Woodfield (Leagan Gaeilge – Coill an Chochaill)

The townland of Woodfield is situated 9.5 kilometres west of the town of Glenamaddy in north-east County Galway. The origin of the Irish form of the name is unclear. John O’Donovan didn’t mention an Irish form of the name when he was preparing the Field Name Books in the 1830s. Fr. Conway in his “Historical Notes on the Parish of Glenamaddy” (c.1916) gives the Irish version of the townland name as Coill an Chocla but doesn’t translate it, or explain its origin. Pádraig Pléamonn from Woodfield who made a number of submissions as Gaeilge to the 1937 Schools’ Folklore Collection gave the Irish form of the townland name as ‘Coille Cocla’. Logainm website suggests that the Irish form of Woodfield is Coill an Chaclaigh which translates as the Wood of the Dross. A plausible explanation may be found in Dinneen’s ‘Foclóir Gaeilge agus Béarla’ where ‘cochaill’ is used to describe a bush of furze.  If this interpretation holds, then Coill an Chochaill may be translated as the wood of the furze bush, coill meaning wood and cochaill meaning a bush of furze. The 17th century Down Survey map gives the name of the area which approximates to present-day Woodfield as Killlalukillin.

Distinctive Features:

  • Woodfield is the largest townland in the Parish of Glenamaddy covering an area of 1,191 acres.
  • There are seven Ringforts, a Cairn, an Ancient Burial Ground and an 18th/19th Century House in the townland of Woodfield registered with the National Monuments Service and featured in the National Monuments Service Archaeological Survey Database.
  • The 1840 Historic Ordnance Survey Map shows that there were about 85 houses in Woodfield before the Great Famine of 1845-48. Whereas about twelve houses are set apart from other dwellings, the vast majority are in clusters of between two and twelve houses resembling typical clachan formations.
  • The Sinking River flows southward along the eastern boundary with Lisheenaheltia.

1656-58 Down Survey: 

The owner of Woodfield townland at the time of the Down Survey is listed as the Protestant Archbishop of Tuam. The Protestant Archbishop had been granted vast tracts of land across numerous townlands, primarily in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon. John Parker, a Royalist imprisoned by the Cromwellian authorities, was appointed Protestant Archbishop of Tuam following the restoration and went on to become Primate of Ireland. He was succeeded some years layer by John Vesey.

1823 – 1838 Tithe Applotment Books: 

Surviving documentation of the Tithe Applotment Books is in poor condition making it difficult, and in some cases impossible, to decipher the names of landholders. In so far as it can be ascertained the following Catholic landholders in the townland of Woodfield paid the tithe (tax) levied to support the Established Church (Church of Ireland) – Donnellan (16), Scarry (14), Fleming (6), Collins (5), Mullin (4), Comer (4), Shaughnessy (2), Fitzpatrick (2), Sheridan (2), Cosgriff (2), Diskin (2), Gilmore (2), Hennessy (2), Keaveny, Flaherty, Shiel, Kenny, Donavan, Perkin, Connor, Donoghue and others whose names cannot be deciphered. Protestant occupiers of agricultural holdings were exempt from this tax.

1838 O’Donovan’s Field Name Books: 

O’Donovan describes the townland as follows – “About 1/3 of this townland is bog situated along the S. and S.W. boundary. There is an old Lime Stone quarry at the North boundary. There are 5 Danish Forts. The remainder of the land is tillage and pasture.”

1856 Griffith’s Valuation: 

The townland covers an area of 1,180 acres 1 rood 24 perches and the total rateable valuation of the land and buildings combined amounted to £309 5s 0d. At the time the survey was conducted there were thirty occupiers in the townland of  Woodfield – Comer (9), Scarry (4), Donnellan (3), Diskin (2), Mullin (2), Hunt, Hughes, Nockton, Hannahan, Flaherty, Congreve, Fleming, Tracy, Gilmore and Handcock. By the time of Griffith’s Valuation Woodfield belonged to John Handcock.

Adjoining Townlands: 

The following townlands share a border with Woodfield – Castle (Dunmore Parish), Cluid Dunmore Parish), Gortnaleam (Dunmore Parish), Knockaunbrack (Dunmore Parish)Lisheenaheltia, Lissyconor (Dunmore Parish), Slieve (Dunmore Parish) and Tobernaclug (Dunmore Parish).

Census Records: 

Population and Household data for the townland of Woodfield:

Glenamaddy and the Irish Folklore Collections:

The article posted on this website under the ‘Heritage > Folklore’ tab provides an overview of the folklore material submitted by Glenamaddy parishioners to the National Folklore Commission, now known as the Irish Folklore Collections. It also explains the background to the 1937 Schools’ Collection (Bailiúchán na Scol) project which has good representation from a parish perspective.

The Irish Folklore Collections housed in the Folklore Department of University College Dublin contain a treasure trove of folklore material, some of which is accessible online. Both the Main Manuscript Collection and the Schools’ Collection contain a considerable number of submissions from collectors and informants who resided in the parish of Glenamaddy. The quick reference directories featured in the ‘Parish > Townlands’ section of this website complement the user-friendly search features of the dúcas.ie website and are helpful in tracking Schools’ Collection submissions associated with townlands. Submissions are categorised under – School, Teacher, Language, Volume Number, Page Number, Collector, Collector’s Townland, Informant and Informant’s Townland. Where applicable, Schools’ Collection directories showing online townland-related submissions appear at the end of the following townland posts on this website – BallinapeakaBallinastackBarnaBoyounagh_More (Middletown),_BushtownCashelClassaghroeCloonacross,  Clooncon_EastClooncon_WestCloonkeenCultiafadda,  Eskeromullacaun (Esker), FelimsparkGlenamaddyGortaganny, Gortnagier,  KiltullaghKnockauns,  Lisheenaheltia,  LoughparkMeelick, Scotland, Shannagh_More, Stonetown and Woodfield.

Schools’ Collection Townland-Related Quick Reference Directory:

Parish folklore submissions contained in the Schools’ Collection are also accessible online via the following links:-

Árd Aoibhinn National School – Part 1 – https://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4613680

Árd Aoibhinn National School – Part 2 – https://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4613681 

Glenamaddy Girls’ National School – https://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4613677

Glenamaddy Boys’ National School – Part 1 – https://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4613678

Glenamaddy Boys’ National School – Part 2 – https://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4613679 

Gort na Léime National School – Part 1 – https://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4569061   

Gort na Léime National School – Part 2 – https://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4569062 

Lisheenaheltia Girls’ National School – https://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4613675 

Lisheenaheltia Boys’ National School – https://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4613676    

Glenamaddy submissions which form part of the Main Manuscript Collection are not posted online but may be examined in the reading room of the Folklore Department in U.C.D., Belfield, Dublin 4. Typed versions of some of the parish contributions contained in the Main Manuscript Collection are published under the ‘Heritage > Folklore’ tab on this website.   

Quick Reference Directory of Glenamaddy folklore submissions in the Main Manuscript Collection:-

Author: Pat Keaveny

For related townland website posts click on the following links:

The Strange Story of the Woodfield Door

My Woodfield

Woodfield House

A Story About Richard Kirwan


Townlands in County Galway

1840 Historic Ordnance Survey Map

Place Name Books of Galway

The Down Survey of Ireland

The Tithe Applotment Books, 1823-1837

Griffith Valuation – Ask About Ireland

Central Statistics Office

National Archives: Census Reports 1901/1911

Essex University: Historic Population Census Reports

Historic Environment Viewfinder

Historical Notes on the Parish of Glenamaddy. Fr Walter Conway