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Ballycrune, County Down


Ir. Bealach Cruithean ‘pass of the Cruithin’


The earliest reference, Hacroyne in the said river of Garwcloghy (Fiants Eliz. 1584) appears to refer to a ford in the Ravernet River a little to the north of Ballycrune townland. The ford seems to have been called in Irish Áth Cruithean ‘ford of the Cruithin’, like that which formerly existed on the Newry River at the Crown Mound (PNI I 37-8, 43-4). The river became the boundary of Ulaid and Cruithin in the first millennium. Currently the once-marshy parish of Annahilt represents the NE corner of the barony of (Lower) Iveagh, bounded on the north by Castlereagh and on the east by Kinelarty.

A similar 16th-century name was used to refer to a townland in the part of Lower Iveagh then called Kilwarlin, and appears to include both baile ‘townland’ and the word bealach ‘a pass’: Ballilishwallychroyn (Kilwarlin) (1585, 1609, 1610, 1635). This name appears to represent Baile followed by Lios Bhealaigh Cruithean ‘ringfort of the pass of the Cruithin’.

This long name always occurs in a group of townlands, including Ballykeel Lougherne, which were passed from Ewer mcRory Magennis of Kilwarlin (1585) to Brian McRory Magennis (by 1609), and on to another Ever (1631) and his heir Rory McBrien Oge (1635).  In 1631 and 1632 the lists of these lands, usually four in number, were augmented by the names of Carricknadarriff and Cargygray, adjacent to Ballycrune on the north-east and south, which do not appear earlier.  At the same time Ballycrune appeared simply as Ballychrynn  and Ballychrin al. Ballichrun (Inq. Ult. Dn §24 Car. I, §31 Car. I).  The implication is that the longer form of the name referred to a larger Ballycrune in the border area which then included Cargygray and Carricknadarriff as subdivisions.  By the mid-18th century the name had settled down as Ballycrune. Although Bally- in this name could represent either bealach ‘pass’ or baile ‘townland’, Bealach keeps the link with the earlier name.


KM, 2009

Additional Information

Contains the village of Annahilt

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference

Ballylishvallycroyne (Killwarlin > Brian McRory Magenis)

1609CPR Jas I 396a

Ballilishwallichroine (Kilwarlin > Brian McRory Magenis)

1610CPR Jas I 181b

Ballechrynn/ Ballychryn, Ever Magennis de [+same as §31]

1631Inq. Ult. (Down) $24 Car. I

Ballychrin al Ballichrun vel Ballychorchriny, vil' de (Kilwarlin)

1632Inq. Ult. (Down) $31 Car. I

Ballilshowealycrome (Rory McBryenOge of Kilwarlin)

1635Inq. Ult. (Down) $60 Car. I

Baile Crón ""brown town""

1811OSNB: gen. sources E 15

Ballycroyne al. Ballycruine al. Ballycrune [?OSNB 1811]

1836Deeds & Wills (Mooney) 157 ""deed 1836""

Baile Ui Chroidheain

1950cMooney 1950c 159
Ballilishwallychroyn (to Ewer McRorye of Kilwarlin1585Fiants Eliz. $4650
Ballychryne (Ever Magennis and heir Rory)1635Inq. Ult. (Down) $58 Car. I
Ballycronie (Annahilt par.)1661BSD 81
Ballycroyne al Ballycrinne [correct ident.]1661CSP Ire. 459
Ballycroyn al. Ballycrum1711Deeds & Wills (Mooney) 157
Ballycrune1755Map of Down (OSNB) E 15
Ballycrune1810Wm. Map (OSNB) E 15
Ballycroyne als Ballycruine al Ballycrune1811Marriage Downshire (OSNB) E 15
Iveagh Lr., Lr. Half
Parish in 1851
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