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Shankill Parish (Armagh portion), County Armagh


Ir. possibly Seanchoill ‘old wood’; later understood as Seanchill ‘old church’.


Most of the parish of Shankill is in Co. Armagh.  A small portion in Co. Down consists of the single townland of Kilmore.  It is the only part of Co. Down which reaches the shore of Lough Neagh. 

In the west of the town of Lurgan is the townland of Shankill containing the parish church.  The local interpretation of the parish name as Sean-chill ‘old church’ makes perfect sense, but the parish appeared in AD 1411 and 1430 under an older name Kyllmilcon (later Kilwilke), in Irish apparently Cill Mhíolcan ‘Mílchú’s church’ (EA 312).  The site of this church was, however, in Annaloist now in Seagoe parish, a townland which contains a promontory called Oxford Island, the site of a now-lost graveyard locally called Kilwilke Glebe.  The alternative parish name de Caillmore appearing in 1431 indicates that probably the current name Shankill was not originally Seanchill ‘old church’ as is often supposed, but Seanchoill ‘old wood’ (Muhr 2001, 306; LNP 61).  In 1609 it was spelled Scheachoill (Bull Paul V to O'Neill) and a church was shown in Shankoile townland on the Escheated Counties map of the same year. The ballybo or townland of Shankill was referred to from 1610 (CPR Jas I 165a).


KM, 2009

Additional Information

other portion in Co. Down

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Parish in 1851
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