Did you know…?

We want help in interpreting the landscape of the area and the way in which people have altered it over the centuries. Do you know any stories or facts about natural or man-made features or places or things that happened around here? Do you know – or would anyone belonging to you know – any Irish fieldnames or placenames or terms for things? Why do we talk about capping cattle? What’s a bottle of straw?

  • There used to be a water mill at Kilnasaggart, beside the house known as John the Boy’s (the Kilnasaggart Stone is on their land). The stream filled up a mill pond which occupied most of the field between the house and the road. The mill was owned and operated by the Murphy family, which is fine, because under no circumstances should we let anyone named McCormick set the business up again. The Prophecies of Columbkille state:“When the son of Cormac again grinds corn at Kilnasaggart, the end of the world is near.” We better keep an eye on the planning permission notices. The mill is shown on the Griffiths Valuation map of 1864.Click on: http://www.askaboutireland.ie/griffith-valuation/index.xml?action=placeSearch
  • There is a ring fort on Faughil Mountain, facing Jonesborough in the dip close to the Molly Road. There is also a cillín, a burial place for unbaptised children – anybody know where?
  • Update 2022: It seems the cillín was actually in the ringfort which is very clear on the Griffiths map (beside holding 4b top left: the heavy red line is the townland boundary between Faughilotra and Faughiletra

Ryan Morgan supplied this from the NI Sites and Monuments Record

(http://apps.ehsni.gov.uk/ambit/Details.aspx?MonID=6060) :


A polygonal enclosure 35m N-S x 39m E-W. Most of the perimeter is defined by a tumbled stone wall c.3m wide & 1m high. At N the interior is c.0.75m below outer ground level but at S the interior is slightly raised & the wall is only 0.5m high internally & 1.5 above ground outside. The interior is very overgrown, but many stones are visible, possibly the remains of structures or grave-markers. Paterson records that the enclosure was used within living memory for the burial of still-born infants.  
Edited Type: CASHEL, reused as KILLEEN: THE SHANKILL
Specific Type Specific Period
County: ARM
Grid Ref: J0639017640
Protection: Scheduled
General Type: CASHEL
General Periods: 

Click on the link above for a photo

    • According to Eddie McComish, 50 years ago it was possible to catch salmon in the stream behind Bell’s Castle with a graip or pitchfork
    • There was a man from Edenappa who went down with the Titanic. I mentioned that to our fella and says he: “I knew it. I knew sooner or later they would blame that on us.”  James Heslim worked as a trimmer (which actually involved shovelling coal into the engine furnaces) for Harland & Wolff and was part of a team that went out on maiden voyages.
    • Everyone knows who painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, but who built it? It seems that every diocese in Christendom was asked to send money, men or materials and there is a strong tradition that a number of stonemasons from around Crossmaglen headed off to throw up a few rows of blocks in Rome.
    • Dromintee is to get a new school. It will be built in the area of rough ground behind the school which we used to call the ‘clawnyeh’. It is believed to come form the Irish word ‘clochánach’ (stony/stony ground)
    • When the corn was cut, it was tied in sheaves which were stood four or six to a stook to dry. After a few weeks the dry sheaves were built into a conical stack, grain in and buts out. We called this stack an ‘athug’ or word like that. [ Our fella has this one sorted. Adóg (from Fadóg – long thing i.e. stack)]
    • Things my granny said: see attachment ‘Dromintee words’ below. Can you offer any explanations or additions? There is an interesting article in the Louth Archaeological and Historical Journal for 1959 – The Study of Our Local Vernacular – by Margaret Conway which is available online athttp://www.jstor.org/stable/27728974?seq=9
    • How did the Flagstaff get its name? Some say flags were erected to signal the state of the tide in Newry (before the ship canal was dug) to ships coming up the lough. But local folklore suggests an older explanation. The monastery at Killeavy was raided a number of times by the Vikings, most notably in the year 923. The story is that the monks put a lookout on Barr an Fheadain hill with a tall flagpole where warning flags could be seen from the monastery. More on Killeavy Old Church at http://www.killeavy.com/index.htm
    • On the Glendesha Road from Mullaghbawn to Carrive, near the junction with Lough Road, there is an old single-storey farmhouse which has been beautifully restored. There is an adjoining byre and loft which the owner tells me was built by the poet Art Bennett, who was also a mason. Just up the hill towards Belmont Barracks there is a plot of ground (not identified) where he tells me there stood a cottage where Oliver Plunkett hid out. Stories about Oliver Plunkett are suspect because he avoided South Armagh if he could – he may have been the first to call it bandit country – and because there was little persecution when he was Archbishop of Armagh. Most of the good stories are probably really about Dr Patrick Donnelly, Bishop of Dromore, who suffered the period of worst persecution in the generation after the defeat at Limerick. He lived at the end of the Longfield Road in a little townland called Doctor’s Quarters in his honour. According to the folklore he ministered to his flock under the pretence of being a travelling musician – Phelim Brady the Bard of Armagh.

Contributions to ssmurphy@eircom.net