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Killough, County Antrim


Ir. Cill/Coill Locha ‘church or wood of the lake’


Killough is a long thin townland which lies along the southern bank of the Friar’s Glen (named from Mr Frier, Blair 1981, 108), which was used as part of the route of the Lagan Canal.  Friar’s Glen contained ancient woodland, and the name may begin coill ‘wood’.  However the old church of Aghagallon lies very close to the boundary with Killough.  Deirdre Flanagan’s field notes on Aghagallon in 1954 say that ‘the parish and townland boundary, at [the] point which divides them from Aghalee parish and Killough townland, is only a few hundred yards from the churchyard: it is simply a thick hedge, and does not seem to have been ever a very natural boundary’.


Further south-east the valley of the Friar’s Glen is filled by the Broad Water, although the lake only extends to the townland of Lurgansemanus to the south of Killough.  Although the Broad Water was enlarged by the building of the canal, the most likely explanation of ‘lough’ in this townland name is that an ancient lough was first drained and then partially reinstated.  The church referred to in the name is also a puzzle, since it now seems most likely to refer to the old church of Aghagallon.  It is possible that several contiguous townlands in this area, including Killough, Poobles and Kilminioge in Co. Down, all bearing names with ecclesiastical reference, originally belonged to the Church (PNI vi 288-9, parallel Kilmacholmog McCorry 2000, 35-7).

(LNP 49)


Kay Muhr

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Killawgh1625Inq. Ult. (Antrim) Car.I $1
(?)Lurganettymaneese & Lissegat1669HMR Ant. 107
Killaby1672cHib. Del. Antrim
Killough1780Lendrick Map
~Cill Locha ""church of the lough""1830cJ O'D (OSNB) A 29
~""church of the lough""1869Joyce i 562 (ind.)
Massereene Upper
Parish in 1851
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