As you may have gathered I’m fascinated by names, all sorts of names, people places, days, months… I just find it so interesting to delve into the origins of named things. So, I was particularity interested to find some information about a place I know well, and love a lot, the Causeway Coast and Glens of Northern Ireland. I was even more particularity interested because it includes among the excellent photos, old and new, an areal shot of a mystical and magical place, Lisanduff. Lisanduff which means dark fort, or dark enclosed space, is a little known but very important earthwork right on the edge of the sea.

The information I was looking at was about the place names of this beautiful, stunning area;the names of places have a variety of origins, some are simply named after a person who lived/worked/owned the area, a person who may be remembered, maybe long forgotten apart from the name tagged to a location, or connected with an ancient myth.

This coastline has been settled, attacked, plundered and defended by many different people over the thousands of years it has been inhabited, and those people leave their traces in names derived from their languages, ancient Celtic tongues, Gaelic, Scots, Viking, Anglo-Norman.

Events too can leave their mark, battles or just little local skirmishes between tribes folk, may leave their memory in a name. Something which was once in a place but has now vanished in a physical sense, may live on in a name, a sacred place, a palace, a fort, a castle, a town or church… Maybe a trade was carried out in that place, mining, farming, fishing, maybe there was a ford where people crossed a  river. Perhaps there once was a spring or well, a holy pool which people visited and made offerings or sort healing watery places and the memory of what happened as well as the water has been culverted, lost and forgotten except for the name. Sometimes these events may not have actually happened, sometimes they are merely myths, old legends and tales handed down from a distant story-teller.

Find out more about the townlands, fieldnames and feature names of the Causeway Coast here:

http://causewaycoastaonb.ccght.org/natural-heritage/townlands-fieldnames-feature-names/

13 thoughts on “Townlands, field names and featuures

  1. Place names are so interesting, especially all the town lands in and around Northern Ireland! It’s always fun to translate them because you realise they make sense and there’s always the mystery to find out why they were given those name! 🙂

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  2. We have two towns with similar sounding names near Sault Ste. Marie called Espanola and Spanish. I study the history of the area and found out that the Indians that went on a raiding party with the English down to the states captured a Spanish senorita who married an Indian chief. Ergo the names. We have a waterfalls nearby called MiniHaha falls. Can you guess where that name came from?

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  3. MiniHaha comes from the strory of Hiawatha. I met an old friend of mine,an Indian girl named BobbyJoe the other day who reminds me of the statue of Pocahantas in a churchyard in England. She is tall and beautiful and would be a big hit in England. We have a lot of nice natives around here but now they call themselves the first nations people. They didn’t have to be discovered as they knew who they were and where they were.

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  4. On our side of the border they are called Ojibway and on the American side they are known as the Chippewa. They settled around Sault Ste Marie to fish in the rapids and to trade with each other. They left here and went down to Washington with the British and burned down the Whitehouse in the war of 1812/1814. The Americans were so ashamed that they whitewashed the remains therefore the whitehouse. They don’t mention that war in history class for some reason in the states.

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  5. There is a place fifty miles north of us on the shore of Lake Superior called Agawa. There high upon the rocks are native paintings called pictographs. The story goes that a tribe from out west were starving from drought but there chief had a dream that they had to move to a promised land to survive so they landed at Agawa after a long journey. The chief climbed a nearby hill and looked all around and declared that this was the promised land in his dream. Upon hearing this all the tribe yelled out ( Yeah, but where the Heckaweee !!! )

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