Townlands in Dunnalong and Leckpatrick
The following townland meanings are chiefly derived from P. McAleer’s little book, Townlands of County Tyrone with their meanings (Omagh, 1935). Occasionally the names are self-explanatory. Information about each of the townlands which could not be included in the main text is also given here. Any features marked on the first edition Ordnance Survey maps of 1834 are noted.
Altrest: Glen of the curse. Part of the freehold of Dullerton granted to James Hamilton in the early seventeeth century. Location of original Donagheady Presbyterian Church. 1834: two flax mills.
Ardmore: The great height. Originally part of the freehold of Dullerton.
Ballybeeny: Town good for yielding grain. Location of souterrains described in chapter 1. 1834: limestone quarry.
Ballyheather: Lower townland. Formerly known as Falnasloy. 1834: flax mill.
Ballynabwee: Town or mouth of the yellow ford. Location of a large rath. 1834: flax mill.
Carrickatane: Rock of the foxglove.
Castlemellan: Mellan’s stone fort. Location of former national school. 1834: flax mill and slate quarry.
Castlewarren: Warren’s stone fort. Location of rath. 1834: two limestone quarries.
Cavancreagh: Round hill of the territory.
Cloghboy: Yellow stone. Site of destroyed standing stone. A ferry service operated here in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. A salmon fishery was established in the early ninteenth century which was owned by the Irish Society of London. 1834 Ordnance Survey map marks ice house, fish house and fish house chimney. The manager of the fishery in the 1850s was Isaac Daniel. His daughter Mary Anne was married to James Buchanan and they lived near Tralee, Co. Kerry.
Cloghogle: Raised stone. Freehold originally granted to William Lynne in 1614. 1834: two slate quarries.
Coolmaghery: Back of the plain.
Creaghcor: The brambly hill.
Cullion: Ground growing holly.
Drumgauty: Windy ridge or top. A bleach mill and corn mill formerly operated in this townland. The pound for the manor of Dunnalong was also here. Location of Dunnalong Church of Ireland. The former rectory is now the home of the Bruce family, while the house now lived in by Mr and Mrs Wylie Kelly used to be the Presbyterian manse. 1834: flax mill marked on Ordnance Survey map, but this is probably a mistake for corn mill.
Drummeny: Ridge of the marsh. Originally part of the abbeylands of Grange, and now divided into two townlands, Big and Little. The 1834 Ordnance Survey map marks ‘Ruins of Old Bridge’ and a fort in Drummeny Big.
Dullerton: The stone road. In the early nineteenth century the freehold of Dullerton was acquired by the Bond family. At the end of the nineteenth century General William Dunn Bond carried out extensive building work on the Dullerton estate. Scribbled notes inside the cover of one of the valuation books show plans of the house and outbuildings. Notes accompanying these plans indicate that the floors of the house were oak in a herring bone pattern. The valuer added that the house had ‘generally first class fittings’. It also featured a verandah and ornamental porch. Two gate lodges, one in ruins, the other in mock-Tudor style, bearing the date 1898.
Dunnalong: Fort of the ships. Site of a ferry crossing from time immemorial. An O’Neill castle built was built here in 1568 and in 1600 an English artillery fort was constructed on the same site. The small modern townland of Dunnalong owes its origin to a fee-farm grant made in the 1630s (see chapter 3). A fair was established here in the early seventeenth century, which became renowned for its horse sales. In the early nineteenth century the fair became the scene of a number of faction fights. The Londonderry Journal of 5 September 1815 published a proclamation by the magistrates of Co. Tyrone of which the following is an extract: ‘The circumstances of the riot which took place at Donelong on the Twelfth are at present in progress of enquiry and in oder to do justice to those who may have been beaten or abused ... we hereby call on all aggrieved parties to lay their complaints before us’. The fair continued to be held until about 1912 when the last licence holder was a publican from New Buildings. The ferry service was discontinued in the 1920s.
Eden: A hill face. 1834: tannery.
Gloudstown: McLeod’s town has been suggested, but this is doubtful as there is no evidence that a family of McLeods ever lived here. Location of Mount Pleasant, built by Francis O’Neill, linen draper, and now the home of the McMorris family.
Gortavea: Field of the birches.
Gortmellan: Mellan’s field.
Gortmessan: A fruitful field. A rath formerly existed here. Dunnalong Creamery was built here around 1905. Site now occupied by Andy Olphert’s plumbing business.
Gortmonly: Rough field. Originally part of the freehold of Dullerton.
Grangefoyle: In the medieval period a grange was a farm that produced grain for the local monastery. The abbey at Grange is mentioned in chapter 1. ‘Foyle’ was added to the name in the nineteenth century. Grange House is one of the finest Georgian farmhouses in the district.
Lisdivin: Little black fort or Divin’s fort. Granted in freehold in the early seventeenth century to Hugh Hamilton, a trader in luxury foodstuffs. In the middle of the eighteenth century it split into Upper and Lower. Lisdivin House is a listed building.
Magheramason: Massan’s plain or food producing plain. In 1834 there was a toll gate on the main road between Derry and Strabane here. Corn mill built here in the early eighteenth century.
Magherareagh: Grey plain.
Menagh Hill: Fine green field:
Milltown: The original manor mill was built here in the early seventeenth century. In the eighteenth century a bleach green and flax mill were built. Thornhill, the home of the Edie family, was demolished a few years ago.
Mountcastle: This townland was formerly known as Ardugboy. It is the site of the ruined plantation castle of Mountcastle.
Moyagh: Level land. 1834: rath.
Sandville: Together with Milltown this townland was originally known as Altnegalloglagh (Glen of the Galloglagh), a name which implies an association with Scottish mercenary soldiers. Location of Donagheady Presbyterian Church (formerly 2nd Donagheady) and Sandville Primary school. 1834: flax mill and limestone quarry.
Sollus: Place of light. Originally Tamnasollus. 1834: large slate quarry. An old shaft, formerly in connection with the quarry, survives, but its entrance is now covered in rubbish.
Stranabrosney: Holm of the faggots. Originally part of the freehold of Moyagh. In the nineteenth century the Holmes family lived here. In 1858 John Holmes’ house was described as a ‘very neat cottage’.
Tamnabrady: Brady’s green field. 1834: three slate quarries and a limestone quarry. The 1834 Ordnance Survey map also marks a school house on the boundary with Cloghogle in addition to the school on the site of the present Bready Primary School. Of the former nothing else is known. The original Bready Reformed Presbyterian Church was built here in 1771; the current building dates from 1923.
Tamnabryan: Green field of the castle. 1834: limestone quarry and rath.
Tamnaclare: Green field of the plain. 1834: large brickfield.
Tamnakeery: Green field of the quicken tree or green field of the sheep. 1834: slate quarry and flag quarry.
Tullyard: High summit. 1834: flax mill and corn mill. A paper mill was also built in this townland at some point in the nineteenth century.
Of the above Drummeny Big, Drummeny Little and Grangefoyle are part of the Church of Ireland parish of Dunnalong, but were not part of the manor of Dunnalong. Carrickatane, Castlemellan, Cavancreagh, Stranabrosny and Tullyard were part of the manor of Dunnalong, but are not part of the Church of Ireland parish of Dunnalong.
Altnageerog: Hill of the clocks or black beetles. 1834: sand bed.
Artigarvan: Garvan’s high house. Bleach works established here in 1790s. 1834: two bleach mills and a flax mill.
Backfence: 1834: two brickyards and four gravel pits. Brickfield, the former residence of the Barnhill family, was located here.
Ballee: Grey town or Hugh’s town.
Ballydonaghy: Donaghy’ town. 1834: gravel pit.
Ballylaw: Town of the lough or generous town. At its highest point is the ‘White-fort’ a ruined cashel.
Ballymagorry: McGorry’s town. Location of the village of Ballymagorry, originally founded in the early seventeenth century by Sir George Hamilton of Greenlaw. Sir George obtained a patent to hold a fair here in 1629.
Ballyskeagh: Town of the whitethorn shrubbery. 1834: slate quarry and tannery. In the 1850s the house in which Robert Bates lived had been a clergyman’s dwelling ‘and rather unsuitable as a farm house’. It is not clear who the above clergyman was.
Brownhill: Roman Catholic Church built here in the 1790s.
Craignagaple: Rocky hill of the horses. In the 1850s the valuer noted that this townland would ‘feed about 50 sums’ a sum or soum being a defined number of cattle, grazing on a mountain held in common.
Cloghcor: Rough stone. Site of Roman Catholic Church built in 1823. 1834: gravel pit. Location of Cloghcor Primary School. In the 1850s it was noted that John Colhoun’s holding had been ‘the old mail coach office and stables’. Now the Coach Inn, it is owned by the Harkin family.
Coolermoney: Backside towards the shrubbery. 1834: ‘Old Mill’ (probably corn).
Desert: A wilderness or deserted place, also a hermitage. 1834: gravel pit. In the 1850s it was noted that the part of this townland that was near the River Foyle was liable to flooding. However, because there had been only two floods in the last sixteen years, no allowance had been made. The last flood had been one of the largest, but had caused no damage to the land. Desert bog was a source of bog timber used for building purposes in the eighteenth century.
Fyfin: A little white plot. Home of Teig O’Linsechan, priest of Leckpatrick in 1704. From 1781 there are references to tenants quarrying limestone in Fyfin. According to a letter from James Hamilton to the earl of Abercorn, ‘The tenants had made pits which each party kept distinct for themselves. There was water in every pit of them to prevent their working. The complaint was that one would not suffer the other to ebb the water off into his own pit. Indeed if he had his that was lowest and had no vent would have been almost filled. ... The best of the rock lies much lower than we can drain, unless a cut is made of a considerable breadth and depth to empty it into the river’.
Gorticrum: A sloping crooked field. Now divided into Scotch and Irish. Gorticrum Irish contained three gravel pits and a spade mill in 1834.
Greenlaw: A place in Scotland from which Sir George Hamilton of Greenlaw, the original grantee of the manor of Cloghogall, derived his title. Probably the location of Sir George’s bawn which was destroyed in 1641.
Hollyhill: This is the official Ordnance Survey spelling of the townland. However, the Sinclair family, who owned the townland from the late seventeenth century to the middle of the twentieth, generally spelled it ‘Holy Hill’. The original name of the townland was Balliburny. Chapter 10 in this book deals with the Sinclairs. In 1836 Hollyhill was the birthplace of George Sigerson who became one of Ireland’s literary giants. He was the son of William Sigerson, the proprietor of spade mills in Hollyhill and Artigarvan, and was educated in Letterkenny and France. He trained as a doctor, but became very interested in early Irish literature and published widely on the subject. He died in February 1925 at the age of 89, having been appointed to the Irish Free State senate just a few years previously.
Keenaghan: Small tract of mossy land. Formerly part of the Holy Hill estate. 1834: five slate quarries.
Killynaght: O’Knought’s wood. 1834: four slate quarries and three gravel pits.
Knockanbrack: Small speckled hill. 1834: corn mill, two corn kilns and an old still house.
Knockinarvoer: Small hill of the oats. 1834: sand bed.
Knocknahorna: Hill of the barley. 1834: two slate quarries, a gravel pit, still house and sand bed.
Lagavaddar: Hollow of the mether or drinking cup. Includes part of Moorlough. A comment in the Primary Valuation fieldbook of the 1850s about this townland reads: ‘This townland has not been held in rundale for the last twenty years and could not be valued correctly as entered before revision’.
Lagavittal: Hollow of the ore. 1834: slate quarry.
Lagnagalloglagh: Hollow of the galloglagh. Galloglagh were Scottish mercenary soldiers.
Leckpatrick: Patrick’s stone. Location of Leckpatrick Church of Ireland and Old Leckpatrick burial ground. 1834: two corn mills, a paper mill and a gravel pit.
Liscurry: Fort of the moor.
Lisdoo: Black fort. 1834: slate quarry.
Loughneas: Lough of the waterfall. The lough itself is no more. Bodley’s map of 1609 suggests that there was a small fort standing on an island in the middle of the lough. 1834: flax mill, cloth mill, gravel pit and slate quarry.
Maccrackens: McCracken’s town. From early eighteenth century Abercorn estate maps it would appear that this townland was originally part of Pollockstown. 1834: paper mill.
Milltown: Location of the original mill in the manor of Cloghogall, marked as an ‘Old Mill’ on the 1834 Ordnance Survey map. 1834: slate quarry.
Owenreagh: Grey river. 1834: slate quarry and still house.
Pollockstown: Takes its name from the Pollock family who had established themselves here by at least the beginning of the eighteenth century. 1834: rath.
Pullateebee: Hollow of the yellow house. 1834: five gravel pits, ‘shaking morass’ and canal reservoir. Includes part of Moorlough.
Roundhill: 1834: three slate quarries.
Stonypath: 1834: rath.
Stranisk: Watery holm.
Tullyard: High summit. Part of a freehold that also included Woodend granted by Sir George Hamilton of Greenlaw to his agent and steward, Robert Algeo. 1834: old still house.
Woodend: See above. 1834: two slate quarries and an old tannery.