Unicarval is a townland in County Down, spreading over farmland on the hillside below Scrabo, between Dundonald and Comber.

Unicarval cattleFor me, Unicarval feels like a piece in a jigsaw, because it fits between Ballyhenry Major, Ballyalton, Ballyrainey and Ballyloughan.

Unicarval laneThis old chimney in Unicarval was once part of a flax mill.  Flax disappeared from Unicarval’s farms as Ulster’s linen industry declined.

Unicarval mill chimneyThat leaves more grass in the fields for the cattle.

Unicarval cattle 2At last, a townland without a “Bally” in its name…..or so I thought.  According to the PLACENAMESNI website, Unicarval was previously called “Ballymoonycarvill”.  This probably came from the Irish Baile Mhuine Chearbhaill meaning “townland of Cearbhall’s thicket or hill”.  Not content with their excellent if unwieldy townland name, the people of the thicket or hill dropped the initial baile and the Mh- of Mhuine.

Looking at the roadsign, it looks like someone in Unicarval hasn’t given up changing the name.

Unicarval Road sign



  1. In real life they weren’t menacing at all. It still makes me laugh to think of the contrast between Ireland and India. The farmers in my family would be so worried if a single cow escaped on to the road. Worried about the cattle, and worried about humans. Yet in Bangalore the cows seemed to be the most sensible users of the road.


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