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Saint Patrick in Ireland: Names and Places

Saint Patrick in Ireland: Names and Places

Lá Fhéile Pádraig shona dhaoibh! For Saint Patrick’ Day we have a special map, dedicated to Ireland’s patron saint. The static map provides an overview of the townlands and settlements deriving their names from Saint Patrick, including a short summary of the mythology. Read on for more details

The latest map of the month is now online. To mark the occasion, this month’s map is celebrates Saint Patrick’s journey. In the classic static map Rob O’Hara and Jesko Zimmermann show the townlands and settlements that derive their name from Ireland’s patron saint, while the interactive StoryMap takes the reader on a journey to the places most famously linked with Saint Patrick.

The interactive map is a journey to the places most famously associated with Ireland's patron saint.

Map of the Month March

Cartographers: Dr Jesko Zimmermann & Dr Rob O'Hara  

View the map here:  Saint Patrick in Ireland: Names and places (classic static version) (PDF)   View interactive version here: Saint Patrick in Ireland: Names and places (interactive version)

Saint Patrick is associated with hundreds of places around Ireland, from towns and townlands, to hills and lakes, to street names and buildings. There are several well-known stories about Patrick, but what’s real and what’s legend? What we actually know about Patrick is sparse. He was born into a religious family in post-Roman Britain in the late fourth century, and taken to Ireland by Irish slavers when he was 16. He escaped, returning years later to proselytise the pagan Irish in the northern half of Ireland.

His writings make no reference to shamrock, nothing on snakes, no mention of Paschal Fires or fights with kings. These were all later embellishments to a narrative of Patrick written centuries later to support the hegemony of his cult and the See of Armagh above others, for example those of Bridget in Kildare or Ciaran in Clonmacnoise.

This month’s map takes us on a journey of the real-world sites associated with Patrick’s legend. The static map shows the townlands and settlements across the island of Ireland referencing Patrick in their names, and provides insights into the features these names refer, of which the majority are churches and wellS.

The interactive story map provides a journey to the most important places in the myth of Saint Patrick, providing insights to famous places associated with Patrick, such as Slemish, Croagh Patrick, and Armagh.

We wish you all a happy Saint Patrick’s Day! 

Lá Fhéile Pádraig shona dhaoibh.

View previous Maps of the Months here