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Ardglass, County Down


Ir. Ard Ghlais ‘green height’


Village is 9.5km SE of Downpatrick

bar: Lecale Lower

Ard ‘height’ in this case appears to be feminine rather than masculine as is normally the case.

The name Ardglass refers both to this townland and to the parish in which the townland is situated. The place-name is first recorded in c.1211 (Arglass, Pipe Roll John 58) and the name of the church is recorded as Ecclesia de Ardglassce in c.1306 (Eccles. Tax. 34) and as Capella Beatae Mariae de Ardglas ‘the chapel of Blessed Mary of Ardglass’ in 1449 (Reg. Mey (EA) 35). The place-name is also recorded in the Irish language in 1433 (co hAird Glais, AFM iv 892) and in 1453 (i nArd Glaisse, AFM iv 986). The ‘green height’ referred to seems to be the hill known as The Ward which overlooks the harbour in the town. The present Church of Ireland church marks the site of the church referred to in c.1306 and in 1449 (see above). However, Reeves (EA 35) informs us that the original parish church of St Nicholas was about half a mile north-east of the town, in the townland of Ardtole where the ruins of a church still stand.


McKay, P. (2007): A Dictionary of Ulster Place-Names, p. 6, PMcK, 2009

Additional Information

T., 1851 Census

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference

Áth Glaise

1180Miscell. Ann.

Ardglassce, Ecclesia de

1306cEccles. Tax. 34


1427Cal. Canc. Hib. (EA) 36 (i 242)

co hAird-glais

1433AU iii 126

go haird glais

1433AFM iv 892

o Aird-glais

1433AU iii 126

Ardglas, capella beate Maria de

1449Reg. Mey 133, 170

Ardglas, de Chastell'' et Manoire

1450cStat. Rolls Ire. Hen. VI 194

i nard glaisi

1453AFM iv 986

i nard glaisse

1453AFM iv 986

Ard Ghlais

1989GÉ 7

Ard Ghlas ""green height""

1999Dict. Ulst. PN 6

aird ghlas ""green promontory"" or ard glas ""green

2001HMC replies HMCsched
Arglass1211cPipe Roll John 58
Arglas1216cCDI $755
the vills of Arglas, Artbehel, and Ros''1260CDI $678
Ardtwele al Ardglas1442Reg. Prene (EA) 36
Ardglas1449Reg. Mey 186, 212
Ardglas al Ardtwele1449Reg. Mey 170
Ardglasse1449Reg. Mey 189
Ardglass1518Kildare Rent. 61
Ardglasse in le Cale, manor of1537PBNHPS (1933-34) 65
Ardglasse, manor of1540Rentals & Surveys Down 77
(?)Newehouse1549Ex. Inq. (Dn) 3 Ed. VI 15
Arglas1567Goghe's Map
Arglas1570cNowel's Ire. (1)
Ardglas1580Maps (DF) Map NLI
Ardglas1580cSE Ulster Map
Arglas1595Mercator's Ulst.
Arglas1599Boazio's Map (BM)
Arglas1610Speed's Ulster
Arglas hauen1610Speed's Ulster
Arglis1610cNorden's Map
Ardglass alias Arglasse1620CPR Jas I 460b
Ardglass alias Arglasse1621CPR Jas I 511a
Arglas (+ castle)1654Blaeu Map (DF)
in ye fields of Ardglasse, 3a1667ASE 112 a 31
in Ardglasse and Conny-Island, 10a1669ASE 191 a 19
Ardglas H.(aven) ? = Phennick Point1714Maps (DF) Moll map
Lecale Lower
Parish in 1851
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