Louth Field Names Project
The Louth Field Names Database is one of the major outcomes of the Louth Fields Names Project (LFNP), a project to record and map the field names of Louth. The project was formed under the auspices of the County Louth Archaeological and Historical Society, County Louth I.F.A. and the County Louth Library Service. Between autumn 2013 and spring 2014 a network of over 200 volunteers from across the county collected more than 10,000 field names and associated folklore for the project.
The collected field names date from between the medieval period and the present day. They have much to tell us about how communities, past and present, worked, lived and made meaning in the rural landscape. Fields in Louth got their names in many ways. They can be named after prominent landmarks in or near the field, or from a description of the field itself, for example, its size, shape, location, flora, fauna or soil quality. Fields can be named after activities that took place there, or from stories or people associated with the place. Most of the names recorded in Louth are in the English language, but about 20% are in Irish. This percentage was much higher for Omeath, where over 80% of the names are in Irish.
Here are some of the most common categories of names that we found during the project:
- Farming: Names to do with domestic animals and crops.
- Rural Industry: Names to do with milling, the linen industry, lime-kilns, quarries, salt-making, pottery-making etc.
- Rural Settlement: Names to do with rural settlement, houses, yards, haggard, sheds, barns, wells, pumps etc.
- Transport: Roads, bridges, railway lines, paths etc.
- Wildlife: Names to do with wild plants and animals, trees, woodland etc.
- Hunting: Fox coverts, deer parks, duck decoys etc.
- Relational: Fields named for their location, frequently in relation to a house. This group includes terms like far, near, above, beyond, upper, lower etc.
- Landscape: Names describing the landscape itself. Often in Irish. Hills, rivers, bogs, steams, meadows etc.
- Archaeology: Names relating to archaeological features like raths, standing stones or megalithic tombs.
- Size and Shape: Names describing the size and shape of a field.
- Narrative and Historical: Names that tell a story or relate to a historical event.
- Personal/Familiar: Fields named after people or families.
This database contains the names collected during the Louth Field Names Project. The names are organised by townland and civil parish. In addition to field names, the database contains information about the natural and human-made features in and associated with the fields, as well as history and folklore.
The Louth Field Name Database and Mapping can be viewed online here
Further Information about the Louth Field Name Project can be viewed on their website here
Click to view images from the book Diagram of Co Louth field names.jpg (size 1.5 MB)
Omeath stone wall.JPG (size 3 MB)
Forge farm gate.JPG (size 3.1 MB)