Trícha cét

The tríocha céad, also known as trícha cét, meaning "thirty hundreds", was a unit of land-holding in eleventh and twelfth century Ireland.[1][2] The term appears to relate to the amount of troops an area could raise.[1]


Described as a "spatial unit of royal tenure, taxation, local government, and military levy", the trícha cét largely corresponded to a local petty kingdom ruled by a petty king.[3] A minority however where ruled by a taisaig (leader) or a airríg (governor), appointed by a superior kings.[3]

In the province of Ulster, a tríocha céad was subdivided into roughly twenty-eight baile biadhtaigh (ballybetagh), meaning "lands of a food-provider", and around 463 seisrigh/seisreachs, meaning "six-horse plough-teams".[1]

During the eleventh century, the system became established across the island, a refinement on a pre-existing system.[3]

Further reading


  1. 1 2 3 Place Names NI - Land units
  2. MacCotter, Paul; Medieval Ireland: Territorial, Political and Economic Divisions, pg. 13. Four Courts Press, 2008. ISBN 978-1-84682-098-4
  3. 1 2 3 ibid pg. 22

See also

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