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Ballyvarnet, County Down


Ir. Baile Bhearnan  ‘townland of (the) gap’


The 17th-century spellings show that the present form derives from Irish Baile Bhearnan ‘townland of the gap’, the final n having been dissimilated to t.  There is evidence elsewhere in Co. Down for dissimilation of this kind; see Ravernet (in Blaris) and Tullycarnet (in Knockbreda). In standard Modern Irish the normal gen. sing. of bearna ’a gap’ undergoes no change from the nom. sing.  However, a variant gen. sing. form is bearnan, which shows that bearna was also treated as an n-stem.  Forms 1-4 and 5b show that, at one time, the gen. sing. fem. form of the article na, was a part of this name.  These forms represent an Irish original Baile na Bearnan ‘townland of the gap’.


Hannan R. J. (1992): Place-Names of Northern Ireland vol. 2 p. 160; revised PT

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Ballenbarnen1603Ex. Inq. (Dn) 2 Jac. I
Ballenbarnen1605CPR Jas I 38a
Ballenebarnen1605CPR Jas I 72b
Ballinebarnans, le 21605Inq. Ult. (Down) $2 Jac I
(?)Ballebarne or Ballenebernen1630Ham. Patent [1630] xi
Ballevernon or Ballevernocke1630Ham. Patent [1630] xi
Ballebarnes al. Ballebrenan1644Inq. Ult. (Down) $104 Car I
Ballyvernon1655cCiv. Surv. x $68
Ballevernane1661BSD 90
Ballyvernan al. Ballyvernocke1662Inq. Ult. (Down) $23 Car II
Ballyvernan1663Sub. Roll Down 281
Ballyvernon1681Ham. Copy Rental 110
Ballyvarnet1810Wm. Map (OSNB) No. 54
Ballyvernon1823Downshire Direct. 316
Ballyvarnet1830cBnd. Sur. (OSNB) No. 54
Ballyvarnett1830cGrand Jury Pres. (OSNB) No. 54

Baile Bhearnáin ""town of the little gap...""

1834cJ O'D (OSNB) No. 54
Ards Lower
Parish in 1851
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