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Ballybentragh, County Antrim


Ir. Baile Beanntrach ‘townland of the hilly places’


The name of the townland of Ballybentragh is recorded as Ballinebantro in 1605 and as Ballybentrogh in 1669 and the most satisfactory interpretation of the place-name is Baile Beanntrach ‘townland of the hilly places’. The element beann is fairly common in place-names and signifies ‘a horn, a gable, a peak, or pointed hill; but it is often applied to any steep hill’ (Joyce i 383). In the townland of Ballybentragh there is no conspicuous hill but the terrain is generally hilly and slopes down to the northern bank of the Six Mile Water. The Northern Ireland Sites and Monuments Record cites a ‘mound and souterrain’ in the townland (NISMR sh. 50), while O’Laverty (iii 231) informs us that a church which is referred to as Ecclesia de Maudone in the Taxation of Pope Nicholas of c.1306 formerly ‘stood in a field called Kirkland, in the townland of Ballybentragh. The foundations were dug up about 1823, by John Lawther, who removed quantities of human bones from the site, and found some silver coins’. He implies that Maudone is to be identified with the neighbouring townland of Moyadam and suggests that Ballybentragh originally formed part of Moyadam (see Moyadam). O’Laverty (iii 232) goes on to remark that ‘the church, which at best was small, had so completely disappeared before the suppression of the monasteries, that its name does not appear in the Terrier (i.e. the Terrier of Down and Connor of 1615).


Pat McKay

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Ballilebantre1605CPR Jas I 77a
Ballinebantro1605Inq. Ant. (DK) 44
Ballinebantro1608CPR Jas I 120b
Ballinebantro1621Inq. Ult. (Antrim) Jac.I $7
Ballylebantro1621Inq. Ult. (Antrim) Jac.I $7
Ballynebantra1621CPR Jas I 523b
Ballybentrogh1669HMR Ant. 128
B:bentragh1780Lendrick Map
~Baile Uachtrach ""upper town""1832cJ O'D (OSNB) A2
Beanntraigh ""tribal name scattered all over Ireland""1994NIPNP replies PMcK/TC
Antrim Upper
Grange of Nilteen
Parish in 1851
Grange of Nilteen
Place name ID
Place name type