Last Sunday, I visited the farmer in Cantwellscourt or Cantwell’s Court. This is the name applied to the newer farm in the townland of Sandfordscourt which used to be called Cantwellscourt until Cromwell kicked the Cantwells out. The Cantwells were owning a lot of land pre Cromwell, most famously in Kilfane in Co. Kilkenny, where Cantwell Fada, the Long Man (Wikipedia), an effigy of one of their ancestors still guards the church. He has recently been put under perspex glass. A cast of the statue can be found in the National Museum in Dublin. However, the name Cantwell is still (or again?) quite common in Kilkenny.

iris pseudacorus & bovine
Flagger in a neighbouring farm with cow

I got many more fieldnames from the farmer and a lovely story relating to the The Middle Bog: He recalls his father in the 1950s taking his three year old brother into the field which was covered in “rushes and flaggers” (yellow iris on Wikipedia). The rushes were growing so tall that when the father turned around for a second, he lost sight of the boy. He had to climb unto the pier of the gate to see his little head bobbing in the field.

He had only one Irish name for a field (“Kyle na curra” – his spelling), but you can’t force it. The number of Irish names does not influence the importance of recording the names.

I have made contact with the next farmer in Ballyfoyle. That should be interesting, because the Council hasn’t surveyed his farm and also, it is part of the historical Coghill Estate, so I have the fieldnames from 200 years ago. I’m told he has Irish fieldnames.

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