The idea of collecting all the field names in Meath originated with a small group of people. This group took local soundings, canvassed interest, organised a meeting and set up a group of people from varying backgrounds and locations in the county to oversee the project. The Meath Field Names Survey Team decided to call the project management group ‘The Steering Group’.

The officers and members of the Steering Group of the Meath Field Names Project are as follows:

Steering Group Officers:-

  • Chairman – John McCullen, Beamore, Drogheda 087-9111668
  • Secretary – Oliver Ward, Spiddal, Nobber 086-3322821
  • Treasurer – Richard Farrelly, Balgeeth, Kilmessan

Steering Group Members:-

  • Colin Byrne, Briarleas, Julianstown
  • Betty Carey, Newcastle, Enfield
  • Willie Carr, Headfort Grove, Kells
  • Peter Connell, Celbridge (Originally from Meath)
  • Marie Cosgrave, Newcastle, Enfield
  • Michael Delany, Gaulstown, Dunshaughlin
  • Martin Devin, Summerbank, Oldcastle
  • Joe Gogarty, Eden, Kilmainhamwood
  • Sean McCabe, Moate, Oldcastle
  • Brendan Matthews, Stamullin
  • Ronnie Owens, Chamberstown, Slane
  • Eileen Redpath, Boyne Lodge, Trim
  • Bernard Smith, Ballinacree, Oldcastle
  • Frances Tallon, Meath County Council Library Service
  • Oliver Usher, Scurlogstown, Kells
  • Alfred Woods, Bolies, Duleek

The Steering Group enlisted the help of a large body of volunteers throughout the county to assist with collecting the field names. They also advertised for the position of Project Coordinator in late summer 2009. Joan Mullen was appointed as part time Project Co-ordinator and started work in March 2010.

John McCullen, Beamore (Chairman) and Sylvester O’Reilly, Keenaghan (volunteer) at the Meath Field Names Project AGM in Dec 2010.

Stephen McGowan, Trim (volunteer) and Oliver Ward, Nobber (secretary) at the Meath Field Names Project AGM in Dec 2010.

Grace McCullen, Bellewstown (trainer); Richard Farrelly, Kilmessan (treasurer) and Bernadette Murray, Ardsallagh (volunteer) at the Meath Field Names Project AGM in Dec 2010.

John McCullen, Beamore (Chairman); Oliver Ward, Nobber (Secretary); Marie Cosgrave, Enfield and Oliver Usher, Kells (both Steering group members) at a Steering Group meeting of Meath Field Names Project in October 2012.

The Ground to be covered

County Meath has a little over 1,600 townlands. It is a vast area. As some townlands are totally urban and are within towns and villages they are outside the remit of this project. The Meath Field Names Project estimated that 1,400 townlands was its target area.

Old hayrake in a field at Roughgrange, Donore (photo by Joan Mullen)

Traditional farm entrance and yard with forge made gates, cut stone piers, stone walls, white washed sheds with doors painted red at Tully, Oldcastle (photo by Sean McCabe)

Whitewood House near Nobber with dairy cows grazing (photo supplied by the Conservation Office at Meath County Council)

The project has unearthed a vast amount of field names and information that was only available in people’s minds, it had never been written down and was in danger of being lost.  The success of this project has hinged on a huge amount of voluntary work. The information gathering stage of the project has been hugely successful.  

This project would not be possible without the support of many groups and individuals. The project is being funded by Meath Partnership through the Leader programme with matching funds from the FBD Trust. The Heritage Council have also given financial assistance to the project. Many other agencies are also assisting the project including Meath County Council & County Library Service, Meath IFA, Meath Heritage Centre, Meath Volunteer Centre, Meath Archaeological and Historical Society, several private and business sponsors and last but not least hundreds of volunteers. 

The voluntary effort is one of the many good news stories from this project, there are 500+ volunteers helping with the project. The volunteers find the work sociable and enjoyable and lots of cups of tea are had in the course of the work! Landowners and farmers love to talk about their fields, they appreciate very much that the ‘old’ field names are being recorded. The project would like to sincerely thank the people who have contributed so far for their co-operation and support as without their help it could not be done.

Aims and Objectives 

  • To establish a County wide group of volunteer researchers
  • To source finance for the project
  • To devise a co-ordination process
  • To train and facilitate the project volunteers
  • To complete the survey covering as many fields and townlands as possible
  • To collate and publish the results for wide circulation