Today’s townland is Strandtown in East Belfast. Strandtown is printed high and large on this modern church building on the Belmont Road.
The name also appears on Strandtown Electrical & Hardware shop, Strandtown Hall and Strandtown primary school (just inside Ballyhackamore townland). The introduction of the name ‘Sydenham’ for this area hasn’t killed off the older name of Strandtown in the way it has in neighbouring Ballymisert.
The “strand” part of the name appears on Strand Church and several streets called Strandburn, including this one with a shipyard mural.
So where is the strand? There’s no beach here, just a muddy river called the Connswater. But in the past, before the marsh was drained and land reclaimed from Belfast Lough, there was a wide sea estuary. I was surprised by the number of birds at the river, especially starlings (I should have remembered that I’d seen godwits not far away in Victoria Park four years ago).
There are some old photographs of Strandtown, with a special focus on its Post Office, on the website of the North of Ireland Philatelic Society: click here for the link to Strandtown Post Office and postmarks.
Which county is Strandtown in? County Down
Which parish is Strandtown in? Holywood