Today’s townland is Ballyrobert, on the County Down coast between Holywood and Bangor.
The Bangor to Belfast railway line runs through Ballyrobert, but there was no station here for the first hundred years, until Seahill station opened in 1966.
This is one townland where the name is well-known, because of this car retailer.
Travelling on foot instead of car, you may see the name Ballyrobert on the North Down Coastal Path. Starting from Holywood you pass through the townlands of Ballykeel, Ballymenagh, Ballycultra and Craigavad before reaching Ballyrobert.
From the path I had this view across the lough to Carrickfergus. According to the website of the Northern Ireland Place-Name Project, Ballyrobert means ‘Robert’s townland’. Robert is an Anglo-Norman name, so perhaps the original Robert came to Ireland around the time of the construction of Carrickfergus Castle?
My visit to Ballyrobert gave me an opportunity to take part in the Big Butterfly Count 2019, The charity Butterfly Conservation runs this survey across the United Kingdom, providing an identification chart and instructing participants to “Simply count butterflies for 15 minutes during bright (preferably sunny) weather on any day from 19 July to 11 August.”
On the shore at Seahill I found a ringlet (brown with spots), a six-spot burnet moth (black with red spots), and two common blue butterflies (one more blue than the other).
Finally, here is a gravestone from Holywood for the Carruthers family of Ballyrobert.
The local history of Ballyrobert is well covered by the book “Twixt Bay and Burn” published in 2011 by the Bayburn Historical Society. A PDF is available from www.bayburn.com.
Here is a link to the WALKNI guide to the North Down Coastal Path which goes through Crawfordsburn Country Park.
And here is a link to a guide to a walk from Seahill Station to Cultra.
Which county is Ballyrobert in? County Down
Which civil parish is Ballyrobert in? Holywood
What townlands border Ballyrobert? Along the lough shore towards Belfast, Craigavad. Towards Bangor, Ballygrot. Moving inland, Ballydavey and Ballygrainey.
Click here for a map of Ballyrobert on Townlands.IE.
And finally, click here to read more about the history of the name on PLACENAMESNI.org.
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