Dergalt, County Tyrone
perhaps Ir. Doire Gealt'oak-wood of the lunatics' or Deargalt 'red height'/Deargallt 'red cliff'
Previous scholars have suggested a compound form as the origin of this name, a compound featuring the adjective dearg and the noiun alt 'height, glen, precipice' (Deargalt 'red height'). While this form is a ssatisfactory representation of the contemporary form, adjectives predominantly appear in post-nominal position. Indeed, these two elements appear as An tAllt Dearg 'the red cliff', anglicised Altderg in Co. Mayo.
We might suggest an alternative derivation, with doire 'oak-wood' as the first element. it is not uncommon to see doire contracted as der- in anglicised forms (see also Dernalebe Doire Sléibhe'oak-wood of the mountain' in the current parish). If this is correct, the second element might be gealt 'lunatic' (Doire Gealt 'oak-wood of the lunatics').
However, we do see one example of a townland where dearg 'red' is attested in a prenominal position; Deargráth 'red fort' (Derrigra, Co. Cork), and therefore Deargalt 'red height' or Deargallt 'red cliff' remain possible original forms.
Historical name form
|Old Form||Ref. Date||Reference|
|Dergalt||1640c||Court Claims $502|
|Dergal||1666||HMR Tyr. (2) 260|
|Dergalt||1693||Inq. Ult. (Tyrone) $1 Gul. & Mar.|
|Nederstowne||1693||Inq. Ult. (Tyrone) $1 Gul. & Mar.|
|Dearg Alt ""The Red height""||1828||OSNB Inf. no.20|
|Dergault (Sr Jn Burgoyne)||1828||Land agent (OSNB) no.20|
|Dearg-alt ""red glen or precipice""||1833c||J O'D (OSNB) no.20|
|dearg alt - Red glenside||1920c||TNCT 70|
- Strabane Lower
- Parish in 1851
- Place name ID
- Place name type