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Encyclopedia > Townland

A townland is a small geographical unit of land used in Ireland and Scotland, and believed to be of Gaelic or Goidelic origin. Townlands were often known as Baile (plural Bailte (Irish), Bailtean (Scottish Gaelic)), which is often anglicised as Bally in Ireland and Bal in Scotland, as in Balerno. The name townland is derived from Old English tún 'manor' (modern English 'town'). Royal motto: Nemo me impune lacessit (English: No one provokes me with impunity) Scotlands location within the UK Languages English, Gaelic, Scots Capital Edinburgh Largest city Glasgow First Minister Jack McConnell Area - Total - % water Ranked 2nd UK 78,782 km² 1. ... Gael (Ancient people) : A Gael is a member of a distinct culture existing in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man whose language is one that is Gaelic. ... The Goidelic languages (also sometimes called the Gaelic languages or collectively Gaelic) are one of two major divisions of modern-day Insular Celtic languages (the other being the Brythonic languages). ... Note: This page contains phonetic information presented in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) using Unicode. ... Balerno is a town located near the Scottish capital Edinburgh. ... Old English (also called Anglo-Saxon) is an early form of the English language that was spoken in parts of what is now England and southern Scotland between the mid-fifth century and the mid-twelfth century. ... Generic plan of a mediaeval manor; open-field strip farming, some enclosures, triennial crop rotation, demesne and manse, common woodland, pasturage and meadow Manorialism or Seigneurialism describes the organization of rural economy and society in medieval western and parts of central Europe, characterised by the vesting of legal and economic...


Townlands in Ireland

In Ireland, a townland is the lowest-level officially-defined geographical unit of land, smaller than a parish, barony or county. Townlands vary in size from as small as half an acre (2,000 m²) (Old Church Yard, near Carrickmore, County Tyrone) up to more than seven thousand acres (28 km²) (Sheskin, in north-west County Mayo). A parish is a type of administrative subdivision. ... Various rulers or governments of Europe, of Japan bestow or recognise the title of baron. ... Originally, in continental Europe, a county was the land under the jurisdiction of a count. ... An acre is an English unit of area, which is also frequently used in the United States and some Commonwealth countries. ... This article is about County Tyrone. ... County Mayo (Irish: Contae Mhaigh Eo, the plain of the yews) is a county on the west coast of Ireland. ...


The term townland is a standardised form, often replacing earlier local terms such as tate (in Fermanagh and Monaghan), cartron (in Connacht) or ploughland. The earliest reference to townlands as a unit are in 11th century pre-Norman legal documents referring to grants of bailte to monasteries. The term baile has a variety of related meanings in Irish, such as "home" (the basic meaning), "village" (sráid-bhaile, literally "street-town", or "town" (baile mór, literally "big town"). In the context of placenames, the most accurate translation might be "the land belonging to a particular home or farmstead". County Fermanagh (Fear Manach in Irish) is often referred to as Northern Irelands Lake District. ... Monaghan (Irish: Contae Muineachán) is a county in the Republic of Ireland. ... Connaught redirects here. ... As a means of recording the passage of time, the 11th century was that century which lasted from 1001 to 1100. ... Norman Keep, Trim Castle - before renovation A tower house near Quin. ...


Townland size was often determined by the fertility of the land, thus townlands in high quality land tended to be smaller, while townlands in mountainous or bog areas tended to be much larger in size. In many areas of Norman settlement, townland boundaries tend to follow field or individual property boundaries and may reflect the holdings of monasteries or churches or the boundaries of commonage. In these areas, townlands often have apparently irregular boundaries and are of small size. In contrast, townlands in areas of traditional Gaelic settlement tend to be larger in area and usually have apparently regular boundaries determined by streams, rivers or roads. The open field system was the prevalent agricultural system in Europe from the Dark Ages to as recently as the 20th century in places. ... Common land, or just common, is frequently used to describe a parcel of land, usually near the centre of towns and villages, which is thought to be owned in common by all the members of the community. ...


During the middle decades of the 19th century, an extensive series of maps of Ireland were created by the Ordnance Survey of Ireland for taxation purposes, which documented and standardised the boundaries of the more than 60,000 townlands in Ireland. Townlands form the building blocks for higher-level administrative units such as parishes and District Electoral Divisions (in the Republic of Ireland) or wards (in Northern Ireland). Historically, the townland name was used as the most important division in the Irish postal system; however this role has now been replaced in urban areas and in most areas of Northern Ireland by road names. Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSI; Irish: Suirbhéireacht Ordanáis na hÉireann) is the mapping agency in the Republic of Ireland. ... A parish is a subdivision of a diocese or bishopric within the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Church of Sweden, and of some other churches. ... A District Electoral Division (often abbreviated as DED) is a low-level territorial division in Ireland. ... A ward is an electoral district used in local politics, most notably in England, Scotland, and Wales, as well as Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa and many cities in the United States and the federal district of Washington, DC. Wards are usually named after neighbourhoods... Dieu et mon droit (Royal motto) (French for God and my right)3 Northern Irelands location within the UK Official languages English, Irish, Ulster Scots Capital and largest city Belfast First Minister Office suspended Area  - Total Ranked 4th 13,843 km² Population  - Total (2001)  - Density Ranked 4th 1,685...


A useful source of information on townlands (with an emphasis on the north) is the Federation for Ulster Local Studies. Its publications include Every Stony Acre Has a Name: Celebration of the Townland in Ulster by Tony Canavan, and Townlands in Ulster: Local History Studies, edited by W.H. Crawford & R.H. Foy.


Townlands in Scotland

In Scotland townland boundaries were generally disregarded and lost during 19th century agricultural improvements. Townlands were called also fermlands and many names remain identifiable in farmstead names which include the word Mains. Mains (Scottish Gaelic: Mànas) in Scotland normally refers to farms. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Kinlough Townlands, Co. Leitrim (5195 words)
Population of the townland (excluding the village) 38 (1841); 47 (1851); 29 (1861); 27 (1891); 22 (1911).
The population of this townland dropped from 8 to 2 in the period 1891 to 1901, and by the census of 1911 the townland was uninhabited.
Population of the townland 43 (1841); 40 (1851); 34 (1861); 20 (1891); 14 (1911).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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