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Aird, County Antrim

Origin

Ir. Aird Íochtarach ‘upper promontory’

Background

The element ard appears frequently in place names where it means ‘height’ as in Ard an Rátha ‘height of the fort’ (Ardara in Co. Donegal) or alternatively as the adjective ‘high’ as seen in Ardlios ‘high fort’ (Arliss in Co. Laois) (logainm.ie).

The element aird ‘point or promontory’ is also a common element in place names and can be seen in Aird Uladh ‘peak or promontory of the Ulstermen’ (Ards, Co. Down).

These two elements are often confused as both are usually anglicized as ard. For example, Ardglass, Co. Cork has been shown to represent Ard Glas ‘green, grey height, while Ardglass, Co. Down, with an identical English form represents Aird Ghlas ‘green, grey point’ (Flanagan & Flanagan 1994, 13).

The form aird first appears in 1780 while remaining historical forms appear with the prefix ard- rendering both interpretations possible. However, in this case the anglicised form appears to represent aird ‘point or promontory’, supported by the coastal location of the townland.

The historical endings appearing as -tragh (1657c) and -tra (1672c) indicate that this element might have at one point appeared with the element íochtarach ‘upper’. The townland of Aird is contiguous with the townland of Ardihannon, located on the south-west. The element íochtarach may have served to distinguish the two (which may have once consisted one townland). Some of the historical forms assigned here to Aird probably refer to the adjacent Ardihannon.

References

FK

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Arddoaghtragh1657cHib. Reg. Cary
the ¼ of Ardoaghtragh1657cDS (Par. Map) Billy
Ardeohtracht1659cCensus 1659 12
Arditra1672cHib. Del. Antrim
Ardotra1672cHib. Del. Antrim
Aird1780Lendrick Map
Aird (Giants Causeway NW point)1830OSM xvi 36
Chimney Tops (in td Aird)1830OSM xvi 41
Port Noffer (in td Aird)1830OSM xvi 41, 42, 43
Port Reostan (in td Aird; aka Giant''s Theatre)1830OSM xvi 41, 43
Aird1838OSM xvi 58,62
Barony
Cary
Parish
Billy
Parish in 1851
Billy
Townland
None
Place name ID
17128
Place name type
T