Leraw, County Fermanagh
Ir. Leathráth “half fort”
Leraw lies approximately one mile to the north of Lisnaskea.
The name of the townland clearly goes back to the Irish form Leathráth as previously suggested. However, its exact significance is not immediately apparent. The explanation put forward by Donnell Maguire and Joyce respectively that it means “half fort”, “half rath or fort, one half having been cut away” certainly seems plausible. The prefix leath- can also mean “lopsided, tilted” (Ó Dónaill sv.) and “lopsided or tilted fort” is therefore another possible explanation. There is now no trace or record of a fort in the townland.
Lishleyrea (1620) appears to suggest that the place-name was at one stage prefixed by the element Lios “fort”. A similar tendency to prefix Lis- to names containing the element ráth - which also means “fort” - is found in the English documentation of the names of the townlands of Rahack Glebe and Relessy in the Tyrone portion of the parish and in all these cases the presence of Lis- seems best understood as an indication that the place-name refers to a fort, rather than as evidence that lios originally formed an element in the place-name.
The other “alias name” for Leraw, i.e. Skyaghneguerragh (1620), clearly represents Irish Sciath Ghabhra “shield (or fortress) of white horses” (albeit with an intrusive medial –ne-). Sciath Ghabhra was the original name for the Moate Fort in the neighbouring townland of Cornashee and this raises the possibility that this is the fort referred to in the name Leraw, though it seems more likely that the latter referred to another fort which has now been destroyed.
A similar anglicization of Irish ráth as raw is found in the name of the townland of Raw (<Táite an Rátha “tate of the fort”) which lies in the north-eastern portion of the parish.
References(info. from McKay, P. (2004): Place-Names of Northern Ireland vol. 8 p. 138)
Historical name form
|Old Form||Ref. Date||Reference|
|(?)Lereagh||1612||CPR Jas I 232b|
|Leyrea al. Lishleyrea al. Skyaghneguerragh||1620||CPR Jas I 482b|
|Leghre||1630||Inq. Ult. (Fermanagh) $24 Car.I|
|Lyra||1659||Census 1659 106|
|Learrawgh||1680||BSD (Ó Maolagáin) 542|
|Learaw||1817||GJM M'stephana (OSNB) B62|
|Leraw||1824||HC Sur.& Val.(OSNB) B62|
|Leiraw||1830c||Bnd. Sur. (OSNB) B62|
|Leeraw||1833||Mr Buck's Letter (OSNB) B62|
|Leraw||1834c||Sur. & Val. Lisnaskea Est. (OSNB) B62|
|~Leath Ráth ""Half fort""||1834c||Donnell Maguire (OSNB) B62|
|~Leath-rath ""half rath or fort, one half having be||1913||Joyce iii 469|
- Parish in 1851
- Place name ID
- Place name type