Cuddle Cosy/Sailor’s Home

Common field-names occur many times and are self-explanatory with logical names referring to the location on the farm or a notable feature. Some field-names are unique and are part of local tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation. Cuddle Cosy is a name given to a field and adjacent road that is located on a circular route from Borgue. It is a convenient distance from the village and has numerous gorsy knolls where presumably courting couples could rest awhile away from prying eyes!

Another example of a field with an unusual name held in the oral tradition is Sailor’s Home. A track is shown on the 1st ed. OS map from the road north-east of Boreland (of Girthon), now the Sandgreen road, following a winding course across the Boreland Burn and over the hill which is un-named on OS maps but was evidently Sailor’s Hill, to a small building at the location where the bungalow named Sailor’s Home now stands, and on to Rainton whence it evidently continued over Rainton Bar to Girthon Kirk and Clauchan. This is reported to have been an inn and lodging-house for seamen on their way to and from vessels anchored in Fleet Bay. Although it seems out of the way now, Airds Bay (Sandgreen) would have been the best place on the south-east side of the Bay for crews to come ashore, further upstream the saltings would have been an obstacle, and they would have found no board or lodgings on the Cally Estate. There seems to be no documentary or mapped record of this hostelry; like the reputed inns on Ardwall Isle and Murray’s Isle, it was probably a small, ‘unofficial’ business in the 18th to 19th centuries beneath the radar of the Sheriffs and JPs.  On both sets of notes I have seen, the spelling is consistently Sailor’s, not Sailors’, but I don’t think this calls in question the claim that it was an inn frequented by sailors, nor implies that it was occupied by a single sailor, though the ‘landlord’ might well have been one himself.

The boundaries and names of the fields on and to the south-east of Sailor’s Hill seem to have changed over the years. On the 1st ed. OS map, the track up to Sailor’s Home crosses two fields separated by a crooked dyke, a straight dyke separates them from a large open field to the south-east extending down to Goat Strand. James Finlay’s information indicates that the upper part was in 1983 a single large field named Sailor’s Hill; it is now divided by a straight dyke into two long rectangles, named Sailor’s Hill and Sailor’s Home; the large field to the south-east was Cow Park in 1983, but is now divided by a dyke along the footpath from Rainton towards Knockbrex, the north-west portion being also named Sailor’s Home, the south-east being The Strand.

In an area with a long history there are bound to be some field-names where the meaning has been long forgotten or the story attached to it has been lost. Sometimes a field-name like Hill of Health remains as a tantalising clue where the meaning behind the name has not been recorded. It is hoped that someone somewhere will know why it was christened with its unusual name.

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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