Posted by: All things nice.. | November 6, 2009

Place names in Ireland

We can learn a lot from studying local placenames. Placenames provide evidence about the people and cultures that occupied our country, province, county, town or townland (our ancestors). 

Ireland has a rich and varied tradition of place names, many places names reflect the natural, built and cultural heritage of the locality. We can learn a lot from studying local placenames. Placenames provide evidence about the people and cultures that occupied our country (our ancestors). Ireland has a rich and varied tradition of place names.

Townlands

Many of the townlands of Ireland have derived their names from trees, animals, birds, the quality of the land, ecclesiastical features, family names or notable landscape features. As Ireland is traditionally an agricultural country with a large rural population, the majority of our ancestors lived in the countryside. The land was an important part of their lives as the majority of them depended on it for survival. The townland names in the county reflect the strong relationship between the people of the country and the landscape, flora and fauna of the country.

Placenames are a vital part of our culture. We must ensure that our rich and varied placenames are not lost over time.

For more information on place names in Ireland, visit the Placenames Database of Ireland

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