Urquhart and Logie Wester Place Names
Attribution: unknown or not recorded
Sheet NH 65 NW
Croft on which the business of James Dingwall (Culbokie) Ltd was established. Now renamed Glentyan.
Lochan in Bogbuie Wood.
Tobarasheen (phonetic) – This well was credited with having medicinal properties.
Holding in Braes of Dunvornie. A recent name, the first syllable being derived from Gray, Mrs Fraser’s surname before marriage.
A name imported from Cannich district by the present occupier who had a holding of that name there.
Site of Distillery –
The lines of some of the walls can still be traced. Could this be one of a number of distilleries formerly in production on the estate of Ferintosh? We are told that in the reign of Charles II “the Popish faction …….. destroyed extensive distilleries”. (O.S.A.)
Divach’s Hill –
A steep part, just above Braefindon road end, on the road to Mount Eagle. Derived from David.
Lord Mansfield’s Well –
Lord Mansfield, tradition says, used to refresh himself at this well, when shooting.
This name is given in Watson’s “Place names of Ross and Cromarty”. Known only by older generation. Not shown on 1906 edition of O.S. maps. On an 1837 map (RH3549) Balluchrach applied to an area N.W. of public road from the watercourse east of School Croft to the Findon Burn. This name was probably applied to more than one croft or house near the place indicated.
This name should refer to the holding occupied by Mr W Fowler, now renamed Seaview. It appears to be wrongly placed on the 1905 O.S. map. In an old school register it is spelt Knocknasannoch. Knockavisanoch appears on an 1837 map (RH3549), the location being as on the 1905 O.S. map. Possibly a transcription error. The spelling is Knocknasannach in a 1925 church list.
Formerly a holding on its own, but now part of a field on Findon Mains. Mentioned in Watson’s “Place names of Ross and Cromarty” and shown on 1906 edition of O.S. map, though not named.
Now known as Findon Mills. It was suggested there was a clay pit quite near. Could that bit of information help with the meaning?
Now renamed Netherton. The land of this former unit is now incorporated in Findon Mains.
Now renamed Woodside. Land now part of the Culbokie East unit. Local spelling at one time was Knocknadialtach.
The name of this farm is well known, though it is not shown on the O.S. map. There is a tradition that it at one time comprised 21 crofts. The sites of some of those crofts can still be seen, but they did not apparently have individual names.
This house was a school at one time. An entry in an old register of Culbokie Primary Schools suggests that it was called Braefindon School. According to the New Statistical Account there was a school at that time in the east side of the parish which had been set up by the Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge. That school was more probably Findon School. Dr J G Galbraith refers to Braefindon F.C. School in his Memoirs of Andrew Maclean, Scholar and Preacher.
Allison’s Croft –
This bit of land was probably the school croft and perhaps part of the emoluments.
The Bouacks –
An area of rough pasture, now reclaimed.
The names was probably Findon School. An old register in Culbokie School indicates that this was so.
The name appeared in school register 1883.
Brae Park –
Name not given on O.S. map but in use today.
Loch Mhor Culbockie
The name shown on an 1837 map (RH3549).
This name is on the 1769 map (RH3513). It seems to apply to the area where Culbokie School now stands, and to a small area of land eastwards.
Moss of Lochindoin or Bottomless Moss
Ault Badarunan (RH3622)
A recent imported name. The name was possibly Elder Cottage at one time.
Location not known, but see 25. This was a house occupied in 1867. This information from Register of Deaths.
Sheet NH 55 NE
Bog a Mhiodair –
Former name of Duncanston but known still to older generation. Watson gives this name.
This name commemorates Duncan Urquhart.
Cnoc an Araid –
It is suggested that the present Post Office, kept by Mrs Finlayson, is the Cnoc an Araid mentioned by Watson in “Place names of Ross and Cromarty”. The name Knocknaharrit appears in a 1925 church list. Presumably the same name. Now “Hill Cottage” in Valuation Roll. Also formerly called Shonashill (Janet or Jessie’s hill?)
East Dunvornie –
This used to be an independent holding. Now part of Wester Dunvornie. Tradition says there was a school here.
Fuaran a Chraisg –
The local tradition says that two ladies, resting beside this well when climbing this hill on their way home, saw, in their inebriated condition, a phantom coach and funeral cortege pass by.
Tobar Ann –
A well formerly used by the inhabitants of Mulchiach Cottage.
Church Road –
This is the road people from Brae Dunvornie used when going to the church. No doubt a right of way.
Sacrament Burn –
Name seems to be used in preference to Castle Burn. Open air sacraments were held here. In the Rev J Kennedy’s book “The Apostle of the North” we are told that “As many as ten thousand were in ‘the burn’ on Sabbath”, that is, at Mr Macdonald’s first communion at Urquhart. In modern times (2002) the reference to the site is “the Burn of Ferintosh” and, from 1990 onwards, during the month of July, open-air services have been held at “the Burn”, including one communion service by the Urquhart Church of Scotland.
Allt Beg –
The burn flowing past Urquhart Farm. The wood nearby is called Allt Beg Wood.
A large conspicuous roundish stone at the roadside. Not local, so probably a glacial erratic. Mr A Fraser, Glasfield, who used to cart oats to Alcaig Mill from Balnabeen for milling, told that, for some unaccountable reason, his horses were prone to shy at this stone, though they were quite familiar with it.
(from 1832 map)
This seems to have been, in 1832, a strip of ground between two watercourses, perhaps tidal channels. The spelling in the 1763 map omits the “P”.
Glebe of Dingwall
(from 1832 map)
(from 1832 map) – Rough meadow, presumably.
(from 1832 map)
(from 1832 map) – Close by on the 1763 map is Pool Nach or Horse Pool, a repetition of a name shown upstream at Dunglass Island.
or The Burn of the Red Trout. Called the Trouty Burn early 20th Century. Pool Staffick was close by. Silted up in 1763.
Island More –
Area between the existing channel in 1832 and what was then called the “ancient” channel on south side of estuary.
Ford of Gowals
(from 1832 map)
(from 1832 map)
(from 1832 map)
Pier (site of) –
Mentioned in New Statistical Account. Used at that time by sloops discharging coal and lime. A ferry to Dingwall operated from this pier until 1914-18 War. Part of slipway still there. Last ferry was operated by Fraser, Alcaig Cottage. His father also was ferryman. The tale is recalled of a severe winter (1911?) when the firth between Dingwall and Alcaig froze to such an extent that it was possible to transfer goods between these localities by horse and cart, across the ice.
A field on Tighnacaun farm. It used to be on East Dunvornie but was passed to Tighnacaun when amalgamation with West Dunvornie occurred. This explains why it is detached .
This house or croft is shown on the 1763 map. Said to belong to Dingwall (town?).
Gordon’s Square –
The occupier of this steading used to stay in a house in the village of Culbokie. He carried a lantern on dark nights when he went to “supper” his beasts. Street lighting there now!
Wester Balcladaich –
Now shown as Shoreton on latest edition of O.S. maps.
Balcladaich (site of) –
Now part of Shoreton, the occupier of which can remember the old foundations, now removed.
Easter Balcladaich –
Absorbed by Balmeanach, now part of Findon Mains farm. The occupier of Shoreton can remember the foundations, now removed.
(The above three Balcladaich names are shown on a navigation chart of the Cromarty Firth, for which the survey was carried out in 1898.)
One Balcladaich name only is shown on present O.S. map, viz Balcladaich Wood. This wood with its spring, or well, was formerly regarded as the haunt of fairies and of a ghostly black dog!
Schools at Mulchaich –
One was the school for the Parish Church children, the other for Free Church children.
The following are fields on Wester Alcaig farm, now usually called Alcaig. The buildings at Easter Alcaig, including the former meal mill, are now converted for use as a knackery.
Burn field (see Altnabricaray),
Bog an Uisg,
Beer Shop field –
A beer shop formerly existed near to the pier;
Warren field –
A warren was established at Ryefield, on contiguous or adjacent ground, this house being the residence of the Estate proprietor.
Hannan’s field –
Messrs Hannan run the sawmill across the public road from this field.
Balrailan Burial Ground –
No evidence left. Ground now reclaimed. There is a local tradition that the malefactors, dealt with on the nearby Gallows Hill, or at Crochar, were buried here. The area beside or around the burial ground was formerly called The Railan, derived from Raidhlean. The local young aspiring athletes used to practise here, competing at putting the shot, throwing the hammer etc.
Loch na Barcan (spelling phonetic) –
Perhaps spelling should be Barchan. At one time a fair to St. Barchan was held in Tain.
Free Church Right of Way –
The wicket gate is still in the roadside fence, though this path is not now used and not now visible.
Bail an Loch –
According to Watson this was the former name of Corntown.
Shown on present O.S. map and mentioned by Watson. Now only ruins, but was occupied by workers on Drummondreach not so long ago. This name is mentioned because there used to be a beer shop or inn here. Might this be one of the three such establishments spoken of in the new S.A.?
Bracklach (Ferintosh) –
Not given on O.S. map but still in use. Mentioned in Culbokie School register 1875. This name occurs on former Findon estate also.
Alcaig Ferry Inn –
Was operated as an inn until First World War. What remained of the walls was levelled to make a foundation for a garage for a house close by. This inn was obviously the origin of the name of the adjacent field (see Beer Shop field).
Baljeeran (phonetic) –
The latter part of this name is Tighearn, a landlord or superior.
St John the Baptist’s Well –
There is nothing now visible of this site. Possibly drained away to hollow below, beside Baljeeran. A common well name in Ross-shire.
St Maelrubha’s Cairn –
This cairn marked the spot where tradition says St. Maelrubha was killed by Danish pirates in 721. Only a few stones now remain.
St Maelrubha’s Church –
Approximate position of church founded by St Maelrubha. Tradition says it was near to and above the steading on Urquhart Farm. There are some interesting and puzzling remains of stone walls, or dykes, further up the burn near the public road. Name of church not known.
Mulchaich “Settlement” –
The outlines of a compact group of houses can be seen on the ground. What can be seen suggests a village, or several croft steadings built close together. No information at all, not even tradition.
Ferintosh Distillery –
Probable site of distillery. The outlines of the foundations of a number of buildings can be seen.
The Tinker Field – A field on Dunvornie farm. Tinkers were wont to encamp at edge of it.
Military Road –
Name given by Mr Hannan, Dunvornie.
Tobar Glac –
Now called Ceylon.
A name on the 1769 (RH3513) map between Tore and Balmanich (sic).
These names appear on 1769 map (RH3513) where Urquhart Farm now is.
hese crofts or fields are not easily related to the present day maps.
1769 map. Areas on Balloan Farm.
Glascharn Maolchaich –
The grey cairn of Mulchaich.
Sellar’s Field –
The late Rev John Sellar lived in the manse nearby.
Smithfield of Ferintosh –
Blacksmith’s croft at Alcaig where sawmill now stands.
Braemussach or Braemoosach Ferintosh –
Location not known. Name given in Register of Deaths 1857.
Ballintua Findon –
From Register of Deaths 1871. Almost certainly same as Balnatoua.
SHEET NH 55 NW
Scuddale Ferry –
This name sounds Norse. The site seems to be about the same as that of the King’s Pool shown on 1763 map.
Ferriers Houses (site of) –
Three buildings are shown on 1832 plan, also on 1763 plan.
Ford of Island Baen –
On south side of road bridge on 1832 plan.
Island Baen –
This name in 1832 seemed to apply to a strip of low ground, or gravel, which extended along the south side of the river, as far up as the road bridge at least.
This word is written twice on the north side of the river.
Pool Keill (approximate position) –
Now apparently called Morrison Pool. Spelling was Kiel on older map of 1763. Not far from site of present church. Might this explain name?
Pool Oure (approximate position)
Breaken Ord –
A group of some buildings which in 1832 may have been a farm, or crofts built close together. Perhaps a number of separate families rather than one household because it is on record that “on August 28th 1682 the officer is appointed to poynd the people of Breakanord near Maryburgh for their absence from church”.
Pool of Breaken Ord –
Name indicates that this watercourse perhaps carried drainage from Humberston farm (which was formerly called Upper Kilday). Course has been altered to allow fields to be squared.
Lower Kildun –
The present Kildun steading was not in existence in 1832, and is now nearer to Maryburgh.
The names above are taken from a map prepared in 1832 for a Court of Session case. Bridge of Scuddel is referred to on map RH3622.
Balblair (site of) – Maryburgh now stands on what was presumably a farm of this name.
Bridge of Scuddel –
Given on map RH3622.
SHEET NH 66 SW
Clash Well –
Water was carried from this well to Loch Sheriff croft before advent of piped water.
Findon Lodge (site of) – Burnt down in the 1940s.
David’s Pool –
Name used by Miss Keay, a daughter of the onetime factor (she lived in Findon Cottage). A legendary water sprite lived beside this waterfall – see Second Statistical Account.
Now part of Findon Mains farm. Steading almost all gone.
East Balgoil –
The steading of this holding, now part of Findon Mains, was near the division between two fields now called Far and Near Balgoil.
West Balgoil –
The building of this holding, also now part of Findon Mains, was apparently on the south side of the public road. Its arable land probably comprised field called Near Balgoil and Pole Field.
Sheet NH 66 SW
Ellie’s Well –
Spelling should perhaps be Ellidh. Tradition says there was a croft beside it. Now name of a field on Findon Mains.
Former road through Balgoil Belt –
A short length of this road is shown on O.S. map.
A field on Badrain. A man, Sutherland by name, once had Badrain as his address. As he was not the occupier of the farm at the time, he may have been a farm worker or a crofter, more likely the latter.
The Butler –
An old name of Bog of Findon. Used in an old school register.
Field on Shoreton farm.
The following are fields on Findon Mains:
Far Balgoil field,
Near Balgoil field,
Pole field –
Poles were set up in this field during the last War to prevent aircraft landing. A very recent name, therefore.
Knockgate Cottage field,
Point field –
Also at one time called the Ladies field. Three ladies once lived in a house beside this field, presumably in West Balgoil.
Col’s field – Col is Colin Maclennan of Meikle Findon.
Kay’s field –
Kay was the estate factor at one time.
This name appears on a 1769 map (RH 3513) and seems to have been the area now called Wester Shoretown. The access road was the former road through Balgoil Belt. This road appeared to stop at Runamon.
Mill Croft –
Now part of Findon Mills farm. The name Mill Croft appears on 1849 map (RH 3680).
March of Kinbeachie –
A new house, with the name of an old dwelling happily revived.
Bruichglas Inn (site of)
SHEET 55 SW
The Cruives of Devil –
Approximate position only because channel of River Conon seems to have moved.
A fishing pool, according to map.
Poolnach or Horse pool
The Chest –
Presumably a fishing pool.
The names above have been obtained from an old map prepared in 1763. It is called “A plan of the Water of Connan from the Cruives of Devil, being the uppermost part of the Fishing Places belonging to the Government, down to the Shore at Dingwall”. Plotting on modern O.S. sheet can be no more than approximately correct.
Loggie Wester Church – Site of church for Loggie Wester parish before its amalgamation with Urquhart. Logiebride was old name of church, it being dedicated to Saint Bride (Dr J. J. Galbraith in “The Romance of a Royal Burgh”). Hugh Miller tells a story connected with this church and the Kelpie of the adjacent ford.
Easter Logie –
The above three farms constitute the present farm of Conon Mains. Hugh Miller built part of this steading.
The undernoted names are of fields on the farm of Conon Mains:
Crow wood field,
Place Names of Ferintosh Parish
This extract was taken, with the permission of the Trustees, from Prof. W.J. Watson’s – ‘Place Names of Ross and Cromarty’. The most recent edition of this work was published by HIGHLAND HERITAGE BOOKS Tir nan Oran, 8 Culcairn Road, Evanton IV16 9YT
Place Names of Ross and Cromarty p113