Today’s townland is Ballylesson. It lies south of Belfast, on the County Down side of the river Lagan.  

I have visited Ballylesson in different seasons. Here are some snowdrops from February in the churchyard of Holy Trinity Ballylesson

And here is a view from June, of a field on Fort Road. Fort Road leads uphill to Farrell’s Fort, supporting the theory on the website of the Northern Ireland Place-Names Project that the name Ballylesson comes from the Irish “Baile na Leasán” meaningtownland of the little forts”. 

There is a shop and cafe in Ballylesson called Cameron Landscapes & Garden Centre.  Can I call my visits research, now that I’ve spotted that the garden centre has a wall display educating customers about Ballylesson landowner George Montgomery?

“Ballylesson was one of the townlands acquired by Hugh Montgomery, and around 1633 he granted it to his youngest son George. George had been born in his father’s early Ulster-Scots community of Newtownards and had fought in the wars in Holland. On his way back to Ulster he met his future wife near the ferry port of Portpatrick. Grizel McDowell was daughter of the Laird of Garthland in Galloway – the couple settled here at Ballylesson. George Montgomery became MP for Newtownards.”

The townland name has faded a little on that sign for Ballylesson Road. I have a feeling that the 19th century grave inscription for Robert Greer of Ballylesson in the next photograph might last a little longer. 

Ballylesson gravestone


Which county is Ballylesson in?  County Down

Which civil parish is Ballylesson in?  Drumbo

Which townlands border Ballylesson? To the north, Edenderry. To the east, Ballycowan. To the south, Leveroge. To the west, Ballycarn. Across the river Lagan, Malone Upper.

Click here for a map of Ballylesson on Townlands.IE.

And finally, click here to read about the townland’s name on my usual source – PLACENAMESNI.ORG.

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