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