Magheramayo, County Down
Ir. Machaire Mhaigh Eo ‘level place / field of the yew plain’
This is an intriguing name as machaire and magh are nearly synonymous, so it is unusual to find them together in the same name. However, machaire may mean here ‘a large field, cultivated ground’, a sense it often has in church townlands. There are church ruins in Magheramayo, and a well called Tobberdonnagh Tobar Domhnaigh, the ‘well of Sunday’, at which stations were held on June 24th (EA 316). It is likely that Maigh Eo once existed as an independent name in the area and that the prefix machaire was added later. Yew trees, uncommon now, are quite often referred to in place-names: there is Newry abbey and parish with one Gaelic word for yew, iúr, and Clonoe parish in east Tyrone with the other one, as here: Cluain Eo ‘meadow of yew trees’. Maigh Eo is the same name as in Mayobridge and Mayo in Co. Down and in the name of Co. Mayo (Ó Muraíle 1985, 5, 72-5).
Historical name form
|Old Form||Ref. Date||Reference|
Machaire Maighe Eo, ''smooth plain of the yews''
|1834c||J O'D (OSNB) 65|
Machaire Mháighiú "Mayo''s or May''s Plain''
|1950c||Mooney 1950c 131|
Machaire Mhaigh Eo 'level place of the plain of yew tree'
|2000||NIPNP replies PMcK/Orfhlaith|
Machaire Mhaigh Eo ‘plain (or church lands) of the field of the yew tree’
|2005||NIPNP replies nov2005|
|Ballymagherienegee||1609||CPR Jas I 394b|
|Ballymagheryvigeo||1611||CPR Jas I 193a|
|Magherymoyoe||1657c||Hib. Reg. Up. Iveagh|
|Magermay||1659c||Census 1659 77|
|Magherymoyoe 1 towne||1661||BSD 118|
|Magheremoyoc||1672c||Hib. Del. Down|
|Maghrymoyo||1755||Map of Down (OSNB) 65|
|Magheramayo||1810||Wm. Map (OSNB) 65|
|Maherymayo||1830c||Bnd. Sur. (OSNB) 23|
|Magheramayo||1834c||J O'D (OSNB) 65|
- Iveagh Up., Lr. Half
- Parish in 1851
- Place name ID
- Place name type