Today’s townland is Ballymaghan, in East Belfast. The western boundary of the townland is now marked by the A55 Outer Ring.

Ballymaghan includes the entrance to Belmont Park, although some of the park is also in Ballymisert.

The only place where I could find the townland name was on this gravestone in Bangor for the Andrews family of ‘Ballymechan’.

There is evidence of the townland existing as early as 1211, according to the website of the Northern Ireland Place Names Project. Its English name then was ‘Balimithegan’ deriving from the Irish surname Ó Miadhacháin.

My photos aren’t as old as that, but this next image comes from way back in 2015. The sculptures that stood in Belmont Park are still there, but now lie flat on the ground.

In the 19th century, the big houses in this area had taken names similar to the townland, with ‘Glen’ instead of ‘Bally’: Glenmachan House and Glenmachan Tower. The site of Glenmachan Tower is now a church and nursing home.

The land here is high enough to give a view across Belfast to Cave Hill and Belfast Castle.The name ‘Glenmachan’ has re-appeared more recently for streets like Glenmachan Grove and Glenmachan Park.

But eventually the houses have to give way to fields as the hills get steeper.

more information

Which county is Ballymaghan in?    County Down

Which parish is Ballymaghan in?   Holywood

Which townlands border Ballymaghan?  To the north, Knocknagoney. To the east, Killeen. To the south, Ballycloghan. To the west, Ballymisert and Sydenham Intake.

Click here for a map of Ballymaghan on TOWNLANDS.IE.

Click here for more information about the townland name on PLACENAMESNI.ORG.


    • I worked as a part-time barman in the Glenmachan Tower Hotel Stables from 1973 until 75. Jazz band- Thursday Night – Discos Fridays and Saturdays.- Wild place was the Stables! . The wildest nights by FAR were the Thursday Jazz nights where the older crowd (late 20s to 40s and beyond – (I was 23) – were a lot more lively boozy, into drugs and promiscuous that the teenagers!!!!!! Oh to be back there again!!!!!! Peter Cush


  1. Although your recent post on Ballynahinch reminded me of happy times in the White Horse – back in the late 1970’s it was one of those venues around Belfast where people like myself from schools like Campbell could spend time with friends from St Malachy’s or Assumption Grammar without some hood or bigot being threatening.

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