I often say that I have bitten off more than I can chew by naming this website “Townlands of Ulster”. There are 1200 townlands in County Down, and in six years I have only covered 200. What’s the chances of exploring the whole of Ulster in my lifetime? That’s why I need to inspire other people to launch similar projects across the province.
I started giving talks to local groups in Dundonald, Newtownards and Holywood in 2018, with a presentation called “My Camera, Your Townlands”. This year, making the most of Zoom, I reached out further to County Armagh and the Craigavon Historical Society. You can see the discussion on YouTube.
My photographs start about 24 minutes into the meeting. If you follow my blog, you will recognise most of the images. The picture behind me in this screenshot is the townland of Ballylisbredan.
I did make an effort to show the people of Craigavon that I wasn’t completely limited to County Down, but maybe it was worse to reveal that I had ventured into Antrim and still hadn’t made it to Armagh?
I showed the next image to illustrate one of the ways in which road signs can display townland names in both Irish and English. Raleagh and Drumnaconagher are neighbouring townlands to the south of Ballynahinch.
I would be delighted if any of my pictures or blogposts encouraged other people to find out about their own townlands. Meanwhile, making the most of the requirements to stay at home and stay local, I have been doing some deeper research into the place-names of Dundonald and the changing landscape of Ballylisbredan. And looking forward to the day when I’m free to visit County Armagh.