Ballintrae, County Antrim
Ir. Baile an Trá ‘townland of the strand’
There are three Irish townlands named Ballintra which derive from Baile an tSratha ‘townland of the holm/river meadow’. Srath means ‘valley-bottom’ or a ‘flat place’, typically beside a river or lake (Flanagan & Flanagan 1994, 143) which is less likely here. Béal Átha an Tré ‘mouth of the ford of the triad’ which is the origin of Ballintry in Co. Meath (logainm.ie) is also unlikely.
The form assigned to John O’Donovan for this place-name Baile an Trá ‘townland of the strand’ appears to be correct and is supported by the coastal location of the townland. The forms appearing as Portballintray (1657c, 1672c) have motivated the form Baile an Trá whereas trá is a feminine noun with which we would expect the definite article to appear in the form na. This, however remains the most likely derivation of this place-name and it is possible that in northern dialects, trá can be assigned masculine gender.
The form Portballintray (1657c) refers to the village of Portballintrae, which is so-named from a little harbour within the townland (McKay 2007, 121).
Historical name form
|Old Form||Ref. Date||Reference|
|Portballintray||1657c||Hib. Reg. Dunluce|
|Ballybrae||1669||HMR Ant. 55|
|Portballintray||1672c||Hib. Del. Antrim|
|~Baile an trágha ""town of the strand""||1832||J O'D (OSNB) B14|
|Baile an Tragha ""Town of the Strand""||1934||Magill's Antrim 65|
|~Baile an Trá ""townland of the strand""||1999||Dict. Ulst. PN 121|
- Dunluce Lower
- Parish in 1851
- Place name ID
- Place name type