- Place-name: Craigdarroch
- Suggested meaning: craig of the oak tree
- Gaelic: creag ‘rock, crag’
- Gaelic: darach ‘oak’
- Location: OS Six-inch Scotland 1892-1960
- National Library of Scotland
Nestling below Craigbraneoch Hill are the farms of Craig, on the east bank of the Afton Water and Craigdarroch on the west bank.
Craig, the first element of the name is a reference to the rock faces of Craigbraneoch hill and is from Gaelic creag ‘rock’
The second element in the name is from the Gaelic darach ‘oak’ a reference to an oak tree or oak grove that once stood here.
Oak Trees, Druids and Christianity
Shirley Toulson in ‘The Celtic Year’ explains, ‘Druids made their temples in oak groves, where the trees supported the sacred mistletoe, and where the oak apples could be ground into a flour that appears to have been used in a ritual meal.’
Some commentators believe the druids take their name from Greek drys ‘oak’. There is no evidence of an ancient grove at Craigdarroch, but what a stunning location for a sacred, spiritual place.
Sacred associations of oaks survived the advance of Christianity perhaps the most notable Celtic examples being in Ireland at St. Brigit’s* foundation at Cilla Dara ‘church of the oak’, i.e. Kildare and St. Colum Cille’s (Columba) foundation Doire Calgaich ‘Calgaich’s oak grove’, i.e. Derry.
Shirley Toulson ‘The Celtic Year’ (1993)
* St Brydbanck, New Cumnock (now simply known as Bank is a dedication to the great Irish saint)