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    What follows is an extract from "The Placenames of the Decies". This book was written by Rev. P.Power and printed in London by David Nutt, 57-59, Long Acre in 1907.

    The word Disert comes to us in the first age of Latin loaning ; it is of purely ecclesiastical origin and occurs twice in Co. Waterford to signify the "retreat," "hermitage" or "desert" to which an early recluse, who afterwards became a church founder, retired. From the anchorite's settlement sprang the later church and perhaps, monastery. The anchorite in the present instance seems to have been St. Mogue - either the founder of the See of Ferns or his namesake in Clonmore. Dysert is not now retained as the name of any particular townland of the parish though one sub-denomination - Ballindysert - incorporates it. The "Disert", may have been either the original church at Churchtown or an early church, now represented by a cill on Ballindysert. For a description of the church ruin at the former place see Journal of Waterford and S.E. Ireland Archaeological Society, Vol. II., pp. 6 &c.


  • BALLINDYSERT, Buaile or Baile an Díreart - "Milking Place of the Hermitage." There are on the townland two remarkable pillar stones which stand within a few yards of one another and, on its east side, the site of an early church. Area, 945 acres.
    S.DD. (a) Baile Uachtrach - "Upper Homestead."
    (b) Loch na gCaorach - "Sheeps' Pond."
    (c) Áth na Brón - "Ford of the Quern Stone."
  • BALLYCLOUGHY, Baile Cloiche - "Homestead of Stone." The word cloch is often used to designate a stone building (See Proceedings R.I.A. No. 10, January 1907, note to p. 239). Area, 456 acres.
    S.D. Castle Quarter (O.M.), Ceathramha an Cháisleáin; this castle, still stands.
  • CARROWCLOUGH, Ceathramha Chlúmhach - "Mossy Quarter." Area, 93 acres.
    "Carhuclogh" (D.S.R.).
  • CHURCHTOWN, Baile an Teampaill - "Homestead (or Village) of the Church." Area (in two divisions), 670 acres.
    S.DD. (a) Raven's Hill (O.M.), Cnoc a' Phréacháin - "Rook's Hill."
    (b) Two Glebes. (O.M.).
    (c) Na Crainn Aoibhne - "The Pleasant Trees."
    (d) Bóithrín an Uisce - "The Lane of the Water" - An old laneway leading up the hill in a southerly direction.
    (e) "Mulcahy's Gap"; a ford in the Suir, opposite Churchtown House.
    (f) Áth an Éide - "Ford of the (Sacred) Vestments." The ford was on the old road, now disused, and the sheanacies say a set of priest's vestments was lost here during a flood.
  • COOLNAMUC, Cúil na Muice - "Corner of the Pig" doubtless the allusion is to some legend, now lost. Area (in three divisions), 898 acres.
    S.DD. (a) Tobaravalla (O.M.), Tobar a' Bhealaigh - "Well of the Roadway." This well is commonly regarded as "holy," and - owing to ignorant rendering of the name - is now known to local speakers of English as St. Vallery's Well!
    (b) St. Antony's Well (O.M.). A pattern was held here formerly (O.D.). The well has now however lost not only its reputation to supernatural virtue but even its name.
    (c) Tobberagathabrack (O.M.), Tobar a' Gheatha Bhric - "Well of the Spotted Gate."
    (d) "Ballinderry Ford"; a ancient crossing place of the Suir, now never attempted.
  • CORRAGINA, Carraig Eidheach - "Ivy Covered Rock." Area, 56 acres.

    (Old Rhyme)

    "Carraig Eidheach,
    "Bhí radharc air na bacaigh
    " 'G tigh Bhácáil Uí Ghríobhta.

  • GLEN, An Gleann. Idem.
    A famous fair, held here annually on the Feast of the Ascension, is commemorated in the name of the well known air "The Fair of Glen." A second air and song of reputed local origin is the popular "Seán O Duibhir a' Ghleanna," commonly attributed to Pierce Power of Glen (1685); this air was annexed by Allan Ramsey in 1724 and Burns, who calls it "a favourite Irish air," wrote two songs to it. Dr. Flood, however ("History of Irish Music," pp. 121-2.),thinks "Seaghan Ó Duibhir" is not of Waterford origin. The fair of Glen was held on both sides of the river, hence the proverb:
    "Leath ar dhá thaobh ar nós Aonach a' Ghleanna."

    The fair and ferry rights were of considerable moment; the latter were held - on the Waterford side - by the Hurleys of Glen and - on the north side- by Captain James Power. Colonel Roche received a grant of Glen for his swimming the Foyle at Derry, to communicate with the beleaguered Williamite army. Roche was buried in Churchtown graveyard and at his funeral Séamus na Sróna delivered so bitter an "eulogy" in Irish that it split the gravestone!

    Another quondam owner of Glen was Cullenan from whom the place was called Gleann Bhaile Uí Chuileannáin. Burke ("Family Romance") tells how Colonel James Roche swam up the river at Londonderry during its historic siege in order to tell the besieged of approaching relief, and that William III. gave him all the undisposed ferries of Ireland as a reward for his bravery.
    This grant embroiled him in many lawsuits, and Roche made fresh application to the Crown that upon surrendering his former patent he might have the a grant of the forfeited estate of James Everard in the Co. Waterford, "with some ferries near his habitation" (Journal of Cork Historical and Archaeological Society," Vol. XIII., No. 73, p.19.).
    Area (in two divisions), 1,425 acres.

    S.DD. (a) Carraigín an tSionnaigh - "Little Fox-Rock."
    (b) Carraig Uí Bhuadhacháin - "O'Bohan's or Bowen's Rock."
    (c) "The Decoy." This word occurs occasionally in place names; it denotes a contrivance in a pond, lake or bog for entrapping game - chiefly wild duck.
    (d) The Hop Yard."
    (e) Bláthóg; this is the old name of the road now known as the "Jinny Hill; it seems too signify - "The Little Smooth Surfaced (or 'Flowery') Place, from Bláth, a flower.
    (f) Carraig a' Chuaille - "Rock of the Pole (or 'Pile')."
    (g) Tobar a' Mharchais - "Well of the Marquis."
    (h) The Racecourse."
    (i) Glaise - "Stream," called also Glaise Phádraig - "Patrick's Stream"; from root Glas, airy blue or green - the colour of water; it separates the parishes of Dysert and Kilsheelan. The source of the stream is at an altitude of 1,400 feet.


    The Glasha rising out of the Comeraghs with Seanenabreagan in the background.

    In the River occur the following:-
    (j) Scairbh na Móna - "Stony Ford (or Shallow) of the Bog"; this also appears to have been called "Ford Island," from a small green island which has since disappeared.
    (k) Scairbh a' Ghormógaigh - "Gormog's Stony Ford."
    (l) Poll a' Chiarraighigh - "The Kerryman's Drowning Pool."
    (m) Poll na Treasa - "Hole of the Fray."
    (n) "Glen Weir."
    (o) Poll a' Stompa - "Hole of the Stump."
    (p) Poll a' Tobáin - "Hole of the Little Tub" named from its shape.

  • KILDROUGHTAN, Cill Drúchtáin - "Droughtan's Church." Site of the early church was close to Thompson's farmhouse (east side). Thence, the neighbours tell, the church was supernaturally, transported in the night to the opposite side of the Suir, where its remains are pointed out close to the ruins of Dovehill Church.
    S.DD. (all in River):- (a) Poll na gCailíní - "Pool of the Girls; two girls were drowned in it once on a time.
    (b) Poll a' Gíománaigh - "Pool of the Huntsman." (or Yeoman).
    (c) A Ford, with no special name.
  • SCARTLEA, Scairt Liath - "Grey Thicket." Area, 214 acres.
    S.D. Carraig Cham - "Crooked Rock"; a isolated crag.
  • TOOR, Tuar - "Night field for Cattle." Area, 367 acres.
    S.DD. (a) Poll na gCaorach - "Pool of the Sheep."
    (b) Poll na mBó - "Pool of the Cows."
    (c) Bóithrín Dearg - "Little Red Road"; so named from the pronounced colour of its sandy banks.
    (d) Faill na gCappall - "Cliff of the Horses."
    (e) Leaca an Tuair - "Glen Slope of Toor."
  • WINDGAP or ARDMORE, Beárna na Gaoithe - "Gap of the Wind." On this townland is a cillín, or early church site, bramble o'ergrown and surrounded by a circular fence. Within the enclosure - towards its centre - lies an ogham-inscribed pillar-stone. Mr. Macalister reads the legend thus:- "Moddagni Maqi Gattagni Mucoi Luguni." Area, 76 acres.


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© 10 March, 2004
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