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Ballywalter, County Down


Ir. Baile Bhaltair 'Walter's townland'; perhaps earlier Eng. Walter(s)ton


Walter was a common personal name among the Anglo-Normans, as witnessed by the mention of a ‘Waltero Purcel’ in Cartae Dunensis 419 §2 (c. 1177).  The taxation of Pope Nicholas IV refers to Rector ville Walteri de Logan, i.e. ‘the rector of Walter-de-Logan’s town’, and Reeves (EA 67, n. m) successfully identifies this as modern Ballywalter (par. Ballylinny), a grange near Doagh in Co. Antrim.  In the case of Ballywalter in the Ards, the alias form Ballywalter al. Walterstowne of 1637 indicates an Anglo-Norman origin, Walter(s)ton, which has been then gaelicized between the Anglo-Norman invasion and the Plantation period.  For a similar development in this parish, see Anglo-Norman Pereston (1333 AD), modern Ballyferris.  One is not in a position at present to identify the Walter of Ballywalter.


Hughes A. J. (1992): Place-Names of Northern Ireland vol. 2 p. 67; McKay, P. (2007) A Dictionary of Ulster Place-Names, p.18;

Additional Information

T., 1851 Census

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Ballivalter1605Inq. Ult. (Down) $2 Jac. I
Balliwalter1605Grant Jas I (OSNB) No. 44
Ballywalter1605Inq. Ult. (Down) $2 Jac. I
Ballywalter1605CPR Jas I 73a
Balliwalter1617CPR Jas I 326a
Ballewalter1623Ham. Copy Inq. [1623] xlvi
Ballywalter al. Ballywaltra1623Ham. Copy Inq. [1623] xxxi
the baie of Ballewalter1623Ham. Copy Inq. [1623] lii
Ballywalter al. Walterstowne1637Inq. Ult. (Down) $80 Car. I
Ballywalter1641Wars Co. Down 79
Ballewalter1645Inq. Ult. (Down) $104 Car. I
Ballywalter Village1659cCensus 1659 92
""Ballywalter1661Trien. Visit. (Bramhall) 9
Ballewalter & ye village1661BSD 89
Ballewalter1662Inq. Ult. (Down) $23 Car. II
Ballywalter1663Sub. Roll Down 283
""Balliwalter als Whitechurch""1679Trien. Visit. (Boyle) 44
Ballywalter1681Ham. Copy Rental 108
Ballywalter1810Wm. Map (OSNB) No. 44
Ballywalter1830cHigh Const. Applot. (OSNB) No. 44
Ballywalter1830cTythes Applot. (OSNB) No. 44
Ballywalter1830cBnd. Sur. (OSNB) No. 44
Baile Bhaitéir `Walter''s Town''1834cJ O'D (OSNB) E174
~Baile Bháltair1989GÉ 16
~Baile Bháltair ""Walter''s townland""1999Dict. Ulst. PN 18
Ards Upper
Parish in 1851
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