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Waringstown, County Down


Waring's or Warren's (surname) + Eng. town


4km SE of Lurgan

par: Donaghcloney bar: Iveagh Lower, Upper Half

Waringstown is in the north of Magherana, on the border with Tullyherron, and was apparently known at first by the district name of Clanconnell (Atkinson's Donaghcloney 43, Harris Hist. 104), as commemorated in a local housing development.  It got its English name from the 17th-century settler, William Warren or Waring (or from his son, Bassett's Down 277).  After the rebellion of 1641, in which the sons of Glasney McAgholy Magennis of Clanconnell took part, their lands were confiscated and shared among the Cromwellian soldiers in lieu of pay.  The soldiers' lands were bought up by their captains, and the eastern part of Donaghcloney had been sold to Waring by 1659 (Census 79; ASE 49b 19).  His fortified house (erected in 1666) in Magherana remained in the family, and became the centre of the weaving village of Waringstown, which in 1777 still also contained the residence of a Magennis Esq. (Taylor and Skinner, map 18). 

The parish church was moved to Waringstown from the old site in Donaghcloney.  Waring's house was built on the site of an old fort, where in 1834 it was still the custom of the local young men to gather on Easter Monday to "play common" (hurley) (OSM xii 58a).  The Warings continued in occupation and several became prominent figures: members of parliament (17th and late 19th century) and Anglican clergymen (Archdeacon of Dromore 1683 AD, Dean of Dromore 1842 AD; Atkinson's Dromore 194-5, 125, 115).

In March 1834 John O'Donovan visited the Rev. Holt Waring, rector of Shankill, and local "lord of the soil", who was extremely proud of his family and its traditions (OSL Dn x 25, xi 26).  Waring's comment "Correct, I believe, H. W." appears several times in the name book, and Tullyherron was dismissed as "the present vulgar name" because Tullyherim appeared in old deeds (OSNB E2). 

When O'Donovan told the Rev. Archbold, "rector of Rathmullen and one of the magistrates of the Co. Down", that Waring wanted the town mapped as "Waringstown... pronounced Ware-ing's town", Archbold told O'Donovan that Warring was the spelling used "in all the records and grants" (cf. ASE 49b), "Mr Warring has no right to alter his name", and "if I humour the whims of any old pedant [i.e. by altering place-name spellings on the map] I shall hear from himself".  O'Donovan's own comment at the time was:  

No person in the County of Down heard the little town ever called any name but Warringtown (a short), nor would you be   understood if you called it Ware-ing'stown (OSL Dn xxviii 82, xxx 84-5).

Nevertheless Rev. Waring seems to have had his way in the modern spelling.  He also insisted his family had no connection with the family of Warren, although William Warren (of Leenan, Atkinson's Donaghcloney 144) and Warrenstowne (Atkinson's Donaghcloney 42) were used as alternative spellings in the late 17th century. 

Waring seems to have had no connection with Warrenpoint in Co. Down (PNI i 161-2) but both Waringfield in Moira (Bassett's Down 277) and Waringsford in Garvaghy contain the same surname.


Muhr, K. (1996): Place-Names of Northern Ireland vol. 6 p. 100-1; McKay, P. (2007): A Dictionary of Ulster Place-Names, p. 145;

Additional Information

T., 1851 Census

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference


1802Stat. Sur. Dn (Dub.) 195,316,317

'Ware-ing (always long)

1834cOSNB Pron. E2

Baile Varing

1834cJ O'D (OSNB) E2

Baile an Bhairínigh/Waringstown

1988Éire Thuaidh

Baile an Bhairínigh

1989GÉ 11
Warings-towne1667Brownlow LB 20
Waringstown1687Brownlow LB 131
Warrenstowne1690Atkinson's Donaghcloney 42
Waringstowne in Clinconnell1691Atkinson's Donaghcloney 43
Waringstown1742Atkinson's Donaghcloney 57
Waring''s Town1743Harris Hist. map
Waringstown antiently called Clan-Connell1744Harris Hist. 104
Waringstown1755Map of Down (OSNB) E2
Revd Holt Warring of Warringstown1795Vestry Bk D'cloney 115
Waringstown x91800+Vestry Bk D'cloney 115
Waringstown1810Wm. Map (OSNB) E2
Waringstown1829Ir. Wills Index 95
named from Waring family, formerly Clan Connel1837cOSM xii 59b
Iveagh Lr., Up. Half
Parish in 1851
Place name ID
Place name type