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Cross, County Armagh


Ir. Baile na gCros ‘townland of the crosses’


The original form of the name contained the element baile ‘townland’ and the the definite article. Because the nazalization of an initial c following the gen. pl. of the definite article is frequently omitted from anglicized forms it is difficult to say whether the form of the article is gen. sing. fem. or gen. pl.. Thus the original may have been either Baile na Croise ‘town of the cross’ or Baile na gCros ‘town of the crosses’.

If the name contained the singular of the definite article and noun, na croise, one would expect to have the slender s of croise reflected in the forms. However, in place-names a slender s in the original Irish form was frequently not represented as such in the anglicized forms (Adams 1954 30). A map by Roque of county Armagh in the mid-18th century shows several roads converging in this townland. This factor weighs in favour of the gen. pl. of cros.

Notwithstanding the reference to the name on Roque’s map, the name may, of course, refer to ‘cross’ in the religious sense where cros could also mean ‘shrine’ or ‘church’. Given the proximity of the townland to St. Moninne’s church, the religious implication is quite a feasible one.


Kay Muhr

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Ballinecros1609Esch. Co. Map 5.26
Ballinecrosse1611CPR Jas I 187a
Ballinecrosse1621CPR Jas I 536b
Crosse1657Inq. Arm. (Paterson) 228
Crosre1659Census 1659 31
(?)Ballynecrosse1661Inq. Ult. (Armagh) $10 Car. II
Ballanecrosse1661BSD 9
Crosse & Kegall1664HMR Murray (1941) 133
Cross Mill1760Rocque's Map (Coote)
Cross1835cOSNB No.171
Cross alias Camlough1835cCess Book (OSNB) No. 171
~Cam-loch ""crooked lake""1835cJ O'D (OSNB) No. 171
~Baile na Crosie(sic) ""town of the crossing""1955O'Kane's Killevy app.a(ii)
Baile na gCros ""townland of the crosses""2004NIPNP replies KMtoArmTur
Orior Upper
Parish in 1851
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