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Ballyphilip, County Down


Ir. Baile Philib ‘Philip’s townland’; earlier Eng. Felipton / Phyllipestoun


The name of the townland and parish of Ballyphilip started off as an English place-name Phyllipestoun which was gaelicised in the post-medieval period as Baile Philib.  We have no certain knowledge who this Philip was but the personal name was popular among the early Anglo-Norman settlers, as can be seen from the evidence of names such ‘Philippo et Hugone de Cestria’ and ‘Philippo de Hastig’ in charters (Cartae Dun. 420 §4, 421 §7 c. 1183 AD).  The personal name Philip,  borrowed into English from French, goes back to Latin Philippus, a borrowing from Greek Philippos meaning ‘fond of horses’ (Klein 1967:1173).


Hughes A. J. (1992): Place-Names of Northern Ireland vol. 2 p. 41

Additional Information

Contains the town of Portaferry, which see.

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference

Felipton, Ecclesia de

1306cEccles. Tax. 24
Phyllipestoun1333Inq. Earl Ulster (EA) 361
Phelpeston in le Arde1430Reg. Swayne (EA) 123
Phelpeston, St. Nicholai de1430Reg. Swayne (EA) 24n
Phelpton1438Reg. Swayne (EA) 175
Phelpton1449Reg. Mey 170
Phelpton in Ards, Donatus Mcgloro rector de1449Reg. Mey 170
Phelpton, Nicholas Cornwalshe rectore de1451Reg. Mey 218
Philipton, S. Nichol de1482Reg. Octavian 24 n.t.

Phillips towne

1580cSE Ulster Map
Philipstoun1595Mercator's Ulst.
Phillips Towne1599Boazio's Map (BM)


1601Bartlett Map (TCD)

Phillips Towne

1609Boazio's Map (NG)
Philipston1609Jas I to Down Cath. 178

B. Phillip

1610Speed's Ulster


1610Speed's Antrim & Down
Philipstowne, Ecclesia de1615Terrier (Reeves) 61
""Phillipstowne""1622Ulster Visit. Reeves 25
Ballephillip1657Inq. Down (Reeves1) 117
Ballyphillip1657Hib. Reg.
Ballyphillip1659Census 1659 91
""Rector de Phillipstown als Portferry""1661Trien. Visit. (Bramhall) 8
Ballyphillip1663Sub. Roll Down 16
""Ballyphillip Rectoria""1664Trien. Visit. (Margetson) 20
""Balliphillip""1679Trien. Visit. (Boyle) 42
Bally Phillip1683Descr. Ards 36
Ballyphillip1810Wm. Map (OSNB) E.93
Ballyphillip1830cBnd. Sur. (OSNB) E.93
Ballyphillip1832Reg. Free. (OSNB) E.93

Baile Philib "Phillip's Town"

1834cJ O'D (OSNB) E.93
Ards Upper
Parish in 1851
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