Townlands / Bailte Fearainn

White’s Cross G.A.A Townlands

What’s in a name? Well in Ireland, when it’s the name of where you live, there’s often a lot of information in it. The majority of Irish placenames are Anglicised versions of old Irish names; that is, adaptations of the old Irish language to English sounds and spellings, Baile becomes Bally, Pearsún becomes Parson, etc. Understanding the Irish meaning of where you live can reveal a lot of the area’s history.

Ireland is divided into 61,402 named townlands (bailte fearainn) or small geographical parcels of land. The townland system is of Gaelic origin, pre-dating the Norman invasion, most have names of Gaelic origin. Some townland names and boundaries come from Norman manors, plantation divisions, or later creations of the Ordnance Survey mapping of Ireland. Examples of townlands around White’s Cross are: Ballynahina, Ballincrokig, Ballinvriskig, Ballyphilip, Coole East, Coolgreene, etc.

Below is an interactive map of townlands traditionally associated with the White’s Cross G.A.A. catchment. Click on the map markers, or on the placenames on the left of the screen to reveal the Irish translation and meaning. Zoom into your own townland to see if you recognise anything from above!

The information in the map is not complete however, and can be greatly expanded. Many people in White’s Cross have lots of interesting information and historic stories about their townlands. Famous people who lived there, old building and roads located there, etc. We want to collect as much of this information as possible, and add it to the interactive map.

If you have any such information related to the townlands and historic stories, we will be delighted if you can email it to or pass it on to a club officer if it is not suitable for e-mail. We look forward to hearing from you and learning much more about our local area.

Further reading at:

Click here to access a number of historical articles and documents related to the White’s Cross area. If you have interesting old articles, photographs or other documents related to the area, please scan and e-mail them to the above address. Credit to Pauline Hyde for Documents 01-08.

Ordnance Survey Ireland old and new mapping of White’s Cross here 

Placenames Database of Ireland here

Meaning of common Irish placenames here

1656-1658 Down Survey of Ireland, Trinity College Dublin here

The Archaeological Survey of Ireland, Sites and Monuments Record here