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Carnalbanagh, County Antrim


Ir. Carn Albanach [karn alaban-agh] ‘cairn of the Scotsmen’.


13km ENE of Ballymena

par: Tickmacrevan bar: Glenarm Lower

There are still remains of a cairn in the townland which contains a hamlet named CARNALBANAGH SHEDDINGS to distinguish it from The Sheddings, a nearby hamlet in the townland of TAMYBUCK. Both hamlets are named from crossroads and contain the Sc. element shedding ‘a place where roads separate; a crossroads’ [Carnalbanagh 1780].

Carnalbanagh was first referred to, with the present spelling, in 1780 and a cairn with battle traditions was shown on the 1859 OS six-inch map sheet 34 (Lendrick; Mac Aodha 1997, 70; McKay 1999/2007,34). According to the Northern Ireland Sites and Monuments Record, ‘A site was designated carn on the 2nd ed. O.S. map but not on any other map edition. On inspection no trace was observed of an antiquity on level ground, although in long grass.’ The cairn is said to mark the site of a battle fought in 1315 between the McQuillans and Scottish forces under Edward Bruce(NISMR Ant 34:07, grid ref. D 26630784).  John O’Donovan added the genitive plural article, and thus an additional syllable, to his Irish version of the name Carnalbanagh, Carn na n Albanach, but this modernisation cannot be proven from the evidence and the simpler form Carn Albanach would be earlier (John O’Donovan OSNB B34). Another townland called Carn Albanach in Moira, Co. Down, has been associated with Scottish warriors killed at the battle of Mag Roth which took place in AD 637 (AU; PNI vi 271-272 and note by Rogan, 284-285).


McKay, P. (2007): A Dictionary of Ulster Place-Names, p. 34; Pat McKay/ Kay Muhr

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Carnalbanagh1780Lendrick Map
~Carn Albanach ""carn of the Scottishmen""1832cJ O'D (OSNB) B7 B34
Carn Albanach ""Cairn of the Scotchmen""1934Magill's Antrim 75
carn Albanach ""the cairn of the Scots""1982Dallat's Tickmacrevan x 38
~Carn Albanach1989GÉ 197
~Carn Albanach1989GÉ 197
Carn Albanach "" Cairn of the Scotsmen""1999Cel. Ulst. Tds 7
Carn Albanach ""cairn of Scotsmen""2000PNP talk PMcK/CGaelBunAD
Glenarm Lower
Parish in 1851
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