I’ve just launched a new blog: Townlands of Ulster.
Cue fanfare and drumroll from all of you who are fascinated by local placenames in Northern Ireland. Cue silence from everyone else. But if you have the slightest curiosity, or even just a desire to laugh at our strange names like Ballymaglaff, click right here.
The whole of the island of Ireland is divided into small geographical areas called townlands. The names often have a long history. There has been a recent revival in their use, including their re-appearance in red on some newly erected signposts.
In a weird way, this is a spin-off from Bleeding London. I was bitten by the bug of capturing an image of every name on a list of places. This time, instead of walking through the streets of London, I’m driving along Irish roads.
I’m starting close to home, with the townland of Ballylisbredan being the subject of my first blogpost. (Click here to read that post.)
But this is a big task. County Down has about 1200 townlands. My blog title doesn’t limit me to one county – I wonder if that was a mistake?! There are eight other counties in the province of Ulster: 5 in Northern Ireland, 3 in the Republic of Ireland. So I could be looking at a list with more than 10,000 names on it. Maybe I need a new form of transport?
And for Distant Drumlin readers – don’t worry, I won’t be dropping this blog. There’s enough material in London to keep me blogging for a lifetime.