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Carneyhough, County Down


of uncertain origin


O’Donovan suggested that this name comes from an Irish form Carn Uí hEoch or Cárn Ui h-Eochadha but a number of serious objections may be raised against such an etymology, not least the fact that the earliest forms may indicate that the final element originally ended in an r-sound.  Moreover, the genitive form of Ó hEochadha would loose its h-prefix, so that we would expect an Irish form Carn Uí Eochadha which might be anglicized Carnough or the like. The development of an original final r into a velar fricative -ch- is remarkable and cannot be explained in terms of the historical development of either English or Irish.  The forms with r might, therefore, best be explained as the result of a scribal error.  The documents in which they occur are all of the same type (grants and inquisitions) and it is possible that the corrupted form of the name was subsequently copied from one to another (cf. Cloghanramer). 

Given that the early forms show -o- in the first syllable more frequently than -a-, e.g. Cornehooghe in 1575 (Bagenal Rental 127), and that the modern spelling Carneyhough only becomes established after the first Ordnance Survey c. 1834, it is possible that the first element is not Ir. carn.  Indeed, although the vast majority of townlands in the parish of Newry are from Irish, especially those documented early, the language of origin remains uncertain in this case.


Toner, G. (1992): Place-Names of Northern Ireland vol. I p. 12; with additions PT, 2012.

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference

Cárn Ui h-Eochadha ''O''Haughey[''s] Carn''

1834cOSL 1909 edn 47

Carn ui h-Eoch ''O''Haughey''s carn''

1834cJ O'D (OSNB) 97
Cornehoure1549Inq. (Mon. Hib.) 287
Cornehowre (x2)1552CPR Ed. VI iv 388
Cornehooghe1575Bagenal Rental 127
Cloghcornehore1606CPR Jas I 86a
Carnahore1607CPR Jas I 495a
Carnehore1607CPR Jas I 102b
Cornehowre1625cInq. Ult. (Down) $15 Car.I
Conehogh1638Inq. Ult. (Down) $84 Car. I
Cornehough1659cCensus 1659 82
Cornehough1661BSD 130
Carrickhugh1663Sub. Roll Down 280
Cornihogh1810Wm. Map (OSNB) 97
Cornyhogh1830cBnd. Sur. (OSNB) 97
Carnyhough1834cJ O'D (OSNB) 97
[Cor-ny-''haugh]1834cOSNB: gen. sources 97
""of uncertain origin""2002Culture NI PNN PMcK/JP
Newry, Lordship of
Parish in 1851
Place name ID
Place name type