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Ardglass Parish, County Down


Ir. Ard Ghlais ‘green height’


Village is 9.5km SE of Downpatrick

bar: Lecale Lower

Ard ‘height’ in this case appears to be feminine rather than masculine as is normally the case.

The name Ardglass refers both to this townland and to the parish in which the townland is situated. The place-name is first recorded in c.1211 (Arglass, Pipe Roll John 58) and the name of the church is recorded as Ecclesia de Ardglassce in c.1306 (Eccles. Tax. 34) and as Capella Beatae Mariae de Ardglas ‘the chapel of Blessed Mary of Ardglass’ in 1449 (Reg. Mey (EA) 35). The place-name is also recorded in the Irish language in 1433 (co hAird Glais, AFM iv 892) and in 1453 (i nArd Glaisse, AFM iv 986). The ‘green height’ referred to seems to be the hill known as The Ward which overlooks the harbour in the town. The present Church of Ireland church marks the site of the church referred to in c.1306 and in 1449 (see above). However, Reeves (EA 35) informs us that the original parish church of St Nicholas was about half a mile north-east of the town, in the townland of Ardtole where the ruins of a church still stand.


McKay, P. (2007): A Dictionary of Ulster Place-Names, p. 6; PMcK, 2009

Additional Information

See the town and townland of Ardglass for historical forms of this name

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Ardglass1657Inq. Down (Reeves1) 119
Lecale Lower
Parish in 1851
Place name ID
Place name type