Place-name: Alwhat
Suggested Meaning: rock of the cat
Gaelic al ‘rock’
Gaelic cat ‘cat’
Location: OS Map Six-inch Scotland 1888-1913
Forms: Alwhat, Allwhat (OS Name Book Kirkcudbrightshire 1844-51); Alwhat, Allwhat, Alquhat (OS Name Book Ayrshire(1855-57) Note the burn that runs off the hill on thr Kirkcudbrightshire side is known as Allwhat Burn.

Alwhat (left) and Alhang (right)        photo Robert Guthrie

In his notes on the place-names elements ail-, al- Sir Herbert Maxwell offers the derivation of Alwhat as ail chat (haat) ‘cliff of the wild cat’.  The form Alquhat supports this derivation, i.e,  quhat = chat

An alternative offering of Gaelic al ‘a rock’ and fada‘ long’ is given in the Ordnance Survey Name Book 1848-51 Kirkcudbrightshire Volume 5.



  1. [1] Sir Herbert Maxwell, Herbert Eustace, Sir, bart., ‘Scottish land-names; their origin and meaning’ (1894)
  2. [2] Edward Dwelly ‘Illustrated Gaelic-English Dictionary’ (1902-1912)


Ordnance Survey Namebooks