BIRREN is a Scots word meaning ‘a camp’, i.e. a fortified earthwork. The best known example is the Roman fort of Blatobulgium at Birrens, Middlebie.

[Update 10/09/2022: Alan James has left a very interesting and useful comment on the etymology of BIRREN and some suggestions for the ‘borron’/’burran’ names mentioned at the end of this post. I’ve copied his comment below, as it’s too easy to miss the comments section on these pages.
Update 11/09/2022: I have included the references to ‘burians’ from the Statistical Accounts where the word is used as a lexical, rather than onomastic, item in section at the bottom of the post. I’ve also added an antedating of ‘birren’ as a lexical item.
Update 12/09/2022: Some more names added to the list; alternative forms for Borron, Kirkbean; a note on spellings; and a section on birrens in David Christison’s (1891) article.
Update 25/09/2022: Another burrence added to the list from E. Vernon’s 1742 Plan of Morton Muir.]

Plan of part of the lands in the parish of Middlebie belonging to His Grace the Duke of Buccleuch, 1821
Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

The Scottish National Dictionary’s only citation for the word comes from Tundergarth’s entry in the New Statistical Account, which notes in its Antiquities section that, “There are still to be seen in many places small entrenched camps or Birrens, as they are called. They are all on elevated situations; generally of a round form, very prominent, and in good preservations; and they consist of a strong vallum and fosse, without any outworks. The area seldom exceeds an acre, and is often less.” (There is a separate entry for BURIAN – ‘A mound, a tumulus; or, a kind of fortification’ – which cites the Old Statistical Account entry for Westerkirk. There are a handful more references to BURIANS in The Statistical Accounts here. I think they are likely the same word spelled differently.)

BIRREN looks like a word restricted to Dumfriesshire, appearing on the OS in the following places:

  • Birren, Westerkirk NY 334 888
  • Birren, Westerkirk NY 336 889
  • Birren Rig, Ewes NY 386 916
  • Birren Sike, Ewes NY 387 913
  • [The] Birrens (Roman Station), Middlebie NY 217 751
  • Birrens Cottage & Birrens Lodge, Middlebie NY 219 753
    • The estate map above includes Burran Holm, which didn’t make it to the OS
  • Birrens Hill, Middlebie NY 244 807
  • Birrens Moss, Middlebie NY 241 807
  • *Burian, Langholm NY 338 836 [This is marked as ‘Fort’ on the OS. However, two of the three entries in the Various modes of Spelling the same Names column in the Name Book entry give it as Burian.
  • Burian Hill, Langholm NY 364 818
  • Burrain Skelton, Applegarth NY 135 876 [This is marked as ‘Camp’ on the 1st edition map.]
  • Burrance, Kirkmichael NY 044 903
  • Burrancebridge, Kirkmichael NY 042 901
  • Burrancehill Cottages, Kirkmichael NY 042 912
  • Burrance, Lochmaben NY 090 858
  • Burrance Knowe, Lochmaben NY 090 857
  • Burranrig, Kirkmichael NY 051 907 [The form Burrangrig is given in the Name Book entry, but Burrancraig appears on the map. Burrenrig appears on the 2nd edition map.]
    • The Name Book entry for Burranrig is instructive, especially as no earthwork is marked on the map: “A farm house with offices garden and farm of land attached. There was a small camp in the garden, from which this house got the name, at present there is no vestige. Burran is the local name for Camps, but Burrance is the mode adopted, in this Parish, for spelling the names derived from them.” OS1/10/32/83
  • Burrence, Morton. Recorded on E. Vernon’s 1742 Plan of Morton Muir.
  • Burronhill, Mousewald NY 057 730 and Burronhill Well NY 056 731. Between these two names ‘Camp (Remains of)’ is marked. Burronhill becomes Burnhill on the 2nd edition and the well is no longer named or marked; the camp becomes ‘fort’.
  • Haw Birren, Eskdalemuir NY 226 928
  • Hizzie Birren, Westerkirk NY 315 899
  • Lower Birren Knowe & Upper Birren Knowe, Eskdalemuir NY 235 937 [On the 1st edition map these are Lower & Upper Burying Knowe]
  • Rye Birren is mentioned in Dr Moffat’s 1863 ‘On the Finding and Position of the Relics Discovered at Corrie LochTDGNHAS p. 53. Rye-Birn is mentioned in the OS Name Book entry for Turfy Knowe, Eskdalemuir (OS1/10/15/38) but the name doesn’t appear on the map, where it is marekd as ‘Fort’ at NY 219 930.
  • White Birren, Westerkirk NY 273 914
  • The OS Name Books include a scored-out entry for Birrens Castle, Kirkpatrick-Juxta: “A small hill of cultivated land. There is no tradition or his[torical] acc[oun]t concenring it.” In red ink beneath the name is “Only applied as a field name.” There is a circular fort marked at NY 089 991, which may be the referent of the name.
  • Burnswark Hill, Middlebie NY 186 787 is given as Birrenswark Hill on the 1st edition OS. Birren here is likely a reanalysis of Burn as the name is recorded in 1541 as Burniswerkhill.
  • Johnson-Ferguson’s The Place-Names of Dumfriesshire records Birronlees (site unknown) in Kirkpatrick-Fleming.
  • Thrumcaps Yard (Fort), Westerkirk NY 325 890 is described as a ‘burian’ in its Name Book entry: “This name applies to a Burian or circular fortified place.”

However, earlier in the week, The Dumfries Archival Mapping Project posted a link to 46 Kirkcudbrightshire estate maps from the Yale Centre for British Art. On two of these, there are circular earthworks labelled Birran and Old Birron. These maps are notable for showing that BIRREN had currency outwith eastern Dumfriesshire.

Old Birron is marked on the 1st edition OS as Little Spyland Moat (NX 730 539).

unknown artist, nineteenth century, A Collection of Surveys of Scottish Estates of the Earl of Selkirk: Little Sypeland, undated, Graphite, watercolor, gray wash, pen and black ink on slightly textured, moderately thick, cream wove paper, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, B1975.2.82

The Birran marked on the plan of Back Gatas appears to be the Fort at NX 709 479 on the OS. (Gatas becomes Galtway by the time of the 1st edition of the OS.)

unknown artist, (James Tait), A Collection of Surveys of Scottish Estates of Earl of Selkirk: Plan of the Back Gatas Lying in the Parish of Kirkcudbright, 1764, Pen and brown ink, watercolor on slightly textured, moderately thick, beige wove paper backed with cloth, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, B1975.2.89

These westerly BIRRENS might prompt us to look for other examples in Kirkcudbrightshire and further afield. Maxwell’s The Place Names of Galloway includes an entry for Borrom in Kirkcudbright, but doesn’t give a source or more precise location. It’s not a particularly strong BIRREN candidate, but I think there is a possibility that it could be a (slightly garbled) instance of this word.

Borrance, Kirkbean appears in the 1819 Land tax roll. This is perhaps another western BIRREN, using the Burrance form described in the entry for Burranrig, above. This appears to be the Borron (NX 994 579) that’s marked on the 1st edition OS. Notably, it sits next to McCulloch’s Castle: “A fortress situated on the sea coast of the lands of Arbigland. It is surrounded on the land side by a fosse or ditch and on the sea side by a steep precipice about 100 feet in height.” (OS1/20/142/10) Maxwell in The Place Names of Galloway takes the name to be Gaelic boirreann ‘a large rock, a stony district’. Update 12/09/2022: I knew I’d seen Borran spelt differently but I couldn’t remember where. It finally came back to me: Walter Newall’s Untitled [Plan or River Nith from Dumfries to Southerness] records Burron and Burron P[oin]t; Ferguson and Gellatly’s 1835 Plan of the Estate of Arbigland lying in the parish of Kirkbean and the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright belonging to D. Hamilton Craik Esq. records Burran. Burron Point is also mentioned in the Name book entry for Channel of the River Nith (OS1/10/5/63).

There is place called Burian Hole (NO 863 756) in Kincardineshire which is perhaps an example of an even further flung BIRREN/BURIAN. The name refers to an inlet that sits beneath Adam’s Castle: “A bold precipitous promontory, said to be the site of an ancient Castle, but of which not a vestige remains.” (OS1/19/13/46).

A note on spellings

J. M. Sloan’s (1904) The Carlyle Country notes that Burrance was “the old orthography” for Birrens (p. 19), as seen on the inscription “Here lyes John Carlyle who died in Burrance March the 11th, 1727, aged 40 years” (p. 158). This <-ce> for <-s> spelling is probably seen at Borrance and Borron in Kirkbean. [What the -s is doing is another matter: plural; locational genitive (e.g. at the dentist’s, Tesco’s etc); Scots speakers adding -s to place-names seemingly at random?]

The <u> and <i> forms seen in birren and burron/burrance could be the result of different etymological pathways out of Old Northumbrian (Alan James, pers. comm.). However, it might be the case that these forms arose much later as different realisations of the same word. /ɪ/ and /ʌ/ are fairly close in Scots and there is some variation and overlap in the pronunciation of words such as BIRN (‘the scorched stem of heather which remains after the smaller twigs are burnt’) for which the SND records [bɪ̢̈rn, bʌrn, bɛrn]. The ebb and flow of /ɪ/ and /ʌ/ in Birrens/Burrance and Burnswark/Birrenswark suggest that in the pronunciation of BIRREN wasn’t stable (and/or that there was some uncertainty in how to transcribe it). We see a similar mix of <u> and <o> forms at Borron/Burran, Kirkbean. This doesn’t, of course, rule out different roots for the <u> and <i> forms, but I don’t think the different forms necessarily require it as an explanation.

The change from Burronhill to Burnhill in Mousewald draws attention to the fact that burron is very close (and for some speakers identical to) the pronunciation of BURN ‘stream’ as [bʌrən]. There may well be unrecorded burrons (and birrens) to be found, which have been reanalysed as burns. And as David Christison (see below) notes, there are other forms such as Baron- which might be birrens in disguise.

Burian as a lexical item in The Statistical Accounts of Scotland

Both BIRREN and BURIAN have just one citation in the Scottish National Dictionary. Each is from The Statistical Accounts of Scotland. These documents include four other mentions of burians from the 1790s to the 1840s, suggesting that the word was still in general use in Dumfriesshire until relatively recently. I’ve included those not referred to in the SND, below. And as not too many generations separate us from the time of the New Statistical Account, it would be interesting to see if anyone in the area still uses or recognises the word.

  • “They [burians] are supposed by some to be remains of Pictish encampments; others think that they were places of strength, into which the inhabitants collected their cattle, when alarmed with a visitation from the English Borderers; and many are of opinion that they were formed for the purpose of protecting the cattle, during the night, from the ravages of wild beasts, when this country was mostly covered with wood. The last of these suppositions seems to receive some countenance from the following circumstances, that there is a burian on almost every farm, end that its situation, in general, is on the first piece dry or rising ground that is to be met with in the neighbourhood of the farm-stead, especially when such a situation is rendered the more inaccessible, by the bank of the river, or some other adjoining precipice.” Westerkirk, County of Dumfries, OSA, Vol XI, 1794, pp. 528-529
  • Burians are to be seen in different places; but whether they were British towns, or asylums or cattle, or Castra exploratoria, or for what other purposes they were formed and appropriated , shall be left for antiquaries to determine.” Langholm, County of Dumfries, OSA, Vol. XIII, 1794 p. 599
  • “There are a great number of cairns or burians; also many circular inclosures on hills and eminences, formed by a great quantity of stones, which have now no appearance of having been built. They measure in diameter from 100 to 200 feet. They are commonly supposed to have been used for securing the cattle from enemies and thieves, in a country much infested with both.” Kirkpatrick-Juxta, County of Dumfries, OSA, Vol. IV, 1792, p. 522
  • “A great number of burians are in this parish, of a circular form, and measuring from 36 to 50 yards in diameter. These are supposed by some antiquaries to be remains of Pictish encampments; while others are of opinion that they were merely place of strength into which the people collected their cattle at night for security from the English borderers. There is also a third conjecture, that they were for the purpose of protecting the cattle during the night from the ravages of the wild beasts, when the country was covered with wood.” Westerkirk, County of Dumfries, NSA, Vol. IV, 1845, p. 432-433

An antedating of birren as a lexical item

While in some ways it would be more interesting to bring the recorded usage of birren as a lexical item forward than back, an antedating is always welcome. The Scottish National Dictionary‘s only citation for BIRREN is from 1834. We can push that back six years to 1828 with Mrs Blackford’s The Eskdale Herd Boy, A Scottish Tale, for the Instruction and Amusement of Young Persons:

  • “Soon after her little song was finished, Helen’s attention was caught by a green plat of ground, about fifty or sixty feet in breadth, surrounded by circular earthen walls; and pointing to it, she asked her father what that was. He told her it was called a birren in that country, where there were several of them, and that they were supposed to have been intended for places of safety for the cattle at the time of the border wars.” pp. 26-27

Birrens in ‘A General View of the Forts, Camps, and Motes of Dumfriesshire, with a detailed description of those in Upper Annandale, and an introduction to the study of Scottish Motes’ (1891)

David Christison’s article in the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland includes a section on ‘Birren, &c‘ at pp. 205-207. This mentions that in addition to the “‘the numerous forms of the word already give, it is possible that it appears again in a Barronfield (with a fort) in Annandale and a Baronhill in Nithsdale.” [p. 206] I’ve not located these yet but am on the lookout.

In his section on the derivation of birren he notes that “mention must be made of the statement in M’Taggart’s Galloway Dictionary [i.e. The Scottish Gallovidian Encyclopedia] that Birren signifies the the female organs of generation in Galloway [s.v. BYRRAN ‘The female nymphae’], a statement which has been confirmed by local information as being true not only of Galloway, but of Dumfries. No better example of the difficulty of ascertaining the root in an important place-name could ben given than in the case of Birren.” This (surely) has no bearing on birren, but it is nonetheless of lexicographical interest. BYRRAN is not, as far as I am aware, recorded in the Scottish National Dictionary. Christison’s remark is useful for extending the recorded range of this obscure word.

Comment by Alan James 09 09 2022

I’m very grateful to Alan for this note on the etymology of birren. As is often the case with these things, this is work in progress and some details may be changed or refined:

“‘Birren’ is commonly referred to OE byrġen, which occurs in place-names, especially in charter boundaries in the English south and midlands. It’s from Germanic *burg-, with the general sense of ‘protection’, and specifically from the verbal root *burg-ijan ‘to shelter’, becoming via OE burian, ‘to bury’. The suffix is West Germanic *-inno- with the sense of ‘place’, so *burgij-inna- > byrġen is ‘a burial-place’. However, these English place-names are good way away, and the ‘birrens’ of Dmf and Kcb are forts and earthworks, not burials. I suggest that ‘birrens’ might represent a Northumbrian Old English word derived from the same *burg- root, but with a slightly different origin – a nominal rather than a verbal stem, West Germanic *burgaz ‘a shelter’ (becoming OE burh ‘a stronghold’, Scots burgh ‘a walled town’); *burg- with the same suffix –inna would yield a homophone of the southern byrġen, but the meaning would be not ‘a burial-place’ but ‘a fortified place’.

I’m not quite sure that ‘borron’, ‘burron’ are from quite the same origin as ‘birren’; we need to take into account, at least as possible influences, a few other words. Firstly, in north-west England we find a different, though closely related, OE word for ‘a burial’, *burgæsn, becoming burgæns, thence Middle English *burghan and so modern dialectal borran, ‘a burial-place, a cairn’. Secondly, as Maxwell mentioned, Irish Gaelic boir(r)ean ‘a large rock, a stony district, a rocky hill’, a term which occurs in quite a few place-names in Ireland, most famously The Burren in Co. Clare (so note that, while Borron Hill has McCulloch’s Castle, and also a ring-fort revealed by crop-marks, close by is Stony Park in the grounds of Arbigland House, where a remarkable scatter of stones turned out to be a Mesolithic flint-working site). Third, while there’s no Scottish Gaelic word corresponding to boirean in Dwelly’s Dictionary, there are borran and boirinn, both ‘haunch, buttock’: hill-profiles might have suggested that in some cases. And, finally, it’s just possible that Old Norse borginn ‘the fort’ might have been adapted by Gaelic speakers to something like boirinn.”

Lost Names from Bishopton, KCB

The Dumfries Archival Mapping Project (DAMP) just posted a link to 46 Kirkcudbrightshire estate maps from the Yale Centre for British Art. The first I looked at, a map of Bishopton, has 14 place-names that didn’t make it onto the Ordnance Survey. I’ll write up some notes on these later, but for now here is a list of the names and their (approximate) grid references.

Update 21/02/2022: Added some very brief notes.

unknown artist, A Collection of Surveys of Scottish Estates of the Earl of Selkirk: Bishopton, undated, Graphite, watercolor, pen and black ink on slightly textured, moderately thick, cream wove paper, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, B1975.2.71

Barend moss, NX 664 507

Cormorar how, NX 664 508

A HOWE is ‘a hollow’ in Scots. Cormorar appears to be an otherwise unrecorded Gaelic name.

Deadwifes Well, NX 671 511

Dead Wife’s Moss (NX 671 511) is marked on the OS. Its Name Book entries record the tradition that a dead woman was found (drowned) there:

“A small portion of land which was formerly a moss but is now reclaimed. It is on the farm of Bishopton, and is traditionally hand[ed] down that a woman had been found dead on it, hence the name.” OS1/20/151/11

“A small hollow situated on the farm of Bishopton, which John Nicol of Newton says was a moss at one time but is now reclaimed, and that it is traditionally handed down of an old woman having been drowned in it, hence the name.” OS1/20/151/146D

Deadwifes Well and Deadwifes Strand below are notable for giving us additional records of this ‘Dead Wife’ name. It is interesting that the map doesn’t include Dead Wife’s Moss, the name which made it onto the OS.

Deadwifes strand, NX 672 508 [Chainge Burn]

See above. STRAND is Scots for ‘small burn/little stream’. It’s a common element in Galloway.

Ghaist how, NX 658 502

A Scots name meaning ‘ghost hollow’. There may be some connection with Knockbogle (see below) to the north.

Greatcross Yair, NX 673 503

A YAIR is a v-shaped fish trap. In D&G, this element only appears in places on the River Dee. The OS records Castle Sod Yair, Bishopton Yair, Gibbhill Yair, Fish House Yair, Tarf Yair and Dee Yair. This name adds another to our list, named after Great Cross – the “place is traditionally handed down as being the spot where the outer gate or entrance to St Mary’s priory stood” (OS1/20/151/53) – which is a little to the east of it.

Town Yair, below, is an alternative name for Gibhill Yair.

Knockbogle, NX 661 508

There a few options for this name. It could be a Scots name formed of KNOCK ‘hill’ + BOGLE ‘a ghost, spectre, phantom’ in inverted position, modelled after Gaelic element order. These names are not common but do occur. A parallel might be Knockmowdie ‘mole hill’ in Kells.

The 2nd option is that this is a Gaelic name formed from cnoc ‘hill’ + an element that has been reanalysed by Scots speakers as bogle.

A third option is that this is a Gaelic name which has used the Scots word bogle. Names like this are a rare but important set. Examples include Ballyett, Stranraer and Culgrange, Inch.

Knockwhae, NX 661 511

A Gaelic name: cnoc ‘hill’ + ?

Langmyoch Moss, NX 661 503 [Reed Loch]

This name looks like it contains the otherwise unrecorded name *Myoch, unless -myoch represents a Scots word I haven’t been able to identify. A MOSS is a ‘(peat)’ bog’.

Lochenennie, NX 665 515

A Gaelic name: loch + an + ?

Lochen shalloch, NX 660 507

A Gaelic name: loch + an + seileach ‘willow’

Lochentammock, NX 662 515

A Gaelic name: loch + an + ? (perhaps Scots TAMMOCK ‘hillock’, or a form of Gaelic tom from which the Scots word was borrowed).

Sunday Well, NX 666 503

There is a Sunday Well in Dunscore (NX 807 848): “A good spring, the water of which is deepened by a stone dam round it, seemingly very old. There is a tradition, that, at some remote time, there were great numbers of people baptised here. The farm takes the name from the well.” OS1/10/13/22

This name is, I believe, only the second one recorded in Scotland.

Town Ya[ir], NX 672 506 [Gibhill Yair]

See Greatcross Yair, above.

Transferred Place-Names in Dumfries and Galloway

Names which refer to other, usually far-off, places are dotted across the landscape. These place-names are different to places which coincidentally share the same name, such as the many Eatons in England and Burnsides in Scotland. Transferred place-names make a direct link between one place and another. They can refer to some characteristic of the source name (often just its remoteness), a personal association with the place, or a commemoration of a famous event. There are at least 25 separate locations on the globe which have been transferred to places in Dumfries and Galloway. The most distant being Kamay – Botany Bay; the closest the Isle of Man.

Transferred place-names can be incorporated into other names, such as California Plantation (Whithorn) which is named after the farm house California rather than the California in America. I’ve not made any distinction between these names in the list below. The name California Plantation will spark an association with America not the Machars for most people. Such associations will vary from person to person. When I saw Portobello (Kirkcolm) on the map, I thought of Edinburgh and not Panama (let alone the 1739 Battle of Porto Bello after which both places were named).

Places from fiction or supernatural places probably belong to another category. I’ve included Lothlórien but left Paradise, Purgatory and Hell for another post. I have not included house-names given from around the middle of the 20th century, which saw an explosion of transferred names.


The name Barbados is from either Portuguese or Spanish, meaning ‘the bearded ones’. Who or what that referred to is unclear. The Pre-Columbian name was Ichirouganaim, or similar.

Barbadoes Villa, Wigtown WIG NX 432 549

The history of this house is the subject of Donna Brewster’s book The House That Sugar Built. There is a summary of the house an its occupants in the Wigtown Women’s Walk leaflet at no. 18. This leaflet mentions “a Mochrum saddler who having established a business in Barbadoes, returned to Wigtown to build this Caribbean-Georgian style house”. I’ve not yet read The House That Sugar Built, but I presume the business he established exploited enslaved people. A John McGuffie is listed as one of awardees of compensation for an estate in Barbados with 128 enslaved people, in Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slavery database (Barbados 3570A-D). I’m not sure if this John McGuffie is associated with Barbadoes Villa.

  • “A neat house built of s[tone] 2 stories high, built by Mr [x] McGuffie, who occupies [sa…] on the property of the Ea[rl] of Galloway.” OS1/35/52/50

Botany Bay

On 29 April 1770 James Cook landed at Kamay, Australia. Before being named Botany Bay after the “great quantity of plants Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander found in this place”, the area was known by Cook and others as Stingrays Harbour. [Wikipedia; national museum australia] Botany Bay was the site of a British penal settlement, which was moved very shortly to Sydney Cove (Warrane). Despite the move, Botany Bay remained in use as shorthand for any penal settlements in Australia.

The implications of Botany Bay as a transferred name are hard labour, threat of transportation (for e.g. poaching) and remoteness. One of the Name Book entries for Botany Hill, Leswalt records a saying that “it was preferable to serve in Botany Bay than to work on it or at it.”

Botany Bay, Penpont DMF NS 758 045

  • “A tongue of land lying between March and Welltrees Burn.” OS1/10/42/19

Botany Bay, Wigtown WIG NX 431 553

This street is unnamed on the 2nd ed. six-inch map; however, it is Botany Street on the 25 inch 2nd ed.

  • “A back lane of Wigtown on its S. side is a brewery the remr. of the same side are cottages, built of stone.” OS1/35/52/6
  • “A back lane on the N side of Wigtown on its S. side is a Brewery.2 OS1/35/52/21

Botany Hill, Leswalt WIG NX 001 589

  • Knocknamoak: “A small hill on the lands of K[nock] and Maize the soil of which is pa[rt] arable and part heathy pasture. The name Botany Hill is but recent[ly] applied to this hill but little known exce[pt] in the immediate vicinity.” OS1/35/34/4
  • Botany Hill: “A small hill the soil of which is very indifferent. & is partly arable & partly heathy pasture. It is on the lands of Knock and Maize and derived its name from time it was first tilled, from a saying that it was preferable to serve in Botany Bay than to work on it or at it. It is the property of the Earl of Stair”. OS1/35/34/44
  • Knock-na-Moak: “Botany Hill is a name recently given to this hill and only a local one. Knock na Moak I think should be entered on plan” OS1/35/34/44


On 9 September 1850 California became the 31st state admitted to the United States of America, an event which post-dates the names below. The etymology of the name California itself has a Wikipedia article of its own.

Remoteness is the typical association for fields named California. A New Dictionary of English Field-Names notes that a references The California Gold Rush might be a possibility in some names. This gold rush started in 1848, which is too late for any of the names below.

California, Kirkmichael DMF NY 043 863

This was a woodland called North Planting in 1835 (H. Stitt, Plan of Dalfibble RHP37625).

  • Dalfibble (Queensberry Estate Plans, Volume 1), D. McCallum & John Francis Dundas, 1854 RHP38143/18

California, Kirkmabreck KCB NX 512 560

  • “The ruins of a farm house with out houses in good repa[ir] and a farm of land attach[ed] in the occupation of m. M[c]Quhir of Bagbie. The proper[ty] of Miss Hannay of Kirkdal[e]” OS1/20/124/46

California, Whithorn WIG NX 420 411

The Authorities for spelling column in the Name Book entry below lists a Royal Engineers map from 1819.

  • “A small farm house & offices in middling repair on the estate of S.H. Stewart Esq of Physgill & Glasserton.” OS1/35/84/19 [Similar entry at OS1/35/84/95]

California Plantation, Whithorn WIG


A New Dictionary of English Field-Names notes that the “names of towns in Ireland were sometimes given to small settlements of migrant workers from the places concerned.”

Little Dublin Street, Stranraer WIG NX 0607 6064

This street becomes Mill Hill Street by the 2nd ed. six-inch, with Little Ireland (and Mill Street) renamed as Hanover Square. There is a clear view of both Little Dublin street and Little Ireland on the OS Town Plan of Stranraer (Scale 1: 1056): Stranraer – Sheet Sheet 4. Surveyed: 1847, Published: 1849. The earliest of record of Little Dublin and Little Ireland on the map is, I believe, John Wood’s Plan of Stranraer from 1843.

  • “A short narrow street branch[ing] westward off Lewis Street to Little Ireland, the houses are from one [to] two storeys high Slated and in g[ood] repair chiefly occupied by m[e]chanics and labourers. This street i[s] drained and macadamised” OS1/35/35/52
  • “A narrow street, branching off Lewis St. and terminating at a place called Little Ireland. The house are from one to two stories high slated and in good repair. Occupied by tradesmen and labourers, it is macadamised, drained and having causeways on both sides” OS1/35/35/173

Drury Lane

Drury Lane is a street in London. The name is often used as shorthand for the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

Drury Lane, Glasserton WIG NX 434 379

Maxwell’s entry for Drury Lane – which he places in Whithorn – in The Place Names of Galloway (1903, p. 128) is as follows: “A modern and quasi-humorous adaptation of dobharach [douragh], dúrach, meaning wet land, with L. Sc. lane, a slow-running stream, added. This exactly describes that place.” The reference, whether original or through reanalysis, is presumably to the theatre rather than the street itself.

  • “A small farm house & offices in good repair on the estate of S. H. Stewart Esq of Physgill & Glasserton” OS1/35/84/13
  • “A small farm house and outhouses with a farm of land attached the soil of which is arable” OS1/35/84/139


Places tend to be called Egypt either because of their remoteness or because of associations with gypsies or other travellers.

Egypt, Kirkpatrick-Juxta DMF NT 067 043

This is one of three cottages (along with Rosetta and Valenciennes) Kirkpatrick-Juxta with transferred names. The Name Book entry below tells us that rather than referring to some characteristic of the land, these names commemorate places where a local general visited during his career.

  • “A neat cottage with garden attached, there was at former times a piece of land round this place that was called Egypt; and the house is sometimes called by that name. [In new ink] Note. The late General Johnstone who distinguished himself in several engagements in Flanders and Egypt in 1801, gave to several houses then being built distinctive names of countries and towns where he sojourned during these campaigns hence Egypt in this particular instance.” OS1/10/34/54

Little Egypt, Kirkmabreck KCB

  • “There is also a field on a farm not far from Barholm Castle knows as “Little Egypt,” but when asked why it was so called, the farmer said, “Because it is a dry barren place.” […] and surely it is not without significance that we should have “The Gypsy Weil,” “The Gypsy Burn” at Carsluith, and “Little Egypt” near Mossyard,” Andrew McCormick (1907) The Tinkler-Gypsies, pp. 112-113


The only other Germany name in Scotland in the OS Name Books is Muir of Germany (with Wood of Muir of Germany, which becomes Wood of Germany on the 2nd ed. six-inch) in Glenbervie, Kincardineshire. The name Germany may be a reference to remoteness or signify a personal association with the country.

Germany, Buittle KCB

  • The Stewartry of Kirkcudbright [south east section], John Ainslie, 1797 EMS.s.680

Germany Isle, Girthon KCB NX 582 611

Alan James, in Place-names in and around the Fleet Valley: G, notes that “Names of foreign lands when given to fields are quite often just a joking indication that they are some way away from the farm, a bit difficult to get to, and that could be the case here. But it might be that an owner or tenant once had some connection with Germany, perhaps in military service.”

  • “A small island in the Little Water of Fleet, near to the ruin[s] of “Drumshangan.”” OS1/20/105/16
  • “A small island in the Little Water of Fleet near the ruins of Drumshangan & on the estate of H.S. Murrey Esq of Broughton. OS1/20/105/58

High Germany, Dunscore DMF NX 870 849

The name High Germany implies a lost name such as *Germany or *Low Germany. The Name Book entry below tells us that the name was given to two farms on the hill, which has now been transferred to the hill itself. The entry also tells us that it was named by an old soldier, presumably one who served in Germany. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that place-names often give rise to the stories associated with them and the association with the soldier might be a post hoc rationalisation of the name.

  • “It is presumed Germany is [xx] meant. This name was formerl[y] given by an old soldier to two fa[rms] situate on the height of this hill. The name is now applied to the hill o[nly].” OS1/10/13/40


Little Ireland [Street], Stranraer WIG

Like Little Dublin above, this name is likely to refer to Irish labourers who lived here. See Little Dublin Street, above, for map references.

  • “A short irregular street the continuation of Little Dublin Street the houses are irregularly built and scattered some of them slated & some thatched occupied chiefly by labourers. The street is macadamised and drained” OS1/35/35/53 [Little Ireland]
  • “This is an irregular built place. The houses are small some of them slated and some of them thatched and scattered. It takes its name from Irish people inhabiting it. [I]t is macademised and drained” OS1/35/35/172 [Little Ireland Street]

Isle of Man

In English field-names, Isle of Man can allude to “some insular position or to shape, some being in the form of a three-pointed star, resembling the bade of the Isle of Man.”

Isle of Man, Dryfesdale DMF

  • Plan of the farm of Croftheads; Plan of the farm of Broomhouse (Dryfesdale), William Crawford, 1821, RHP37544

Isle of Man, Dumfries DMF NY 007 752

This area is marked as ‘Lands of Trench &c &c belonging to different Proprietors’ on William 7 David Crawford’s c. 1820 Plan of the Barony of Craigs and part of the Barony of Tinwald in the county of Dumfries.

Isle of Wight

In English field-names, Isle of Wight can refer to an ‘isolated piece of land, sometimes betwen two streams’ or ‘a filed shaped like the Isle of Wight’.

Isle of Wight, Glencairn DMF NX 852 860

Isle of Wight is not written in the List of Names as written on the Plan column in the Name Books. The entries below have been scored out. Nonetheless, it appears on the 1st and 2nd ed. six-inch OS maps as a diamond shaped island, which bears a passing resemblance to the Isle of Wight. The current OS doesn’t mark the name or the island, and no island can be seen on satellite imagery. Notably, both entries in the name book describe it as a pool not an island.

  • “A deep pool in the Cairn Water, well known to old residents in the immediate locality, but not elsewhere. inapplicable.” OS1/10/21/233
  • “A large pool in Cairn Water, Not generally known beyond the immediate locality. Inapplicable.” OS1/10/21/245


This name survives in Jericho Loch, which the Jericho Fly Fishers webpage tells us was opened in 1980. It has a long history and has been the source of several now vanished names and is still generating new names – on 6 June 2022 The Standard reported that one of the new roads in the housing development on the site of the old Currie European depot will be Jericho Court. The earliest record in from 1797 where it refers to a farm-stead or other property. Names like this often begin as field-names, but the property may have been named independently.

A New Dictionary of English Field-Names notes that Jericho is a ‘remoteness’ name that also refers to ‘fields on which sick cattle were pastured’. It notes too the following sense, which is taken here from the OED: “Used in slang or colloquial phrases for a place of retirement or concealment, or a place far distant and out of the way.” A final possibility it suggests is a reference to crumbling walls, alluding to the walls of Jericho which “fell down flat” according to Joshua 6.

Jericho, Dumfries DMF NX 993 808

  • William McNeil Jericho 10 Nov 1797 E326/10/2/225 & E326/10/8/283 [Farm horse tax rolls]
  • Miniatures of the Three Maps of the River Lochar between the Bridge at Jericho and the Locharwoods Pow, as referred to in the Report [engraving], Walter Newall nd [c.1845?] GGD131/F5/03
  • “The Lochar commences near a small village upon the Edinburgh road, called Jericho […]” Tinwald and Trailflat, County of Dumfries, New Statistical Account, vol. IV, 1845 p. 40
  • “A small village on the road from Dumfries to Edinburg[h] 3½ miles frim the former, it is principally inhabited by labouring people. OS1/10/11/6
  • “A small village on the Edinburgh Road, 3 miles from Dumfries, consisting of cottage houses & one farm, the property of Miss Douglas. OS1/10/11/13

Jericho Farm

  • Miniatures of the Three Maps of the River Lochar between the Bridge at Jericho and the Locharwoods Pow, as referred to in the Report [engraving], Walter Newall nd [c.1845?] GGD131/F5/03

Jericho Meadow, NX 995 811

Jericho West Division, NX 991 811

Jericho South Division, NX 995 805

This covers the area of the current Jericho Loch.

Lochar bridge Hill or Jericho Plantation, NX 990 808


In English field-names Jerusalem can refer to remoteness or to land owned by Knights Hospitaller (The Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem).

Jerusalem Park/Fey, Old Luce WIG NX 211 550

This is marked on the OS, but the name is not recorded – as far as I can tell – in the Name Books. Although Jerusalem Park appears on the OS, it is more commonly referred to elsewhere as Jerusalem Fey, FEY being a (predominantly Galloway) word for ‘the in-field or cultivated land nearest the farm-buildings in the old system of tillage’.

The following records are, directly or indirectly, all from George Wilson:

Wilson, George (1899) ‘List of the Antiquities of Glenluce, Wigtownshire, with Descriptive Notes’, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland33, pp. 170-185 <>:

  • Kilfillan Chapel. — The men of the 6-inch Ordnance Survey were sent back to search in the Jerusalem Fey of Kilfillan till they found the site of the chapel. There had been a village there, and on digging up remains of a slate roof the surveyors fixed on that spot as the chapel site. It is marked by solitary white thorn tree on the right side of Barnsallie Burn. On both the old and the new O.S/ maps it is called “Kirkchrist Chapel.” But I shall show that there are two Holy Wells, a fact which seems to indicated that there were two chapels also, one on Kilfillan and another at Kirkchrist. A former tenant of Filfillan farm told me that in clearing away the ruins of the ancient village in teh Jerusalem Fey the workmen refused to uproot the white thorn trees, and it was with much difficulty he got a man to undertake such an unlucky task.” p. 172
  • St Fillan’s Well is in a marsh opposite the Jerusalem fey of Filfillan. It is marked in the O.S. 6-inch map as “Chapel Well” in black-letter. The marsh is between the Barnsallie and Milton burns. It is called simply “the Holy Well,” but is said to have been connected with Kifillan Chapel.” p.173

Wilson, George (1873) ‘Notice of Sculptured Stones at Laggangarn, Mull of Sunnoness, Airrelich and Cassendeoch, Wigtownshire’, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 10, pp. 55-61 <>:

  • “Cassendoch is about a quarter of a mile north of the site of Kirkchrist Chapel, in the Jerusalem Fey, on Filfillan farm, so that the stone may have belonged to it.” p. 61

Conway, Daniel (1882) ‘Holy Wells in Wigtonshire’, in Archæological and Historical Collections Relating to the Counties of Ayr and Wigton, vol. III, pp. 85-98 <link>:

  • “Here a white thorn tree, in the Jerusalem Fey, is supposed to mark the site of the old chapel. There had been a village there, and the Ordnance surveymen, in digging, found a place where teh roof had been covered with slates, and marked that spot as the site of the chapel. A little way off, in a marshy place on the opposite side of the brook, the South Milton farm, is a well, said to have been the Holy Well of the chapel, but I have not heard the name of any saint connected with it.” p. 95 [Note 2: Rev. George Wilson’s letter, 29th July 1880.

Lake Superior

Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes in North America. Wikipedia has a list of other referents of the name.

Lake Superior, Inch WIG NX 086 794

This is recent, artificial lake. It doesn’t appear on the 1st or 2nd ed. six-inch maps. The earliest record of the lake and the name I have found is from 1957: NX07SE – A Surveyed / Revised: Pre-1930 to 1956, Published: 1957.


A New Dictionary of English Field-Names notes that London is associated with “remote fields, or for land beside a main road, or for land on which rough dwellings had been erected.” It notes too that Little London is “associated with drovers’ camps”.

Little London, Lochrutton KCB NX 888 721

This name only appears on an estate map from 1815. There are no Little Londons elsewhere in Scotland recorded on the 1st or 2nd ed. six-inch OS maps.

  • A Plan of the Loch Rutton Estate comprending the property in Loch Rutton and Urr parishes in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright belonging to Marmaduke Constable Maxwell…1815, William Mounsey Acc 7932/06

London Moss, Caerlaverock DMF

The earliest record of this name is Landon Moss, on Crawford’s 1804 map of Dumfries-shire. It is London Moss elsewhere. I have included the earliest map from each of the cartographers below. Additional maps can be seen here: County maps of Dumfriesshire

  • Landon Moss, Map of Dumfries-shire from an actual survey, 1804, William Crawford [Signet.s.021]
  • London Moss, The environs of Edinburgh, Haddington, Dunse, Kelso, Jedburgh, Hawick, Selkirk, Peebles, Langholm and Annan, making a complete map of the South East district of Scotland, 1812, John Ainslie [EMS.s.741]
  • London Moss, Dumfriesshire [bottom left section], 1828, John Thomson [EMS.s.712(6)]
  • London Moss, [Dumfriesshire] / surveyed by Crawford & Son, for the Atlas of Scotland, 1828, William Crawford [EMS.b.5.10(06)]
  • London Moss, Map of the county of Dumfries with the railways, ?1850, W. & A.K. Johnston [EMS.b.1.99]


Lothlórien is the woodland realm of elves in J.R.R. Tolkein’s Middle Earth.

Lothlorian, Balmaclellan KCB 754 784

Lothlorien is “a therapeutic community for people with mental health problems” founded in 1974.

Mount Pisgah

(Mount) Pisgah is a biblical name, mentioned in Deuteronomy 34 and Numbers 23. It is found across Scotland; the GB1900 Gazetteer records 14 Pisga(h) names. There is a a Pishag Hill in Kirkconnel DMF marked on the 1856 Queensberry Estate plan of Carcarse and Kelloside. There is a chance this could be a an error for *Pisgah Hill. It’s worth noting that the surveyors of these maps weren’t prone to errors though.

Pisgah Hill, Tundergarth DMF NY 162 807

As the Name Book entry below notes, this was also known as Mount Pisgah which is how it is marked on Nicholson’s 1851 Map of Scroggs and Moss Head estates in the parish of Tundergarth…belonging to William Frederick Powell.

  • “A hill feature on the farm of Scroggs. Sometimes named Mount Pisgah, & Pisgah Hill. Pisgah is the name recommended it is said to be a Scriptural name.” OS1/10/48/79

Mount Pisga, Anwoth KCB NX 578 601

  • “A small hill on the farm of Ornockenough, its surface consists of rocky heathy pasture formerly there had been a farm of this name here, but long since united with that or Ornockenough.” OS1/20/126/3

New England

New England, Glasserton WIG NX 437 395

This name survives as New England Plantation on the current OS.

  • “Two cottages, one in each side of the road & about 1/4 of a mile S. W. of the Burgh of Whithorn on the road to Port William and on the estate of S. H. Stewart Esqr. of Physgill & Glasserton. So name by the late Admiral Stewart.” OS1/35/84/5
  • “Two cottages in good repair on the estate of S. H. Stewart Esq of Glasserton. So named by the late Admiral Stewart.” OS1/35/84/127

New England, Kirkmaiden WIG NX 11 42

The Name book entry for New England Bay, below, wonders that name was ‘given by vessels trading from England’. However, as both Roy and Ainslie map New England as a farm/building, it’s clear that new New England Bay in fact incorporates this pres-existing name.

New England Bay, Kirkmaiden WIG NX 122 420

  • “A creek or inlet on the sea shore of the farm of East Myroch well sheltered from the western winds by the land side it is little used as a landing place e[x]-cept for small fishing boats at on[e] time there was vessels landed with timber brought in hence probably f[or] the use of Logan house & estate. The beach of this bay is sandy. It i[s] situate about 3 miles north of Drumore Village. It might hav[e] got the name given by vessels tradi[ng] from England.” OS1/35/81/22


I’m unclear what the significance of Norway is here. In the entry for Norway Craig in The Place Names of Galloway, Maxwell directs the reader to Carrickfundle in Kirkcolm. That entry reads says, “Seems a corruption of Carraic Fingall, the Norseman’s rock. The Norsemen were known among our people as Finngall, fair-haired strangers, and the Danes as Dubhgall or dark strangers.”

Norway Craig, Kirkmaiden WIG NX 088 345

  • “A rock used by fishermen when angling.” OS1/35/86/32
  • “A fishing seat, used by fishermen whilst angling and which bounds the Norway Hole, on the west” OS1/35/86/105

Norway Hole, Kirkmaiden WIG NX 088 345

  • “An inlet of the sea shore where sea weed is driven in by the tide.” OS1/35/86/33
  • “An inlet of the sea, a place where sea weed is driven in by the tide, and at the ebb of the tide none of it remains.” OS1/35/86/105


Portobelo is a port on the northern part of the Isthmus of Panama. The name is Portugeuse or Spanish, meaning ‘beautiful port’. I don’t know what the Pre-Columbian name was. The name was was transferred to several places in the United Kingdom commemorating the 1739 Battle of Porto Bello (part of the War of Jenkins’ Ear).

Portobello, Kirkmahoe DMF NX 973 809

  • “A cottage the property of Col Johnston, occupied by W. Ramsay – this place is also known as Violets Corner.” OS1/10/31/142

Portobello, Kirkcolm WIG NW 962 664

  • “A small farm house with off[ice] buildings attached and a farm of [?] 21 acres of land chiefly arable [it] derives its name from a small [x] on the coast. It is the property of [x] Ferguson Esqr.” OS1/35/15/28

Portobello, Kirkcolm WIG NW 960 663

  • “A small port or narrow inl[et] used sometimes as a boat harbour [x] large boats or vessels of heavy to[nnage] cannot land here with safety A [x] agricultural produce is sometim[es] shipped from this place the larg[er] vessels being lying at anchor whi[le] smaller boats are used to take th[e] loading from shore” OS1/35/15/28
  • “A small narrow inlet or port. The shore here is shingle & sand it is well sheltered by high land & rocks. But from the heavy ground swell trading vessels does approach close here but sometimes there are turnips oats &c sent out in small boats from this place to the vessel laying off. Got this name by the proprietor” OS1/35/15/84


Rosetta or Rashid (Arabic Rašīd) is an Egyptian port city on the western side of the Nile Delta. The name is best known through the Rosetta Stone.

Rosetta, Kirkpatrick-Juxta DMF NT 056 043

This name appears to have been given by General Johnstone who served in Egypt in 1801 (see Egypt above). The Capitulation of Alexandria which ended Napoleon’s campaign in Egypt took place in August 1801. The terms of the French surrender included the transfer of Egyptian antiquities (including the Rosetta Stone) collected for the French Republic to be transferred into British possession. It may be that the name Rosetta commemorates this event.

  • “A shepherd’s cottage w[ith] outhouse and garden attached occupied by Adam Todd” OS1/10/34/52

Rosetta Wood, Kirkpatrick-Juxta DMF NT 057 045

Saint Helena

Saint Helena is a remote volcanic island in the South Atlantic. It is was the site of Napoleon’s second exile in 1815. He died there on 5 May 1821.

St. Helena Island, Old Luce WIG NX 192 558

There are several entries for St. Helena Island in the Name Books. I’ve only included those below which mention how it came to be named. The others are here: OS1/35/42/17 & OS1/35/42/63.

  • “An island formed on one side by the old course of the rive Luv[e] & on the other by the new course wh[ich] had been cut some years ago in or[der] to improve the fishery of this pl[ace.] Since the latter circumstance to[ok] place it has become and islan[d] from which time the fishe[r]-men being at a loss for a name for it called it St. Hele[na]” OS1/35/58/8
  • “A large island with one house in bad repair it is let at 5£ per year it is chiefly sand and barren soil this name was given it by the fisher men of Glenluce it is not generally known in the country by that name it is part of the farm of Balcarey at the end of the River Luce the property of Sir James Hay Dunragit” OS1/35/58/16
  • “An island formed on one side by the old course of the river Luce and on the other by the new course which has been cut some years ago in order to improve the fishery of this place since the latter circumstance took place it has become an island. From this time the fishermen of the Bay being at a loss of a name for it called it St. Helena. On the Nth side of the island is a Trig. station erroneously named Helens Id. b the Trig party” OS1/35/59/3


According to Wikipedia, “Samaria is the ancient, historic, biblical name used for the central region of the Land of Israel, bordered by Judea to the south and Galilee to the north.” I’m not sure what the significance of the name is here. Perhaps (as ever when in doubt) the name referred to remoteness or to desert-like barrenness. Some particular Biblical association may also have been behind the name. There are no other Samarias in Scotland (on the 1st and 2nd ed six-inch OS maps) but the name appears in Wales in Nevern, Pembrokeshire, Llanfihangel Aberbythych, Carmarthenshire, and Llandwrog, Caernarvonshire.

Samaria, Mochrum WIG NX 292 520

  • “This name applies to a long strip[e] of water in the S. W. end of Mochrum Loch which runs a considerable d[istance] into the lang through a narrow neck, called the Neck of Samar[ia.] It is grown up with reeds and [hxx] the appearance of a marsh at a [distance]” OS1/35/61/28

Neck of Samaria, Mochrum WIG NX 293 521

  • “This name applies to the narrowest portion of the S. W. end of Mochrum Loch & more towards the end of this stripe it gets a little wider and is know[n] by Samaria” OS1/35/61/28

Spion Kop

Spion Kop (Afrikaans Spioenkop ‘spy/look-out hill’) is a mountain in South Africa. Its summit was the site of the Battle of Spion Kop (23-24 January 1900), fought between the Britain and the Boer Republics. The name has been transferred to numerous places, often with reference to a site’s steepness. Wikipedia has a list of places named Spion Kop.

Spion Kop, Durisdeer NS 863 029

This name is marked on the current OS. The most recent OS map hosted by the NLS from 1957 (NS80SE – A) doesn’t show the name. The name appears to refer to a conical hill which shows up on LiDAR.


Valenciennes is a city and region in north-west France, near the border with Belgium.

Valenciennes, Kirkpatrick-Juxta DMF NT 068 037

This name appears to have been given by General Johnstone who served in Flanders (see Egypt above). The name might be a reference to the 1793 Siege of Valenciennes, part of the Flanders Campaign of th War of the First Coalition between France and the collation of Great Britain, Austria and Hanover.

  • “A farm house with steading garden and farm of land attached the property of Butler Johnstone Esqr and farmed by him” OS1/10/34/57


Waterloo, in the centre of Belgium, appears in place-names commemorating the 1815 Battle of Waterloo which marked the end of the Napoleonic Wars.

Waterloo, Mouswald DMF NY 067 721

The name and cottage are not marked on the 2nd edition OS six-inch map.

  • “A small cottage and garden situated at the 7 mile stone from Dumfries, on the Road to Annan.” OS1/10/41/55

Waterloo Hill, New Abbey KCB NX 952 656

This hill was also known as Carse-gowan craig, Carsegowan Hill, Glen Hill and Monument Hill. There are further details in my entry for the name here: Waterloo Hill. The Name Book entries for the Waterloo Monument, after which the hill was named are here: OS1/20/96/28 & OS1/20/95/22. The include a record of the inscription at the base of the monument.

  • “A small hill on the farm of Carsegowan, its surface consists of rocky heathy pasture. Its name originated in consequence of a monument being built on its summit, in commemoration of the victory gained by the British and Allied armies, over the French at Waterloo. This hill is part of an irregular hill range.” OS1/20/95/21
  • “A tolerably sized hill on the farm of West Glen its surface consists of rocky heathy pasture. On it is built a large granite column to commemorate the victory gained by the British at Waterloo. It is called Waterloo Monument. This hill is part of a range.”

Waterloo Place, Dumfries DMF NX 972 757

These buildings aren’t marked on the six-inch maps but appear on the OS large scale town plan of Dumfries (1894) [Dumfries – Sheet LV.3.7]. John Wood’s 1819 Plan of the Towns of Dumfries and Maxwelltown from actual survey marks this stretch along the Nith as Waterloo Street (see below).

Waterloo Plantation, Glasserton WIG NX 363 427

“A large plantation on the farm of Blairbuy the woof of which consists of ash oak beech elm & fir the property of Sir William Maxwell.” OS1/35/75/57

Waterloo Street, Dumfries DMF

Zuider Zee

The Zuiderzee (Dutch ‘southern sea’) “was a shallow bay of the North Sea in the northwest of the Netherlands”.

Zuider Zee, Holywood DMF NX 949 812

This lake doesn’t appear on the 1st or 2nd six-inch OS maps. It is marked but unnamed on sheets NX98SW – A & NX98SE – A, published in 1957.