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Deer Park, County Antrim


Ir. probably Tonnaigh ‘marsh or moor’


The large townland of Deer Park consists of some 1500 acres on the shore of Lough Neagh, projecting into the lough at Hog Park Point.  The area was formerly known as The Tunny Park, and although the hamlet now called Tunny is in Feumore townland it may have been the original name.  Within the townland of Deer Park there are a number of small bog islands, namely Tunny Island, Rabbit Island, Georges Island, Holy Island(originally Holly Island) and in the south Derryola Island(Ir. Doire Abhla ‘bog island of the apple tree or orchard’).  Deer Park was created as the deer park of Lord Conway (also known as the Earl of Hertford), stocked with ‘deer, pheasants, hares and a variety of game’ (OSM xxi 84).  The old forest of Killultagh survived for longest here, before the land was given over to tenant farmers in the late 18thand early 19thcentury.  There were still wolves there in the 17thcentury: ‘the wolves did soe haunt and undo the tenants in those islands by the lough-side’; ‘the keeper and all our gun men are watching the wolves that haunt the Tunny park almost every night’ (CSP Ire. 1647-60, 667; CSP Ire. 1663-5, 637).  In 1814 Revd Cupples described two huge trees in Lord Conway’s Deer Park, the Royal Oak and the Broad Oak.  The Royal Oak had fallen about 40 years before [i.e. c.1775] (Shaw Mason’s Par. Sur.  ii 224-5, 1814).  The Ordnance Survey Memoir noted in 1836: ‘The only remains of natural wood are now to be found in the old undisturbed hedgerows near the lake… oak, holly and hazel saplings or shoots with a few wild cherries’ (OSM xxi 84).  (LNP 39)


Kay Muhr

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Deer Park1780Lendrick Map
Massereene Upper
Parish in 1851
Place name ID
Place name type