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Townlands of Aughavas

Unfortunately the Ordinance survey Map of the 1930’s lists only 33 townlands in the Parish of Aughavas. But we know that from the place names that follow that there are many more known to the locals. The task that the Ordinance survey people faced was great and its not that surprising that they left out some townlands. There are seven townlands grouped under the heading of Lisgillock (Aughnaglace, Drumdoney, Lisgillock, Currachiane, Drumkerrib, Drumhaloone and Clonsarn)and under Lissagarvan (Greagh, Melican, Drumnamore, Tullaghan, Cornacearta & Mahanna which is part of Cloone Parish)

The following are a list of the townlands in alphabetical order.

Aughavas. Achadh Easa, the terrain of the waterfall. This seems far more sensible than Achadh an Mheasa, ‘the field of the nuts or fruit’, which is the meaning recognised by the Placenames’ Commission, Dublin. In fact, on the Down Survey map, 1654, the townland name is written Aghanasagh. In olden times a river flowed out of Aughavas Lough, now disappeared, and dropped sharply as it flowed through the ravine making the waterfall that gives the district its name, The river was, at that time, controlled by a sluice or dam and used to turn a millwheel which ground corn for the people of the locality. The track of the mill is still clearly visible in the ‘glen’. The immediate district was then called Milltown. This is the place name that appears in the Tithe Allotment Books (1834). The portion of the townland southwards towards Corduff was called at that time Middletown. The northern end of Aughavas townland is locally known as Drumlofty, Droim Leachtai, meaning the hill of the graves or monuments. The post office for the district, operated by the Stretton family, lay along the old military road in the southern portion of the townland (the site is now in the possession of Jim Kearney) until it was transferred to its present position along the main road at ‘Brady’s’ in Corroneary in 1943. O’Donovan says of the townland in 1836, among other things, “near the western boundary is some rocky land, in the centre of which stands a R.C. Chapel and 5 chains north of this there is a corn mill.” O’Donovan is referring to a church previous to the one built on the same site by Rev John William Evers in 1837. The church built by Fr Evers in 1837, continued in existence down the years until it was replaced by the present church, St Joseph’s, in 1929.

Acres. Acrai, This name is probably a land measurement, It does not seem to be of Irish origin and is most likely a substitute for some older name.

Aughadruminchin. Achadh Drom Fhuinnseann. The field or terrain of the ash tree. When John O’Donovan visited the district in 1836 he said of Aughadruminchin “This townland is partially cultivated, being composed of rough boggy land. Diffin Lough forms the south-western extremity and part of it belongs to this townland.” A portion of Aughadruminchin, lying alongside Augharan townland and touching Druminchin Glebe is called Skull. Diffin Lough does not exist to-day.

Aughalough. Achadh Locha. The field or terrain of the lake.On the Down Survey map, 1654, the townland is called Aughaloughdonkery, probably from Lough Donagher, now known as Lavareen Lough, which is partly situated in this townland (Aughalough). On the Ordnance Survey map there is a small area marked ‘Derrin’ which is situated close to Aughalough Lane. Apparently, there was an oak grove here in the past since the word derrin means small oak grove. In 1836 O’Donovan says of Aughalough, “This townland is all under cultivation, only a few small pieces of bog.” The portion of the townland through which the present ‘Cloonsarn’ road runs is called Keeldra Beg, caidrach beag, meaning a small cemetery for unbaptised infants. In Keeldra Beg the present Community Centre is situated, formerly Cloonsarn National School. The school retained the name ‘Cloonsarn’ from the previous school which was situated further down the road in the townland of Cloonsarn and closed in 1910.

Augharan. Achach Ranna. The field or terrain of the point or head land, or, a bogland peninsula. It contains on the west side Fort Lough, or in Gaelic, Loch a’ Leasa, where, on its eastern bank, the remains of the ancient fort can be seen. On the south side of the lake is the townland called Annaghortry. Apart from knowing that ‘Annagh’, Eanach, means a marsh or bog we are not at all sure of the meaning of the last portion of the name.

Bundara. Bun Darach. The “bottoms” or bottom land of the oak plantation, ‘bun’ denoting the foot or base (of anything). On the Down Survey map, 1654, it is given as Monedarragh, the shrubbery of the oak plantation. O’Donovan in 1836 says of Bundara “It is partially cultivated being composed of rough boggy land; the farm houses are well built and are of mud. The townland is well cut up with roads.”

Carrickavoher. Carraig an Bhóthair, the rock or rocky terrain of the road. The ‘old’ road, or military road, runs through it. The name could also be Carraig A’ Mhot hair from ‘mothar’, meaning a cluster of trees or bushes. Mothar also means an old ruin. But the first interpretation would seem to be the correct one. O’Donovan in 1836 does not speak of the townland in complimentary terms “The townland is nearly all arable, but badly cultivated; it contains small detached portions of bog and rocky land, and the houses present a miserable appearance, being composed of mud, In Carrickavoher on the land now owned by Pat Charles is a well, called ‘Pullawackey’, Poll an Bhachaigh, the hole or well of the tramp or travelling people, since the travelling people, it is believed, in olden times used to frequent the district and draw water from this well. Local people also used the well since the water was ‘pure’ and cold and was very suitable for preserving freshly churned butter, The hill that lies along the old military road in the extreme west of Carrickavoher is called ‘Tinker Hill’, Area,

Corduff. Cor Dubh, the black round hill. This name may have derived from the black soil found in the northern end of the townland. Aughavas Church of Ireland is situated in this townland. In 1835 the building is marked on the Ordnance Survey map as a school; it was re-roofed in 1847 and converted into a place of worship for members of the Church of Ireland in the district and a small schoolhouse was built at the rear. Corduff Wilson is the name given to the townland in the Tithe Allotment Books of 1834; this was because of the large number of families of that name residing there.

Cornamuckla: Cor na Muclach, the round hill of the piggeries, from muclach, meaning a place where swine were kept. In 1836 the townland was principally under cultivation.

Corroneary. Cor an Fhearaigh, the round hill of the grassy fields from ‘fiarach’ or ‘féarach’, grazing land. Cor an Aodhaire, the hill of the shepherd, seems a less likely interpretation. A small portion on the western extremity of the townland that lies along the ‘Cloonsarn’ road known as ‘Scrub’ road - is called Lannbawn, Lann Ban, an enclosed piece of lea or pasture ground. In the portion of the townland called ‘Far Corroneary’ or Corroneary-Tiernan there is a hill called Drumhaloon, a name that could possibly be interpreted as Droim thalaimh-bháin, meaning the hill-ridge of the lea ground or pasture for ‘dry’ stock. According to O’Donovan the townland of Corroneary contained in 1836 a miserable collection of huts and mud houses. To-day, Corroneary is regarded as the focal point of the parish. The shop, post office, bar and football pitch are situated in it. They lie along the main Mohill-Cavan road which runs through the townland.

Corriga. Carraigeach, Rocky land.O’Donovan in 1836 says that the townland was principally under cultivation and that it contained a few good farmhouses. For many years McDonnell’s field in Corriga was the Aughavas venue for G.A.A. matches.

Derrindrehid. Doire an Droichid, the oak wood surrounding the bridge. Included in this townland is Killasity, called on the Down Survey map Kilteenalossit. On the southern extremity touching Lough Cam or the Crooked Lough lies a small area called Gubbyoosh, Gob FhIodh-Ghüise, the point of the pine or spruce wood. Lough Oora, Loch Fhuaire, the cold or bleak lake lies on the northern extremity, on the boundary with Drumreilly. On the map it is named the Little Lough. There is also a small portion of ground in Derrindrehid called ‘Aynog’, probably éanach, meaning a place where birds congregated.

Diffin. DuibhthIn, a small parcel of black-earthed land. Diffin Lough, now extinct, lay in the north of this townland on the border with Aughadruminchin, Drumgunny and Meiltron.

Drumbinis. Droimbinnis, the hill-ridge of the singing or melody. Birds may have gathered there or there may have been some legend of fairy music.

Drumerkeane. Drumar-Caoin, the kind or fertile hill-ridges. When the word ‘Drumar’ is used it denotes a number of hills. O’Donovan translates it as Drumar-Chian, Cian’s or Kean’s ridges, On the Down Survey map it is written Dromerskeyan. This could translate as Dromarsceachán, the bushy hill-ridges. A small portion of land bordering Meiltron and stretching into Mullanadara townland was called Sheean from Siodhán, a fairy hillock. About Drumerkeane O’Donovan says “it contains a few good farmhouses and a large collection of huts and mud houses.”

Drumgunny. Pronounced ‘Drumgunya’ locally, it is Droim gainimhe or gainne, the sandy ridge. Sand has been quarried in the western side of the townland, and sand can be seen in the drains. The sand that was used in the building of Aughavas Catholic church (1925-1929) was obtained here. O’Donovan is incorrect in translating the name Droim Goine, ‘the hill of the wounding’. With reference to the townland he says, “The north and west of this townland is bog, the remainder is arable and well cultivated except for a few small portions of furze. The farm houses are good.”

Drummanbane. Dromán-bán, the small hill-ridge of the lea ground. Ban denotes lea ground or pasture land,

Dromore. Droim Mór, the big hill-ridge. There is a well-preserved, Celtic ring fort on Dromore hill.

Drumshanbo North. There is a townland, Drumshanbo South, in the parish of Gortletteragh. Droim-sean-both means the hill of the old huts. In the south of the townland lies the townland of Annamonan, Eanach Móinín, the marsh of the little bog, or it could possibly be the marsh of the small shrubbery, from muine, a shrubbery. On the Drumshanbo river there was in olden times a ‘wooden’ crossing called the ‘Laynick’, a word that is derived from the Gaelic, ‘Léana’, meaning flooded land or swampy ground. People used to cross here when travelling on foot towards Corroneary-Aughavas.

Gradogue. Locally pronounced Grag-yogue. Graigeog probably denotes village or hamlet. O’Donovan in 1836 says, “A small townland nearly all under cultivation. The soil is in general poor and the houses of a bad quality.”

Gortnacamdara. Gort na Cam Dara, the field of the crooked oak. On the Down Survey map, 1654, the name of the townland is Cornacamgaragh, the round hill of the crooked oak. The larger portion of the townland, that on the southern end, is in the parish of Cloone. In the Aughavas portion of the townland there is a hill called ‘Granawoolie’ probably 'Lannawoolie’, Lann an Bhuaile which could mean the cattle enclosure. The townland is now locally called Camber.

Gurteen. Goirtin, a small tillage field. On it Down Survey map,1654, it is marked Gurteenagragua.

Killafea. Coille Feadha, great or strong woods, indicating a large wooded area. It may also be Coille Fia, the wood of the deer. Deer traps have been found in the bog there. Deer-traps were made by digging deep holes in the bog in which were positioned pointed posts facing upwards. The hole or trench was then covered over with light branches, a hunt organised and the deer driven across the concealed hole. The deer fell into the trench and was pierced and held by the pointed posts. Needless to say, it was a very cruel method of trapping wild animals. The eastern part of the townland is called Drumersnaghten, the hill ridges of the snow, from ‘sneachta’ meaning snow. The district faces north and snow may have remained longer there than in other places. The portion on the south-western extremity is called Cleavy, pronounced Clayway, and its derivation may have come from ‘clai’, meaning a ditch or fence. O’Donovan (1836) says of Killafea that there were quarries and a corn mill in the townland.

Cavan. Cabhán, a hollow place, is also part of Killafea townland on the Ordnance Survey map. This place contains a small burial-ground which is still used occasionally. It is believed that there was a church here in olden times. Adjacent to the cemetery is St. Patrick’s Well to which there was, until recently, a ‘pattern’ on the 17th of March each year. The tradition exists that St. Patrick rested here on his way to Moy Sleacht to destroy the pagan idol, Crom Cru, believed to be located on the hill of Darragh in the parish of Templeport, Co Cavan.

Killmakenny. Coil! Mhic Cionnaith, MacKenny’s wood. Doogary Lough forms part of the south-eastern boundary and is partly in Co. Longford. Doogary, (Doogera) DubhgharraI, the blackearthed tillage plot forms part of Kilmakenny on the Ordnance Survey map.

Lavareen. Leamhairin, a small grove of elm trees. Lough Donougher, now known as Lavareen Lough, lies mostly in this townland. There is a fine example of a crannog or ancient lake dwelling still visible in this lake.

Leganomer. Lug an Umair, the hollow of the trough or trough-like depression. The highest point of the parish, 625 feet (190m.), lies in this townland, A R.I.C barracks stood in this townland but was closed before the year 1900, and has since been demolished. Regarding the townland of Leganomer, O’Donovan (1836) makes the comment “there is a great collection of mud houses south of the centre of the townland which form a miserable appearance.” The road linking the townland with Camber is locally called the ‘Srath’ road.

Lisgillock. Lios Giolach, Gillog’s fort. This is the meaning given by O’Donovan, but the name may have a meaning connected with some characteristic of the surrounding land. Up to the middle of the 1800 there was no road from Greagh cross to the main road at McCabe’s, Carrickavoher. The remains of the ‘lios’ or fort can still be seen on Lisgillock hill. The townlands included in Lisgillock are, Cloonsarn, Sarn’s meadow. Drumkerrib, Droim Cairbe, the ridge abounding in large stones. Drumhaloon, Droim Thalaimh Bháin, the hill-ridge of the lea ground or pasture land, Drumdoney, Droim Domhnaigh, the ‘Sunday’ hill, either because Mass was said there or it was used for some recreational Sunday activity. Currachiane, Carraigín, a place of small rocks. In Cloonsarn townland are other smaller placenames, Boheny, Boithiní, small huts, Portrath along Lough Cam or the Crooked Lough, meaning the landing place at the fort, Pollóg meaning a large hole.

Aughnaglace. Achadh Cille Glaise, the field or terrain of the cemetery by the stream, is also part of Lisgillock. Glais means a stream and cill means a church and, by extension, cemetery. A burial ground has been unearthed here and the foregoing interpretation of the placename seems more sensible than that given by O’Donovan who gives ‘the field of the wood of the accoutrements’, from ‘gléas’ meaning a tool. On the Ordnance Survey map the name is written Aghakillaglass. On the eastern side of the townland is a hill called Mollyrua, Mala Rua, the red hill brow, and there is a small lake lying east of the ‘Cloonsarn’ road called Cloon Lough, pronounced Coloon. Both lake and the surrounding piece of land are derived from Cluain, meaning a meadow. O’Donovan says of Aughnaglace in 1836, “There is a small collection of mud huts near a Danish fort. They do not present any peculiar feature or anything worthy of remark.”

Lissagarvan. Lios a’ Garbháin, Garvan’s fort, according to O’Donovan (1836) Lissagarvan could mean Liosach Gearr Mhuine, the fort of the short belt of shrubbery. Muine means shrubbery in Gaelic, and this could well be the correct meaning. The word ‘garbh’ in Gaelic means rough and the placename could also refer to the rough terrain that is part of the district. Included in Lissagarvan is Greagh, meaning sloping land that produces coarse grass like that found on a mountainside, Drumnamore, Droim an Atha Mhóir, hill of the big ford, or, possibly, Dromnach Mór, terrain of large hills.Melican, Maoilcheann, the bare hill top. Tullaghan, Tullachán a hillock, Cornacearta, the round hill of the forge. Mahanagh is part of Lissagarvan but lies in the parish of Cloone. Cornacearta is the most northerly point in the parish of Aughavas and stretches close to the village of Fenagh. Portloughan, Port Locháin, bank of the small lake, is a local placename in the townland of Melican.

Loughnamon. Loch na mBan, the lake of the women, because women used to wash clothes there. Tradition has it that two women were drowned there while doing their washing. It was situated on the borders of Corroneary, Killafea and Drumgunny but has long since disappeared.

Meiltron. Maol Droim, the bald or flat-topped hill ridge, which resembles its physical appearance to-day. There are examples in place- names of’N’ being changed to ‘M’ and such may have happened in this case, It has been called Meiltron Glebe because in the time of ‘landlord- and-tenant’ rents from the townland went to the Protestant minister who lived at Druminchin House. Glebe land denotes church land.

Rossan. Rosán, a small grove of trees or shrubbery. Ros can also mean a promontory or peninsula, especially so in the northern half of the country. Here, the most likely meaning is the first given above. The portion in the northern extremity is called Kilgarve anglicised to Kilgrove, Coill Gharbh, the rough wood. O’Donovan says of Rossan “there is a good dwelling house near the northern extremity with a great number of trees around.” This house was probably that of the landed proprietor, Nicholls.

Sunnaghbeg. Sonnach Beag, the small mound or rampart. Included in the townland is Gobnasthucan, the beak or point of the projecting rock pinnacles. In placenames, Stuaic is applied to a pointed pinnacle or projecting point of rock.

Sonnaghconnor. Sonnach Conaire, mound or rampart of the road or pass. 

Tooma. Tuama, a burial mound. In the Government list of Penal priests, 1704, Rev Daniel Gaffney is recorded as living in this townland.

 ‘Brave Eynes’ Parish On the borders of three townlands, Gurteen, Drumanbane and Gortermone in the fork of a small river was a kind of a ‘no-man’s’ land that was owned by a man called Owens or Eynes, who claimed that the piece of land was in neither the diocese of Ardagh nor the diocese of Kilmore. He used hold dances here in Lent and claimed that he was not subject to diocesan rules by such practice as were other places of entertainment. Although the dances have ceased longer than anyone can remember there is a tradition of dances being held here at harvest time.

(Thanks to Mr Michael Whelan, Drumgunny  for permission to use the above material and the Map of Aughavas from his book "The parish of Aughavas Co. Leitrim.")

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