Logie Easter Place Names
Attribution: Photo courtesy of Tain Museum Trust (Balnagown castle)
G. Lagaidh; ‘ lag,’ a hollow with -aidh ending.
The O.S.A. correctly says that the name is derived from the little hollow in which the old church at Marybank stands. That church is probably pre-Reformation, but there must have been a still older church or churches on the same site. The old grave-yard around it was used within living memory, and has some fine stones, but is unenclosed and disgracefully neglected. On the Kilmuir side of the river is Cadha an t-sagairt, the priest’s path.
Calrossie (accented on first syllable)–
The 1476 record (Reg. Mag. Sig.) runs:-‘ The lands of Mekle Meithaute, Drumgill, Glossery, Mekle Alane,’ etc The 1479 record (Ex. Rolls) is-‘Alane Mekle, Calrosse, Drummethat,’ etc., so that there need be no doubt that Glossery and Calrossie are one and the same. Glossery has the advantage of being intelligible ‘ glasaraidh,’ green place, or, possibly, green shieling; but, if we assume this to be the true original form, the change to Calrossie involves a double metathesis, explicable perhaps in itself (c£ Kiltarlity from Cilltalorgain), but startling as involving a change from a well-known and significant combination to an obscure one. Of course, Glossery may be an error of the scribe. Calrossie as it stands, is extremely difficult, especially in view of its accent on the first syllable, which debars any explanation such as ‘ Coille Rois,’ Wood of Ross, or ‘ Coille Rhois,’ Wood of the Moor.
Formerly ‘the Bog.’ It was reclaimed in the earlier half ot the nineteenth century by Hugh Rose of Calrossie, etc., who named it after his wife, Arabella Phips. Hence also Phipsfield, near it.
Glastollich 1479; ‘glas,’ green, ‘tulaich,’ hillock. It is west of Calrossie, and the ‘ glas ‘ may be an argument in favour of Glossery.
G. Pit ‘ic Dhuibh, also Baile ‘ic Dhuibh, Macduff’s stead.
Here, and also in the case of the Black Isle Belmaduthy, the modern Gaelic form is decisive against the common, and, at first sight, plausible, connection with St Duthac; cf. Pett mal-duib (Book of Deer). Near it is Baile na toin, Auchownatone 1623, ” the part of Pitmaduthy commonly called Auchnaton,” 1691. Next Auchnaton was Drumgill, now obsolete.
Lochan nan tunnag -Duck-loch.
G. Breanagaich (long ‘ n’); cf
The 1610 reference (Reg. Mag. Sig.) runs:-” The house and lands of Logie, with the fields called Riharrald, Auldmuiramoir, Achimmoir, and the Bus of Preischachleif, and the mosses of Brinknach and Derrileane with the shielings and grassums bounded by the cairn of stones called cairnne na marrow alias Deidmanniscairne, and the burn (torrente) called Aldainalbanache alias Scottismenisburne, in the barony of Nig.” Riharrald is ‘ ruighe-Harrald,’ Harold’s slope, evidently from Norse times. It is a strip of land near the river, towards the western extremity of Marybank Farm, under the Heather Park, still known as Ri-horral. There is also Ri-horral Well, and, in the river, Ri-horral Pool. The two following places may also have been part of Marybank. The ‘Bus’ in its G. form means ‘the bush of the gate’-‘preas ‘chachaileith,’ a word intelligible to few Easter Ross people now. Derrileane is modern Torelean, G. Torr leathan, broad eminence. The cairn must be that in the wood north of Torelean. The burn, ‘ Scotsburn,’ is to the west of Marybank Farm, and is now practically dried up. There are local traditions of a battle fought here by the ‘ Scots,’ supported by cairns in Scotsburn Wood and by the names Lochan a’ Chlaidheimh, Sword Loch, and Bearns a’ Chlaidheimh, Sword Cleft (bearnas).
G. Lagaidh (no article), from the ‘ lag,’ or hollow, which gives its name to the parish. The modern name is from Lady Mary Ross of Balnagown.
Rock-town; otherwise Lon nam ban, the women’s mead. In the wood near it is the Clootie Well, or Fuaran bean Mhuiristean, much frequented on the first Sabbath of May.
Creag a’ Chait – Cat-rock.
Leinster Wood –
So called, it is said, in honour of a Duchess of Leinster.
Loch Buidhe – Yellow loch.
Badnaguin –G. Bad na’ gaoithean, windy copse. – It is near the top of Scotsburn Hill.
An Dun –
The Dun, at east end of Strathrory. 0ld people know it as Dun-gobhal, Fork-fort. They will have it, however, to mean Fort of Goll, the Fenian hero; but ‘ gobhal’ is disinctly two ~syllables, and, besides, there is a typical fork at the spot, formed by two deep ravines. The name appears as Dungowill 1616 (v. Scotsburn), Dungald 1674. The dun, or fort, is the second largest in Scotland (Christison’s ‘Hill-forts’), and was in its time an awkward place to tackle. Its fortifications are well worth examination (v. Trans. of Inverness Field Club, Vol. V.).
G. An Cumhag; ‘cumhang,’ narrow-the narrow place where the river enters Scotsburn ravine. ,~
Garbh Leitir – The rough slope, just beyond the ‘Cumhag.’ ~
Dalrannich – Dale of bracken.
Scotsburn – The name has now shifted from the burn to the farm of Scotsburn, apparently of old called in part Cabrach, Cabreithe 1571, and in part Ulladale. In 1616 appear on record (Reg. Mag. Sig.) ‘ the church lands of Ulladill with their crofts called Rifleuche and Riddorache alias the Glen of Ulladill, the wood called Dungowill between the Girthcroce dividing the common lands of the Burgh of Tayne from Ulladill,” &c. The Glen is now called the Glen of Scotsburn. `’The Commonty ” is still well known.
Parkhill – Site of the post-office near Balnagowan Bridge. The name was transferred along with the P.O. from the real Parkhill, two miles further west.
Poll a’ Bhithaidh – Drowning pool, near the Free Church Manse. This was the drowning pool of the barony of Nigg. The hanging hill is near it, G. Cnoc na croiche. Further south, near the railway, is Cnoc a’ mhoid, the Moot-hill.
Drummethat and Mekle Methat 1479;
(Kilmure) Madath 1541,
(Kilmure) Meddett 1575.
Local pronunciation has a tendency to Merret; G. Meitheid. For the terminal suffix cf. Rat fron rath-d, Bialaid from beul, Caolaid from caol, Croaghat from cruach. This leaves a root ‘meith,’ which is probably connected with maoth, soft; meith, sappy; meath, fail,* giving the meaning, which is appropriate, of soft or spongy place; cf. Muthil.
Shandwick – Transferred from Shandwick, Nigg.
* ‘Na h-alltaichean a’ fas, agus na h-aibhoichean a’ meath,’ ‘the burns growing and the rivers falling,’ is a proverb applied to the growth of new families and tbe decay of old ones.
Place Names of Logie Easter 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 p58 onwards