Chinney Field

Chinney Field is an open area in Mabie Forest, Troqueer KCB. The name was a bit of a mystery. An old information board, if remember correctly, suggested that there was a china works on the site of the field. I’m not sure if china or chimney was the implied root of Chinney. In any case, there doesn’t seem to have been a china works or chimneys here at any point in the past and neither word is a particularly good fit for Chinney. That said, I couldn’t think of anything better.

The Chinney Field oak, Mabie Forest

Fortuantely, @euroak tweeted me to say that they’d spotted Dal cheny on a 1790 estate map of Mabie. This is surely the root of Chinney Field. The Chinney Field sits next to Dalshinnie Glen, where a burn flows down from Dalshinnie Loch. Neither of these names are in the the Ordnance Survey Name Books, but Dalshinnie Wood is. The entries read:

“A plantation the wood of which consists of ash, oak & fir. It takes its name from a house which formerly stood in an adjoining field called Ditchiney. The property of W. Howet of Mabie.” OS1/20/70/41

“A considerable plantation the wood consists of ash oak & fir. The property of R. Howit Esq. of Mabie.” OS1/20/93/3

The form Ditchiney (given by Samuel Carson) in the first entry is odd, particularly as the other forms in the spelling column all begin Dal-. As well as the estate map from 1790, spellings with -ch- appear in the 1819 Land Tax Rolls (E106/20/5/59, E106/20/6/93 & E106/20/6/141) and Maxwell’s The Place Names of Galloway records Dalchynnie from 1604.

Despite walking past up the Dalshinnie Glen countless times, I never made the connection between Dalshinnie and Chinney. Dalshinnie is from Gaelic dail ‘haugh, water meadow’ and sionnach ‘fox’, so we can can think of Chinney Field as Fox Field (though really it’s ‘field of a farm whose name is from the Gaelic for fox-haugh’ – but that’s a bit of a mouthful.)

A plan of part of the Estate of Mabie, James Wells (1790)
Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

[It’s worth noting that the Louth Field Names Project Catalogue November 2015 includes Chinney’s Garden and Chinney’s Field.]

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