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Dunlady, County Down


Ir. Dún Léide Léide’s fort’


The name of the townland of Dunlady is recorded as Ballydownledy in 1605 and as Balle-Dunlady in 1623. The prefix Bally/Balle in these English sources are unlikely to be indicative of the element baile ‘townland’ in the original Irish form of the place-name and the most satisfactory interpretation is Dún Léide Léide’s fort’.. Léide is a rare Irish personal name, borne by the father of the legendary prehistoric king of Ulster, Fergus son of Léite (Modern Irish Léide) , who met his death fighting a water-monster in Dundrum Bay (McKillop 1998, 190).  The Northern Ireland Sites and Monuments Record records a ‘platform rath’ in the townland.


P. McKay, 2009

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference

Dun Laidighe

1834cJ O'D (OSNB) No. 38

possibly Dún Leide ""fort of the tag or mark"" or Dún Léide "fort of the deed of daring" or Dún Cláidí "fort of the cleansing stream"

2003HMC replies HMCjun03
Dunleth1333Inq. Earldom Ulster iii 64
Ballydownelede1605Inq. Ult. (Down) $2 Jac. I
Ballydownledy1605CPR Jas I 73a
Ballydowneladye1612CPR Jas I 236a
Ballidunlady1620Ham. Patent [1620] xxi
Balle-Dunlady1623Ham. Copy Inq. [1623] xlii
Balledamlady1623Ham. Copy Inq. [1623] xxxiv
Donlade1625cRaven Map Clandeboye 30
Donlade1625cRaven Map Clandeboye 30, 31
(?)Balliemalady or Balledimlady1630Ham. Patent [1630] xiii
Balledunlady1645Inq. Ult. (Down) $104 Car. I
Dunlady1659cCensus 1659 87
Dunlady1661BSD 128
Ballydunladie1663Sub. Roll Down 284
Dunlady1745Map of Down (OSNB) No. 48
Dunlady1745Map of Down (OSNB) No. 48
Dunlady1810Wm. Map (OSNB) No. 48
Dunlady1810Wm. Map (OSNB) No. 48
Donlady1823Downshire Direct. 321
Dunlady1830cBnd. Sur. (OSNB) No. 48
Dunlady1830cBnd. Sur. (OSNB) No. 48
Castlereagh Lower
Parish in 1851
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