Belfast, County Down
Ir. Béal Feirste ‘mouth of the sand-bank ford’
par: Shankill/Knockbreda/Holywood bar: Belfast Upper/Castlereagh Lower/Castlereagh Upper
The ‘sand-bank ford’ was across the mouth of the river Lagan. The little river Farset which flows below High Street and enters the Lagan near this point has also been named from the ford (fearsaid, genitive feirste). The centre of Belfast and the greater part of the modern city is west of the Lagan in the barony of Belfast Upper in Co. Antrim. Most computerised systems automatically pre-enter "Co. Antrim" as the county for any Belfast City postcode, due to the use of 'postal counties' by Royal Mail until 1996, but the part of the city which lies east of the Lagan is in Co. Down, shared between the baronies of Castlereagh Upper and Castlereagh Lower.
ReferencesMcKay, P. (1999): A Dictionary of Ulster Place-Names, p. 21; with additions PT, 2012.
Co. Down part of city (eastern and south-eastern suburbs), other part in Co. Antrim; see also the baronies of Belfast Upper and Belfast Lower
Historical name form
- Castlereagh Upper/Castlereagh Lower
- Parish in 1851
- Place name ID
- Place name type