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Inch, County Down


Ir. Inis CúscraidhCúscraidh’s island or water-meadow’


The townland of Inch contain the ruins of a Cistercian Abbey which was founded by John de Courcy in 1187 (ASCD 279). It was widely believed that the abbey took the name Iniscourcy from its founder John de Courcy but John O’Donovan demonstrated that a church had existed here for two centuries before de Courcy’s time and that its real name was Inis Cumhscraidh (Mod. Ir. Inis Cúscraidh) (Dub. Penny Journ. i 104, cited EA 92). In fact, the presence of a much earlier church is indicated by a reference to Inis Cúscraid  as early as c.830 in the Martyrology of Oengus (Fél. Óeng. Jul 22 p.164). The identity of the Cúscraidh who gave this place its name is uncertain although it is asserted in the epic tale Táin Bo Cuailnge or ‘The Cattle Raid of Cooley’ that it was once inhabited by Cúscraidh Mend Macha, son of Conchobar, king of Ulster, whose seat was at Emain Macha, now Navan Fort in Co. Armagh (TBC (LL) ll 211, 702). The first element of the place-name is inis ‘island’ which has also come to refer to a ‘holm, water-meadow’. By the late middle ages the name had been truncated from Inis Cúscraidh to Inis and anglicised Inch (Flanagan 1971, 105). There are eleven other Irish townlands named Inch.


PMcK, 2009

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference

Indsi Cuscraid, Mo bí

0830cFél. Óeng. Jul 22 p170n

Inse Cúscraid, moBíu

0830cFél. Óeng. Jul 22 p164

Insi Caumscraidh, Bití

0830cMart. Tal. Jul 29 p58

Insi Causcraidh, Dobi

0830cMart. Tal. Jul 22 p57

Inis Cumhscraigh

1001AFM ii 744

airchindeach Insi Cumscraidh

1061AFM ii 880

Inis Cumhscraidh lethghlais (acc.)

1149AFM ii 1088

Insecumscray, Erenanus de

1157cNewry Char. (Flanagan)

ó Inis Cuscraid, Cúscraid Mend Machae ...

1160cTBC (LL) l. 701-2

i nInis Cuscraid, Cuscraid Mend Macha ...

1160cTBC (LL) l. 211

Indsi Cuscraid, Mobí

1170cMart. Gorm. July 22 p170n

Inse Cumscraigh, Bite

1170cMart. Gorm. July 29 p146n

abb Innsi Cumhscraigh

1170cMart. Gorm. July 22 p140n

Ynes, Adam abbate de

1178Charts Nendrum 191

de Ines

1306cEccles. Tax. 44, 92

de Insula

1450?Reg. Mey (EA) 165

Innse Cumscruigh, Bíte

1630cMart. Don. July 29 p204

Insi Cumscraigh, Mobiu abb

1630cMart. Don. Jul 22 p198

Insi Cuscraidh, S. David

1630cMart. Don. Dec 14(t)p398

i nIndis Cumsgraig, Ata Cumsgraigh Mend Macha ...

1633cTBC (Stowe) l. 224

o In(is Cumh)sgraigh, Cumsgr(aidh) Mend Macha ...

1633cTBC (Stowe) l. 727

Inis ""an island""

1847EA 92n

Inis ""an island""

1861Hanna's Inch 2

Inis Cúscraid[?h]


Inis ""island""

1999Cel. Ulst. Tds 13
in Secumscray1157cNewry Char. (Mon. Ang.) 1134
E. de Ynes1193cCartae Dun. 421 $8
Ynes1302cCartae Dun. 424 $13
Inch, ye four townes of1680Indenture (Winkfield) 2
the Inch1680Indenture (Winkfield) 1
Inch1766Inhabitants of Inch 1
Inch Ch.1777Taylor & Skinner 287
Inch1809cInch Militia 2, 10
Lecale Lower
Parish in 1851
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