Today’s townland is Ballymenagh, along the County Down shore of Belfast Lough, close to the town of Holywood. I started my visit at the Seapark recreational area, which has a carpark, a children’s playground and easy access to the North Down Coastal Path and the sea. The tide was low enough to reveal these shells.
Getting back into the car with wet boots, I drove underneath the Belfast to Bangor railway line, and across the main road, to Ballymenoch Park. The name of the park (with “och” instead of “agh”) is taken from Ballymenoch House which stood on this site until it burnt down in 1913.
There’s a steep climb away from the sea along Creighton’s Green Road, giving views towards Belfast – can you spot the shipyard cranes in Ballymacarrett Intake?
Finally you reach Creighton’s Green Reservoir and the sea is visible again. The boundary with the townland of Ballycultra runs through the reservoir.
According to the PLACENAMESNI website, Ballymenagh was once church land, one of five townlands belonging to Holywood Abbey, so its name probably comes from the Irish Baile Manach meaning “townland of the monks”.
Which county is Ballymenagh in? County Down
Which parish is Ballymenagh in? Holywood