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In 1995 Ciaran Burke of the Culmore Road wrote an amazing series of articles detailing the origin of Street Names in our Parish. Please take time to enjoy them in their original format
What's in a Name? Portlock Place
Colby Avenue Larcom Drive
Colby Avenue, Part 2 O'Donovan Road
Griffith Park Papworth Avenue
Drummond Park Petrie Way
Drummond Park, Part 2 Summary and Thank you.



The Survey of Ireland was initiated as an exercise to levy taxes throughout the counties in a more equitable fashion and while it achieved its objects, it, in addition, heralded a major scientific, inventive and cultural period in our history.  That the Survey was commenced in the Northern Counties was a monumental blessing for us here in that the detailed collection of information on our parish of Templemore and the city in the 19th century together with the geological survey of the county were published before financial constraints called a halt to any further work on these fronts in any other county.  The Survey of Ireland was brought to the world stage in recent years through Brian Friel’s play ‘Translations’ and centred around the translations of the townland names from Irish to English by the Ordnance Survey.

Fierce criticism has often been levied on these actual translations by the Ordnance.  This work, in fact, was carried out not by the Royal Engineers but placed by them entirely in the hands of native Irish language scholars of the highest calibre as in John O’Donovan.  Quite recently the introduction of road names and house numbers in the rural areas by the Post Ofice and the perceived notion that the townland names were to be abolished met with quite strong opposition.  Happily, the townland names remain in use and still appear on O.S. maps.

Colby and Griffith were born in September 1784 - the development at Croppy Hill started in 1984. What better way to celebrate the bicentenary of their birth than to have a permanent reminder in their memory in an area that has such strong links with the Survey of Ireland.

Many thanks are due to my friends and former colleagues - A.J. Malley and T.L. Sudway for their great help in the compilation of this series of pocket histories of the surveyors and to Michael Brand, Chief Survey Officer of O.S.N.I. for permission to use extracts from O.S. material.


Ciaran C. Burke
Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Member of Staff
Ordnance Survey of N. Ireland 1956-1971
and Valuation Office of Northern Ireland 1971-1976

  Steelstown Parish (Our Lady of Lourdes), Derry City - Telephone : 028 7135 1718