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Killyleagh, County Down


Ir. Cill Ó Laoch ‘church of the descendants of Laoch


Town is on W shore of Strangford Lough, 8.5km NNE of Downpatrick

bar: Dufferin

It is possible that Laoch is a variant spelling of Luighdheach, a genitive form of Lughaidh which was a popular name in early Ireland. The ruins of the medieval parish church are 1km north of the town centre, in the large townland of Corporation.

The charter of the borough of Killyleagh was granted by King James I, dated 10th March, 1612.  By it ‘the inhabitants within the said village and lands aforesaid are, and for ever hereafter by force of these presents shall be, one body corporate and politic really in deed and by name, by the name of the Provost, free Burgesses, and Community of the Borough of Killyleagh’.  The limits of the borough extended about one mile by half a mile over townlands called Castlewilliam, Corbally, and The Corporation (Hamilton MSS App. Vii, p.lxiv). 


McKay, P. (1999): A Dictionary of Ulster Place-Names, p. 88; KM, 2009; McKay, P. (2007): A Dictionary of Ulster Place-Names, p. 88;

Additional Information

T., 1851 Census; see also the parish of Killyleagh.

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
(?)Eccia de Kilmeleyt (Ringreagh + +Inch)1306cEccles. Tax. 43 n.s Reeves
Kylmeleth1333Inq. Earldom Ulster iii 66
Kylmalaich1449Reg. Mey 165
Killalagh1605Inq. Ult. (Down) $1 Jac. I
Killaleagh1605Inq. Ult. (Down) $1 Jac. I
Killalleigh1605Inq. Ult. (Down) $1 Jac. I
Killeagh1610Speed's Ulster
Killeleagh, Ecclesia de1615Terrier (Reeves) 55
Kelileagh1617CPR Jas I 326b
Kilaleaghe1617CPR Jas I 339b
""Killeleagh""1622Ulster Visit. Reeves 31
Killaleagh1623Inq. Ult. (Down) $12 Jac. I
Killileagh1623CPR Jas I 571a
Killaleagh1624CPR Jas I 587b
Killaleigh1624CPR Jas I 587b
Killeleah1625cRaven Map Clandeboye 65
~(?)o Chill Aedhain in Ulltoibh1630cMart. Don. April 1 p92
Killileagh1645Inq. Ult. (Down) $104 Car. I
Killeleagh Castle1659cCensus 1659 84
Killileagh1659cCensus 1659 89
""Killeleagh""1661Trien. Visit. (Bramhall) 11
Killaleagh1662Inq. Ult. (Down) $8 Car. II
Killeleagh1662Inq. Ult. (Down) $23 Car. II
Killileagh1662Inq. Ult. (Down) $23 Car. II
Killileagh1663Sub. Roll Down 289
""Killeleagh""1664Trien. Visit. (Margetson) 21
~Cill Ó Laoch1989GÉ 60
~Cill Ó Laoch ""church of the descendants of Laoch""1999Dict. Ulst. PN 88
Parish in 1851
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