Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Northern Irish schoolchildren learning about ancient townlands through their names


Several primary schools in the south Lough Neagh area took part with nearly 200 pupils learning about their area through traditional crafts and storytelling sessions.

St Mary's Primary School in Derrymore is located on the south shore of Lough Neagh.

The work produced by its pupils as part of the project remains on display in the school corridors.

They explored the heritage of their townlands from Derrymore, An Doire Mór, which translates to the big oakwood, to Aghacommon, Achadh Camán, which translates to the field of the hurl or hurling stick.

'You can learn a lot about yourself'

After the Plantation of Ulster in the 17th Century, many townlands were written down in English spelling, creating an anglicised form.

In recent years, because of the introduction of postcodes and technology, there have been campaigns to save the original names of townlands.

Some councils have introduced townland road signs.

Meanwhile The Northern Ireland Place-Name Project has been gathering and analysing historical forms of place names since 1987 to try to establish what they originally meant.

Dr Kay Muhr is a place names researcher and current chair of the Ulster Place Names Society.

She delivered a talk as part of the My Townland and Me project.

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