From Donaghadee I headed south to the next townland of Ballyvester.  Ballyvester has a bit of everything, from the Irish sea (can you spot the tiny bit of sea under the red postbox?) to hilly farmland.

Ballyvester Road sign at shoreI explored Ballyvester at harvest time.  A lone bale was all that remained in this barley field.

Ballyvester bale (1)

Ballyvester harvested field 2Every time I thought Ballyvester was entirely rural, I turned a corner and found more houses, including some using the townland name in Vester Cove.  So it makes sense that this townland would have its own school.

Ballyvester RoadBallyvester Primary School opened as a National school in 1842. It currently has 112 pupils, with a teaching staff of six.

Ballyvester PS signAccording to the PLACENAMESNI website, Ballyvester means “Wester’s townland” from the relatively rare English surname Wester.  Over the centuries the spelling of the townland has wandered through all possible vowels, using “vaster”, “waster”, “westor” and more.

As usual I went looking for the name on gravestones.  This time I found a whole cemetery.

Ballyvester Cemetery signThis headstone from 1838 for the Stewart family of Ballyvester is actually in Movilla graveyard, Newtownards.

Gravestone for Stewart 1838 Ballyvester in MovillaThe next photo, of an old and broken stone for the Angus family, is from Templepatrick graveyard in Miller Hill townland, close to the southern boundary of Ballyvester.

Gravestone for Angus 1867 Ballyvester in Templepatrick

more information

Click here for a link to a 19th century map of Ballyvester on the website of Ordnance Survey Ireland.

Which other townlands border Ballyvester?  To the north, Town Parks of Donaghadee and (across Killaughey Road) Carryreagh and Ballyhay.  To the west, Killaghy.  To the south, Craigboy and Templepatrick.  To the east, just the Irish Sea.

Which civil parish is Ballyvester in?  Donaghadee

Which council area is Ballyvester in?  Ards and North Down.

Which county is Ballyvester in?  County Down.

Finally, click here for the PLACENAMESNI website to read more about the history of the Ballyvester name.  



  1. Hello, first off I’d like to say I really love your blog. I love our little townlands and the stuff that can be found in them. I lived in Ballyvester with my Grandmother for a good amount of time (in the houses across the road from the school, with the small river around them) and had a great time walking the dogs throughout ballyvester and neighbouring townlands. Just to the west of Ballyvester is Ballyhay, possibly one of my favourite areas to go walking, the main reason probably being the fairy ring! If you go straight down the ballyhay road and stop just shy of the sharp left by the cottages, and look to the field to right, at the top of the hill is a ring of trees:) Very lovely little spot with a nice view:)


    • Thank you for that lovely comment. Ballyhay is on my list, but I just haven’t got around to it yet. When I do, I will look out for the fairy ring!


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