From Michael Ansell – 6 May 2020
Good evening all
A very good summary of the problem here Alan I’d say. I can offer no better solution at the moment. Maybe the closest is the Manx hedge sense, but Broderick seems to suggest M cleigh was mainly pronounced Cleiy or something like that which doesn’t fit cleagh/cleich. P-N of NI 5 p 70 has Clay from An Chlèith, the hurdle, but none of the early anglicised forms have the terminal ‘ch’ sound. So I’d say this was a remnant specific that somehow survived as a field name, ie the original might have been achadh na cloiche. The slenderisation in the genitive case here might produce cleich in Scots (with a bit of imagination!?)
A difficult one!