Celebrating Ulster's Townlands

 

 

Signpost: Townlands

Gortin, Co. Tyrone: NITB

Gortin, Co. Tyrone: NITB

Logo: Townlands 12.Trees in Place Names

 

The much greater tree cover of early Ireland is very apparent from the place-names and many different varieties are mentioned, from the Early Irish “chieftain trees” of oak, ash and yew to shrubs like blackberry and gorse.    

Alder fearn Mullafernaghan “hill of the aldery place”, Co. Down; Tulnavern, Cloughfern “stone of the alder" Co. Antrim; Fernaghandrum “ridge of alders”, Tyrone.

 

Apple abhall  “apple” Magherally “plain of  apple trees” Co. Down, Derrylisnahavil “oakwood of the fort of apple trees” Co. Armagh. Rossnowlagh “headland of the apple trees” Co.Donegal.

 

Ash  fuinse  “ash” Unshinagh Tyr “place of ash trees”, Annahunshigo “marsh of the ash trees” Co.Down. Drumnahuncheon “ridge of the ash” Co. Armagh.  

Birch beithe Beagh “place of birches”, Aghaveagh “field of the birch”.

  Blackthorn draighean “blackthorn; sloe” Knockadreen “hill of blackthorn”, airne “sloe” Knockarney, Lisnaharney Tyrone, “hill, fort of the sloe”.  

Elder trom “elder” as in Trummery Co. Down, Tremoge Tyr. “elder place”; the older name of Bessie Bell mountain in Tyrone: SlieveTroim “mountain of the elder tree”.  

 Elm leamh “elm” Lankill, Laughill, Longfield “elm-wood”, Magheralamfield, “plain of the elm-wood” Tyrone, Lammey, Tullylammy Ferm “place of elms”;  

Gorse, Whin aitinn: Knocknahatten “hill of the gorse”. Whinny Hill Co. Down. The Scots term whin rather than gorse is almost universal in Ulster.  

Hawthorn scé “hawthorn” Gortnaskeagh, Aughnaskeagh, “field of the thorn”, Skegoneil “the earl’s thornbush” Co. Antrim, Skegatillida “thorn of the snail” Co. Fermanagh.  

Holly cuilionn “holly” Kinnegillion, “headland of the holly” Tyrone, Cullentra  

 Ivy eidhean Killaney Co. Down “ivy church” (probably ruined when so named);  

Juniper: Sanaghanroe locally Savanaghanroe: “red place of wild juniper” Tyrone (the local pronunciation keeps a syllable lost in the spelling.)  

Oak: The element Derry is from doire “oakwood” as in London-derry, Ballinderry, Derrydrummuck “oakwood of the ridge of pigs” Co. Down. The individual tree name occurs in Aghnadarragh  “field of the oak”.  

Rowan caorthainn “rowan” Cavanakeerin “hill of the rowan” Tyrone, Carnkirn, “cairn of the rowan” Co. Antrim (where the cairn was known as the “Rowantree cairn”) ; Kernan “place of rowans” Co. Down.

 

Willow sail “willow”: Sullenboy “yellow willows” Tyrone, Drumsillagh Co. Down, Mullasilloga Tyrone, “hill of willows”, Coolsallagh Co. Down “corner of willows”  

 Yew iubhar “yew” Newry “place of yews”, Mullynure “summit of the yew tree”, Killinure “wood of the yew tree”, Tattinure “Tate of the yew tree” Tyrone,  Ahoghill eochaill “field of the yew wood” use a different word, as in Youghal, Co. Cork.  

 

Ash at Inch Abbey, Lecale Co.Down: MH, EHS

Ash at Inch Abbey, Lecale Co.Down: MH, EHS

 

Birch at the bridge of Sruhananassa, Doochary, Co. Donegal: KM

Birch at the bridge of Sruhananassa, Doochary, Co. Donegal: KM

 

Hawthorn in the Antrim glens: MH, EHS

Hawthorn in the Antrim glens: MH, EHS

 

 

Willow shrubs and heather

Willow shrubs and heather

Juniper

Juniper

 

 

Hazel Bushes

Hazel Bushes

 

Elder flowers

 

Holly in Co. Donegal

Holly in Co. Donegal

Rowan

Rowan

 

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