Knocktopher, Pennsylvania

How did Knocktopher, Pennsylvania get its name? This page provides a brief history about the naming of Knocktopher, Pennsylvania, the people who settled it, and the industry rising within it.

Sometimes, about the middle of the eighteenth century, we find specific names for patented land tracts. For instance, in the recital of a deed from Thomas and John Penn to John Neff for two tracts in Rockhill Township, dated November 9, 1774, one containing 52 acres is named “Rich Valley” in the warrant of August 9, 1740, and the other, containing 50 acres is named “Knocktopher” in the warrant dated March 9, 1741/2. The tracts adjoined and both were doubtless located in Perkasie Manor. Rich Valley probably derives its name from Rich Hill or Richland. Knocktopher is the name of a town and parish (formerly a parliamentary borough) in the barony of Knocktopher, County Kilkenny, Ireland. It is often difficult or impossible to determine the meaning or significance of these tract names. Knocktopher may be German and refer to the rough and rocky character of the land.

Knocktopher was the principal residence of the Butlers, Earls of Ormonde. A castle, which was taken in 1649 by Parliamentary forces commanded by Cromwell in person, was by his orders immediately destroyed. There are some remains of an ancient abbey, consisting of two arches of one of the aisles and the tower of the church. There are no remains of the castle, but the mount and fosse are still entire.1


MacReynolds, George. Place Names in Bucks County Pennsylvania, 2nd Edition. Doylestown, PA: The Bucks County Historical Society, 1955.

  1. A topographical dictionary of Ireland, by Samuel Lewis, Vol. II, p. 241, 242. []

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