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Tullynakill Parish, County Down


Ir. Tulaigh na Cille ‘knoll of the church’


Tullynakill as a townland name seems to date from the time that the church was transferred there from Mahee Island.  The early ecclesiastical history of the parish is tied up with the monastery of Nendrum on Mahee Island. In the 1306 taxation, the parish was referred to as Ecclesia de Nedrum (EA 10). The account also in Latin of the receipts from the See lands of Down in 1305 named the church as Edroum, a form found in Jocelin’s Life of St Patrick: Edrumensis ecclesia (EA 168, Jocelin ch.37).  However, it appears that by the 15th century the monastery had ceased to function, and its lands had come into the hands of the Bishop of Down, as part of a manor called Ballindrain or Island Mahee.  The Ulster Visitation Book of 1622 said that the ‘church of Ballindrean alias Magheoe’ was then in ruins, which Reeves took as ‘probably referring to the island church’ (Reeves 1845/1902, 17).  There may have been a church building on one of the mainland townlands earlier, but it has not been found. Reeves noted in the mid 19th century the ruins of a 17th-century church next to the one then in use in Tullynakill townland (ruin dated 1639 of church ‘on a little hill, opposite to the island’, EA 197).  The descriptive name Tullynakill makes its apearance in the 1615 Terrier of church property as well as on the secular Raven maps of c.1625.  An inquisition on the bishop’s land was taken at Tullomkill in 1617, and in 1659 Tollenekill was the parish, Tolinkill the townland (Census).


KM, 2009

Additional Information

See the townland of Tullynakill for historical forms of this name

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Tollinekill als Ballendrin1657Inq. Down (Reeves1) 135
Tollenekill & Kilmood1659cCensus 1659 88
from Tulaigh na cille i.e. the hill of the church1875Knox Hist. 539
Castlereagh Lower
Parish in 1851
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