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Bentra, County Antrim


Of uncertain origin


The historical forms of this name indicate that this place-name previously featured the common element baile ‘townland’ which has since been lost. The qualifying element is similar to the element beanntraí of Bá Bheanntraí (Bantry Bay, Co. Cork), Beanntraí (Bantry in Cos Wexford and Cork) and two Irish townlands named Coimín Bheanntraí (Bantry Commons, Co. Wexford). The origin of beanntraí in these names is unconfirmed (

Beantraighe is an attested tribal name (CGH, 447) said to mean ‘descendants of Beann, one of the sons of Conor Mac Neasa, King of Ulster in the first Century ( This tribe give their name to the old barony of Bantry in Wexford, home of the Benntraige, a fortuath who found in Munster and elsewhere c.900 A.D. (Byrne 1973, 132).

Ballybentragh, also in Co. Antrim is derived from Baile Beanntrach ‘townland of the hilly places’, possibly in reference to a ‘mound and souterrain’ in the townland which is referenced in The Northern Ireland Sites and Monuments Record (NISMR sh. 50).


Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Ball-Bantro1603CPR Jas I 7a
Ballibantro1603CPR Jas I 7a
Ballybantragh1605Inq. Ant. (DK) 48
Ballibantragh1608CPR Jas I 125b
Ballinvantroe1615CPR Jas I 278a
Ballebantry1627Inq. Ult. (Antrim) Car.I $3
Ballenebantry1627Inq. Ult. (Antrim) Car.I $3
Ballybantrogh1639Inq. Ant. (DK) Car.I $131
B:bentragh1780Lendrick Map
~Baile Baintreabhaighe ""town of the widow""1827J O'D (OSNB) A18
~Dún a Chairn ""fort of the cairn""1832cJ O'D (OSNB) A24
Beann Tragha ""Peak of the Strand""1934Magill's Antrim 70
Dún Cairn (Laoide)2000NIPNP replies PMcK/DMacGE
Belfast Lower
Parish in 1851
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