Ballydorn, County Down
Ir. Baile an Doirn ‘townland of the pebble bank or causeway’
Ballydorn is in the NE of Killinchy parish, surrounded on three sides by Strangford Lough, and with a land boundary with Craigarusky and Killinakin townlands on the SW and south. The pebble causeway is probably that linking the townland to Sketrick Island and castle to the east (EA 185), although the north of the townland faces the old church of Nendrum on Mahee Island. As described in Celebrating Ulster's Townlands, this is an example of the term dorn for a causeway or ford. The Gaelic word dorn originally meant ‘fist’, in Ireland it also developed the meaning ‘throwing stone’ or ‘pebble’, while East Ulster shares the Scottish Gaelic meaning of a stony causeway exposed at low tide, or narrow channel passable at full tide. The place-name Ballydorn ‘townland of the dorn’ now names the lightship which is the flagship of the Down Cruising Club. However, it is attested quite late in the sources, not appearing before B: Dorne in 1659, so the townland may have had another name earlier.
Historical name form
|Old Form||Ref. Date||Reference|
Baile Uí Dhornáin
|1834c||Luke Killen (OSNB) 36/56|
Baile an Doirn ""townland of the pebble causeway""
|1999||Cel. Ulst. Tds 8|
Dornach = ""place of pebbles/pebbly causeway""
|1999||NIPNP replies KM/RB|
|B: Dorne||1659c||Census 1659 84|
|Balledorne + Ballemcc aravenny||1661||BSD 128|
|Ballydorn||1745||Map in poss. S. Crawford (OSNB) 36/56|
|Ballydorn||1810||Wm. Map (OSNB) 36/56|
|Ballydorn||1830c||Bnd. Sur. (OSNB) 36/56|
- Parish in 1851
- Place name ID
- Place name type