Reply To: The Cleagh

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John Shields

From Alan James – 4 May 2020

That’s interesting, I haven’t come across ‘Cleagh’. The field is actually nowadays named ‘Cup and RIng’, it’s Brighouse #12, on which my note reads: The field to the west of Smiddy Field. Cup and Ring marked stones are marked here on current OS maps, Canmore lists two here as ‘possible’. Another is to the east on Green Hill, across the road, and another to the south in field 6, The Clash. Whatever the significance of these mysterious marks, this was evidently a place of some importance in the age when they were made.

Cleagh wouldn’t be easy to interpret out of context, it could have several origins, but I think here it must be the ‘stone’ word, Sc Gaelic clach, Ir cloch, Mx clagh – possibly in the dative-locative, Sc and Ir cloich(e), Mx cloaie. Cla(u)chendolly is close by, from my note on that name: ‘The name is certainly Gaelic *clachan-dollaich: clachan here has its early sense as the plural of clach, so ‘stones’; dollaich means ‘holed, hollowed, pitted’, the name must refer to the notable group of cup-and-ring marked rocks to the south-west of the house.’

I’ll add this earlier name to my Brighouse Farm notes – thanks for pointing it out, David