Have you ever heard of Gill’s Gate Field, Rushey Field, or Churchtown Big Meadow? What about Rape Field, Fernyfield, or Bottoms?
These are some of the names of fields in our locality, and I happen to know these ones because they are marked on maps of the Powerscourt and Charleville estates. But every field had a name, and I hope still has a name, which is what this project is all about. A conversation with some local farmers during the Gathering weekend, along with a comment about “The High Field” at Bushy Park got me thinking about how to collect these field names. They need to be collected soon, before they are lost forever.
There have been other successful field name gathering projects, including one in North Kilkenny, the recently published Field Names of County Meath, and one in progress in County Louth. They have informed the approach being taken here, which is:
- Prepare maps of local areas with fields identified.
- Identify people who have local knowledge to name fields.
- Send out maps and a log form to account for field names, and anything of historical/heritage interest in those fields.
- Compile information gathered online for everyone to see.
Can you help?
Even though this project is focussing on one civil parish (Powerscourt, with a nod to some fields to the east towards Kilmacanogue), it is an enormous undertaking. Knockbawn, I think the smallest townland in the Parish, has 10 fields. I am still cataloguing Barnamire, and am at 32 fields and counting. I estimate that there could be 750 – 1000 fields in the area. Help from interested parties would be appreciated! The main areas are:
- Volunteers to go and gather data – it’s one thing sending out a map for someone to fill in, but another to go over a map with a local expert, over a cup of tea, talking through the maps, what is of interest.
- Data loggers – when (if/when?!) information comes in, it will need to be logged into a database so that is of use to anyone searching the information.
- Sponsors – the project is operating on a shoestring budget (currently zero). The Ordnance Survey maps are expensive, as is printing and associated costs. Donations (no matter how small) gratefully accepted through PayPal. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange.
I hope within one year we will have compiled a significant number of field names of our area. Please do get involved if you can.