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Ballyrolly, County Down


Ir. Baile Rolaí ‘Rolly’s townland’


The earliest recorded spelling of Ballyrolly is Ralfetona (Eccles. Tax. c.1306) which shows that the place-name is of Norman origin, containing the personal name Ralfe, followed by an inflected form of tun ‘town’, meaning ‘Ralfe’s town’.  Black (1946, xliv) informs us that the name Ralph, although introduced to these islands by the Normans, is of Germanic origin.  Woulfe (1923, 196) states that Ralph was one of the most common names among the Normans who came to Ireland but that its popularity was short lived. It is normally gaelicized Radhulbh (later Ráulph) but this townland name seems to contain a by-form of the name, Rolaí. There is another townland named Ballyrolly in the parish of Down, Co. Down.


Hannan R. J. (1992): Place-Names of Northern Ireland vol. 2 p. 186

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Ralfetona, Ecclesia de1306cEccles. Tax. 18
Balliroly1605Inq. Ult. (Down) $2 Jac. I
Ballyerollie1615Terrier (Reeves) 57
Ballyrollie1615Terrier (O'Laverty) 327
Ballyrolly1617CPR Jas I 326a
Balle-Rolloy1623Ham. Copy Inq. [1623] xxxiv
Ballyrolly1623Ham. Copy Inq. [1623] xxxiii
Ballyrolly,the bay of1623Ham. Copy Inq. [1623] li
Ballyrolly1636Inq. Ult. (Down) $75 Car. I
Ballyrolly1650cInq. Ult. (Down) $109 Car. I
Ballyrolly1650cMontgomery MSS 54 n.34
Bellie Rollie1652Montgomery MSS 135 n.41
Ballyrolly1659cCensus 1659 93
Ballerolley1661BSD 88
(?)Ballyelly1663Sub. Roll Down 281
Ballyrolly1810Wm. Map (OSNB) E 167, E 24
Ballyrolly1830cBnd. Sur. (OSNB) E 167, E 24
Rawley''s Town1834cJ O'D (OSNB) E 167, E 24
Ards Lower
Parish in 1851
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