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Clogher, County Down


Ir. An Clochar ‘the stony place’


A passage in Muirchú’s Life of Saint Patrick which dates from as early as c. AD 680 tells how the place of burial of St Patrick’s body was chosen by entrusting it to a cart drawn by two oxen which were obtained a loco qui Clocher vocatur ab oriente Findubrec de pecoribus Conail, i.e. ‘from a place called Clocher east of Findabair, from the cattle of Conal’.  Guided by the will of God, the oxen bore the saint’s body ad Dun Lethglaisse, ubi sepultus est Patricius, i.e. ‘to Dún Lethglaisse, where Patrick lies buried’ (Muirchú (Bieler) 120 II 11 (9)). Since Dún Lethglaisse was an early name for Downpatrick (DUPN) and Findabair is to be identified with the townland of Finnabrogue in the parish of Inch (see Doherty 1991, 84-5), it is highly likely that Clocher (Mod. Ir. Clochar) is to be identifies with the townland of Clogher which lies a short distance south-east of the townland of Finnabrogue. Joyce (i 413) states that the element clochar in place-names ‘is generally applied to rocky land – a place abounding in stones, or having a rocky surface; but it occasionally means a rock’. Clogher is not now a rocky townland and it is difficult to identify the feature which has given rise to the place-name. In all there are thirty-five townlands named Clogher, well scattered throughout Ireland. In Co. Down there are other townlands named Clogher in the parishes of Drumbo, Hillsborough and Magheralin (PNI vi 230).


PMcK, 2009

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference

(?)a loco qui Clocher vocatur

0680cMuirchú (Bieler) 120 II 11 (9)

Clochar ""stony land""

1834cJohn Mc Greevy, Saul (OSNB) No. 88
Clogher (Owen M''Rowry of)1623Ham. Copy Inq. [1623] xxix
Clogher1710Map Ld de Clifford (OSNB) No. 88
Clogher1755Map of Down (OSNB) No. 88
Clogher1810Wm. Map (OSNB) No. 88
Lecale Upper
Parish in 1851
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