Placenamesni.orgthe history behind our place-names

Corbet, County Down


Ir. An Carbad ‘the jaw/boulder’


5km E of Banbridge

par: Magherally bar: Iveagh Lower, Lower Half

The Corbott is cited as part of the barony bounds of Lower Iveagh c. 1655, and the next name on the bounds is Lough Feagh, presumably Corbet Lough on the border with Garvaghy parish (Civ. Surv. x §§72-3).  The surname Corbet appears in Co. Derry in the 17th century (CPR Jas I) and seems to occur in several place-names in Co. Down: Corbetts Hillhead in the parish of Clonduff and another in Dromara, Corbet Head in Rathmullan parish, and possibly Corbet Milltown beside the Bann in Seapatrick parish.   The village of Corbet Milltown is close to the boundary with the townland of Corbet and on a stream running from Corbet lake, so despite the comment in 1834 that ‘Corbit is a family name’ (OSNB) it is most likely that the village takes its name from the townland.  The Irish word carbad, originally ‘framework, chariot’ or ‘jaw’, also appears in place-names.  Hogan has three examples of it as an initial element, including Carbad na nAbadh burned in 1020 in the town of Armagh (Onom. Goed. 156; ALC i 20, where it is translated: ‘lit. ‘the chariot of the abbots’).   Joyce discussed the element under ‘articles of manufacture’, with examples which he interpreted as exercise grounds for the chariot warriors of early Irish literature (Joyce ii 175-7), including Duncarbit in Co. Antrim Dún Carbaid (SMMD II 43 §14).  In most of these names carbad could be translated ‘chariot’, but it seems it might also refer to a topographical feature, a ‘boulder’ (Ó Dónaill 191).  The pass between Fintown and Glenleheen in Co. Donegal is called An Carbad (O'Kane 1970, 83).  The examples quoted so far preserve the original a vowel in carbad, but there is also the parish of Tullycorbet in Co. Monaghan, referred to in the 9th century as o Thulaig Carpait (Mart. Tall. 12, Jan. 26).  Corrabul in Co. Limerick was originally Baile an Charbaid, translated ‘the town of the boulder’ (Ó Maolfabhail 1990, 14).


McKay, P. (2007): A Dictionary of Ulster Place-Names, p. 47 Muhr, K. (1996): Place-Names of Northern Ireland vol. 6 p. 261

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference

Corbad 2 tds (M'lly 6 tds)

1622Buckworth (EA) 310

"Cranes' Nest" (<corr)

1834OSNB: gen. sources NB107

Cor beith "round hill of the birch"

1834cJ O'D (OSNB) NB107


1834cOSNB Pron. NB107

Corach Baidhte "Submerged Bog''

1950cMooney 1950c 301

An Carbad / Corbet Milltown [Seapatrick]

1988Éire Thuaidh

Carbad, An

1989GÉ 45

An Carbad

1992PNI 261

An Carbad "the jaw/boulder"

1999Dict. Ulst. PN 47
Corbudd containing 2 tds1609CPR Jas I 395b
Corbud1611CPR Jas I 190b
Corbudd containing 2 tds1614CPR Jas I 266a
Corbudd containing 2 towns1616CPR Jas I 309a
Carbett1655cCiv. Surv. x $72
the Corbott1655cCiv. Surv. x $73
Corbet1657cHib. Reg. Lr. Iveagh
Corbett1659cCensus 1659 78
Corbett1661BSD 80
Corbett1663Sub. Roll Down 274
Corbett1672cHib. Del. Down
Corbud1727Reg. Deeds abstracts i $387
Corbit1793Tombstone (OSNB) NB107
Corbut1810Wm. Map (OSNB) NB107
Corbit Milltown (Tullyconnaught)1834cOSNB: gen. sources E135
Corbit is a family name1834cOSNB: gen. sources E135
Corbitt1834cWm. Little (OSNB) NB107
Corbitt1834cWm. Little (OSNB) NB107
Eliza Hill, the Flow Bog1834cOSNB: gen. sources NB107
the Corbet Milltown (Tullyconnaught)1834cOSNB: gen. sources E135
the Corbet bridge1834cOSNB: gen. sources NB107
Iveagh Lr., Lr. Half
Parish in 1851
Place name ID
Place name type