Kilkenny Field Name Recording Project

The Field Over the Wood, The Rotten Field, Molly’s Acre, Pin Cushion?

Do you remember names like these being spoken around your kitchen table, out in the farmyard or at the church gate; the field names of your family farm, your townland or your parish? Some of these names are generations old and tell us as much about ourselves as about our families and communities.

"The Eleven Acres",  Carigeen Townland

“The Eleven Acres”, Carigeen Townland

The Kilkenny Fieldname Recording Project is an initiative of the Kilkenny Heritage Office working with communities around County Kilkenny to record and map the old fieldnames before they are lost. This project developed from the Townlands Project, a collaborative project, led by visual artist Alan Counihan, and co-funded by the Heritage and Arts Offices of Kilkenny County Council. The book ‘Townlands: a habitation, a celebration of an Irish rural landscape’ explores through both word and image, of our place in the world and the meaning of home.

The Rocks, Kilcross, Townland

The Rocks, Kilcross, Townland

Since 2010, the Kilkenny Fieldname Recording Project, funded by Kilkenny County Council and the Heritage Council and involving more than 80 local volunteers has collected and mapped over 7,000 field names across 194 townlands. These 7,000 names are a living record not just of the topography of the land but of the families who farm and have farmed it, of the monuments that occupy it, of plants and animals that inhabit it, of local history and folklore and of the Irish language as it was spoken in this corner of the country.


The publication “Meitheal na bPáirceanna: The Kilkenny Field Name Recording Project” , launched in 2016, provides an overview of the field names recorded, contributions from the project volunteers, and a glossary of the Irish (Gaelic) field names.
The publication, which was featured in “Ear to the Ground” Winter 2016 magazine, and the accompanying database, will be invaluable to local people, students, heritage groups/historical societies, historians, geneaologists, Irish place name specialists, Irish language specialists, academic researchers, and the diaspora.

If you would like a hard copy of the book contact Kilkenny County Council Heritage Office. Email:

Book Launch Picture of Volunteers

Volunteers at the launch of Meitheal na bPáirceanna

All the fieldnames collected to date are mapped on the Kilkenny County Council  Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and can be viewed here

Copy of GIS Map

Image of GIS Mapping site

Kilkenny County Council wishes to express thanks to all of the people and communities involved in gathering the field names. Without them this project would not be possible.

Quotes from Fieldname Volunteers

Quotes from Fieldname Volunteers

Naming Ground – Short Films about Kilkenny Field Names
In 2017, the project received additional funding from the Creative Ireland programme under the County Kilkenny Culture and Creativity Plan 2017. We commissioned a series of short documentary films exploring the landscape and rural communities of County Kilkenny as revealed through their field names.  The films are a celebration of local heritage and of the relationship between people and place, language and landscape.

The first of these short films “Naming Ground. A short film based on field name recording in Clonamery and Inistioge, Co.Kilkenny”,  by film-maker Shane Hatton of Old Mill Pictures,  will be premiered in Cois Abhainn, Inistioge on Tuesday 5th December 2017 at 7.30pm.

Get Involved
If you would like to get involved in this project or to find out more, please contact: Dearbhala Ledwidge, Heritage Officer, Kilkenny County Council or email Tel: 056-7794925

The Kilkenny Field Name Recording Project is an action of the County Kilkenny Heritage Plan and is co-funded by the Heritage Office of Kilkenny County Council and the Heritage Council.