Dingwall Heritage

Dingwall Community Collage

Place Names of Dingwall Parish

This extract was taken, with the permission of the Trustees, from Prof. W.J. Watson's 'Place Names of Ross and Cromarty'

Place Names of Ross and Cromarty page 93 onwards

Dingwell in Ross 1227, Dignewall 1263, Dingwal 1308, Dingwall 1382. Norse, Thingvollr, Field of the Thing, the Norse general court of justice. Dingwall was therefore the centre of the Norse administration in Ross. The most southerly Norse place-name in this direction is Eskadale (Beauly), but Norse influence doubtless extended further. A mound, supposed to have been the actual meeting place of the Thing, is referred to about 1503, when James, Duke of Ross, resigned the earldom, and reserved to himself for life the moot-hill (montem) of Dingwall beside the town, in order to preserve his title as Duke. Dingwall is in Gaelic In'ir-pheofharan, Inver-peffray, and Inverferan appears in a Bull of Pope Alexander IV., 1256 (Theiner Vet. Mon.).

Another term applied in a more or less familiar way to the ancient town is Bail' a' chail, Kailtown, but of the antiquity or origin of this term we cannot speak with confidence. Under date 1526 appear the following names connected with the burgh of Dingwall:-Blakcaris-land, Gray Stane, Mill of Brigend, Acris Scotte, Schortaker, march of Fesallich (dirty bog channel), Thombane (white-hillock). In 1655 we have the Boig of Dingwall within the Burgh thereof; called Boigmoir, including Boigmoir or Westerboig, the Midboig and the Eister Boig, within the parish of Dingwall.

Tulloch 1507, Tulch 1563; G. tulach, hillock ; common also in locative case as Tullich.

Kildun Thomas Dingwell of Kildon 1506, Kildun 1527; G. Cill-duinn, locative of Ceall-donn, brown church. Cf Killin, from Cill-fhinn, white church; Seipeil Odhar, dun chapel; An Eaglais Bhreac, the spotted church (Falkirk).

Humberston Formerly Upper Kildun. Major William Mackenzie, of the family of Seaforth, married Mary Humberston. ( V.A.Mackenzie's "History of the Mackenzies" p331

Pitglassie Petglasse 1526; G. Bad a' ghlasaich, Lea-town; the change from 'pit' into bad' is very rare; but cf Pitenglassie, G. Bad an glais tir.

Kinnairdie Kynnardy 1479; G. Cinn-ardaidh, head of the high ground; " the four Glakkis quhilkis are the ferd quarter of Kynnarde," 1539; " the demesne lands commonly called Kynnairdie, and the lands of Glakkis, a fourth part of the said dermesne lands," 1584.

Drynie Wester Drynee 1479; G. Droighnidh (no article); droigheann, thorns, with -aidh ending.

Other names in the lower part of the parish explain themselves:-Bakerhill, Blackwells, Knockbain, Allanfield, Croftandrum, Baddamhroy (copse of the red stag or ox).

In the uplands are Cnoc a' Bhreacaich (O.S.M. Cnoc a Bhreacachaidh), hill of the spotted place; Leathad a' chruthaich (O.S.M. Leidchruich), hillside of the quaking bog; cf. suil-chruthaich; Meall a' ghuail, Coal Hill, noted for excellent peats used for Smithy charcoal, as was the regular custom before ccals became available. Meall na speireig (hill of the sparrow-hawk, at the junction of Dingwall, Fodderty, and Kiltearn).
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