Suggested Meaning:Black farthing land
black + S. farding ‘farthing land’
Blaeu Coila (1654):Blakfwrdingh, Blakfarding b.
OS Name Books (1855-57):Blackfarding
Location:Ordnance Survey (1885-1903)
Earlier forms
Blackfarding (1631), Blakfwrdingh, Blakfarding b. (1654), Blackfarthing (1855)

In a sasine of 12th May 1631 ‘the merkland of Blackfarding‘ is recorded a one of the properties making up the 9 merk-lands of the Cathcarts of Waterhead, resident at nearby Waterhead Castle [1].

Map 1 Blackfarding | Reproduced with the permission of The National Library of Scotland

Black is a common place-name element in the parish of New Cumnock an is found in names such as Blackcraig, Black Hill, Black Loch and Blackwood.

Blackfarding is one of three ‘farthing-land’ names in the parish of New Cumnock with the nearby the other two being Fardine and Fardenreoch. Since the first element of the name is English, it is likely that the second element is Scots farding ‘farthing’ [2] rather than Gaelic fairdin [3].

The Ordnance Survey Name Book entry for Blackfarding also recognises Blackfarthing as an alternative spelling.

Map 2 Blackfarding | Reproduced with the permission of the Natonal Library of Scotland

Blackfarding remained as part of the Waterhead estate and in the ownership of a branch of the Cathcart family until it was abandoned in the early 20th century; it’s last entry appearing in the 1915 Valuation Rolls.


[1] The Scottish Jurist: Containing Reports of Cases Decided in the …, Volume 15| page 6
[2] Dictionary of the Scots Language |farding
[3] Malcom MacLennan, Gaelic Dictionary
Reproduced with the Permission of the National Library of Scotland
Map 1 | Blaeu Coila Provincia (1645) | Blackfarding
Map 2 | Ordnance Survey (1885-1903) |Blackfarding
Ordnance Survey Name Books
By Permission of Scotland’s Places
Ayrshire OS Name Books (1855-57) Vol. 49| Blackfarthing
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