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Drumreagh, County Down


Ir. Droim Creiche ‘ridge of the foray’ or Droim Croidh ‘ridge of the cattle’


Drumreagh lies due north of Barnamaghery, another townland containing an ancient graveyard.  Bishop Reeves noted Ecclesia de Dramcro ‘the church of Dramcro’ in the papal taxation of 1306, but it was not mentioned in the Terrier of 1615 and O’Laverty assumed the church was ruined by then.  Historical references with the spelling Drumcreagh link the early name with what is now Drumreagh townland (thus apparently Droim Riabhach ‘the grey ridge’) which contains an ‘ancient burial place’ which Reeves knew as Killkeeran.  Although there were no remains of a church, it was still used for burials ‘almost exclusively by the Roman Catholics of the district, and principally by the Murrys, an ancient family, whose habitant (sic) is the adjacent townlands of Carrickmannon, Magherscouse, Moneygreer and Ravarra’ (EA 9n, O’Laverty I 347).  The Northern Ireland Sites and Monuments Record describes it as Kilcarn Grave Yard: On a ridge several hundred metres W of the Chapel Water… enclosed by a rectilinear stone wall & contains some very interesting 18th-century gravestones. It is still used for burials’ (J 455604, NISMR).  The name Killkeeran would be the ‘church of St Ciarán’, Kilcarn the ‘church of the cairn’.  In the late 19th century O’Laverty noted that, ‘In the grave-yard stands a large flag-stone, about which several mythic stories are told’.  He recounted one of these in which a chieftain called O’Roney chased and killed the monster cat of Clough, from which ‘the track of the hoof of his war-horse is yet impressed on the large stone’ (O’Laverty I 28).


KM, 2009

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference

Duncro, ecclesiam sancti Andree de

1204Pontif. Hib. i $59

Duncro, ecclesiam sancti Andree de

1204Pontif. Hib. i $59

Dramcro, Ecclesia de

1306cEccles. Tax. 8

Druim Riach

1834cLuke Killen (OSNB) 36/56
(?)Ballireogh1605Inq. Ult. (Down) $1 Jac. I
Ballidromcreagh1605CPR Jas I 73a
>Reaghie (the Duffrin)1624CPR Jas I 587b
Ballyreagh othw>1624CPR Jas I 587b
Ballydrumereaghe1629?Grant Jas I (OSNB) 36/56
Ballydrumreagh1629?Grant Jas I (OSNB) 36/56;?ChasI
Ballydromcreagh1636Inq. Ult. (Down) $75 Car. I
>Reaghie1645Inq. Ult. (Down) $104 Car. I c
Ballereagh al.>1645Inq. Ult. (Down) $104 Car. I c
Drumcreagh1645Inq. Ult. (Down) $104 Car. I
Ballydromcreagh1650cInq. Ult. (Down) $109 Car. I
Ballydrumcreagh1650cInq. Ult. (Down) $109 Car. I
Drumreagh1659cCensus 1659 89
Dromreagh1661BSD 63
Ballydrumreagh1662Inq. Ult. (Down) $1 Car. II
Drumreagh1830cBnd. Sur. (OSNB) 36/56
Castlereagh Lower
Parish in 1851
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