Placenamesni.orgthe history behind our place-names

Lisnasliggan, County Down


Ir. Lios na Sliogán ‘fort of the shells’


Lisnasliggan was part of the church lands in the east of the parish of Annaclone.  No ring-fort (lios) survives within the present boundary, or within the 17th-century boundary (see PNI 6 p. 71 for reconstruction of this boundary).  The Irish form suggested in 1834 was the interpretation of Mrs Con Magennis, with the final element explained by Dean Mooney as possibly meaning ‘of the slatey stones’.  This is quite likely, as in 1834 Ballynagross was described as containing ‘slaty rock... of a brittle or rotten description’ (OSNB).  However, shells were used in early Ireland as manure (DIL sv slice).  In the 18th century the fresh-water mussels of the Bann were well-known and were fished for pearls around Banbridge, although ‘As an article of food it gained popularity only among the peasantry, for the reason that it required very high flavouring to make it palatable’ (Bassett’s Down 231-3).  Deposits of shells might have been found within the lost monument.  In 1834 there were still ‘seven ancient forts’ in Lisnasliggan (OSNB).  Of the ‘5 and 20 of the old forts’ recorded in the parish (OSM xii 15a) hardly any remain.


Muhr, K. (1996): Place-Names of Northern Ireland vol. 6 p. 71

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference

Lios na Sligean "fort of the shells"

1834cMrs Con Magennis (OSNB) E18.172

Lios-na-sliogán "of the shells/thin slaty stones"

1913Joyce iii 482

sliogán "shell, husk, hull'' - slatey stones?

1950cMooney 1950c 29

Lios na Sliogán

1992PNI 71
Lisnesleggan1609CPR Jas I 395a
Lisnesleggan (into manor of Dromore)1611CPR Jas I 191a
half td Lisnesleggan1611CPR Jas I 191a
Lisnesligan, one half towne of land [glebe]1657Inq. Down (Reeves1) 91
Lisconsligan with Glebe1657cHib. Reg. Up. Iveagh
Lissonsligan1657cHib. Reg. Up. Iveagh
a qr of Lisneslickan1659cCensus 1659 75
a qr of Lisneslickan and a qr of Ballynefearn1659cCensus 1659 75
Lissnesliggan1661BSD 117
Lisnesligan1663Sub. Roll Down 277
Lissonsligan1672cHib. Del. Down
Lisnasligan1806Tombstone (OSNB) E18.13
Lisnasligan1810Wm. Map (OSNB) E18.13
Lisnasligan1812Tombstone (OSNB) E18.13
Iveagh Up., Up. Half
Parish in 1851
Place name ID
Place name type