Local area

Discover Saintfield and the surrounding area

Saintfield in County Down © discoversaintfield.com

Saintfield in County Down

Rowallane Garden lies just on the outskirts of the small town of Saintfield. Nestled halfway between Belfast and Downpatrick, it is a growing commuter town and currently has a population of around 3,000. The area around Saintfield was mature oak forest until the 16th century with a sparse indigenous population under the control of a branch of the O’Neill family. From about 1625 Scots settlers arrived in the area in small numbers. After the 1641 rebellion was put down by Oliver Cromwell more English and Scots settlers arrived and by 1660 the first census of Saintfield counted 58 English and Scots and 101 Irish inhabitants in the fourteen townlands of the surrounding area. Until 1712 Saintfield was known as Tonaghneave – 'Tamnach naomh', meaning: 'the field of the saint'. Neither the origin of the name nor the location of a saintly field are known today. The town was largely the creation of the Price family. General Nicholas Price bought the land for the town and the surrounding estate in 1709 for his third son. To follow the story of Rowallane come along to our visitor facilities. Today you can learn more and get involved with the Saintfield Heritage Society, Saintfield Town Regeneration Committee and find out all the latest community news by visiting their website.