Learden Upper, County Tyrone
perhaps Ir. Leathardán 'half-height' + E. Upper
Niall Comer, in his discussion of another Learden in Co. Derry explains the name as deriving from Leath-Ardán ‘One of Two Heights’, and proposes possible links with mounds in the townland.
However, a prominent fork in the Owenkillew river to the south of Learden Lower suggests a possible derivation containing the root element ladhar gap', which, in place-names can refer to a natural fork or promontory, or the land between two converging rivers or hills (Dinneen). We might propose an original form such as Ladharan 'place of the fork' that has emerged with [d] due to analogy with Learden in Co. Derry. However, the prominence of -t- and -d- in the 17th century forms casts doubt on such a derivation.
It might be the case that the silent [d] in a diminutive form such as ladarán 'little fork' has become voiced erroneously, and the subsequent emergence of the anglicised form Learden, although such as suggestion is rather speculative, and must be treated with caution.
Townlands named Lahardan in Cos Clare, Sligo and Waterford are said to derive from Leathardán 'half-height' (logainm.ie), and we must assume that this is the most likelt origin of the name, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary.
There is a sequence of peaks that straddle the contiguous townlands of Learden Upper and Learden Lower (OSNI), that might bear some relation to the name.
Historical name form
|Old Form||Ref. Date||Reference|
|(?)Laorton al Leaghbarden 1 b''bo cont pcells>[102?||1633||Inq. Ult. (Tyrone) $40 Car I e|
|Leardan||1655c||Civ. Surv. 376|
|Leardan||1666||HMR Tyr. (2) 265|
|Lardin ""between Hills or ...?||1830c||Ogilby, A. C36|
|Leardan, Upper and Lower||1830c||OSNB: gen. sources C36|
|Leath ardán ""half hill""||1833c||J O'D (OSNB) C36|
|ladhar donn - The brown fork or hollow||1920c||TNCT 69|
- Strabane Upper
- Bodoney Upper
- Parish in 1851
- Bodoney Upper
- Place name ID
- Place name type