Altaturk, County Armagh
Ir. Alt Toirc ‘Boar’s Ravine or Glen’
The Irish element alt has been, somewhat confusingly, construed as meaning both ‘mountain’ and ‘ravine’ (Flanagan & Flanagan 1994, 14), following the element ált ‘a ravine, a gully, a deep precipitous narrow glen’ (Dinneen). In place-names, however, alt it is usually translated as ‘height’ and typically appears in the same form in anglicised names. The similar element allt ‘cliff, side of glen’ also appears as alt- in anglicised forms and it is often difficult to confirm which of the two elements alt- derives from. Allt can also mean ‘brook’, although mainly in Scotland in names such as Allt a' Bhonnaich, Bannockburn (Dinneen). In the absence of any obvious ‘height’ in the area, we have no cause to disagree with the NIPNP proposal of alt ‘ravine or glen’.
While the later forms Alteturke (1664), Altaturk (1830c) and Altaturke (1835) appear to indicate the presence of the definite article an, introducing the qualifying element. The earlier forms contain no evidence of a medial syllable which means the medial syllable of the modern form might have been introduced as a result of epenthesis.
The second element is torc ‘boar’ which is relatively common in Irish place-names (see also Dún Toirc ‘fort of the boar’ in Co. Down), as is the name of the domesticated pig muc.
Historical name form
|Old Form||Ref. Date||Reference|
|Alturke||1609||Esch. Co. Map 5.28|
|Alturke||1610||CPR Jas I 166b|
|Alturcke 1 balliboe||1637||Inq. Ult. (Armagh) $23 Car. I|
|Alturke||1657||Inq. Arm. (Paterson) 231|
|Alturk & Deryne Scopp||1659c||Census 1659 39|
|Altlerke 60 acr''||1661||Inq. Ult. (Armagh) $6 Car. II|
|Alteturke||1664||HMR Murray (1941) 186|
|Altaturk||1830c||Bnd. Sur. (OSNB) A154 54|
|Alt a'' tuirc ""height or glen of the hog or wild bo||1835||J O'D (OSNB) A154 54|
|Altaturke||1835||Land agent (OSNB) A154 54|
- Oneilland West
- Parish in 1851
- Place name ID
- Place name type