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Aghacullion, County Down


Ir. Achadh an Chuilinn ‘field of the holly’


When John O’Donovan called on the rector of the parish, John Dubourdieu, in 1834 to discuss place-names they had a disagreement about the meaning of ‘Aughnahinchego’, Dubourdieu holding that the ash was a foreign plant that could not be referred to in an Irish place-name.  As O’Donovan indignantly pointed out, the evidence goes the other way and the name of the ash is fairly common in place-names (OSL Dn 56-7; Joyce i 506). The townland is bounded on the south by the river Muddock, but, although Old Hennan suggested a form meaning ‘ford of the ash-tree’, the historical spellings show that the first element was eanach ‘bog’.  On Petty’s barony map bog is shown all around the townland, which was ‘interspersed with large portions of turf bog’ (OSNB).  The adjective uinseogach ‘of ash trees’ is paralleled in fearnogach ‘of alder trees’ in some of the forms for Mullaghfernaghan in the parish of Magherally, which also has varying forms of the tree-adjective.  In 1618 the boundary between Sir Art Magennis’ lands of Annahunshigo and Lisnisk with Islandmoyle and Cabra belonging to Sir Edward Trevor was trodden by Donogh O’Doran, ‘beginning at the bog to the bottom of a hill called Cloghoge to a stone leading to the river Moddock’ (Inq. Ult. xlii).  There is a farm called Cloghead near the Muddock at the south east corner of the townland (1:10,000 sheet 239).  By the early 19th century the name Annahunshigo had been shortened in the forms Hunshigo Lake, Hunshigo Bog (OSM iii 10b,11a).  Trees are shown growing in Hunshigo Bog on the 1:10,000 map (sheet 239). 


Ó Mainnín, M. (1993): Place-Names of Northern Ireland vol. 3 p.103

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Ballaghacullyn1609CPR Jas I 394b
Baliaghaculline1611CPR Jas I 193a
Balleghechallen1620Inq. Ult. (Down) $11 Jac. I
Balleaghcullyne1629Inq. Ult. (Down) $12 Car. I
Aghacullin1640Inq. Ult. (Down) $92 Car. I
Aghacullyn1640Inq. Ult. (Down) $90 Car. I
Aughcullan1659cCensus 1659 77
Ballyaghnellin1661BSD 119
Aghacullen1767Map of Down (OSNB) E162
Aghacullen1810Wm. Map (OSNB) E162
Aughawellan1830cBnd. Sur. (OSNB) E162
~Ath a chuillinn ""Ford of the holly""1834cOSNB Inf. E162
~Achadh-cuilinn ""field of cullen or holly""1913Joyce iii 27
Iveagh Up., Lr. Half
Parish in 1851
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