Placenamesni.orgthe history behind our place-names

Eshbane, County Fermanagh


Ir. Ais Bhán “white or untilled hill back”


As discussed above in connection with Eshanummer, the element ais in this area is likely to signify “hill back” rather than “marsh” as suggested by Donnell Maguire.  Eshbane is one of those eight townlands with names beginning in Esh- which lie in the hilly Knocks area of the parish.  Most of the land in this townland is over 200m. in altitude, with one little peak rising to 220m.

Espaneyn (1620) andIshpahan (1834c) suggest that the final element of Eshbane originally consisted of two syllables.  However, since the remaining historical forms, along with the local pronunciation, are unanimous in suggesting a monosyllabic element it seems safe to conclude that the derivation of this element is bán “white” as previously suggested.  As well as meaning “white”, the word bán can also have connotations of “waste, untilled” (Dinneen sv.) and in the case of this area of upland pasture this may be the most appropriate interpretation. 

None of the historical spellings shows any evidence of the lenition of the initial b-of bán after the feminine noun ais and this reflects a tendency for well-understood elements such as bán to be transmitted in their unlenited versions in the process of anglicization (see Eshmeen, Killybane).

Eshbane is bordered by the townlands of Eshmeen, Eshcarcoge and Eshthomas.


(info. from McKay, P. (2004): Place-Names of Northern Ireland vol. 8 p. 103)

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Espaneyn1620CPR Jas I 482b
Eshbaan1817GJM M'stephana (OSNB) B104
Eshbawn1824HC Sur.& Val.(OSNB) B104
Eshbawn1830cBnd. Sur. (OSNB) B104
Eshbaun1833Mr Buck's Letter (OSNB) B104
Ishpahan1834cSur. & Val. Lisnaskea Est. (OSNB) B104
~Ais Bán ""white marsh""1834cDonnell Maguire (OSNB) B108
Eshbane1862Griffith's Val.
Parish in 1851
Place name ID
Place name type