This article previously appeared in The Glynns Volume 9 (1981). It is re presented here with additional hyperlinks and photographs.
The barony takes its name from the Cahir Righ, traditionally the summer court or seat of Connor, King of Ulster in the first century of the Christian era. The Cahir Righ was situated in the townland of Ballynaglough, but on the other side of the road from, and south of, the Church of Ireland parish church of Culfeightrin. — See six inch O.S. map of Antrim, sheet 9. According to O’Laverty, Down and Connor, Vol. IV, p. 482 not a trace of any ancient remains (of the Cahir Righ) is now to be seen in the field.
Murlough Bay and Torr Head — the latter with its ancient fort of Dun Bhuraigh (Dunworry) on the site of which the coastguard “look out” is built — and both of which are situated in the parish — are points mentioned by the historian Geoffrey Keating in his History of Ireland, Book II, Section XXVII. Keating defines the boundaries of the various dioceses in a clockwise direction in accordance with mediaeval custom; his text must remain our sole authority for the delineation of the dioceses by the Synod of Raith Breasail; the Raith Breasail fathers laid down the boundaries of the dioceses of Ireland (A.D. 1110 or 1118). — See “The Synod of Raith Braesail” by the Rev. John MacErlean, S. J., Milltown Park, Dublin in Archivium Hibernicum, Vol. III, (1914), pp. 1-33.
The word “Culfeightrin” means “the corner of strangers’; this could be a very appropriate derivation. As the colonization of Europe spread westwards from the Continent to what is now England, northwards to what is now Scotland and thence to what is now Ireland, it is probable that the first landing of settlers in this country took place in what is now the parish of Culfeightrin. See the O’Toole Planning Scheme for Ballycastle, (1944) p. 8. The ruins of the ancient parish church are situated in the townland of Churchfield, near Ballycastle. It is highly improbable that the church has been used as a place of worship since the sixteenth century; it was certainly a ruin in 1622 and, as far as is known, was never re-built. (For particulars concerning it see A Preliminary Survey of the Ancient Monuments of Northern Ireland, (1940), p. 12. As quite a few of the townlands in this parish contain antiquities — some of very considerable archaeological interest — the reader is strongly recommended to consult this survey of 1940 in relation to them. Generally speaking parishes appear to have been named after their churches, and not churches after their parishes, but in the case of Culfeightrin (and unlike Layd — See The Glynns, Vol. 8 (1980), p. 43) there is actually no townland that bears the parochial name. Moreover, it was customary in Celtic times to dedicate religious foundations under the invocation of living, rather than of deceased saints.
|Acra bhile||The field of the ancient pagan tree. (Druidic ceremonies took place near certain large trees).|
|Alt gabhair||The height or cliff of the goats|
|Aughnaholle||Acadh- na- holna||The field of the fleeces|
|Aughnasillagh||Acadh na saileach
|The field of the willows|
|Ardaghmore or Glentop
|Ard acadh mor
|The great high field|
|Baile an dtam||The townland of the plague|
|Baile an lochain
|The townland of the chaff|
|The townland of the field of the osiers or saplings|
|Ballycleagh||Baile claidhe||Townland of the mound or rampart|
|Baile na gceard||Townland of the workmen or masons|
|*Baile na gcloch||*Townland of the stone.|
***This may refer to the huge standing stone which Hugh Boyd, the landlord of Ballycastle, took to build into his new harbour in 1743. The stone was so large that it required eight horses to draw it. It was built into the harbour along with another from the farm of Robert Woodside at Gortconny, thus fulfilling a prophecy made by the Black Nun of Bunamargy, Julia McQuillan that these two giant stones would one day come together.
|Ballypatrick||Baile Phadraig||St. Patrick’s townland|
|Ballyreagh||Baile riabhach||Grey townland|
|Upper and Lower Ballyteerim||Baile tirim||Dry townland|
|Ballyvennaght||Baile-bheannach||Townland of the blessing|
|Ballyvoy||Baile bhuidhe||Yellow townland|
|Barmeen||Barr min||Smooth Top|
***(This is an early reference to Ballycastle’s fair or market)
|*Bun na mairgeadh||*The foot of the market|
|Brackney||Breacnach||Speckled place or place of trout.|
|Broughinlea||Bruach an liath or Bruach an laoigh||Little grey palace or The palace of the calf|
|Broughmore||Bruach mor||Great palace|
|Carey Mill||Cathair||The seat of the King|
**This was the site of a castle or cashel about one hundred yards south of the Culfeightrim Church of Ireland. It consisted of a circular fort about 15 yards in diameter and about 5 feet high situated on top of a small hill. The old name of the place was Cahir Righ — the seat of the King and it is from this that the district is named Carey.
|Churchfield or Magherintemple||Maghera an teampull||The field of the church|
|Coolaveely||Cuil a bhile||The corner of the ancient pagan tree|
|Coolnagoppage||Cuil na gcopog||The corner of the dockens|
|Culranny||Cuil raithne||The corner of the ferns|
|*Cor na mbealach or Cor meallach||*The round hill of the pass or Pleasant round hill.|
***I have given the derivation of Corrymeela near Ballycastle as the hill of sweetness and the Corrymeela Community have further adapted it to mean the ‘hill of harmony’.
|Craigbane||Craig ban||White rock|
|Craigfad||Craig fada||Long rock|
|*Cross||*Cros||*A market cross|
***This may have been a market place in connection with Doonmore Fort.
|Cushendun||Cois abhainn duinn||The foot of the brown river|
(middle, north and south)
|Cois leice||The foot of the flagstone|
|Drumacullin||Druim an cuilinn||The hill ridge of the holly tree|
|Drumadoon||Druim an duin||The hill ridge of the fort
|Druim an chamain
|The hill ridge of the bends (of the Carey river)|
|Drumahitt||Druim an chait||The hill ridge of the cat|
|Drumaridley||Druim an riodaire||The hill ridge of the rider|
|Drumaroan||Druim an ruadhain||The hill of the moorland|
|Drumnakeel||Druim na cille||The hill ridge of the church|
|The fort of the chariots|
|*Dunacelter||*Dun Ui Celtair||*The fort of Keltair
***Keltair was a local chieftain and the old name from Downpatrick in Co. Down was Ratheceltair the fort or rath of Keltair. It is not known if the two Keltairs were related.
|East Torr||Tor||A tower or tall round hill|
|Farranmacallan||Fearann Mhic Alainn||McAllan’s lands|
|Farranmacarter||Fearann Mhic Artair||McArthur’s lands|
|Glenmakeeran||Gleann na caorthhainn||The glen of the rowan trees or mountain ash|
|No explanation needed|
|Greenans||Griana,||A sunny spot – often a sun palace|
|Cnoc breac||Speckled Hill|
|Cnoc na cuil loiscthe||The hill of the burnt corner|
|*Lag a dtachtan||*The hollow of the strangling
***possibly a sort of hangman’s hill
|Maghera Domnaill||The plain of the McDonnells|
|Tenaghts||Cioch||A breast. Tenaghts was a mispelling of Teaughs|
|Tervillin||Tir buailean|| The place of the little boolies.
*For explanation of the term ‘booley’ see Glynns Vol. 8
|Torcorr||Tor corr||The tower-like round hill|
|Tornabodagh||Tor na bodach||The hill of the clown|
|Tornamoney||Tor na monadh||The hill of the bog|
|Tornaroan||Tor na ruadhain||The hill of the mooreland|
|Twenty acres||No explanation needed|
|West Torr||No explanation needed|
|Whitehouse||No explanation needed|