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Ballyboley, County Down


Ir. Baile na Buaile ‘townland of the summer pasturage’


The historical evidence suggests that the original Irish form of Ballyboley was Baile na Buaile ‘townland of the summer pasturage’, even though there is no trace of the genitive singular feminine form of the definite article (i.e. na) in the modern version of the place-name. The evidence also suggests that this was beginning to disappear from the name as early as the middle of the 17th century.  The final element of Ballyboley is buaile, which means ‘milking place in summer pasturage’.  This word has given us the Hiberno-English term ‘booleying’ which refers to the practice of moving cattle to mountain pastures in summer (Joyce i 239-40). 


Hannan R. J. (1992): Place-Names of Northern Ireland vol. 2 p. 201

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Ballenboyle1603Ex. Inq. (Dn) 2 Jac. I
Ballenboly1604CPR Jas I 38b
Ballenbolly1605CPR Jas I 72b
Balleneboyle1627CPR Chas I 228
Balleneboile1636Inq. Ult. (Down) $75 Car. I
Ballyneboyle1650cInq. Ult. (Down) $109 Car. I
Ballibelly1657cHib. Reg. Ards
Ballyboly1659cCensus 1659 92
Ballineboyle1662Inq. Ult. (Down) $1 Car. II
Ballyboley1703Montgomery MSS 419 n 93
Ballyboley1717Montgomery MSS 420 n 93
Ballyboley1810Wm. Map (OSNB) NB92
Ballyboley1830cBnd. Sur. (OSNB) No. 92
Baile na Buaile ""town of the byre""1834cJ O'D (OSNB) No. 92
Ards Lower
Grey Abbey
Parish in 1851
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