Placenamesni.orgthe history behind our place-names

Kirkland and Toy, County Down


Kirkland: Sc./Northern Eng. kirk 'church' + land; earlier Ir. Cill Aindreasa ‘(St) Andrew’s church’; Toy: Ir. Baile Tuaithe ‘townland of the tuath’


Kirkland and Toy were originally two units, listed separately in the sources – the church reference usually following that for Tullymacnous.  The English name Kirkland arose because the townland contains the church of St Andrew, Killaresy < Cill Aindreasa.  One may note the occurrence of the name Kirkland as a parish in Cumberland.

The ruins of the church of Killaresy stand in a small walled graveyard. Although Reeves mentioned ‘masonry of a very ancient character’ the surviving ruins are post-medieval (NISMR). Reeves says that the church of St Andrews, ‘generally called Killrasy or Killandrews’ gave its name to a prebend in Down Cathedral.  The 1615 Terrier lists Killandrus between Ringhaddy and Killyleagh, and it was later incorporated in Killyleagh (EA 186-7).

There is less evidence for the name Toy but from the 1605 spelling ballitoagh al’ toy it may have been Baile Tuaithe ‘townland of the tuath’, like Ballintoy on the north Antrim coast.


KM, 2009; with additions PT, 2013

Additional Information

alias of Toy and Kirkland

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Ballicoy1605Inq. Ult. (Down) $1 Jac. I
Ballitoagh al. toy1605Inq. Ult. (Down) $1 Jac. I
Ballytoy otherwise Ballycoy1624CPR Jas I 587b
(?)The Church Quarter1625cRaven Map Clandeboye 69
Toy1625cRaven Map Clandeboye 59,70
Balletoye al. Ballecoye1645Inq. Ult. (Down) $104 Car. I
Kirkland1659cCensus 1659 84
Toytowne1659cCensus 1659 84
Toy, The Towne and Lands of = Tullymcc Knowey1661BSD 63
Balleherman1662Inq. Ult. (Down) $23 Car. II
Toy1663Sub. Roll Down 289
~Tuaith, An1989GÉ 169
Parish in 1851
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