Today’s townland is Ballymullan, in County Down. I found a sign for Ballymullan Road at the northwestern corner of the townland, in the village of Crawfordsburn. The sign is located so close to the townland boundary that I think I was standing in a different townland to take the photo.

Which means that, behind this wall on Ballymullan Road, the new apartments called Ballymullan Manor will actually be in the townland of Ballygilbert.

I went for a walk in the glen at Crawfordsburn Country Park on an autumn weekend, where the river (Crawford’s Burn) had been filled by Storm Aiden.

There were some autumn leaves on the trees.

But many had already fallen to the ground, or on to this carved tree stump.

According to the website of the Northern Ireland Place-names Project, the name Ballymullan comes from the Irish Baile Maoláin meaning ‘townland of the low rounded hill’. Here is a low rounded mossy mushroomy hill.

Outside of the Country Park, Ballymullan stretches north to the Belfast-Bangor railway line, and south to the A2 Belfast-Bangor Road. It includes Crawfordsburn Primary School, the Cootehall Road, and a large part of Bangor Cemetery. In the older graveyard at Bangor Abbey I found the name of the townland on some gravestones, but with variations in spelling. This stone for the Finlay family is inscribed Ballymullen, with an E.

And in the next photo for the McWha family, the stonemason has dodged the E vs A question by carving an apostrophe: Ballymull’n.


A good resource for the history of Crawfordsburn and Helen’s Bay is the book “Twixt Bay and Burn” published in 2011 by the Bayburn Historical Society. A PDF is available from

Which county is Ballymullan in?   County Down

Which civil parish is Ballymullan in?   Bangor

Which townlands border Ballymullan?  To the north, Ballygrot.  To the east, Bangor Bog and Ballyleidy.  To the south, Ballysallagh Major and Ballysallagh Minor. To the west, Ballygilbert and Ballykillare.

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

Finally, click here to read more about the history of the townland name on the PLACENAMESNI website.

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