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Slanes Parish, County Down


Ir. Sláine ‘health-bestowing well (?)’


Reeves (EA 23) remarks that ‘the word ‘Slane’ comes from Irish slán, which Colgan interprets by ‘sanus’; and was formerly applied to holy wells, on account of their supposed sanative virtues’.  Slanes was taken as referring to a well here by Mac Reachtain (1951, 8) – see also O’Laverty (i 415-7).  Reeves also lists forms resembling Ardmacossce from the Papal Taxation of 1306 and subsequent documentation until 1524, concluding that Ardmacaisse (or variant) was originally the name of the parish whereas Slane was the name of some sub-denomination in it, but that Slanes then was applied to the townland in which the churchyard was.  The earlier name Ardmacossce seems to suggest a Gaelic original Ard Mhic Coise ‘height of Mac Coise’, and Woulfe (1923, 334-5) cites a ‘Mac Coise, anglicized M'Cashie ... MacCosh, Quish, Cush, Legge, Foote’, which he translates ‘son of the courier, footman’ and which he records in both Ireland and Scotland.


Hughes A. J. (1992): Place-Names of Northern Ireland vol. 2 p. 115

Additional Information

See townland of Slanes for historical forms of this name.

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Crowe1518Kildare Rent. 62
Crue (Indenture Kildare > Hutchinson)1649Lodge RR Car. I II
Kilderes Crowe1659cCensus 1659 70
Kildare''s Crow1710Manr Downpatrick
Kildares Crow1710Map Ld de Clifford (OSNB) E171
Kildares Crow1755Map of Down (OSNB) E171
Crew1790Return Free. (DF) 18
Kildares Crow1810Wm. Map (OSNB) E171
(?)Kildare Crew1830cBnd. Sur. (OSNB) E171
Crew Kildare1832Reg. Free. (OSNB) E171
Kildare''s Crew1834cJ O'D (OSNB) E171
Kildare''s Crew1834cJ O'D (OSNB) E171
Ards Upper
Parish in 1851
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