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Lisnamonaghan, County Tyrone


perhaps Ir. Lios Uí Mhanacháin ‘O’Mancháin’s fort’ or Lios Muineacháin ‘fort of the place of hills’ or ‘fort of the place of thickets’


The first element of this place-name is clearly lios ring-fort. Within the townland are the substantial remains of Castle Caulfield, an English-style house built by Sir Toby Caulfield on the site of a fort of the O'Donnells. A joist from one of the walls was dated to c.1282 & may belong to this earlier fort and is probably the referent of lios in the name. For the second element, the form assigned to O’Donovan suggests a personal name. As a surname, Monaghan, according to Bell is common all over Ireland, and, in Ulster it is most common in Co. Fermanagh (Bell 1988, 194) and we might suggest Lios Uí Mhanacháin ‘O’Mancháin’s fort’

As a common noun, there are a number of different ways in which the name could be interpreted.  It could be understood as being made up of muine ‘thicket’ plus the diminutive ending -eachán which can sometimes have the significance of ‘place of’ (Joyce ii 33).  Lios Muineacháin could therefore denote ‘fort of the little thicket’ or ‘fort of the place of thickets’. According to Joyce, the element muine in place-names can sometimes have the significance of ‘hill’ (Joyce i 496) and one might argue that Lios Muineacháin could mean ‘fort of the place of hills’ or ‘fort of the little hill’.  However, since muine in townland names is less frequently attested in the sense of ‘hill’ than in the sense of ‘thicket’ (McKay 1995, 232), this interpretation of the place-name must be regarded as less likely. 



Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Lismoynehan1614Inq. Ult. (Tyrone) $2 Jac I
Lissmoynehan1614Inq. Ult. (Down) $2 Jas 1
Lismoniehan1618CPR Jas I 392b
Lismoniehan al1618CPR Jas I 392b
Dismonoghan1619Inq. Ult. (Tyrone) $4 Jac I
Lismoynehan1619Inq. Ult. (Tyrone) $4 Jac I
al Dismonoghan1619Inq. Ult. (Down) $4 Jac 1
Lismonoghan1621CPR Jas I 536a
Lismoynehan1621CPR Jas I 536a
Lismoynehan al1621CPR Jas I 536a
al Lismonoghan1621CPR Jas I 536a
Lismonaghan1650cInq. Ult. (Tyrone) $50 Car I
Lisamonaghan1666HMR Tyr. (2) 241
Lisamonaghan1666HMR Tyr. (2) 241
Lismonaghan al1829Inq. Ult. (Down) $50 Car 1
al Lismoynohan1829Inq. Ult. (Down) $50 Car 1
Lismonaghan1834cMap Armagh (OSNB) 7
Lisnamonaghan1834cOSNB: gen. sources 7
~Lios Manchain/Monaghan''s Fort1835cJ O'D (OSNB) 7
~Lios Monchain ""Monaghan''s fort""1936TNCT 39
Dungannon Middle
Parish in 1851
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