Boreland March

Very often, where two farms meet, the fields are named after the adjoining farm. The field named Boreland March (right) is on Carrick Farm while Big Carrick (left) is on Boreland Farm.

March is from Old English mearc via Anglo-French marche and Scots merche meaning a border. The March Dykes Act 1661 required neighbouring landowners to split the cost of building a shared boundary when the land was enclosed. In southwest Scotland the term march dyke is used to describe the boundary of a farm. It was usually the first drystone dyke built when a farm was enclosed and is often taller than the dykes built later to subdivide the farmland.

This dyke defines more than the boundary of two farms as it also marks the extent of an estate and parish. The boundary appears on a 1761 map and is annotated to show the line of the border as “the Bounding dyke of the Parks of Cally….and….the separation betwixt the Parishes of Girthon and Borgue”. The map was drawn to explain locations being considered in a dispute over dykes blocking traditional routes to fords crossing the River Fleet.

This information was gathered as part of the PLACE in the Biosphere project. Click on the links to visit their web site and blog.

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