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Saul, County Down


Ir. Sabhall ‘a barn’


Village is 3km NE of Downpatrick

bar: Lecale Lower

Saul is the name both of this townland and of the parish in which it is situated. According to tradition, the name refers to a barn which stood on land presented to St Patrick in AD 432 by the local chieftain Dichu as a site for his first church (EA 40). In the year 1170 Saul is referred to as Saball Patraic (Modern Irish Sabhall Phádraig), i.e. ‘Saul of (Saint) Patrick’ in the Annals of Ulster (AU iii 164) and the name is also recorded as Sabhall Phádraig ‘Patrick’s Barn’ in the Ordnance Survey Name Book of c.1834. The site of the original church appears to be marked by the gable end of a building which stands a short distance west of the present Church of Ireland memorial church of Saint Patrick, just west of the village of Saul and forms a portion of the remnants of a 12th-century Augustinian friary which was erected on the same site (see ASCD 288). The townland of Saul Quarter lies two miles to the south, in the parish of Down.


PMcK, 2009; McKay, P. (2007): A Dictionary of Ulster Place-Names, p. 128;

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference

sepulturam Patricii... in Sabul Patricii

0670cTírechán (Bieler) 164-5, $55

revertere ad locum inde venis, hoc est Sabul

0680cMuirchú (Bieler) 116-117, $II 5

Baile itá Saball Pátraic indiu

0900cTrip. Life (Stokes) 36

Bendacht Dé for Díchuin/ dorat damsa in Saball

0900cTrip. Life (Stokes) 36

dont Shaball ar is and sin atbéla

0900cTrip. Life (Stokes) 252

i nUltaib, oc Sabull Patraic

0900cTrip. Life (Stokes) 178

in Saball

0900cTrip. Life (Stokes) 36

on Sabull fadeis

0900cTrip. Life (Stokes) 38

an tsabhaill

1011AFM ii 764

an Sabhall

1020ALC 20.12, LC1020.6

an tSabhaill

1020AFM ii 796


1149AFM ii 1088

ab canánach Sabhaill

1156AFM ii 1118

do cleirchibh Sobaill

1165AU (CELT) ii 150, U1165.1

Sabhall Pháttraicc

1170AFM ii 1180

i Saball Patraic

1170AU (CELT) ii 164, U1170.6

legáid comarba Pettair a Saball

1170ALC 142.4, LC1170.6

i mainistir Shabhaill

1170cMart. Gorm. Ap. 14, gl. 2

o Shabhall

1170cMart. Gorm. Ap. 29, gl. 3

Saball uachtar

1200cDescendants Ir xiii 346

do bheith a Sabhall

1293ALC 508.18, LC1293.

i Sabhall

1293AFM iii 458

Glaisne mac aodha még aongusa...príoir...Sabhaill

1526AFM v 1380

Diochu, o Sabhall

1630cMart. Don. 114

Sabhall, Doichu o

1630cMart. Don. April 30 p114


1630cMart. Don. April 30 p114

Shabhuill, i mainistir

1630cMart. Don. April 15 p102

an Saball

1630cMart. Don. April 30 p114

i mainistir Shabhuill

1630cMart. Don. 102

Sabhall Pádraig ""the barn of (St) Patrick""

1999Dict. Ulst. PN 128

Sabhall ""a barn""

1999Dict. Ulst. PN 128

Sabhall ""barn, barn-shaped church""

2004HMC replies HMCmar04
Saule1595Mercator's Ulst.
M. Sull1610Speed's Ulster
Saul1729Southwell Estate Papers 34
Lecale Lower
Parish in 1851
Place name ID
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