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Cornashee, County Fermanagh

Origin

Ir. Ceathrú “quarter of the fairy mound”

Background

Cornashee lies approximately half a mile north-east of Lisnaskea.

While the earliest historical spelling is obviously corrupt, the weight of the earlier documentary evidence indicates that the initial element of Cornashee is ceathrú “quarter”, rather than corr “round hill” as suggested by the modern spelling and the local pronunciation.  A similar representation of Irish ceathrú as cor- is found in the name of the townland of Carrowgarragh (<An Cheathrú Charrach “the stony or barren quarter”) which is written Corgarragh in 1620 (CPR Jas I 482b).  None of the 17th-century spellings except form Carrownshee Quarter (1680) shows any evidence of the definite article an and the most satisfactory interpretation of Cornashee is Ceathrú Sí “quarter of the fairy mound”.  The final element of the place-name refers to a mound which stands in the west of the townland and is generally regarded as the inauguration mound of the Maguires of Fermanagh.  It is locally known as “the Moate fort” but was originally named Sciath Ghabhra, i.e.“shield (i.e. stronghold or fortress) of (white) horses” (seeCastle Balfour Demesne above). 

In a grant from King James I to Micheal Balfour in 1610, Cornashee is referred to as both the small proportion of Carowshee (2) and Carowshee qr. 4 tates (3), showing that at that time the name was used both for the townland and for a larger district or “quarter” whose total acreage was equal to four tates or townlands.  In the Book of Survey and Distribution of 1680 Carrownshee is described as a “quarter” and said to be made up of three smaller land units, one of which is Lisneale, i.e. Lisoneill (BSD (Ó Maolagáin) 542).  The extent of this larger “quarter” of Cornashee seems to be reflected on the Escheated Counties Map of 1609 which shows Carninshee as apparently incorporating the neighbouring townland of Lisoneill (which includes most of the modern town of Lisnaskea), and bordering on the townland of Castle Balfour Demesne, which was sometimes known as Carrowskeagh (Esch. Co. Map 4).

        

The form Kinoskea appears to represent a corrupt form of the initial element of Cornashee in combination with the final element of the name of the town of Lisnaskea.


References

(info. from McKay, P. (2004): Place-Names of Northern Ireland vol. 8 p. 56)

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
ag Scéith Gabhra [gairm flatha of Hugh Maguire1589AFM vi 1876nn
Carrowshee 1q1609Esch. Co. Map 4 Coole
Carowshee, the small proportion of1610CPR Jas I 166a
Carrowshee1612CPR Jas I 232b
Carrowshee1620CPR Jas I 482a
Carrowshee1620CPR Jas I 482b
Carrowshee, called Tyrereshyn and Raheyn1620CPR Jas I 482b
Carrowshee contin'' 4 tat''1639Inq. Ult. (Fermanagh) $45 Car.I
(?)Kinoskea (E of Hollybrooke r.)1672cHib. Del. Fermanagh
(?)Legoneill1817GJM M'stephana (OSNB) B113
Cornashee1817GJM M'stephana (OSNB) B108
Cornashea1830cBnd. Sur. (OSNB) B108
Curnashee1833Mr Buck's Letter (OSNB) B108
Cornaskea1834cSur. & Val. Lisnaskea Est. (OSNB) B108
~Corr na Sidhe ""Round hill of the fairies""1834cJ O'D (OSNB) B108
Cornashee1862Griffith's Val.
""round hill of the fairies""1913Joyce iii 261
Corr na Sí "" hill of the fairy mound""1999Cel. Ulst. Tds 19
Ceathramh na Sí ""quarter of the fairy hill""2002HMC replies HMCjun02
Barony
Magherastephana
Parish
Aghalurcher
Parish in 1851
Aghalurcher
Townland
None
Place name ID
19412
Place name type
T