Suggested Meaning:place of the birch, birchy place
Gaelic beath achadh
Gaelic beath ‘birch’
Gaelic achadh ‘place of -‘
Blaeu (1654) :N. Bioch, O.Byoch
OS Names (1855-57) :Nether Beoch, Upper Beoch
Location:OS Map Six-inch Scotland 1888-1913

Other Early Forms of the Name:
Boughs (1387), Bewach (1427), Beathtis, Myddil Beath, bosca of Beath, OvirBeath (all 1452), Beax (1511), Nather Beaux (1533)

The lands of Beoch, in the east of the parish near the source of the River Nith were once held by the Craufurds of Dalleagles and Boughs (i.e Beoch). The Beoch lands later passed to another branch of the family as witnessed in the a 15th century charter 

George  Craufurde called de Beathtis 1452 
20 may 1452 Royal confirmation of charter to Roger de Craufurde de Drongane in 2 merk lands of Myddil-Beath with the bosca of Beath with all lands lying between bosca and Nith, with all lands of OvirBeath on the other part with the whole hill called the Brounhill between the Blaksolling and barony of Uchiltre lying in barony of Cumnok vic Are by him de Beathtis

  • Courtesy of Stuart Clarkson, Guelph, Ontario

The early forms of the name Bough and Bewach and the current day form Beoch are anglicised versions of the Gaelic beith ‘birch’ with the Gaelic achadh . The Gaelic element achadh is common as a pre-fix in place-names e.g. Auchincross from achadh croisg ‘field of the crossing’, where the pre-fix refers to a field. However as a suffix achadh takes on the meaning ‘place of-‘ and Beoch is Gaelic beith achadh ‘place of the birch’.

This place of the birch probably takes its name from the aforementioned bosca of Beath  (Latin bosca ‘wood’) the birch wood  (cf.  Sancto Bosco or Holywood, Dumfries).

Upper Beoch road-end sign (Robert Guthrie)

The lands of Beoch lends its name to other topographical features such as the nearby burn the Beoch Lane and the impressive nearby hill Benbeoch (parish of Dalmellington).



  1. Sir Herbert Maxwell ‘The Place-Names of Galloway’


Ordnance Survey Name Books