From last week’s townland of Ardglass I drove northeast to the townlands of Sheepland Beg and Sheepland More. Together they are known as “The Sheepland Coast”, but the name has nothing to do with sheep.
Instead, “Sheepland” comes from the Irish seipéilín meaning “little chapel or church”. The larger townland is called Sheepland More, from the Irish more meaning “great”. Another Irish word beag meaning “little” is the origin of the name Sheepland Beg.
I’ve seen this system of naming townlands before, with large and small Moneydorraghs near Annalong – see my post on Moneydorragh More and Moneydorragh Beg.
Sheepland Beg is on the Irish Sea coast to the north of Ardtole townland. On all other sides it is surrounded by Sheepland More.
At the boundary between the two Sheeplands is the sign for the Sheepland Coast, and access to a “Loop Walk” through beautifully rugged landscape.
I intended to follow the loop back to my car, but got a wee bit lost.
That was a happy mistake, as the loop connected to the Lecale Way and I was able to walk further north through Sheepland More.
Why was I distracted from following the right path? The sea, the rocks, the flowers and the birds. This was the first time that I had seen a linnet.
I’m posting this in November, months after my walk in June, so I can’t promise the same display of wildflowers if you visit the Sheepland townlands this week.
With the help of the Sheepland Coast sign, I think I can identify the Common Spotted-Orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii) and the Common Bird’s-Foot-Trefoil (lotus corniculatus).
The insects were showing bright colours too, like this Cinnabar Moth. Right now, in November, the adult moths have gone, and the next generation of caterpillars are wrapped up as pupae on the ground waiting to emerge from their cocoons next May.
Click here to read a newspaper article about the cinnabar moth.
Click here to read more of the history of the Sheepland Coast on a local Ardglass website.
Click here to read more about the Sheepland Coast in the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs citation documents for the Area of Special Scientific Interest.
Which county are Sheepland More and Sheepland Beg in? Down
Which parish are Sheepland More and Sheepland Beg in? Dunsfort.
Which townlands border Sheepland More? To the north, Ballyhornan. Inland, to the west, Dunsfort, Ballyedock Upper and Ballyedock Lower.
Which townlands border Sheepland Beg? To the southwest, Ardtole. Everywhere else, it is surrounded by Sheepland More.
Click here to see a map of Sheepland More on TOWNLANDS.IE.
Click here to read more about the townland name of Sheepland More on PLACENAMESNI.ORG.
Click here to see a map of Sheepland Beg on TOWNLANDS.IE.
Click here to read more about the townland name of Sheepland Beg on PLACENAMESNI.ORG.