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.

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