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Mount Alexander, County Down

Origin

Eng. mount + Alexander (surname)

Background

The townland of Mount Alexander which lies just north of the town of Comber was carved out of a number of surrounding townlands and takes its name from a large house which has long disappeared, the site of which is marked by the Castle Farm.  The house was built in the 17th century by the second Viscount Montgomery using materials taken from the dissolved Comber Abbey.  It was built as a wedding gift on his marriage to Lady Jean Alexander in 1623, and was named in honour of the bride and her family (Montgomery MSS 93 n24). Lady Jean was a daughter of Sir William Alexander, secretary for Scotland to James VI (James I of England). From Mount Alexander the Montgomerys took the title Earls of Mount Alexander (ASCD 262). In 1637 the lands adjoining the house are described as constituting the manor of Mount Alexander or Comber (Montgomery MSS 93).  Mount is frequently employed as the first element in names of imposing houses with estates, cf. Mount Stewart and Mount Panther, also in Co. Down.  The use of the term does not necessarily imply that the house stands on a height.

References

P. McKay, 2009; with additions PT, 2012.

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference

"Mount Alexander House - This residence, in the vicinity of Comber, was built for the accommodation of the second viscount on his marriage and was thus named in honour of his wife."

1623Montgomery MSS 93 n24

manor of Mount Alexander or Comber

1637Montgomery MSS 93

Mount Alexander, Hugh, 2nd Earl of

1716OSM xvii 19

Mount Alexander, Baron Mountjoy married to Cress, dowager of

1759OSM xvii 119

In Mount Alexander townland on the top of a hill there stood an old castle.  Some old men in Comber remember to have seen it.

1834OSM vii 82
Barony
Castlereagh Lower
Parish
Comber
Parish in 1851
Comber
Townland
None
Place name ID
11969
Place name type
T