I’m back in the village of Ballyhalbert again, for its second townland – Ballyhemlin.  When I drove across the Ards Peninsula, my first hint of Ballyhemlin’s existence came from this road sign in Roddans townland.

ballyhemlin-road-signThen I found Ballyhemlin church at a quiet intersection of country roads.

ballyhemlin-church-window-1This was the view from the church in October.


Driving on for a few minutes gave me a different view, across the Irish Sea.

ballyhemlin-sea-viewAs I hit the coast, and turned towards Ballyhalbert village, I found confirmation that I was indeed in Ballyhemlin townland.  It’s a good thing that I found this sign, because most things in and around Ballyhalbert village use halbert instead of hemlin in their names.

ballyhemlin-shore-road-signOne example is the caravan park, in Ballyhemlin townland, but called Ballyhalbert.

ballyhalbert-caravan-parkThe caravan park is close to the beach, and popular in summer, when visitors even get their own church services.

ballyhalbert-songs-of-praiseThe caravan park is built on the site of an airfield used by the Royal Air Force during the Second World War.  Military personnel of the WAAF and Royal Navy, and from Poland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA also served there during the war.

After the airfield closed, the site was used for caravans, and, more recently, houses.  You can still see the outline of the airfield on Google Earth. If you search for “Kingfisher Way, Newtownards”, the satellite imagery lets you see the runway, just west of the newly-built homes.

My last photo is from Ballyhalbert churchyard, with the name of Ballyhemlin townland engraved on this headstone from 1826 for the Miller family.


more information

For more information on the history of Ballyhalbert airfield in Ballyhemlin townland-

Which county is Ballyhemlin in?  County Down.

Which civil parish is Ballyhemlin in?  St. Andrews alias Ballyhalbert

Which other townlands border Ballyhemlin?  To the north, Roddans.

Inland, to the west, Ballylimp and Balliggan.  To the southwest, Glastry. To the southeast, on the coast, Ballyhalbert.

Click here for a map of Ballyhemlin and neighbouring townlands on Townlands.IE.

Finally, click here for the PLACENAMESNI website to see a map of the townland of Ballyhemlin and to read more about the origin of the name


  1. Hi Karolyn, just a thank you for your efforts explaining the areas around my grandmothers birth place (Killinchy) It is interesting for me to learn of these places she and her family would probably have known of which I’m certain she missed dearly upon eventually leaving Ireland forever.Thanks again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Tom for your lovely comment. I enjoy exploring these places. I have a backlog now of photographs taken over the summer. I need to sit down and write the blogposts. There will be more from the Killinchy area.


Now it's over to you - leave a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.