Clachanhead

New Abbey, KCB, NX944675

  • Clauchrumhead 1753 Land value rolls E106/20/2/25
  • Clachrumheads 1759 Farm of Glen belonging to Charles Stewart of Shambelly Esq – John Tait [MP95]
  • Clachrumheads ?1759 John Tait Plan of the farms of Shambelly, Townhead, Wanfoord, Clachrumheads and Barlay, belonging to Charles Stewart, Esqr [Map/F/01]
  • Claughrumhead 1799 Land Tax Rolls E106/20/3/27
  • Claughrumhead 1803 Land Tax Rolls E106/20/4/43
  • Claughrumhead 1819 Land Tax Rolls E106/20/5/49
  • Clachanhead 1854 [1850] OS 6 inch 1st edn KCB 34

Elements: en Clauchrum; SSE head; S clachan ‘a hamlet, village, gen. containing a church’

This name looks like it is formed of Scots clachan ‘village, usually one where parish kirk is located’ and head. This is how the Name Book interprets it, pointing to the the numerous ruins on Barlay Hill and the remains of a road running through them. Maxwell likewise gives it as ‘head of the clachan or hamlet’. Against this we might note that there is already a Clauchen in the parish, the village of New Abbey where the parish kirk is. However, the main argument against a derivation from clachan is that apart from OS sources, the name is spelled as Claughrum-, Clachrum- or Claughrum-. Clachanhead seems to be a reanalysis of this earlier name, presumably influenced by the more transparent element clachan. The existing name from which Clachrumhead was formed is likely a Gaelic word related to clach, cloch ‘a stone or rock’. Maxwell derives Clachrum in Kells and Penninghame from Gaelich clacherin ‘stoney place’. The Place-Names of the Galloway Glens entry for Clachrum in Kells in currently [4/9/21] incomplete.

Name Book entry: “A number of old houses in ruin[s] on Barlay Hill, they are said to have constituted part of a village at some remote period. The remains of an old road is still visible which led thro’ it from New Abbey to Dumfries. [Clachan, a village. Clachanhead is therefore the head or end of the village]” OS1/20/95/14

Detail from Plan of the farms of Shambelly, Townhead, Wanfoord, Clachrumheads and Barlay, belonging to Charles Stewart, Esqr  
Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

This entry is still in draft and has yet to be proofed. There are links to the sources of historical forms of the name, where spellings can be checked.