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.
Driving on for a few minutes gave me a different view, across the Irish Sea.
As 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.
The 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.
For more information on the history of Ballyhalbert airfield in Ballyhemlin townland-
- click here for the website “The Second World War in Northern Ireland;
- click on this link for the local history site for Ballyhalbert village.
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.