Today’s townland is Copeland Island, off the east coast of County Down. From the townland name, you might think there is only one island. In fact there are three.
The largest island is Great Copeland Island, which I last visited on a Sunday School trip in June 1976t, giving me happy memories of running around on grassy slopes but limited knowledge to share with you.
Here are the two smaller islands – Mew Island and Old Lighthouse Island. Mew Island is home to this lighthouse.
An earlier lighthouse had stood on the third island, which is why it’s still called Old Lighthouse Island. Some of the old buildings remain, and are used by the Copeland Bird Observatory, giving the island its other name: Bird Isle.
In June 2019 I took a boat trip to Bird Isle.
Lesser black-backed gulls are all well and good, but my real interest was in seeing puffins, like this one taking off from the sea.
I had a lovely relaxing day watching the bird-ringing experts at work at the Bird Observatory, learning about research into Manx shearwaters, watching guillemots and puffins, and being watched by seals.
Where does the name Copeland come from? According to PLACENAMESNI, the origin is probably a family called de Coupland who arrived in County Down in Norman times. Their name also appears in the townland of Ballycopeland.
Click here for a link to the website of the Copeland Bird Observatory.
Which civil parish is Copeland Island in? Bangor
Which county is Copeland Island in? County Down
Which townlands border Copeland Island? The islands are surrounded by the Irish Sea. Facing them on the shore are the townlands of Orlock, Portavoe and Ballywilliam.
Click here for a map of Copeland Island on Townlands.IE.
And finally, click here to read about the townland’s name on my usual source – PLACENAMESNI.ORG.
[…] Here is an INDEX of all the townlands covered so far. Click on the name to go straight to my page about that townland. Or skip straight to this month’s new post: Copeland Island […]
[…] family, who were prominent in 12th century Ulster. They also gave their name to the Copeland Islands off the County Down […]
Great post, Karolyn. Although I’ve seen them hundreds of times, especially on the flight into Belfast Harbour, I’ve never known much about the Copelands. Keep up the wonderful work!
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Amazing explorations and photos as always Karolyn!!
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Thank you Carissa. Sometimes I miss India’s spectacular flora and fauna, and then I realise that the island of Ireland has plenty of spectacular places of its own.
[…] could see the Copeland Island bird observatory further out to sea, so I looked around for birds and found a […]