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Saul Parish, County Down


Ir. Sabhall ‘a barn’


Saul is the name both of this townland and of the parish in which it is situated. According to tradition, the name refers to a barn which stood on land presented to St Patrick in AD 432 by the local chieftain Dichu as a site for his first church (EA 40). In the year 1170 Saul is referred to as Saball Patraic (Modern Irish Sabhall Phádraig), i.e. ‘Saul of (Saint) Patrick’ in the Annals of Ulster (AU iii 164) and the name is also recorded as Sabhall Phádraig ‘Patrick’s Barn’ in the Ordnance Survey Name Book of c.1834. The site of the original church appears to be marked by the gable end of a building which stands a short distance west of the present Church of Ireland memorial church of Saint Patrick, just west of the village of Saul and forms a portion of the remnants of a 12th-century Augustinian friary which was erected on the same site (see ASCD 288). The townland of Saul Quarter lies two miles to the south, in the parish of Down.


PMcK, 2009

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
~Sobaill, baile...1165AU ii 150
~Sabhull Patraic, do beth1293AU ii 380
Lecale Lower
Parish in 1851
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Place name type