A large part of the town of Portaferry lies inside Ballyphilip, including the High Street, the Square, the arts venue of Portico and the tourist office (but not the castle or aquarium, which are in the townland of Ballymurphy).
According to the PLACENAMESNI website, Ballyphilip started off as the English name “Phyllipestoun”. The name Philip was popular among Anglo-Norman settlers, but there is no certainty on who the Philip of Philip’s town was. Later, the place-name was gaelicised as Baile Philib.
Down on the lough shore, you can enter and leave Ballyphilip on the Portaferry-Strangford ferry.
But the waters of Strangford Lough and the Irish Sea can be dangerous. Across the road from the ferry terminal is the lifeboat station. The current building dates from 2009, but a lifeboat service has operated in this area since the 19th century, based in Cloughey and then Portavogie before moving to Portaferry in 1980.
I will finish with the only wildlife that I spotted in Ballyphilip – two black-headed gulls. As these gulls have white faces in winter, the dark face is a giveaway that I took the photo last June.
Which county is Ballyphilip in? County Down
Which parish is Ballyphilip in? Ballyphilip
Which townlands border Ballyphilip? To the north, Ballymurphy and Ballyminnish. To the east, inland, Ballynichol, Derry and Parson Hall. To the south, along the coast, Tullyboard.