The origins of Belfast

This evening I attended the launch of a new booklet tracing the Gaelic origins of many of Belfast’s place names. The booklet has been published by Belfast City Council, in partnership with the Ultach Trust.

The booklet works its way through the origins and meanings of many place names attributed to Belfast and its surrounding landscape in ancient times through to the creation of the 17th century townlands.

One of the earliest sources of information is a map by the Greek geographer Ptolemy from the 2nd Century AD. This ancient map shows the tribal name Voluntii, thought to be a mis-spelling of Uluti, an early form of the word Ulaidh, the ancient people from whom Ulster was named.

It’s a great little booklet and it certainly educated me a bit more on our cultural heritage.

If you want to find out a bit more about the origins of many of the city placenames, then this is as good a place as any to start.


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2 thoughts on “The origins of Belfast


    (August 1, 2012 - 6:55 pm)

    Don’t know if you have read Glenn Patterson’s new book set in Belfast in the 1800’s called The Mill for Grinding Old People Young – it is brilliant and really has amazing information about Belfast and its surroundings at this time. I loved it!


      (August 1, 2012 - 7:00 pm)

      Must add it to my list! thanks for the info.

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