Placenamesni.orgthe history behind our place-names

Benraw, County Down

Origin

Ir. Beann Rátha ‘peak of the ring-fort’

Background

The townland of Benraw has obviously been named after the hill now known as Benraw Mountain (242m).  Ir. beann / binn usually refers to a crag, cliff or to a rugged peak, but this is not always the case  (cf. Binswilly, near Glendowan in Co. Donegal, which is 337m high and not particularly steep or rugged).  Benraw Mountain is prominent, but has higher neighbours and is not noticeably craggy.  There is no fort in this townland now but surviving on a ridge, with good views all round, is an arc, slightly less than a semi-circle, formed by an inner ditch with outer bank, on what would be a suitable site for a rath (NISMR, Down sheet 35, no. 16).

References

KM, 2009; PT 2012

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference

(?) Banne Rory

1556Cal. Carew MSS i 262

Beann Ráithe ''ben or peak of the fort''

1834cJ O'D (OSNB) 65

Beann rátha/ráithe "The peak of the Fort''

1950cMooney 1950c 133
Ballybenrae1609CPR Jas I 394b
Ballybenrae1611CPR Jas I 193a
Benragh1657cHib. Reg. Up. Iveagh
Benry1659cCensus 1659 77
Denra1659cCensus 1659 77
Benragh (1 towne)1661BSD 118
Benraw1755Map of Down (OSNB) 65
Benraw1810Wm. Map (OSNB) 65
Benraw1830cBnd. Sur. (OSNB) 23
Barony
Iveagh Up., Lr. Half
Parish
Drumgooland
Parish in 1851
Drumgooland
Townland
None
Place name ID
11817
Place name type
T