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Bright Parish, County Down


Ir. Breachtán ‘speckled or variegated place’


The parish of Bright was given its name from a townland situated within it.  The name has its origin in the Irish word breachtán (earlier brechtán) ‘variegated place’, the root of which is the adjective brecht (Old Irish mrecht) ‘variegated, diversified’. In the 9th-century Tripartite Life of Saint Patrick we find a reference to ‘a small fort named Mrechtan’ (Trip. Life (Mulchrone) 25), while the 14th-century Homily on St Patrick in the Lebar Brecc quotes the same passage from the earlier source but records the name of the little fort as Brectain (Trip. Life (Stokes) ii  452).  The present Church of Ireland church in the townland of Bright occupies the site of the medieval parish church and also of an earlier church. O’Laverty (i 148) states that ‘the townland in which the church of Bright is situated is named Ballintubber – the town of the well - from a remarkable well about a quarter of a mile north of the church, which no doubt is the ancient holy well where was baptized Ros-Mac-Trichim’. Ballintubber is now spelt Ballintober and is a minor place-name in the townland of Bright, a short distance north of Bright parish church.


PMcK, 2009

Additional Information

See the townland of Bright for historical forms of this name

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Lecale Upper
Parish in 1851
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