Auchintow Hill

Place-name:Auchintow hill
Suggested Meaning:‘field of the hollow’
First elementGaelic achadh na ‘field of the-‘
Second elementGaelic toll ‘hollow’ 
Blaeu Coila (1654):No entry
OS Name Books (1855-57):Auchintow Hill
Location:Ordnance Survey (1892-1960)
Other Early Forms:

1st element | Gaelic achadh ‘field’

Typically places names beginning with with either of the elements auchen-, auchin- would have started out as field names indicative of ancillary farming activity by Gaelic speaking settlers [1] and are anglicised forms of the Gaelic achadh ‘field’.

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

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

A knowe on a ridge of elevated land, the highest part of which is called Milray Hill.”

Certainly the term knowe better describes the scale of Auchintow Hill, indeed perhaps this knowe on the lower slopes of Milray Hill was the original field.

2nd element| –toll > –tow ‘hollow’

Watson explains that ‘oll’ regularly becomes ‘ow’ in Scots [2] and hence Auchintow evolved from an earlier Auchintoll. The second element is then Gaelic toll which have a number of alternative but similar meanings namely ‘hole, of holes or hollow’. However, a study of the map fails to immediately reveal any of these features.

Perhaps there is a ‘hollow’ at the source of Glenhastel Burn to the west of Glenhastel Crags.

Map 1 | OS Map (1892-1960) By Permission of the National Library of Scotland


[1] W.F.H. Nicolaisen | Scottish Place-names (1986)
[2] Sir Herbert Maxwell | The Place-names of Galloway (2001)

Reproduced with the permission of The National Library of Scotland
Map 1 | Ordnance Survey (1892-1960) |Auchintow
Ordnance Survey Name Books
By Permission of Scotland’s Places
Ayrshire OS Name Books (1855-57) Vol. 49| Auchintow Hill