby, Drew, Johnson, Kirk, McDonnell

1850s – Drew, Kelly, Lennan, McDonald, 

Notes:

In valuation notes from April 1837 a Laurence Drew owned a ‘house and offices’ worth £4: 0: 0.

 

CAPE SPY

This was the local name given to the high ground in Beaulieu townland, just north of Queensboro’ where Drogheda dock workers would come to check on ships entering the estuary with potential work ensuing.

 

CARSTOWN (CARASTUN)

Description: 

The second largest of the townlands in the parish, Carstown measures 731a 2r 11p and is situated in the west of the parish. Newhouse and Ballymaglane lie to the north, Termonfeckin townland, Primate Park and Betaghstown lie to the east, Canonstown and Townrath are situated to the south and Ballymakenny and Carntown are to the west.

Historical References:

In a Plea Roll from 1301 it appears to be mentioned as ‘Caruatheston’ while in 1540 it is recorded as ‘Kyrryston’. In the Down Survey of 1655 it is shown as ‘Carrstowne’ and the name has remained more or less constant ever since.

Derivation:

Although no definitive meaning exists the name appears to be derived from a surname as in ‘Town(land) of the Carrs.

Surnames associated with the area:

1740s – Brabazon, Camell, Hughes, Reilly, Murphey, Moor

1830s – Carbury, Cavena, Chester, Coogan, Fleming, Garvey, Mooney, Reynolds, Turtle

1850s – Chester, Coogan, Kavanagh, Kenny, McEvoy, Norris, O’Brien, Reynolds

Notes:

The townland itself and areas in the townland are usually referred to without the ‘s’ in the word, such as Cartown cross and Cartown national school.

James Plunkett, who was a landowner in Carstown, forfeited his estates in the Settlement Acts of the 1650’s.

In March 1837 Henry Chester’s ‘house and offices’ were valued at £37: 0: 0, Patrick Maginnis’s ‘house and offices’ were valued at £3:10: 0, John Noris’s ‘house and offices’ were valued at £8:18: 0 and William Magill’s ‘house offices and corn mill’ were valued at £9:15: 0.
























                                            Carstown House c.1945

 

CASTLE HILL

This is one of the local names for the hill north of the Strand road on which Termonfeckin castle is built on (see also ‘Jubilee Hill’).

 

CHANNELROW BRIDGE

This is the name of the bridge on the Sandpit road at Ballymaglane where the Tullyesker tributary of the Ballywater flows under the road.  

 

CHAPEL LANE

Chapel Lane was the local name given to a short length of the Clogherhead road, heading north-east, through Duffsfarm, beginning approximately at the old chapel at Thunder Hill.

 

COLLIERS LANE

An old pathway that runs south from Colliers of Drummond before entering Baltray village. The Baltray Neolithic stones stand to the east of this lane.


























                                Neolithic standing stones at Baltray 
 

CONNORS HILL

Mentioned in Fr. Connolly’s article in the Drogheda Independent of June 1932 as the site of the original chapel in Milltown townland and adjacent to the where Connor’s house and outhouses are now located on the Sandpit road.

 

COOLKIRK 

An area in Dardisrath townland, between Ganderstown and Barn Hill crossroads, it contained a small collection of houses. Possibly translates as ‘Hill of the Hens’ or ‘Grouses Corner’. Surnames associated with the area in the past include Carawan or Kirwan. It is mentioned in parish records as early as February 1807 when a Thomas McGuire from Tubertoby married a Catherine Mooney from ‘Coolkirk’.

 

THE CORGANS

Noted in a 1789 leasing document as land around the Ballywater close to the Mill. Probably named after a local landowner - Corrigan. Owners were Ecclestons and Molesworth Phillips.

 

CROCKADOCTOR

An area, including a laneway, in Carstown townland. It seems to translate simply as ‘Doctors Hill’. It is first mentioned in parish records when a John Floody and an Elizabeth Downey from ‘Croc Doctor’ were married in March 1810. All evidence of former habitation on the lane is now gone.

Nicholas Sharkey, the ‘Bard of Clogherhead‘, noted that placenames with ‘doctor’ in them usually referred to a field or an area where a sick or dying animal was driven, to see if they might recover. The animal was watched but generally left to its own devices. 

 

CROCKSHEEBY

Crocksheeby is an area in Carstown townland associated with a short lane at the sharp bend on the Sandpit-Drogheda road. Fr. Gogarty, in the early 1900s, translated the name as ‘Cnoc Seidthe’, ‘the ‘Wind-blown Hill’ or Siobhta’, meaning ‘blowing’ or ‘drifting’, although another source suggests it may translate as ‘Shibeens Hill’ and the fact that a place called Ballywulkan (see above) was adjacent suggests an area of poitin making. This placename is mentioned in local records as early as the 18th century when it was known as Cnocsheeby and is also mentioned in February 1804 when a Thomas Flanagan and a Judith Cavenagh from the area were married. Families called Moore and Kenny were also associated with this area in the past.

 

CROC LIVINY

In Carstown townland, west of Crocsheeby. Fr. Gogarty translated it as the Hill of Tepidity (malaise, half-heartedness). Also noted in Fr. McGuire’s death register with a Kenny death recorded at this placename.

 

CROC NA GUNION

This Irish placename refers to some fields which belonged to Smyths of Newtown. 

 

CROC ROGAN

Recorded in Fr. McGuire’s death register with the Darby family mentioned at this place. Fr. Gogarty called it ‘Curra croghan’ and said it was beside the Blackstaff stream. He translated it as the words Carraig and Crochan - The rock of the little round hill.

 

CURRAN’S LANE

Adjacent to Newtown Cottages, this lane or pathway headed east towards the sea. There is a well on this lane.      

 

CURSTOWN (BAILE AN CHURRAIGH)

Description:

A small townland in the north of the parish, measuring 215a 1r 30p. It lies to the south of Callystown, to the west of Almondstown, to the north of Termonfeckin and east of Blackhall and Priorstown.

Historical References:

It is first noted in 1384 in Dowdall Deeds as ‘Kerstoun’ and again in Primate Fleming’s Register from 1410 as ‘Kerestoun’. By 1532, in a further Dowdall Deeds extract it is referred to as ‘Cureston’; was again spelt with a ‘K’ in Elizabethan lists of 1590 and 1594, but by the census of 1659 was known as ‘Curstowne’. The Book of Survey and Distribution (from 1670) called it ‘Curraghstowne’, but by 1777 the Taylor & Skinner map had noted it by its modern spelling.

Derivation:

There is no definitive Irish translation. It may be ‘Town of the Cranes’ (Corstown), or possibly ‘Cor’ as in a rounded hill, but a more likely translation is ‘Town(land) of the marsh or swamp’, using the Irish word, ‘Curra’ or  ‘Curragh’, as the local people pronounced it ‘Curriston’ in the early 1900’s.

Surnames associated with the area:

1740s – Farrell

1830s – Coleman, Dolan, Farrell, Lynard, Martin, Murry, Pentland

1850s – Dolan, Farrell, Leonard, Martin, Murray, Pentland
1870s - Quail, Leonard, Murphy, Pentland

Notes:

Situated close to where the folly known as ‘The Tower’ stands is the highest point in the parish, some 230 feet above sea level. Some of the former Blackhall estate lies in Curstown and tradition has it that people dug for money in the old estate woods in the vicinity of the folly. This treasure was supposedly hidden by a man called Farrell in ‘the time of the troubles’.

Curstown Lane is a cul de sac lane dividing the eastern boundary of the townland from Almondstown in Clogherhead parish.

 

DARDISRATH (RÁTH AN DAIRDISIGH)

Description:

A townland in the north-east corner of the parish measuring 281a 0r 29p, it is surrounded by Glaspistol to the north, Ganderstown and Meaghsland to the east, Duffsfarm to the south and Termonfeckin to the south and west.

Historical References:

It is first mentioned in a monastic plea from 1540 as ‘Newton & Rath’ near T’Feken’ and again in 1588 as ‘Darditzrath alias Castelrath’. In the 18th century Archdall in his ‘Monasticon Hibernicum’ noted it as ‘Chasselsrath’, but its modern spelling appears as early as 1658 and has changed little in the intervening years.

Derivation:

It translates literally as ‘The rath or fort of Dardis’, with a family of the same name living in the area in the 17th century. This ‘Dardis’ family came from France after the Norman invasion and established themselves in various parts of Ireland, including Westmeath, Meath and Louth. The surname appears to have died out locally after the Cromwellian confiscations.

Surnames associated with the area:

1580s - Darditz/Dardis

1830s - Brabazon, Brady, Goose, Mooney

1850s - Brabazon, Carroll, Goose, Hamill, King, Mooney

Notes:

An ancient standing stone was situated in a field south of the hamlet of Coolkirk in this townland but appears to have been removed in recent times.

Following Cromwell’s seizure of power in Ireland in 1649/1650, Christopher Dardis forfeited his lands at Dardisrath.

In March 1837 Wallop Brabazon’s ‘house and offices’ in the townland were valued at £30: 0: 0.

 

DONNELLYSTOWN (BAILE UÍ DHONNAÍLE)

Description:

This small townland, in the Civil Parish of Drumshallon, is situated in the north-west corner of the parish and measures 77a 3r 37p. It lies to the north of Galroostown, west of Priorstown, south of Kellystown and east of  Drumshallon 

Historical References:

Noted in the 18th century Monasticon Hibernicum as ‘Donelston’, before the 1836 Ordnance Survey when its present day spelling was noted.

Derivation:

Literally ‘the town of the Donnellys.’

Surnames associated with the area:

1850s - Barron, Branigan, Dolan, McQuillan, Ward, Whearty.

1900s - Curran, Pentony, Ward.

 

DREENAWN LANE (No definitive spelling)

This lane was situated on the Termonfeckin-Drogheda road just a few hundred metres south-west of Termonfeckin village where its remains can still be seen as a double hedge between two fields. It was quite short in length and ended in fields south of Maguires of Sheetland. It is marked as an unnamed laneway on the 1835 Ordnance Survey map. Its name would seem to derive from the Irish word for blackthorn, ‘draighnean’.

 

DREW’S HILL

The hill on the Sandpit road, just south of Blackhall cross, is known locally as ‘Drew’s Hill’. This was the surname of the family who lived in Sandpit House (at the bottom of the hill) from the early 1920’s to recent times. The ruins of Kilslaughtery church lie to its immediate west. The bottom of Drew’s hill was also known as the ‘The Hollow’.























            Drews Hill on left with Sandpit House at centre of photo

 


DRUMMANY LANE
(No definitive spelling)

A short cul-de-sac lane in the townland of Milltown, situated immediately south of Connors house and yard and ending at fields alongside the Ballywater. The river at this point meandered noticeably until its course was straightened for some of its length by local farmers in the late 19th century. However, this subsequently left the fields on the southern side susceptible to flooding. The Irish translation of the name ‘drummany’ is ‘ridge’ or ‘ridged land’ and probably refers to the ridge of sandy soil in the vicinity.

 

DRUMMOND

A lane and house to the east of the Termonfeckin-Baltray road, and in Baltray townland. It is named on the 1867 Ordnance Survey map and translates as ‘ridge’, ‘ridged land’ or ‘long hill’ in Irish. Fr. McGuire, in his parish register, spelled it ‘Drummin’. The Collier surname is associated with the area.

 

DUFFSFARM (FEIRM DHUIBH)

Description: 

A townland in Termonfeckin parish measuring 287a 2r 6p.  It borders Dardisrath and Meaghsland to the north, the Irish Sea to the east, Newtown to the south and Termonfeckin to the west.

Historical References:

It is noted as late as 1655 (Down Survey) and was called ‘Duff Farme in Turfeckin’.  By 1670, in the Book of Survey & Distribution’, it was recorded as ‘Duffesffarme’ and fifteen years later in William Petty’s atlas as ‘Duffsfarm’. In 1737 one of the Termonfeckin churchwardens was a James Needham from ‘Duffy’s farm.’

Derivation:

There is no Irish translation other than the literal one.

Surnames associated with the area:

1730s - Needham

1830s - Brodigan, Carton, King, McGuire, Sheridan,

1850s - Brodigan, Carten, King, Maguire, Sheridan, Smyth

Notes:

The area called Tobertoby lies in this townland. The most ancient discovery in the parish was made at Seapoint in Duffsfarm townland when Neolithic hearth sites, dating to 3500 B.C. were discovered on the sand dunes at Seapoint in 1915.

 

FEIGHAN VALLEY

The low lying area along the Strand Road between Thunderhill and the Baltray Road formed by the timeless action of the Ballywater cutting its way to the sea. Trinity Well is situated on the south bank of the valley.

 

THE FINNS

On the Taylor & Skinner map of 1777, the area immediately north-west of ‘Barn Hill cross’ is noted as ‘The Finns’. It is called ‘Fenns’ in a Termonfeckin marriage from 1807 and is listed as  ‘Finns’ on a Goss headstone in Clogherhead cemetery from the middle of the 19th century. May have links to the word ‘fen’ or fenland which was marshy or swampy land.

 

FLYNNS RIVER

This name refers locally to the small rivulet that rises in Fieldstown, runs east to Milltown, then turns south and links up with the Tullyesker tributary of the Ballywater at Channelrow bridge. A well in this area is known locally as ‘Tobar na Focksie.

 

FRIARSTOWN

The name used frequently by locals for the townland of Priorstown and recorded as such in parish records from as far back as November 1804 for a wedding between Pat Crilly and Mary Mathews.

 

FURRYFIELD

An area in Carstown townland, at the end of ‘Oldtown Lane’. The term ‘furry’ may be a corruption of the word ‘furze’ as in furze bushes, which are still numerous in the area. In recorded use since the early 1800s.

 

GALROOSTOWN (GALRASTÚN)

Description:  

A townland in the northwest corner of the parish measuring 388a 1r 36p. It is bounded to the north by Donnellystown and Kiltallaght, to the west by Blackhall, to the south by Milltown and Tullyard and to the west by Piperstown.

Historical References:

It is first mentioned in antiquity in 1301 as ‘Galroheston’ and in Dowdall Deeds in 1364 as ‘Galrothestoun’. Its name eventually changed to ‘Gallroustowne’ in the 1655 Survey and has more or less remained constant ever since. Shown in the parochial register as ‘Slieve Garis Town’ in the early 1800s.

Derivation:

It translates strictly in Irish as ‘Galrastun’, but locals translate it alternatively as ‘Baile an Gaile Rua’, ‘The town(land) of the red headed foreigner or stranger’. Tradition has it that people of Danish or Viking extraction settled in the area in medieval times.

Surnames associated with the area:

1600s - Herne, McCarroe, McInroo (1972 CLAJ,pg 254) 

1820s - Rourke

1830s - Brannigan, Flin, Flanigan, McQuillan, Murphy, Quin, Whearty

1850s - Branigan, Corrigan, Flanigan, Flynn, McKeon, McQuillan, Quinn, Whearty 

Notes:

George Plunkett, who owned land in Galroostown, had it forfeited in the Settlement Acts of the 1650’s.

Its name is pronounced, even up to the present day, as ‘Garristown’.

 

GANDERPARK

An area in Carstown townland, associated with a long lane on the Sandpit-Drogheda road originally ending in a small hamlet. In the 17th century the townland of Primatepark was also known as Ganderpark. A series of footpaths led from the houses on Ganderpark lane; one path headed east to Betaghstown hamlet on Betaghstown (Ballyveathy) lane; the second path went south, eventually exiting onto the Drogheda-Termonfeckin road close to Beltichburne House entrance and the third branched off the first before finishing at Johnsons of Canonstown.

The surname Herst was associated with the area in the 1730s. Another surname from the area was Roche.

The lane is now tarred and is well populated with houses. The end of the lane known as the ‘Bawn’.

 

GARYHUMMISH (No definitive spelling)

Refers to the area north of Baltray village and in particular to the area where the council houses are situated. These are also known locally as The Cottages. The field immediately north of the new cottages is also known as Garyhummish.

 

GARVEYSTOWN

A small grouping of houses on the Sheetland Rd. According to Fr. Gogarty its Irish name was ‘Na Peanna Mhor’, ‘The Big Ferns’. Surnames associated with the area in the past include Garvey and Byrne. See also Patrickstown.

 

GRAMBY

This was an area on Nunneryland Lane close to Termonfeckin village, supposedly named after a local resident. Some small streams at this point were also known as the ‘Gramby Streams’. A Cassidy gravestone in Termonfeckin refers to this Gramby place-name.

 

THE GREEN WALK

An old path leading from An Grianan down to the strand.

 

THE HAVEN

An area to the southeast of Baltray village forming the northern bank of the river Boyne as it enters the sea. (See also North Crook)

 

HILL STREET

One of the short streets in Baltray village.

 

HORANS HILL

The traditional name for the hill in Termonfeckin village that rises from the bridge up to the Triple House. A pub owned by the Horan family was situated on the hill, adjacent to the R.I.C. barrack’s building. Many of the old black and white postcards of Termonfeckin from past times show this hill as their focal point. Currently the popular name of the area is simply ‘The Hill’.
























                                               Horans Hill c.1958


JUBILEE HILL

Looking north, from the Strand road, at the slope on which Termonfeckin castle is built on, this height was known as ‘Jubilee Hill’. It was so named, after the 50th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s reign in 1887, when crowds gathered on the hill to witness the Jubilee celebrations. From the village the parade wound its way down the Strand road to ‘Sheepestown’, at present day Seapoint, where various festivities were held. Similar events would have taken place in the area when Edward VII became King in 1901. 

 

KELLY’S LANE

In Termonfeckin village, this cul-de-sac lane was situated half-way down Thunder Hill on the west side.

 

KILSLAUGHTERY

The ruins of a pre-Reformation church exist in this area of Milltown townland south-west of Blackhall Cross.  Kilslaughtery was a medieval parish in its own right, as an extract from Dowdall Deeds in 1340 mentions ‘…Miltoun in the parish of Kylslatry’. According to tradition, it was the burial place of St. Denis and burials appear to have taken place there in ancient times. The origin of its name is obscure, though Fr. Gogarty, while curate in Termonfeckin from 1904 - 1910, translated it as ‘church of the youth’. The locality, including the road at Drew’s Hill to the immediate east of the church ruins, was at one time known as Kilslaughtery Hill and also Church Hill.

























                              Ruins of Kilslaughtery church

 


KILTALLAGHT (CILL TAMHLACHTA
)

Description:

Kiltallaght, the most northerly of the townlands in the Catholic parish of Termonfeckin, actually lies in the civil parish of Drumshallon. It measures 221a 0r 6p and to its north lie the townlands of Baggotstown and Garrolagh, to the east and south Priorstown and to its west Kellystown.

Historical References:

The Plea Rolls from 1301 refer to it as ‘Kyltanelath’, but as early as 1541 it had gained its modern name.

Derivation:

J. O’Donovan translates Cill Tamhlacht as the church of the cemetery but it can also be translated as ‘Church of the plague grounds’, as it may have been a burial ground for those who succumbed to the many plagues which swept the country during medieval times.

Surnames associated with the area:

1820s - Bellew, Bowden, Mullan

1850s - Carroll, Condra, Crilly, Durney, Falkon?, Johnston, Murphy, Neary  

Notes:

In valuation lists from December 1838 a Miss Bellew had a ‘house and offices’ valued at £13: 0: 0. This would have been the residence of Kiltallaght House.      

 

KITHILL

Kithill is situated in the general area of Oldtown Lane, between the Ballymakenny road and the end of the lane at Furryfield. In recorded use since the early 1800s.

 

LADDERHOLE (No definitive spelling)

This was the name given to a small group of cottages, long demolished, which were situated across from the Blackhall road entrance to the Windmill cottages. The origin of the name is unknown.

 

LARAGHMINCHY (Various spellings)

The Irish translation of the townland of Bellcotton, a mile north-west of Termonfeckin village, is 'Laithreach Minsi' - the site of the manse or convent. This refers to the medieval site of the convent of nuns dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, which was closed at the time the Reformation. Remains of the walls etc. were extant up to the 19th century. The adjacent placename 'Nunneryland' also refers to the presence of the convent. (See also Bellcotton)

 

MADMAN’S LANE

This lane (now more commonly known as Macken’s Lane) is situated north-west of the village of Termonfeckin on the road to Balls Cross. It originally continued almost as far west as Feehan’s farm at the end of Nunneryland lane. It is said that the name originated from Famine times, when those that were sick with hunger and disease were corralled into an area on this lane and left to their fate! The Torris and Moore families were the principal names from this area in times past.

 

THE MEADOW

Area to the south of Baltray village, in front of the public house.    

 

MEAGHSLAND (FEARANN NA MÍOCH)

Description:

The second smallest townland in Termonfeckin Parish, it measures 42a 3r 34p, including nearly three acres in Dardisrath. Ganderstown townland lies to its north, the Irish Sea to the east, Duffsfarm to the south and Dardisrath to the west.

Historical References:

It is first written of in an Inquisition from 1622 as’ le Miaghesland’ or ‘le Miaghes’.  Some years later, in 1644, it is referred to as ‘Meagh’s Land’, then in the 1655 Survey as ‘meres farme’. The Book of Survey & Distribution from 1670 calls the area ‘Mearesse ffarme’ and William Petty’s atlas from 1685 has ‘Meersfarm’. It, however, had gained its modern name by the time of the 1835 Ordnance Survey map.

Derivation:

Appears to translate simply as Mee or Meaths land (a family name).

Surnames associated with the area:

1830s - Martin, McGuire

1850s - Martin, Maguire, Reid, Taaffe

 

THE MILL RACE

The Millrace was an artificial watercourse dug to feed water to the corn mill, which was situated south of Nunneryland lane and north of Sheetland road. It was the source of water supply for the old corn mill, which once stood on Maguires land north of the Sheetland road. This man-made canal, which started three quarters of a mile west of the mill and ran parallel to the river until it reached the water wheel, then diverted back to the river again, east of the mill. It has now dried up and almost filled in. This may be the same area known as ‘Le Old Mill Grene’ mentioned in the 15th century in Dowdall Deeds. A mill in Termonfeckin is mentioned in 1595 (CLAJ 1972, pg 258). In 1703 a Patrick Monk is noted as the miller at Termonfeckin Mill.

There is also a tradition stating that a mass rock existed close to the Mill.

The mill building had been in disuse for around 100 years before being finally demolished in the early 1980s. Two grinding stones are all that remain; one is in the public house in Termonfeckin, the other is in the ‘Bell Court’ in Drogheda.   

 

MILLTOWN (BAILE AN MHUILINN)

Description:

Milltown is in the western part of the parish and measures 287a 3r 23p. Galroostown and Blackhall lies to its north, Belcotton to its east, Newhouse to the south and Tullyard to its west.

Historical References:

It is first mentioned in Dowdall Deeds in 1340 as ‘Miltoun in the parish of Kylslatry’.  An Elizabethan Fiant of 1590 shows it as ‘Miletone’ but from 1622 on, when it was listed as ‘Millton’, its name became more or less unchanged.

Derivation:

Translates literally from the Irish.

Surnames associated with the area:

1830s - Allen, Chester, Corigan, Divin, Kelly, McKone, Sheils, Sweeny

1850s - Allen, Connor, Devin, Heany, Kelly, McKeon, Sheil, Sweeny

Notes:

The ancient church ruins of Kilslaughtery lie in the northeast corner of the townland, as does the small village of Milltown, where at least one of the Catholic Primates (Michael O’Reilly) had his hiding place during the Penal Times. Fr. Gogarty mentioned a pathway from the village to the main road, which was called ‘Stair an Chillin’, ‘The run of the little church’, which probably led to the old chapel in what is now Connors garden. A low earthen burial mound or ‘barrow’ also lies to the southeast of Milltown hamlet. It is known locally as ‘(Packy) Corrigan’s Moat’ and was originally called ‘Mota Cillin’, ‘The moat of the little church’.

 

THE MOAT

In the 1937 Schools manuscripts, an overgrown grassy mound known as ‘The Moat’ is mentioned as being situated at the top of ‘Taney Hill’ on the Baltray road, close to the site of the present day primary school, though there is no current evidence of its existence. Tradition had it that Columcille’s ‘army’ rested there whilst waiting for the coming of the Antichrist; who would be recognised when a black pig ran from Clogherhead to Termonfeckin! This moat would also appear to be in the same general area as one of the early medieval monasteries associated with Termonfeckin and which is marked on the 1908 Ordnance map.

 

MOLLAWAN (No definitive spelling)

The gradual rise in the Galroostown road at its junction with the Sandpit road is known as the Mollawan. ‘Málaighe’ is the Irish for the brow of a hill, therefore the place-name may translate as the white hill-brow. It may also be a simple translation of ‘Whites town’.

 

MOORES GREENS

The low lying area of land around the Ballywater river and the Mill Race, south of Nunneryland, was known locally as Moores Greens well into the twentieth century.

 

THE MOUNTAINS

The hilly area of Sunhill, Curstown and Almondstown was known locally as The Mountains.

 

NEWHOUSE (AN NIÚS)

Description:

A townland in the west of the parish measuring 228a 1r 22p. Tullyard and Milltown lies to its north, Ballymaglane to its east, and Carstown to its south and west.

Historical References:

A Plea Roll from 1301 describes the placename as ‘Nywes’ but by 1540, in a Monastic Plea, it is referred to as ‘Newhouse’ with evidence suggesting that a ‘new house’ was built for a Richard Plunkett, a servant of Archbishop Dowdall around this time. The name has remained constant since that time.

Derivation:

No other Irish translation other than the literal one.

Surnames associated with the area:

1740s – Byrne

1820s - Tiernan

1830s - Flin, Levins, McGuire, Savage

1840s - Clinton, Flinn, Levins, Maguire

1850s - Flynn, Levins, Maguire, Tiernan

Notes:

A James Plunkett, who owned land at Newhouse, had it forfeited in the Settlement Acts of the 1650s.   

 

NEWTOWN (BAILE NUA AN TEARMAINN)

Description: 

A large townland in the east of the parish, measuring 543a 2r 19p. To its north lies Duffsfarm, to its east the Irish Sea, to the south Baltray townland and to its west Balfeddock and Termonfeckin. Its western boundary lies along the Termonfeckin/Baltray road.

Historical References:

The townland has been referred to by its current name as far back as the early 1300s, although it was occasionally described as ‘Newtown Termonfechan’ or ‘Newtowne Terfecan’.

Derivation:

It translates simply as ‘Baile nua on Tearmainn’ or ‘The new town of Termonfeckin’.

Surnames associated with the area:

1720s - Malkin

1730s - Cotter

1740s - Barry, Needham, Mooney, McNally, Hoy, Mitchell, McShane, Kindalon

1790s - McClintock

1830s - Campbell, Kirwan, McClintock

1840s - Donagh

1850s - Campbell, Flood, Kirwan, Matthews, Smyth

 

NEWTOWN COTTAGES

These are a row of council cottages on the Baltray road, situated south of Newtown estate front entrance, built in the mid 1930s, with the assistance of Mrs. Lentaigne, who was a  county councillor at the time.

 

NORTH CROOK

Noted on Matthew Wren’s 1766 map as an area south and west of Baltray village forming the northern point of the Boyne estuary. In the mid 1840s, because the silting of the Boyne curbed large steamships from progressing upriver to Drogheda, the Drogheda Argus noted that cattle had to be loaded from small river boats onto large steamships at North Crook for transportation to England.

 

NORTH STREET

Medieval name for Big Street and mentioned as such in a deed dated 1st August 1466 when a Henry Gaffney leased two plots either side of the street from a John More of Drogheda. (See Big Street.)

 

NUNNERYLAND

This area, which includes Nunneryland lane, is situated immediately west of Termonfeckin village and was known in times past as the ‘Cailleach Dubh’ (see Cailleach Dubh). This was in reference to the convent of nuns who, up until Reformation times, resided in a nunnery at the west end of the lane. Local tradition has it that a path led from the site of the convent on Nunneryland lane all the way to Callystown, where the nuns also had a residence. Callystown was always pronounced ‘Calliaghstown’ by the old people, harking back to the original Irish pronunciation.

The Corrigan surname is associated with Nunneryland in the 1850s.

 

THE ‘NYA’ (No definitive spelling)

Pronounced phonetically as ‘The Nya’, but spelt in the 1930s as ‘The Neagh’, there are at least two places around the Termonfeckin area which had this name. The first is on the Termonfeckin - Drogheda road, between Betaghstown and Balfeddock townlands, at the junction of Betaghstown lane and the old Drogheda road. It appears to have referred to a small stream or ‘watering hole’ there which may have been a drinking place for cattle or horses. The other ‘Nya’ was at the place where the Tullyesker tributary of the Ballywater and the Ballywater itself met north of Garveystown and just west of Feehans farmhouse at Nunneryland. The origin of the word is unclear.

 

OLDTOWN LANE

In Carstown townland, lying immediately west of the Dublin/Belfast railway line, ‘Oldtown Lane’ goes initially in an north-west direction, then veers north-east, before finally heading north and ending at Furryfield. The lane is still in use, principally by the McQuillan and Farrell families. 

 

ORCHARD LANE

Traditionally an ancient lane in Termonfeckin associated with St. Oliver Plunkett and situated close to the Ballywater river.

 

ORCHARD VILLAS

A modern housing development on the north side of the village built in the mid 1970’s. Orchard Lane leads from the estate and exits across from the Credit Union office in Big Street. This modern lane is not to be confused with the one mentioned above.

 

PARKANASY (No definitive spelling)

An area around the present-day Beaulieu Cross was known locally as ‘Parkanasy’. A 1781 map records the placename as ‘Parkanassagh’. In the early 1900s Fr. Gogarty translated it as ‘Pairc an Easaighe’, ‘The field of the stream’, although an alternative translation was ‘Pairc an Easpuigh’, the field or land of the Bishops. The Moonan family were noted as  residents of Parkanassy in the early 1800s and a marriage between a John Tallon and an Anne Downey from ‘Parkanasy’ is on record from September 1804.

 

PATRICKSTOWN

Possibly an ancient name for Garveystown. Mentioned in the 1741 Corn Census a surname 'Fanning' was recorded at Patrickstown. The Fanning name would have been associated with the Garveystown area.  

 

PLUNKET HILL

A placename in the parish noted in Fr. McGuire’s death register in 1808 when a Margaret Heeny from ‘Plunket Hill’ died. May have been on the Blackhall Road heading north towards Garrolagh, or possibly around Sunhill. 

 

PLUNKETT’S GATE

This gate, in Priorstown townland, at the entrance to a field on the Blackhall road, is named traditionally after the original landowners in the area, the Plunketts, who were dispossessed in the Settlement Acts of the 1650s. It signified the limits of the Plunkett lands around Termonfeckin, and those owned by the Bellews, just north of this gate, in Garrolagh and Walshestown.

 

PRIMATEPARK (TALAMH AN PHRÍOMHÁIDH)

Description:

The third smallest townland in Termonfeckin parish, after Braghan and Meaghsland, it measures 43a 3r 16p. It is surrounded by Carstown to the north, west and south and by Betaghstown to the east.

Historical References:

Its name is quite modern compared to some of the other townlands in the parish, being first mentioned in 1655 as ‘Primas’ or part of those lands which belonged to the Protestant Archbishops. It is known as ‘Gandersparke’ in 1664 and as ‘Gendersbank’ in the Corn census from 1741. On a headstone in Termonfeckin cemetery a Thomas Darby is recorded as being from ‘Primateland’.

Derivation:

‘Talamh an Phriomhaidh’ is the literal translation, i.e. ‘The land of the Primates’.

Surnames associated with the area:

1740s - Bell

1790s - Darby

1830s - Darby

1850s - Darby, Magill

 

PRIORSTOWN (BAILE AN PHRIÓRA)

Description: 

The townland of Priorstown is situated in the north-west of Termonfeckin parish. On the townland survey maps it is split in two, though adjoining, with the first section measuring 91a 2r 28p, including just over two acres in Milltown townland to the north of Kilslaughtery church ruins, while the larger section measures almost 260 acres. Kiltallaght borders it to the north, Curstown lies to its east, Blackhall and Galroostown to its south and Donnellystown to its west.

Historical References:

It was known as ‘Prioreston’ in a 1301 Plea Roll and the name has remained unchanged apart from the occasional irregular spelling from that date.

Derivation:

Translates literally as ‘The town(land) of the Priors’ and it seems likely from all the local ecclesiastical activity from the 7th century onwards that some form of monastic settlement existed in the area, with the nearby church and graveyard at Kiltallaght as the origin of the name.

Surnames associated with the area:

1700s - Plunkett

1820s - Matthews

1830s - McKeon

1850s - Clinton, McKeon, Toner

 

QUARTER MOUNTAIN

Correspondence from Pentlands of Blackhall in 1883 refers to parts of their lands in Milltown as ‘Quarter Mountain.’ It would appear to refer to that part of Milltown townland to the south-east of Blackhall cross which was a part of Blackhall Demesne.

 

QUEENSBORO’

A small south-east facing hamlet in Beaulieu townland. Possibly named after Queen Anne, (reigned 1702-1714) the period when an initial Revenue/excise office was set up to monitor traffic on the river. There is a point on the riverbank between Queensboro’ and Baltray is marked on the 1910 Ordnance Survey map as ‘Bishops Pier’, possibly in reference to where the medieval ecclesiastical establishment started and finished their journeys from Termonfeckin to England. Thomas Charles Wright was born in Aston Lodge in the hamlet. He was later instrumental in the foundation of Ecuador in South America. A coastguard station was situated here for many years until it was burned down during the War of Independence.























                                 Queensboro c.1910 (Photo courtesy of Noel Ross)

 


RABBIT STREET

Situated in Baltray village, this street was located opposite the public house. The name probably originated from the many rabbit warrens nearby. 

 

RATH ROAD

Local name for the stretch of road between Termonfeckin and Barnhill Cross, obviously in reference to nearby Rath House and estate.

 

RAWKINS HILL (No definitive spelling)

The name refers to a small rise in the road just north of the Windmill cottages outside Termonfeckin village. Could it have been named after the Irish word for cockle, ‘ruacan’? Although some distance from the nearest stretch of water this area may have been a collection point at one time for local cockle gatherers. Another Irish word close to its phonetic sound is ‘rabhcan’ for row or rumpus; also ‘rabhchan’ which means ‘warning signal’ or ‘beacon’.

 

SANDPIT

A part of Milltown townland generally associated with the area from ‘Drew’s Hill’ to Sandpit church and school. The name probably refers to a layer of sandy soil visible as a small hill on the road at Connors and running through adjoining fields. This soil would have been  excavated locally, hence the place name. Fr. Gogarty translated the name in the early 1900s as ‘Pol na Gainmhe’. It is first mentioned in parish records when a chalice was presented to the nearby chapel  containing the following, ‘For use in Sandpit Chapel 12th Septr 1790‘. In April 1808 an Andy Burke and a Mary Connor from the area were married. The Ballywater flows under ‘Sandpit Bridge’ south of Blackhall cross and beside Sandpit House. 

 

SAVAGES LANE

This was the local name given to the lane at Channelrow bridge which continued in an easterly, then southerly direction before exiting onto the Sheetland road beside the present day New Cemetery. Also known occasionally as Morgan’s Lane.

 

SCRABACHLOC (or Srabachloc)

The old Irish name for the Blackhall area. (See also Blackhall)

 

SEAPOINT

The general area where the Ballywater River flows into the sea, a mile east of Termonfeckin village. Also known, especially in former times, as ‘Rinn na Mara’.
























            Aerial photo of Seapoint with Seapoint Golf Club on the left

 

THE SHEEPESTOWN (No definitive spelling)

A flat area of land on the right hand side of the Strand road, near Seapoint, where the Newtown landlords and subsequently Mrs. Lentaigne, had tennis courts made of grass and cinders and a pavilion. Cricket was also played here and it was the place where celebrations by the ‘gentry’ were held (see ‘Jubilee Hill’). In the late 1920s and early 30s sports days were held here, and in the 1930s and 40s St. Fechins played their football matches there with the consent of Mrs Vida Lentaigne before they purchased a field on the Sheetland road.   

 

SHEETLAND

The ancient Irish name for Sheetland was ‘Throlla Shee’ which was a local corruption of the Irish words ‘Talamh Suidhe’ which translated as ‘See Land’ or ‘Diocese land’.  This would refer to its proximity to Primate Park, which was at one time part of the Diocesan lands held around the village. In the 1660 Census it was known as the ‘Mill of Terfecan’. The ‘Sheetland road’ runs west of the village, starting at the old national school and ending at ‘Cartown Cross’. Surnames associated with the area in the past include Boden, Garvey, Grimes, Murphy, Maguire and Leech. 

 

SLATE ROW

Slate Row is a terrace of what once were tenant houses serving Rath estate adjacent to Barn Hill Cross. So named because of the long length of slated roof over the row of houses. Barn Hill cross, just north of here, is also known as ‘Slate Row Cross’. Surnames from the 1850s associated with the area include Devins, Randal, Ward and Tiernan.

 

SLIEVE GARIS TOWN

Old name used by local clergy for Galroostown. (See Galroostown.)

 

THE SLOUGH (No definitive spelling)

This was a local name for the western part of, or ‘upper Galroostown’. The word rhymes with plough.

 

SMALL QUARTER

A Mathew Matthews from ‘Small Quarter’ is noted as dying in 1808 in Fr. McGuire’s death register. The modern location is unknown.

 

SRÁID NA GABHA

This was the Irish name given to the street in Termonfeckin village from the Big Street and Nunneryland Lane junction up to the junction of the Blackhall and Castlecoo Hill road. It may have previously been construed as ‘Goat street’, i.e. ‘Sráid na Gabhar’, but the similar Irish word ‘gabha’ translates as ‘(black)smith’ and with Byrne’s forge located in the area since the early 1800s it is much more likely that the Irish translation was in fact ‘Sráid na Gabha’ or ‘Street of the (black)smith’.

 

STARAHILLIN (No definitive spelling)

Mentioned by Fr. Gogarty in his notes, when curate in the parish, as a short path to Milltown from the Sandpit road. He translates it as ‘Stair an Chillin’, ‘The run of the little church’. See also Milltown.

 

STRAND ROAD

This road, which begins at the bottom of Horan’s Hill, travels east towards the sea at Seapoint. Also known in more recent times as Seapoint road. In 1952, during pipe-laying at the bottom of Castle Hill, the remains of six skeletons were unearthed by workmen. After being blessed by the parish priest they were re-interred. Also, while excavations were under way as part of the Baltray-Termonfeckin main sewerage scheme in February 2003, foundation stones of a 12/13th century wall and tower were discovered in the same area. Further east along the Strand road, evidence of Bronze Age habitation was also discovered at this time.

    

SUNHILL 

Known as ‘Sunhill’ in recent times, it had several names used by the older inhabitants over the centuries, including ‘Sunnyehill’, ‘Mullagh na Greine’, ‘The Mountains’ and ‘Ard na Greine’. Fr. Maguire in his register shortened the name to ‘Mollyna’. Sunhill, in the northern extremity of Termonfeckin townland, is generally regarded as the area around the group of houses at the top of the hill and as far as Curstown lane and the road to Almondstown. Surnames associated with the area in the 1850s include Murphy, Moore, Lawless, Conlon and Taaffe.

 

TANEY HILL (No definitive spelling)

Traditionally, the local name for the hill on the Baltray road that rises to the back entrance of the Church of the Immaculate Conception from the bridge in Termonfeckin. It is referred to in an 1898 diary from Newtown (See 1898 diary article in T.H.S. ‘Review 2002’). The place name could be translated from the Irish ‘Tamhnach’, ‘a green field’, this being modified to Taney at a later stage. Flann Ó Riain in his newspaper column ‘Where’s That?’ (Irish Times, 11/9/2006) suggests that the Irish word ‘Tanaí’ translates as slender or narrow ford, which may  refer to a shallow crossing at the nearby Ballywater river.
























                                              Taney Hill, 1954

 


TERMONFECKIN (TEARMANN FEICH
ÍN)

Description:  

This townland (which includes Termonfeckin village) is the largest in the parish, measuring 1096a 3r 20p, including just over six acres in Newtown townland. Because of its size it is bordered by many of the townlands in the parish, including Duffsfarm to the east, Balfeddock to the south and Ballymaglane to the west. It is also bordered by Almondstown, Glaspistol and Ganderstown townlands in Clogherhead parish.

Historical References:

The origin of the name stretches back to antiquity with the Annals of the Four masters recording it as far back as the 11th century. In the interim it has had innumerable spelling changes, including  ‘Tarimaffichin, ‘Torfecken, ‘Terfeckan’, ‘Turmanfeckin’, but was eventually noted as ‘Termonfeckin’ at the time of the Taylor & Skinner map of 1777. However many inhabitants right up to quite recent times continued to call the village ‘Terfeckin’.

Derivation:

Termonfeckin translates into Irish as ‘Tearmann Feichin’ or ‘The Sanctuary of (St.) Feichan’. When ecclesiastical settlements were built in medieval times the area in which the church or monastery and the accompanying buildings were situated was regarded as holy or sanctuary land. Coming under the protection of the clergy therein it was considered free from feudal or political interference. Therefore the ‘square’ enclosing the existing Protestant church, the graveyard and the land backing onto Big Street was the original ‘Tearmann’ area.

Surnames associated with the area:

1300s - Arnold

1500s - Plonkett, Levyn, Lawles, Smyth, Downey, McRory, Kyrowan, Sheill.

1660s - Barry, Feehan

1740s - Moore, Gartlany, Malkin, Kindalen, Fannan, Farlan, Bell, Randle, Diven, McEvoy, Price, Levins

1830s - Ball, Berrill, Corrigan, Dolan, Fanning, Flynn, Goose, Hoey, King, Kelly, Murphy, Moore, Taaffe, Toner, Whitehead.     

1850s - Bannon, Berrill, Cane, Conlon, Corrigan, Crosby, Duff, Fanning, Garvey, Halligan, King, Leech, Mooney, Moore, Murphy, Taaffe, Thornton.

Notes:

Patrick Netterville had his lands seized in the townland during the 1650s, while Henry Tichburne was the main tenant of the primatial lands in 1703. The Eccleston family were owners of the townland during the 18th century. Subsequently  much of it was inherited by Molesworth Phillips in c.1785. 

 

THUNDERHILL

The name may have originated from a medieval family called Thunder who resided in the area and who may have been owners of the castle on the hill.

 

TOBERTOBY

Tobertoby is an area in Duffsfarm townland. The name is derived from a holy well situated on the Flanagan farm.

 

TONERS HILL

This refers to the  hill on the road at Tobertoby just past Flanagan’s corner on the road to Termonfeckin. Named after the Toner family who resided there from the 1840s and who were employed on Flanagan’s farm nearby.

 

TOUCHBURNPASS

Recorded as the residence of Flanagan and Ledwith families in the late eighteenth century. The late Jim Garry noted that it was a short footpath to the Termonfeckin Road from Gargan’s cross/Beaulieu crossroads.  It crossed two fields to the ‘Rinci well’ and came out on the Termonfeckin road near the entrance to Beltichbourne House.

 

THE TREAS (No definitive spelling)

A small wood adjacent to the Ballywater river, north of Garveystown.


TULLYARD (TULAIGH ARD)

Description:

A townland in the west of the parish measuring 262a 3r 18p. It borders Galroostown to its north, Milltown to its east, Newhouse, Carstown and Ballymakenny to its south and Piperstown, Brownstown and Fieldstown to its west.

Historical References:

It is mentioned as far back as 1176 when it was referred to as ‘Tulaig Aird’, then later as ‘Tylathard’ in a 1301 Plea Roll. Primate Sweteman’s Register from 1378 describes it as ‘Rectore ecclesie de Tolyard’ (which would seem to support the possibility of a religious institution nearby, possibly at Milltown). A note in Dowdall Deeds from c.1656 describes the area as ‘Miltallagharde’, but by the time of the 1777 Taylor & Skinner map it had assumed its modern name.

Derivation:

Tullyard translates simply from the Irish as ‘High Hill’.

Surnames associated with the area:

1820s - Gartlany

1830s - Callan, Duffy, McQuillan, Tiernan, Ward

1840s - Kelly

1850s - Callan, Flynn, McQuillan, Tiernan, Ward

1860s - Tiernan, Woods

Notes:

Fr. Toris, nineteenth century curate of Termonfeckin (see T.H.S. ‘Review 2001’) and later parish priest of Monasterboice, resided for most of his life in this townland.

 

TURTLES BOG

This was a small marshy area between two fields at Bogtown in Carstown townland. The name refers to the Turtle family who lived in the area.

 

WINDMILL COTTAGES

These council cottages were built in the early 1950s. A disused windmill stands in the field north of cottages. In ruins on the 1835 Ordnance Survey map this mill was probably in use at the height of the flax growing era in the late eighteenth century.

 

YELLOW GAP

Known as ‘Bearna Buí’ in Irish. This is an area on the south side of the village, in the general vicinity of the Catholic church to the village perimeter on the Drogheda road. The old national school on the corner of the Sheetland road and the Drogheda road are considered to be in the ‘Yellow Gap’ area. Its name probably stretches back through the centuries when the road out of the village towards Drogheda was edged with furze bushes, which turned yellow during the growing season.

 

 

Acknowledgements:

Noel Ross of the Co. Louth Archaeological and Historical Society.

Fr. James Clyne, former P.P. Ardee and Collon parish.

Members of the Termonfeckin Historical Society who were generous with their memories and knowledge in the compilation of these notes.


_____________________
The largest townland in Co. Louth is Collon townland, measuring 4,348 acres.

 


SOURCES

Co. Louth Archaeological & Historical Journal

The Folklore Commission

D. Murphy ‘The Flanagans of Tobertoby (unpublished)

Termonfeckin Historical Society members

‘Down all Those Years and More’ (1988) Termonfeckin Credit Union book.

The 1830 Tithe Applotments & 1854 Griffith Valuations

Townland Survey of Newtownstalaban by James Garry-1977

Townland Survey of Termonfeckin by Donald Murphy-1988

Monumental Inscriptions from Termonfeckin Cemetery-Irish Genealogist 1991/1992

Fr. Maguires Parish Register 1799-1810.


 



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