Trying to make the best of lockdown, I sent out a few queries to a few more farmers in my neighbourhood and circle of aquaintances about their fieldnames. Today, I got the first positive reply – from Castlefield, which is between Bennettsbridge and Gowran.
Interesting name of the townland, but no trace of the castle remains on satellite view. I’m told by the owners of the house that the castle’s stones were used to built the house in the 18th century.
O’Kelly gives the name Black Castle (p. 99), but there are apparently no other sources for that name. Admittedly, I didn’t dig too deep. I wasn’t able to find the townland in Carrigan’s books. O’Kelly does not mention any fieldnames for this townland, unfortunately. On the Down Survey map, it is called “Nashtowne”, presumably after a person Nash. It was part of the Agar Estate in Gowran once, so maybe there are old maps of that estate surviving somewhere.
O’Kelly does mention the O’Flahertys as former owners and one of the fields is still called after them. The field boundaries have changed considerably, in that several smaller fields have been amalgamated into bigger ones. However, using the layer of the British War Office 1:25k map, I was able to retrace the old boundaries.
As expected, there is a Lawn and an Orchard, which is quite common around mansions. I have just read an article about lime kilns in the 1994 Old Kilkenny Review, so I made a point of marking the location of the lime kiln in the lime kiln field, because it is still visible on the satellite view. The British War Office map still showed the pond in the Pond Field. Part of the forest to the West of the Kiln Field used to be a field as well, called “Field of the Small Apples”, presumably bordered by crab apple trees. It does not show in the map, since I tagged it as “
old_name“, because it is not a field any longer.
The informant was very quick in her response and eager to ask neighbours and other members of Duchas, the historical society in and around Tullaherin. (Not to be confused with duchas.ie, the invaluable school collection of folklore and placenames, which has this intriguing story to tell about the area.) There is some hope of getting more fieldnames from around there after lockdown.
Thanks ever so much, if you read this, informant!