Aldfreck, County Antrim
Of uncertain origin
The first element of this place name appears to be alt (or its variant form allt), which in place-name contexts is usually translated as ‘height’ (Flanagan & Flanagan 1981, 14), but can also be interpreted as ‘steep sided glen’ or ‘cliff’ (logainm.ie). The most likely interpretation here is cliff given the townland's coastal location. The eastern boundary of Aldfreck is marked by the cliffs at Old mill Bay (OSNI). In the forms from the early 17thcentury, this element appears to have been preceded by baile ‘townland’.
Alt might then be qualified by a personal name in a form such as Alt Fráecháin (or Alt Fraocháin) featuring Fráechán (or Fraochán), which is derived from fráech ‘heather’ (Ó Corráin & Maguire 1981, 106).
The second element, might also be fraic, which is a corruption of the Irish element breac ‘speckled’ and is anglicised similarly in Leitir Fraic ‘speckled hillside’ in Co. Galway (logainm.ie). In the early forms Alfrackamon, Alfrakamon, Ballyalfrackomon (1605), Ballyalfrackaman, Alfrackaman (1608), the component Alt Bhreac ‘speckled cliff’ might be qualified by mún ‘weeds’ in the form Alt Bhreac an Múin ‘speckled cliff of the weeds’, or by a personal name such as Ámann, which appears in the place-name Ballaman (Baile Ámainn ‘Ámann’s townland), such a form would appear as Alt Bhreac Ámainn ‘Ámann’s speckled cliff’.
Note also the similarity with the townland name of Deffrick in Co. Antrim, the origin of which is unclear.
Historical name form
|Old Form||Ref. Date||Reference|
|Alfrackine (Dalway)||1603||CPR Jas I 7a|
|Alfrackamon in Braden Iland, town of (bnds M''morne)||1605||CPR Jas I 76b|
|Alfrakamon (bnds Tuogh of Braden Iland)||1605||Inq. Ant. (DK) 48|
|Ballyalfrackomon, townland of (in Braden Iland)||1605||Inq. Ant. (DK) 48|
|Alfrackaman, lands of (Dalway, bnds)||1608||CPR Jas I 125b|
|Ballyalfrackaman||1608||CPR Jas I 125b|
|Allfrackyn||1615||CPR Jas I 278a|
|Ardfraclam||1617||CPR Jas I 339a|
|Allsrackan||1627||Inq. Ult. (Antrim) Car.I $3|
|Alfrackyn||1639||Inq. Ult. (Antrim) Car.I $131|
|Old Freckna||1780||Lendrick Map|
|~All Freichme ""cliff of the shields""||1827||J O'D (OSNB) A18|
|Allfrackyn (name mentioned in old deeds)||1830||OSM xxvi 82b|
|Salt Hole ... in the townland of Aldfreck (Sbndpar||1835||OSM xxvi 84b|
|""the glen of Altfrackyn"" (McDonnellxChichester1597||1840||OSM xxvi 107b|
|Altfrackyn, romantic glen of... strongly marked||1840||OSM xxvi 88a|
|Altfrackyn, romantic little glen of/ now spelled A||1840||OSM xxvi 94b|
|Glen of Altfrackyn (den of O''Haghians, leap of EOH||1840||OSM xxvi 115|
|Glen of Altfrackyn = Old Mill Glen.. in td Redhall||1840||OSM xxvi 115a|
|Townland of Aldfreck (SaltHole stream>Old MillGlen||1840||OSM xxvi 89b|
|allt fraochán ""steep-sided glen of the heath- or||2001||HMC replies HMCsched|
- Belfast Lower
- Parish in 1851
- Place name ID
- Place name type