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Magheradrool Parish (Iveagh portion), County Down


Ir. Machaire Eadarghabhal  ‘plain between stream forks’


The north of Magheradrool townland contains the site of the parish church, on a low hill beside the Ballynahinch River which forms the northern boundary, a mile south east of Ballynahinch.  This waterside situation gives the parish its name (EA 316).  Cumber townland is adjacent to it, beside the same stream on the north, but divided from Magheradrool by a tributary.  The earliest reference to the church is to ‘the church of’ Ardagavalle’ in 1306, where the place-name is a little different and appears to mean Ard Gabhail ‘height of the stream-fork’ (compare Lisgoole in Fermanagh). In the next century (1444) the Register of Archbishop Prene has Machairyedargawall, spelling every syllable of the Irish original as given above, while the Register of Archbishop Dowdall in1546 has a spelling Maccaredruall matching the modern shortened form.  Thus we can discount the meanings based on the word droibhéal ‘rugged, difficult place’ suggested by 18th and 19th century commentators like Harris, Knox and John O’Donovan.

This portion of Magheradrool parish in the barony of Iveagh Lower, Lower Half consists solely of the townland of Ballycreen.  The remainder of the parish is in Kinelarty.


KM, 2009; with additions PT, 2012.

Additional Information

Other portion in Kinelarty; see the townland of Magheradrool for historical forms of this name

Historical name form

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Iveagh Lr., Lr. Half
Parish in 1851
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