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Mullavilly, County Armagh


Ir. Mullach an Bhile ‘hill-top of the sacred tree’


The first element in this place-name is mullach ‘summit’ or ‘hill-top’ which appears unqualified as Mullagh in Cos Cavan, Galway and Meath ( The second element is bile ‘tree’, which was generally applied not to any ordinary tree but to a tree which had some sacred or other significance.  Quite often this was the tree under which the local chieftain was inaugurated and there are numerous references in the annals to the bile of a particular tribe having been cut down by its enemies (Ó Mainnín 1992, 56).

The townland is the location of a church, graveyard and rectory, and also contains an oval cropmark which indicates that the location would have been suitable for a settlement, although there are no visible remains of one (NISMR). As to whether Mullavilly was an old inaugural site it is now impossible to say and there are no references to the bile itself.

The same form, Mullach an Bhile is anglicised Mullavally in Co. Louth (


Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
(?)Mullaghnemillewe & Ballikoghane1609Church Lands Arm. i 89
Mullavilly1609Esch. Co. Map 5.26
Mullavillie 3rd bal.1610CPR Jas I 181a
Ballybree & Mullanemyllee 21615Rent Roll Arm. (PRONI) 8
[?]Mullaghnemillewe1618CPR Jas I 375a
[?] Mullaghnemillne1633Inq. Ult. (Armagh) $20 Car. I [office]
[?]Mullaghneemillye 1 balliboe:1633Inq. Ult. (Armagh) $20 Car. I
cont Uttbreck, Dromard & Toume1633Inq. Ult. (Armagh) $20 Car. I
Mullevilla 1 balliboe1639Inq. Ult. (Armagh) $32 Car. I
(?)Cortrynes & Mullavelah1657Inq. Arm. (Paterson) 232
Mullavelah & Cortrynes1657Inq. Arm. (Paterson) 232
Mullywelly1657Inq. Arm. (Paterson) 232
Molevelly 1 sessiogh1661BSD 11
Mullyvelly 30 acr'', le sessiagh de1661Inq. Ult. (Armagh) $18 Car. II
Mullinvilly (Cordryne &)1664HMR Orior 13
Mullinvilly, Cordryne &1664HMR Murray (1941) 128
Mullyvilly (+ Church)1760Rocque's Map
Mullyvilly Church1760Rocque's Map
chapel of ease at Mullavilly... called New Church 1804Stat. Sur. Arm. (Coote) 13
Mullayvilly1830cRet. Tds Armstrong's Sur. (OSNB) AE10
Mullaghvilla1835Clergyman (OSNB) AE10
[''Mully-''villy]1835New Rent (Law) 4.18
~Mullach a'' bhile ""hill-top of the ancient tree""1835J O'D (OSNB) AE10
Orior Lower
Parish in 1851
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