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Ballykinler Parish, County Down


Ir. Baile Coinnleora ‘townland of the candlestick’


The tiny civil parish of Ballykinler on the east shore of Dundrum Bay consists of just three townlands, also called Ballykinler, with suffixes Lower, Middle and Upper.  The name has its origin in a grant of c.1200 by John de Courcy of the lands of Ballykinler to Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin for the upkeep of a perpetual light before the crucifix there. At the beginning of the 13th century the names of the land divisions in the parish are recorded as Inislochaculin, Lesscumalscig, Ganimor and Ballimeicdunem (De Courci and Christ Church 211). Inislochcullin (Ir. Inis Locha Cuilinn ‘island of the lake of the holly’) gave name to a manor which contained the townlands of Ballekenloure, Lissmochan and Ganymore in 1585 (EA 122-3). The name Lissmochan is represented today by Lismahon fort in Ballykinler Lower and writing in 1878 O’Laverty (i 121) informs us that ‘the townland of Lower Ballykinler is locally called Lismoghan’. Ganymore was a mound of sand in Ballykinler Upper, while the lake of Inislochgullion, which covered 60 acres, was in Ballykinler Middle. The area of the lake is shown as bog on the 1-inch map.  In 1847 Reeves (EA 211) gave Inislochgullion as an old name for part of the parish of Ballykinler, attested since 1200 and still used in his day, although the lough was drained in 1814. In fact, local man Al Connolly has noted that in the 1930s the place was ‘still called Inishloughgullion by older inhabitants of the area’. Reeves (loc. cit.) said that there were two crannogs in which weapons were found and one natural island, but Benn in 1860 said the islands ‘were now quite removed’ and the crannogs cannot now be located.


PMcK, 2009

Additional Information

Locally also spelt Ballykinlar. See the townlands of Ballykinler Lower, Middle and Upper for historical forms of this name.

Historical name form

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Lecale Upper
Parish in 1851
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