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Ballynafoy, County Down


Ir. Baile na Faiche ‘townland of the green’


Ballynafoy Hill at 612 feet is the highest point in the parish ‘from which on a clear day the mountains of Tyrone, Derry and Antrim may be seen’ (OSM xii 13a).  There is a standing stone now lying near the summit and a rath close by on the south-eastern slope, as well as another lower down.  ‘Town of the green (fair-green)’ was the interpretation suggested by John O'Donovan (OSNB), and the green might be the space in front of a rath, or a playing-field or assembly site, which was quite often a prominent hill.  This hill-top could have been a meeting-point for the Magennis district of Shankill.  Cave Hill in the south of the townland is doubtless the site of a cave which was ‘about 30 yards in length... a fine spring well in the interior’ (OSM xii 15a).


Muhr, K. (1996): Place-Names of Northern Ireland vol. 6 p. 66

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference

Ballynafoy Hill 612'

1834OSM xii 13b

Baile na faithche "Town of the Green"

1834cJ O'D (OSNB) E18.172

Baile na Faiche

1992PNI 66
Ballinefoy (in Shanchall)1609CPR Jas I 394b
Ballynefey (in Shanchall)1611CPR Jas I 190a
Belenefoy1657cHib. Reg. Up. Iveagh
Ballynefoy and a qr of Ballynegross1659cCensus 1659 75
Ballynafoy1661BSD 117
Ballinafoy1672cHib. Del. Down
Ballynefoy1681ASE 274 a 29
B.Nafoy1690cLamb Maps Co. Downe
Ballynefeigh1692Rent Roll Down 11
Bellanafau1720Ir. Wills Index 100
Ballynafoy1818Tombstone (OSNB) E18.172
Ballynafoy1830cBnd. Sur. (OSNB) E18.172
Iveagh Up., Up. Half
Parish in 1851
Place name ID
Place name type