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Poobles, County Antrim


Ir. pobal ‘people, congregation, church’


Poobles is the southernmost townland of Aghalee, adjacent to County Down. To the north east it is bounded by the Broad Water, carrying the Lagan Canal.  Poobles, called Pobles Towne in 1669 (HMR Ant. p.107), contains the current Anglican parish church of Soldierstown, built for the three parishes of Aghagallon, Aghalee and Magheramesk in 1667.  The big house called Broommount was built by the Anglican bishop in 1695. Soldierstown church and the house of a Mr Mason, probably Broommount, were shown on a map of 1777 (Taylor and Skinner 16). 


Since all of the Aghalee townlands were originally church land, the most likely explanation of the name is that Poobles represents Gaelic pobal ‘people, congregation, church’ like Pubble outside Newtownstewart in Tyrone (a Franciscan friary) and Pubble near Tempo in Fermanagh.  However, no earlier church is known here, although local tradition may have influenced the Anglican replacement site.  The final –s in Poobles is an English plural, since there were originally two townlands of the name.  In 1609 Sir Art Magennis held both Ballypubblemore andBallypubblecreigagh (CPR Jas I 396a), and Lendrick’s map in 1780 gave both Pobblemore and Pobblebeg.  These epithets mór ‘big’, creagach ‘rocky’, beag ‘small’ must have been applied to the land or land unit, rather than to any original congregation or church.  Poobles was one townland of 482 acres in 1851, a townland of 513 acres in 1961, and is currently divided again between Lisburn and Craigavon Councils.

(LNP 52).


Kay Muhr

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Pobles Towne1669HMR Ant. 107
Pobbes1672cHib. Del. Antrim
Pobblebeg1780Lendrick Map
Pobblemore1780Lendrick Map
~Pobal ""a tent, shed or hut""1830cJ O'D (OSNB) A 29
Massereene Upper
Parish in 1851
Place name ID
Place name type