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Ballycultra, County Down


Ir. Baile Chúl Trá ‘townland of the back of the strand’


The townland of Ballycultra stretches inland from the coast into the Craigantlet Hills.  It was a church townland attached to the church of Holywood.  In the late 17th century the name was occasionally abbreviated to Cultra (BSD, 1661) but although this version of the name is now better known, the full name Ballycultra remains the official name of the townland.  From 1604 until 1662 many of the references spelled the name Ballacultrack etc., preserving the original final consonant of the Irish word trágh ‘strand’, now lost in modern pronunciation and spelling.

The Ulster Folk and Transport Museum and Marino Station (NI Railways) are located in Ballycultra.


K. Muhr, 2009; with additions PT, 2012.

Additional Information

spelt Ballycultraw in 1851 Census Index

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference

Baile Cúl Tráighe "town at the back of the strand"

1834cJ O'D (OSNB) No. 29

Baile-cultragha ""town at the back of the...strand"

1913Joyce iii 79

Baile Chúl Trá ""townland of the back of the strand"

1999Dict. Ulst. PN 52
Ballacktragath orse Ballacultrack1604CPR Jas I 39a
Ballactragothe or Balacaltrack1606CPR Jas I 72b
Ballicultrack al Ballicultra al Ballactragah1620Ham. Patent [1620] xx
Balle-Cultrack alias1623Ham. Copy Inq. [1623] xxxiii
Ballecultrack al Ballecultra al Ballacktraghagh1623Ham. Copy Inq. [1623] xlv
alias Ballycultragh alias Ballactragothe1623Ham. Copy Inq. [1623] xxxiii
Ballecultra1627CPR Chas I 228
Ballecultrack or Ballecultra alias1645Inq. Ult. (Down) $104 Car. I
alias Balleaghtraghagh1645Inq. Ult. (Down) $104 Car. I
Cultra1661BSD 124
Ballycultrack al Ballycultra al Ballycultraghagh1662Inq. Ult. (Down) $23 Car. II
Cultra1663Sub. Roll Down 284
Ballycultra1830cBnd. Sur. (OSNB) No. 29
Castlereagh Lower
Parish in 1851
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