Borgue Area Field Names

Click here or on the map below to go to the interactive map.

The three YouTube videos embedded below explain the process of collecting, analysing and browsing the Borgue field name information.

Collecting Field Names – Rachel Lucas
Understanding the Field Names – Michael Ansell
Browsing the Field Name Data – John Shields

Collecting and Analysing Borgue Field names

If you take a walk through any landscape in Scotland, there’s a story to be revealed; of human lives and the impact we have had on the land around us.

If you have ever used a map to go for a walk you may have come across intriguing or unusual place names. But did you know that nearly all fields have a name, and that these names might tell you about the history of the field and its use over the centuries?

Old field names act as a memorial, telling the story of a place and can connect you with the history of your area.

Put yourself in the shoes of the farmer who originally named them; the names originated in a very practical way to identify them for farm labourers who had to go out to work on them. It was clearly important that they did not go out and plough or build a dyke in the wrong field. The names were often descriptive (its size or location, the lie of the land, its soil, crops, livestock, wild animals and plants, buildings, land ownership amongst many other things).

Many of these names were never written down, so that the names used today are the result of a largely oral tradition where the original name may have evolved over many years and can be hard to decipher. 

The Borgue Field Name Project (part of the PLACE project, a community focused project in partnership with the Biosphere and Southern Uplands Partnership) is being undertaken by a small team of volunteers and has been mapping the old names of fields in an area stretching from the Fleet to the Dee.

The team would like to offer a huge thank you to all the local farmers and everyone else who has helped with this project, and are pleased that after 18 months nearly 1,000 field names have been collected, and the meaning and possible origin of the names analysed. 

We have created an interactive map of the Borgue area that shows the field names along with other historical and cultural information. Click on the image below to view the map.

For more information about place names in Dumfries & Galloway, take a look at the Galloway Glens Place Names site.

The National Library of Scotland has a collection of historical estate maps of Kirkcudbrightshire including some from the Borgue area. These are available here.

9 thoughts on “Borgue Area Field Names

  1. I can’t believe the amount of work you have all put in to this !, I can’t add anything definite but in relation to the map entitled “ Carleton Farm Field near Blackbriggs” the only comment I would make is that the fields coloured red there are the two Glebe fields that surround the Manse on the north , west and south sides of the Manse ( which is included within the red shading — Callum may remember since he visited years ago !!) . On other old farm maps I never really remember seeing fields that are part of a Glebe given specific names , just “The Glebe” especially undersized ones like Borgue . About midway along the west boundary ( with the Meadow” ) is the walled orchard for The Manse which essentially divides the north section of the Glebe from the south section .

  2. The field listed as “Money Meadow” on Roberton is wrong. Estate maps show it to be the “Honey Meadow” as it was where the Knockbrex Estate beehives were placed to take advantage of the abundant wild flowers in the marshy area of land.

  3. This is a wonderful resource. The entry for Meggetland field makes reference to the area of Edinburgh with the same name. Please note that this area of Edinburgh has been spelt incorrectly in the entry – it is MeggEtland, not MeggAtland. Meggetland House was demolished in first quarter of the twentieth century and Meggetland Terrace was built on the site and surrounding gardens in the early 1930s. Parts of the Meggetland estate were sold in the mid 1800s to allow for railway developments but the name lives on as Meggetland playing fields and the home of Burghmuir Rugby Club. Meggetland House is noted on some of the earliest maps of Edinburgh – a property and estate of that name has existed for at least 400 years. As the name is so unusual I wonder if there is a connection between owners/ occupiers of Meggetland House in Edinburgh and the parish of Borgue?

  4. Such great work (and I’m glad my father picked up the ball I dropped!)… I’m pretty sure The Piggers should be The Piggery at Cairniehill and the Fore Field should (definitely) be the Fore Hill on Southpark.
    So grateful you compiled all this, it is truly wonderful and much appreciated

  5. So impressed with your website as surely a model for the regional understanding of field names and all their many meanings. Trying to do something similar in Cheshire, looking (manually) at Tithe Map names in Warmundestrou Hundred, which I believe was once a British Cantref. Best regards, Dave Shepherd

    • Hi David,
      Many thanks for your comments. Good luck with your project down in Cheshire. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss this topic further.
      Best regards, John Shields

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