Auchincally Hill, Auchincally Burn

Place-name:Auchincally Hill, Auchincally Vurn
Suggested Meaning:achadh na cailliche ‘field of the old wife’
1st element:Gaelic achadh ‘field’
2nd element: Gaelic cailliche ‘old wife,’
Blaeu Coila (1654):No Entry
OS Name Books (1855-57):Auchincally Hill, Auchincally Burn
Location:OS Map Six-inch Scotland 1892-1960

Auchincally Hill

Photo 1| Auchincally Hill (Courtesy (c) Chris Wimbush)
1st element | Gaelic achadh ‘field’

Typically places names beginning with the element auchin- would have started out as a field name indicative of ancillary farming activity by Gaelic speaking settlers [1] and is an anglicised form of Gaelic achadh ‘field’.

The name Auchincally is now only found in the parish associated with Auchincally Hill. Coincidentally, or otherwise, the neighbouring hill to the south is Auchintow Hill.

The Ordnance Survey Name Books (1855-57) entry for Auchincally Hill reads –

the summit of the ridge of elevated land lying between Glenshallow* and Glenhastel burn, on which is a Trig Station” .

*should read Glenshalloch

Perhaps the original field, Auchincally, was the elevated land lying between the burns, or perhaps the field was in the lower slopes of the hill where Auchincally Burn meets with Carcow Burn.

2nd element | 1. Gaelic cailliche ‘old wife’

A relatively common-place name element and considered to be the old wife, woman or hag, the veiled one, or nun or the Cailleach of Celtic folklore.

Michael Ansell in his New Cumnock News article and discussion on field name gives Auchincally as Gaelic achadh na cailliche ‘field of the old wife’.

Auchincally Burn

The Ordnance Survey Name Books (1855-57) entry for Auchincally Hill reads –

A Small burn rising on the north Side of Auchincally Hill and running north joins Carcow Burn

Map 1: Auchincally Hill & Auchincally Burn | Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

Scots burn ‘stream’ [7] is a common place-name element in the parish. The burn presumably takes its name from the hill.


Photo 1 |of Auchincally Hill © Copyright Chris Wimbush and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

[1] W. F. H. Nicolaisen | Scottish Place-names (1986)
[2] W. J. Watson | The Celtic Place-names of Scotland (Birlinn, 2004)
[3] Sir Herbert Maxwell | The Place-names of Galloway (2001)
[4] Dictionary of Scots Language
[5] Malcolm MacLennan ‘Gaelic Dictionary’
[6] Michael Ansell , New Cumnock News, Issue 4 (Spring 2020)
[7] Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd| burn
Reproduced with the permission of The National Library of Scotland
Images used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence.
Map 1: Ordnance Survey, 1:25,000 maps of Great Britain – 1945-1971 (1953) | Auchincally Hill and Auchincally Burn
Use of these digitised maps for non-commercial purposes is permitted under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC-BY-NC-SA) licence
Ordnance Survey Name Books
Ayrshire OS Name Books (1855-57) Vol. 49 | Auchincally Hill
Ayrshire OS Name Books (1855-57) Vol. 49 | Auchincally Burn