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Kilbroney, County Down


Ir. Cill BhrónaíBrónach’s church’       


The old name for Kilbroney parish was Glenn Sechis, a form attested not only in Irish but also in Latin documents of the late medieval period where it appears in anglicized dress.  That it is to be identified with Kilbroney is clear from the Papal Taxation of 1306, where it is stated to be in the diocese of Dromore (Eccles. Tax. 114), and from the Irish sources where it is associated with Saint Brónach.  Although the word sechis is of dubious origin Mooney believes that it may ‘be based on the Old-Irish word sech... sometimes used as a prefix meaning ‘secluded’, and that Glenn Seichis, therefore, might mean ‘glen of seclusion’.

Whereas the old name Glenn Sechis lingered on in the records until the 17th century. Kilbroney first makes its appearence in 1366.  Although the name undoubtedly commemorates Saint Brónach, the form of its gen. case in Irish is a little uncertain.  There are two possibilities: Bróncha and Brónaí (earlier Brónaighe); and our earliest example of the name, the gen. form Brónchi uirginisBrónach the virgin’ in the 9th-century text Mart. Tal. (p. 29), clearly indicates the former.  Cill Bhróncha was also recorded by John O'Donovan from his local informant John Morgan as late as 1834.   However, the bulk of the historical documentation seems to point to an original Cill Bhrónaí, and this was the form used by Irish speakers in Omeath, Co. Louth, at the turn of the century.  A third Irish form, Cill Bhroinsheacha (51), is also recorded in the OSNB, but for this curious form there appears to be no basis. 


Ó Mainnín, M. (1992): Place-Names of Northern Ireland vol. I p. 144

Additional Information

See also the townland of Kilbroney Upper and the parish of Kilbroney

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference

Brónchi uirginis

0830cMart. Tal. Apr 2 p29

Bronach uirgo o Glinn Sechis

0830cFél. Óeng. Apr 2 p110n

Glentegys al. de Nister, Ecclesia de

1306cEccles. Tax. 114

Clonseys, ecclesia de

1422Reg. Dowdall $129 275

Bronach uirgo o Glinn Sechis

1450cFél. Óeng. Apr. 2 p110n

Chill Sechis, Bronach ógh ó

1630cMart. Don. Apr 2 p92

Ghlinn seichis, Bronach ogh ó

1630cMart. Don. April 2(t)p368

Cill Broinshe(a)cha ""St. Brony''s church""

1834cJ O'D (OSNB) E164 & E175

Cill Bronaighe ""Bronach''s Church""

1834cOSNB: gen. sources E164

Cill Broncha

1834cOSNB Inf. E209

Cill broncha

1834cOSNB Inf. E164 & E175

Teampoll Chill Broncha

1834cOSNB: gen. sources E175

Chill'' Brónaighe, reilic

1905cSgéalaidhe Óirghiall 87

i gCill Bhrónaighe

1905cSgéalaidhe Óirghiall 87

Cill Bronaighe / Broncha "Bronach''s Church''

1950Mooney's Rostrevor 6

Glenn (t)-sechis

1950Mooney's Rostrevor 6

Páirc Fhoraoise Chill Bhrónaí

2000Gateway to Ulster Map

Cill Bhrónaí ""Brónach''s church""

2003NIPNP replies PMcK/PNíU

Gleann Sechis probably ""glen of seclusion""

2003HMC replies HMCsep03

Leathbhaile [na] Sráide ""half-td of the street/village"

2003HMC replies HMCsep03
Kyllwronaygh1366Reg. Sweteman $221
Parish churches of St. Bromana the virgin1428Reg. Swayne 85
St. Bromana''s parish church1428Reg. Swayne 101
Kilbrony, church of1433Reg. Prene (EA) 116n
Cillbronaid, vicar of1442Reg. Prene (EA) 116n
Kyllbronca and Dissertdubunnugi, rectories of1442Reg. Prene (EA) 116n
Kilbroney1526Reg. Cromer ii $51
Kilbrony1534Reg. Cromer ii $195
Killbronagh, vicar of1546Reg. Dowdall $113 81
Kilbrayne1595Mercator's Ulst.
Kylbraine1595Mercator's Ire.
Kilbron1600Bartlett Map (BM)
Kilbron1601Bartlett Map (TCD)
Kilbronie Mountaine(?)1602cBartlett Maps (Hayes McCoy) i
Te: Kilbronie1602cBartlett Maps (Hayes McCoy) i
Kilbronie1603Bartlett Maps (Esch. Co. Maps) 2
T: Kilbronie1603Bartlett Maps (Esch. Co. Maps) 2
Kilbreny in Mackeyany''s country1606CPR Jas I 86a
Kilbroney parish al. Kilowen or Mc Jawme''s country1607CPR Jas I 495a
Kilbrony al. Killowen al. Mc Jawmes'' country1607CPR Jas I 103a
Killbroney1609CPR Jas I 396a
(?)Polly1610Speed's Ulster
(?)Polly1610Speed's Ulster
(?)Polly1610Speed's Antrim & Down
(?)Polly1610Speed's Antrim & Down
(?)Polly1610Speed's Ireland
(?)Polly1610Speed's Ireland
Kilbronagh al. Kilbroney1611CPR Jas I 190b
Kilbroney, Rectory of1622Buckworth (Atkinson) 129
Kilbrony, rectory of1622Buckworth (EA) 310
Kilbrony1623cCPR Jas I 305a
cell of St. Broncha1645cMacCana's Itinerary 48
Kilbroney [parish]1657Inq. Down (Reeves1) 83
Kilbrony, parish of1657cHib. Reg. Up. Iveagh
Kilbrony [parish]1659cCensus 1659 72
Kilbrony quarter1659cCensus 1659 72
Kilbrony Parish1661BSD 107
Kilbrony, Rector de1661Trien. Visit. (Bramhall) 17
Kilbrony et Clonall1664Trien. Visit. (Margetson) 25
Kilbron1672cHib. Del. Ulster
Kilbroney1747Harris Hist. map
Kilbrony1810Wm. Map (OSNB) E164
Kilbrony1830cBnd. Sur. (OSNB) E164
Iveagh Up., Up. Half
Parish in 1851
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