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Ballydrain, County Down


Ir. Baile Draighin ‘townland of blackthorn’


Early references to Ballydrain apply the name to a group of townlands (a manor, 1617) on the mainland opposite to, and associated with, the early monastery of Nendrum (q.v.). A document which claimed to list the Bishop of Down’s see lands in 1210 was probably drawn up in the 15th century, and said that Indrasaig Mac Cahuil, then ruling in Blawico (i.e. in Ui Bhlaithmheic, around Newtownards) gave to the bishop and the church of Down the island of Nedron, with 4 other islands lying next to it.  Indrasaig also gave the bishop Balledrun, now Ballydrain, with 14 carucates of land.   Ballindrean was treated as the parish name in 1622. The meaning of Ballydrain seems to have been understood when it was translated as Castrum Spinarum ‘castle of thorns’ in a rental of the Bishop’s property in 1305 (O’Laverty i 366). 


K. Muhr, 2009

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference

de Castro Spinarum

1305Compotus Dun. 168

Ecclesia de Ballindrean als Magheoe

1622Ulster Visit. Reeves 53
Balledrun1450cRot. Ant. Ecc. Dun. 171
Balledrene1615Terrier (O'Laverty) 327
Balledrene1615Terrier (Reeves) 55
Ballyindrean1615Terrier (O'Laverty) 319
Ballindreen otherwise Ilandmaghie1616CPR Jas I 327a
Ballindreene, manor of1617Inq. Ult. (Down) $6 Jac. I
Ballydreene al. Ilandmaghie, manor of1617Inq. Ult. (Down) $6 Jac. I
Ardmullin1625cRaven Map Clandeboye 54
Ba:Dren1625cRaven Map Clandeboye 53
Ba:drin1625cRaven Map Clandeboye 51
B:Draine1659cCensus 1659 88
Balledrin1661BSD 126
Ballydren1663Sub. Roll Down 286
Castlereagh Lower
Parish in 1851
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