September 7, 2020 at 1:18 pm #1516
From Alan James – 9 June 2020
Rachel and I have been debating whether the land where the caravan site is now may have had a different name when it was a farm field. David Austen who farms there now has no idea, the generation of Murray-Ushers and those closely linked with them who remember the pre-caravan site days have passed on; Ruby (Robina) M-U always called it Sandgreen when telling me of times before it became a caravan site, and such written reminiscences as I’ve seen call it by that name; it’s not impossible that someone local might happen to recall some other name, but I don’t think there’s any reason to doubt that piece of land was generally called Sandgreen.
The ‘field’ is really a ‘green’, a stretch of sandy grassland above the shore of Airds Bay. It is shown on the 1st ed. OS map, the sinuous bounds are exactly the same as those of the caravan park today. It’s on the seaward side of Sandgreen Hill, which must have been named after the ‘green’. There were two sand-pits in it (presumably for utilitarian purposes, not, at least originally, bairns’ play!), and the bathing hut at the north end, with the long straight drive to Cally so the Murrays and their visitors could ride down to the beach for a splash and a picnic. So the name Sandgreen was evidently current in 1850, the piece of land might have had some other name before then, when it was presumably part of Airds farm, but Sandgreen seems to have been current for the past 150 years or so.
I’m forming the impression that ‘green’ in local field-names may go back to the time of large-scale cattle-droving, 17th – 19th cts, it turns up near old routeways that were probably used by drovers, and a ‘green’ may have been specifically a piece of grassland where the cattle could pause to feed (no doubt for some fee to the farmer or landowner). Judging by the map of fords across the Fleet estuary, Sandgreen would have been a convenient spot for feeding the herds after they’d made the crossing.
I’d tended to dismiss Sandgreen as a not very interesting name for a caravan site, but the more we look at these places, the more we can find!
AlanSeptember 7, 2020 at 1:19 pm #1517
From Nic Coombey/David Steel – 22 May 2020
here is the reply from David Steel. I guess you have already spoken to David Austin. I will have a look though my Cally file but don’t remember anything about Sandgreen.
———- Forwarded message ———
Date: Fri, 22 May 2020 at 11:53
Subject: Re: Sandgreen
To: email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Gatehouse Folk web site has information on the 1934 proposal for a golf course at Sandgreen. R S Glover built the house at Rough Point about 1911. I have not looked at the feu charter for this house which should be in the Cally cartulary in the Stewartry museum and might give an earlier name. The Golf plan shows that the adjacent lands were on Boreland farm. You will recall that Cally mains had a map of their field names. Maybe the Austins at Boreland of Girthon have an old map.
I was wondering if Castle Haven had been scythed. I could go down there if necessary after next Friday.
DavidSeptember 7, 2020 at 1:29 pm #1523
From Alan James – 21 May 2020
I recall reading, though I can’t put my finger just now, reminiscences of members of the Murray-Usher family making their way to Sandgreen from Cally (or Cushat Wood) to bathe there in late 19th – early 20th century. It’s pretty clear the location already had that name, Sandgreen Hill on the 1854 map must have been named after it, the field encloses the eponymous green and it would surprising if it had any other name. A shame that those who’d remember it before the campsite have, I think, all passed away, even since I moved here 10 years ago.
AlanSeptember 7, 2020 at 1:30 pm #1524
From Rachel Lucas/Alan James – 21 May 2020
Yes in high Victorian and Edwardian times, even after they’d given up Cally Palace, the Murrays (-Stewart, -Baillie, -Usher) kept up the grounds as what must have been very pleasant parkland for themselves, their visitors and favoured tenants to enjoy, and Sandgreen seems to have been maintained as a bathing place (I suppose like the one at Knockbrex). I don’t know when the caravan and holiday cottage site began, when social distancing allows I’ll ask my neighbours, the Keatings (Geoff used to keep his yacht there) or David Steel; Nic may well know. I think probably in the early 1980s, when the bypass was built, and the younger M-Us were going their separate ways.
From: R Lucas <email@example.com>
Sent: 21 May 2020 18:16
To: Alan James <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Borgue fields more updates and queries
I didn’t know that! But that explains the bathing hut at the northern end of the beach. Must have been idyllic. I don’t know when the campsite was developed, was it the same time as at Carrick?
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