Carnasure, County Down
Ir. Ceathrú na Siúr ‘quarter(land) of the sisters or nuns’ or Ceathrú na Saor ‘quarter(land) of the craftsmen’
The townland of Carnasure adjoins the town of Comber on the south. The name of the townland is recorded as Carrownesuir in 1623 and as Carrownesure in 1661, suggesting that the initial element of the place-name is ceathrú ‘quarter(land)’ rather than carn ‘cairn’ as suggested by the modern spelling. The final element may be siúr 'sister', perhaps referring to a religious community. An Inquisition of 1644 informs us that Carrownesure was a possession of the Abbie de Cumber (Inq. Ult. §104 Car. I) but there is no evidence of a house of nuns in the townland. The site of the medieval Cistercian abbey of Comber is marked by the present Church of Ireland church in the middle of the town. Alternatively, the name may be derived from Ceathrú na Saor ‘quarter(land) of the craftsmen’, cf. Lisnasure in the parish of Magheralin. The forms ending in -ser in 1603 (CPR Jas I 38a) and 1625 (Raven Map Clandeboye) would favour this interpretation.
ReferencesP. McKay, 2009; revised PT, 2013.
Historical name form
|Old Form||Ref. Date||Reference|
Carnser (Water Douglas)
|1625||Raven Map Clandeboye|
Cárn na Siúr ""carn of the sisters""
|1834c||J O'D (OSNB) E 19|
Carn-na-siúr ""carn of the sisters""
|1913||Joyce iii 168|
|(?)Carrniser||1604||CPR Jas I 38a|
|Ballycarnesmer||1605||Inq. Ult. (Down) $2 Jac. I|
|Ballin-Altohere otherwise Ballicarnisuire||1606||CPR Jas I 77b|
|Carrownesuir||1623||Ham. Copy Inq.  xlv|
|Carrownesuir||1623||Ham. Copy Inq.  xxxii|
|Carrownesuire al Canowneser||1623||Ham. Copy Inq.  xxxi|
|Corrownesuir||1630||Ham. Patent  xii|
|Carrownesure||1645||Inq. Ult. (Down) $104 Car. I|
|Carnesure||1659c||Census 1659 86|
|Carnasure||1745||OSNB: gen. sources E 19|
|Carnasure||1810||Wm. Map (OSNB) E 19|
|Carnesure||1830c||Bnd. Sur. (OSNB) E 19|
|Carnysure||1834c||OSNB: gen. sources E 19|
- Castlereagh Lower
- Parish in 1851
- Place name ID
- Place name type