Bushmills History and Folklore Society

The name Bushmills is derived from the river Bush and the mills which existed (seven in all) along a very short stretch of the river.

Before the village was called Bushmills the part of the village on the west side of the river Bush was known as Dunluce and further north on the same side was called Portcaman, the part of the village on the east of the river was known as Magheraboy.

The name “Portcaman” refers to the oldest recorded name for the district, scholars are divided as to its meaning.

One school of thought is that it means “beside the crossing place where the river winds”, alternatively it is thought to be a reference to the earliest records of Caman– a form of hurling being played on the strand at the Bush river mouth. This was not played at Bushmills but at Portballintrae a few miles distant.The old name was spelled Port Kamen.

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