The August 2021 edition of Dumfries & Galloway Life magazine has an article about the Borgue Field Names project.
There will be an exhibition of the Borgue Field Names project at the Mill on the Fleet in Gatehouse from mid-June until the end of July. Many thanks to Ken Smyth from Mill on the Fleet for providing the space and preparing the excellent presentation materials. Click on the image below for more information.
New gates and bridges across watercourses have been installed along the route of Core Path 181 which goes from Kirkandrews to Carrick. This now allows access along the shore westwards from Kirkandrews without having to detour up onto the road near the Coo Palace.
The route passes the Iron Age fort at Castle Haven then goes around Castle Haven Bay before following a rocky course along the shoreline to meet the track that comes down from the road towards the Bathing House at Barlocco Beach.
Please take care when walking along this route as it has not been navigable for many years. Even though there are now new gates to navigate walls and fences, it will take some time before a footpath route between the gates is established. The section around the north-west side of Castle Haven Bay is quite boggy but can be circumvented by staying in the landward field and following the track that leads down to the shore, as shown in the image above. The fields along the route are home to a variety of different types of cattle so be very careful when crossing the fields and keep dogs under close control.
New web pages have been added to the site with photographs and descriptions of some of the more interesting field names in the Borgue area. Fields such as Cuddle Cosy, Hac Noose and Doon Yeard are described. You can see them by navigation to PLACE->Borgue Field Names then selecting the menu items for each field.
The locations of Curling Ponds in Galloway have been added to the Galloway Place Names map. To show the ponds on the map, load the map by clicking on the image above then choose: Features->Curling Ponds from the menu at the top of the map. You can click on the curling pond symbols to get more information about each pond. Most of these are no longer used for curling but it shows how popular curling was in the past, with each village having its own pond or loch that was used for the sport. I’m sure that there are many more of these so please send in any information on curling pond locations using the form below.
A new map has been added to the site showing all of the place names collected in the Galloway Glens Place Names project.
An interactive map showing Borgue field names and other local information is now online. Click on the image above to see the map. The map displays all of the fields in the Borgue area along with an analysis of the origins of the field names. Other information can also be viewed on the map, including points of interest and data from other historical maps and sources.
A unique map of old place and field names around Borgue is nearing completion. But the Borgue Field Name Project is still missing a few pieces of the jigsaw. Hundreds of descriptions have been logged so far by a team of local volunteers. Now they are keen to fill in the gaps before age-old descriptions are lost forever. The project, part of the Galloway and South Ayrshire Biosphere’s PLACE initiative, depends on tapping into local knowledge. And according to Borgue Community Council chairman John Shields, the public response has been excellent. He said: “A big part of this project is to ensure this stuff survives and is catalogued. Otherwise, it will all be lost as this generation disappears. It has simply been a matter of knocking on farmers’ doors. And not just farmers but ex-farmworkers as well. Adam Gray who has sadly passed away was a keen historian. A lot of information came from the Gray estate.”
Borgue and its parish lands boast a rich Gaelic, Scots and Viking heritage dating back centuries. The village name itself derives from the Old Norse ‘borg’ signifying a stronghold. It only had the ‘ue’ added in recent years for the sake of appearance.
Mr Shields said: “There’s a lot of secondary information in many of the names. For example, they can tell us how the land was used and about the people involved in working it. Many names are of Celtic, Gaelic or Norse origin while some are named after local farmers of old.”
Among the local names researched is Hac Noose, a big field next to the shore-side road between Brighouse Bay and Rockvale. Its meaning could derive from the Old English for a hook-shaped headland. Another theory contends that it is based on the Old Norse ‘hack’ – a fish-trap. Mr Shields said: “We have not got a final solution to that one yet.”
Imaging of Borgue from the sea and map-making have formed part of the project. The Lottery-funded scheme is being supported by Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere and the Southern Uplands Partnership. Biosphere communities in the Wigtownshire Moors and the Stinchar Valley are also taking part.
As part of the PLACE project, some drone videos have been created to explore the landscape and place name origins of the Borgue area. The videos were created by Calum Ansell. The research on the place names was by Michael Ansell and Alan James. The video voice-over is by Alan McClure. Click here to view the videos.