Suggested Meaning:‘badger’s den’
First elementGaelic broclaich‘ badger’s den
Blaeu Coila (1654):Brokloc
OS Name Books (1855-57):Brockloch
Location:Ordnance Survey (1892-1960)
Other Early Forms:
Brokloche, Brockloch (1625), Brokloc (Blaeu1654), Brochloch of Blarein (1706)


Gemmels of Brockloch

    The names of this family, made up of Patrick Gemmill, his spouse Margaret Campbell and their son Patrick appear in the Sasine Register from 1625-1633 where the name Brockloch appears in in the forms Brockloch (1625, 1629, 1633) , Brokloche (1625,1629, 1633) and Kirkloche (1633) – the latter clearly a misreading of Brokloche [1].

    Map 1: Brokloc (Blaeu Map 1654) | Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

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

    A good farm house occupied by George Sloan the property of Mr. A Cunninghame, of Logan

    George Sloan was the son of the late Alexander Sloan and Euphemia Park, the large family having had moved here from Galston.

    The proprietor was William Cunningham, the son of William Cunninghame of Enterkine and Catherine Gordon-Stewart, daughter of Mrs. Catherine Gordon-Stewart of Afton & Stair, the renowned patron of Robert Burns. He married Miss Allason, heiress to the Logan estate and was thereafter known as William Allason Cunninghame, Esquire of Afton & Logan. Brockloch was one of the few remaining Gordon properties in the parish of New Cumnock that made up the Barony of Afton, created in 1706 for Sir William Gordon, 1st Baronet of Afton – the son of Sir William Gordon of Earlston, Kirkcudbrightshire. In the barony charter the property is referred to as Brochloch of Blarein [2].

    Brockloch is a relatively common place-name including three others recorded in the Ordnance Survey Name Books for Ayrshire for the parishes of Craigie, Girvan and Maybole.

    Map 2: Brockloch (OS Map 1895) | Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland


    Gaelic broclach ‘badger warren’

    Although the name appears to begin with Scots brock ‘badger’ [3] its origins lie in Gaelic broc ‘badger’ [4] leading to Gaelic broclach ‘badger’s den, warren, fox’s den’ [5].

    Sir Herbert Maxwell records a number of occurences of the place-name Brockloch (and variants) in Galloway and identifies them as broclach ‘badger warren’ [5].

    Brockloch from the other side of Connel Burn (photo Robert Guthrie)


    [1] H.M. Stationery Office. Indexes No. 29. Index to Particular Register of Sasines for Sheriffdom of Ayr and Bailiaries of Kyle, Carrick and Cunningham 1617-1634. Vol. I
    [2] New Cumnock History . Heritors (Landwoners) 1833 | Misses Stewart
    [3] Dictionaries of the Scots Language | broc
    [4] Edward Dwelly ‘Illustrated Gaelic-English Dictionary’ | broc
    [5] Edward Dwelly ‘Illustrated Gaelic-English Dictionary’ | broclach
    [6] Sir Herbert Maxwell ‘The Place-Names of Galloway’
    By Permission of National Library of Scotland
    Map 1:Blaeu, Joan Blaeu, (1596-1673) Coila Provincia, [or], The province of Kyle / auct. Timoth. Pont |Brokloc
    Map 2: Ordnance Survey Maps – Six-inch 2nd and later editions, Scotland, 1892-1960 (1895) | Brockloch
    Ordnance Survey Name Books
    By Permission of Scotland’s Places
    Ayrshire OS Name Books (1855-57) Vol. 49| Brockloch