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Bellarena, County Derry


perhaps F. belle ‘beautiful’ + L. arena ‘sandy place/strand’.


par: Magilligan bar: Keenaght

At W foot of Binevenagh, 6.5km NNW of Limavady

The name Bellarena was coined in the late 18th century to refer to a house and demesne. The mansion, which still stands on the north bank of the Roe, was built in 1797 by Conolly Gage, on land settled in the mid 17th century by his ancestor William Gage from Northamptonshire in England. It incorporates parts of an earlier house built in 1690. The original Ir. name of the townland of Bellarena was Baile an Mhargaidh [bala an waragee] ‘townland of the market’ [Bellarena 1835].


McKay, P. (2007) A Dictionary of Ulster Place-Names, p.22;

Additional Information

[NB Is on map]

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Bellimargee 1 towne (Bp land John Gage 1634)1654cCiv. Surv. iii 216
Ballymorgy, Ye 6 townes of (John Gage)1659cCensus 1659 130
(?)Ballimaree1672cHib. Del. Co.Londondery
~Baile an Mhargaidhe1680cTop. Frag. 69
Bellarena1833OSM xi 119
''beautiful sand'' (formerly B''ymaryn: market town)1834OSM xi 126
Bellarena ""beautiful sand"" [Rev. S. Butler] former1834OSM xi 126
Bellarena1835OSM xi 94,95,
Bellarena1835OSM 117,136,141
Bellarena Bridge1835OSM xi 82
Bellarena corn mill1835OSM xi 86, 123
Bellarena.. residence of Connolly Gage Esq 17971835OSM xi 85b
Wooden Bridge1835OSM xi 1, 22
Wooden Bridge (fair)1835OSM xi 125
Wooden Bridge Fair (14 July, est 1800)1835OSM xi 10, 14
Wooden Bridge [sic. OSM lists Tamlaght Finlagan as1835OSM xi 87
Wooden bridge1835OSM xi 82
Wooden bridge, erected 1800 [queried]1835OSM xi 125
residence of Conolly Gage Esquire1835OSM xi 85
the High Road, branches from Low Road 1/8 mile fro1835OSM xi 86
the Low Road, principal road, extends through the 1835OSM xi 86
~Bel-atha-rioghna ""the queen''s ford""1875Joyce ii 101
~Bel-atha-rioghna ""The mouth of the ford of the Qu1925Munn's Notes 233
~Baile an Mhargaidh1989GÉ 289
~Baile an Mhargaidh ""townland of the market""1999Dict. Ulst. PN 22
~perhaps F.belle ""beautiful"" + L.arena ""sandy plac1999Dict. Ulst. PN 22
Parish in 1851
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