Auchincally hill

Place-name:Auchincally hill
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
Location:OS Map Six-inch Scotland 1892-1960
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 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” .

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’


 Photo 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)
Reproduced with the permission of The National Library of Scotland
OS Map Six-inch Scotland 1892-1960
Map 1 | OS Map 1:25,000 1937-61
Ordnance Survey Name Books
Ayrshire OS Name Books (1855-57) Vol. 49 | Auchincally
Photo 1 |of Auchincally Hill © Copyright Chris Wimbush and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.