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pdtempan
2006-04-27 18:21:50
Wicklow Passes
I'm looking for some help with names and locations of some of the lesser known passes in
the Wicklow mountains. They are all on OSi Discovery sheet 56. I'm
particularly interested in the stories behind 1, 2 and 3. The locations of
2, 3 and 4 are uncertain. Irish versions from reliable sources would be a
great bonus if anyone has them.

1) Billy Byrne's Gap
2) Cavanagh's Gap
3) Wexford Gap
4) Baravore?

1) Crosses the saddle between Moanbane and Mullaghcleevaun. Liam Price
(Place-Names of Co. Wicklow) mentions Billy Byrne of Ballymanus, who was
involved in the 1798 Rebellion in Wicklow, but says that the gap is not
named after him. There is also a Bella Byrne’s Bridge south of Arklow,
which the OSNB suggests is named after a woman who lived near the bridge,
but offers nothing to corroborate this.

2) Between Lobawn and Table Mountain. Marked Cavanaghs Gap on OSi sheet 56,
but Price only has Cavanagh's CAMP (quoting the OS - 6" map?), so has this
name arisen through miscopying?

3) The name Wexford Gap is marked to the ENE of Table Mountain. However,
there is no saddle here, only a spur. The nearest gap to the W is
Cavanagh's Gap on sheet 56, but this may be a ghost name, see 2. Perhaps
the name belongs between Table Mountain and Camenabologue. There may have
been some foul-up here in the production of the map as the name Black Scar is
on twice in two locations a kilometre apart. So does anyone know where
Wexford Gap actually is? Secondly what was the motivation for the name? If
it is simply a gap that leads from Co. Wicklow towards Co. Wexford, I
presume this would only work if the track through it ran roughly N-S
(ruling out the gap from Glen of Imaal to Glenmalure?).

4) This may have nothing to do with a pass. Baravore is a townland at the head of Glenmalure. I first thought of Barr an Bhóthair as is located at the end of the road up the glen - track
only beyond this. However, the name is quite well documented (1639
Bollyvorrevore, Bolyvorivore, 1664 Bollyvorewore, 1701 Barravore [Earl of
Meath's Estate Documents], c. 1660 Ballyvarryvore [BS], 1760 Baravore
[Nevill's Map]. There are no forms in -voher or the like. So Price's
suggestion ? buaile a' bháirr mhóir looks very likely. But if the townland
was originally Buaile an Bhairr Mhóir, what was an Barr Mór itself? Was it
one of the nearby peaks, like Lugnaquilla, or could it have been the pass
between Glenmalure and Glendalough which crosses a saddle between Mullacor
and Lugduff?

Any relevant info and suggestions gratefully received. Thanks,

Paul
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