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Ballyoran, County Down


Ir. Baile Fhuaráin ‘townland of the well or spring’


Writing in 1880 O’Laverty (ii 133) informs us that ‘in Rockfield demesne, in the townland of Ballyoran, there is a field called Chapel Field, where human bones were found. That was the site of the ancient Church of Ballyoran…near it, in the glen, is a well which gave name to the townland’.  The name of the townland is recorded as Villa Owaveran in c.1211 (Pipe Roll John 56), and the name of the church (no trace of which remains) is recorded as Ecclesia de Wauerantone in c.1360 (EA 14). In the form Villa Owaveran the Latin element villa clearly represents Irish baile, anglicised as Bally in the modern form of the place-name and represented as –tone (i.e. ‘town’) in the form Wauerantone.  The forms Owaveran and Waueran are obviously anglicisations of Irish (f)uarán ‘well or spring’. An Inquisition of 1605 found that the vicarage of Ballyoran included the townlands of Ballyoran, Ballylisbredan, Ballyrainey and Unicarval and belonged to the abbey of Inch outside Downpatrick (O’Laverty ii 133-4).


P. McKay, 2009

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference

apud Villam Owaureran

1211cPipe Roll John 56

Wau{{er}}antone, Ecclesia de

1306cEccles. Tax. 14

Baile Odhráin

1834cJ O'D (OSNB) No. 48

Baile Odhráin

1834cJ O'D (OSNB) No. 48

Baile Fhuaráin ""townland of the spring""

2003HMC replies HMCjun03
Waueran''s town1275cGreat Rolls Pipe xxxvi 32
Wauerantone1306cEccles. Tax. 15
Ballioran1605CPR Jas I 73a
Ballyoran1605Inq. Ult. (Down) $2 Jac I
Balliorane1613CPR Jas I 236a
Balleoram1615Terrier (Reeves) 51
Balleoran, of the Inch1615Terrier (O'Laverty) 326
Balliorane1620Ham. Patent [1620] xxi
Balleoran1622Ulster Visit. Reeves 35
Balleorane1623Ham. Copy Inq. [1623] xlii
Balleorane1623Ham. Copy Inq. [1623] xxxiv
Bally Orme1625cRaven Map Clandeboye 30, 31
Ballyoran1627CPR Chas I 228, 230
Balleoran1630Ham. Patent [1630] xii
Balleoron1630Ham. Patent [1630] xiii
Balleorane1644Inq. Ult. (Down) $104 Car I
Balleorme1644Inq. Ult. (Down) $104 Car I
Balleoran1661BSD 127
Ballyoran1661Trien. Visit. (Bramhall) 13
Ballyoran1681Ham. Copy Rental 109
Ballyorran1745Map of Down (OSNB) No. 48
Ballyorran1745Map of Down (OSNB) No. 48
Ballyorran1810Wm. Map (OSNB) No. 48
Ballyorran1810Wm. Map (OSNB) No. 48
Ballyoran1830cBnd. Sur. (OSNB) No. 48
Ballyoran1830cBnd. Sur. (OSNB) No. 48
Castlereagh Lower
Parish in 1851
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