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Rashee, County Antrim

Origin

Ir. Ráth Sí ‘fairy fort’

Background

The townland of Rashee contains the site of the medieval parish church of Rashee. All trace of the church has long disappeared but the site is marked by a graveyard and a well (formerly a holy well) a short distance south-west of Five Corners. Rashee is referred to as early as the year 618AD when the Annals of Ulster informs us of the death of episcipus Eoghan Ratha Sithe i.e. ‘Bishop Eoghan of Rashee’ (AU MacAirt 109) while the Tripartite Life of Saint Patrick which dates from c.900 informs us that Raith Sithe ‘Rashee’ was one of a number of churches in this area which were founded by Saint Patrick (Trip. Life Stokes i 164).In the Papal Taxation of c.1306 the name of the church is recorded as Ecclesia de Rassci (Eccles. Tax. 68). Writing c.1884 O’Laverty (iii 194) comments: ‘There is not at present any rath near the site of the church, but the adjoining field on the north side of the graveyard is called Forth-Hill’. The Northern Ireland Sites and Monuments Record notes a possible rath in the townland, evidenced by a crop mark (www.ni-environment.gov.uk/nismrsearch) but it is unclear if this is the forth (i.e. fort) feature referred to by O’Laverty.

References

Pat McKay

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
~Rath-sithe (4M) ""the fort of the fairies""1869Joyce i 186
Ráth Sí "" fort of the fairy mound""1999Cel. Ulst. Tds 6
Barony
Antrim Upper
Parish
Rashee
Parish in 1851
Rashee
Townland
None
Place name ID
18811
Place name type
T