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Ballygeegan, County Down


perhaps Ir. Baile Díogáin ‘townland of the little ditch’


Ballygeegan townland is in the SE of Killinchy parish with Heron Lough on its western boundary.  It contains a hill of 284 feet. The historical evidence is easy to confuse with that for Leggygowan and Lisowen to the west in Saintfield parish, and many of the early references, from the Charter of Killyleagh in 1612, give alias names: ‘Ballegan, or Ballelisgowne, or Ballegigon, 120 acres’.  The earliest reference is to Ballileggan in 1605, and this is the dominant version in 1623 (Ham.Copy Inq.Xlvi, xlvii, lix – which repeats the three names of 1612). Ballileggan  suggests Baile Liagáin ‘td of the small standing stone’. However,the Raven maps have only Balle Geegon etc c. 1625, and there is no reference from 1659.  On the north is Carrigullan Lough with a crannog (J 49975875, NISMR). There was formerly a standing stone at J 51355760, excavated in 1962, when a piece of iron blade found in the socket among the packing stones supporting the stone suggested ‘that the local tale that the stone commemorates a victim of the battle of Saintfield, in 1798, might be fact’ (ASCD 96, NISMR). There was also formerly a platform rath at J 50475776 ‘on a relatively high ridge with good views all round. To N is a modern bungalow.  It has been completely destroyed’ (NISMR, no ASCD).


KM, 2009

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference

Baile Dhubhgáin

1834cLuke Killen (OSNB) 36/56
Ballileggan1605Inq. Ult. (Down) $1 Jac. I
Ballylegan orse Ballygigowne orse Ballygigon1624CPR Jas I 587b
Ba: Gegon1625cRaven Map Clandeboye 61
Balle Geegon1625cRaven Map Clandeboye 69,72
Ballegegan1629Grant Jas I (OSNB) 36/56;5ChasI
(?)Ballymackeaghan1636Inq. Ult. (Down) $75 Car. I
Ballileggan al. Ballelissowne al. Balleyegon1645Inq. Ult. (Down) $104 Car. I
Bally Gigon1661BSD 63
Ballegan al. Ballelisgowne al. Ballegigon1662Inq. Ult. (Down) $23 Car. II
Ballygeegan1745Map in poss. S. Crawford (OSNB) 36/56
Ballygeegan1810Wm. Map (OSNB) 36/56
Parish in 1851
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