Suggested Meaning:brindled farthing-land
1st element:G. fairdean, fairdin ‘farthing’
2nd element:G. riabhach ‘brindled,
Blaeu Coila (1654):Fairdingrioch
OS Name Books (1855-57):Fardingreoch
Location:Ordnance Survey (1893-1960)
Earlier forms
Fairdingrioch (Blaeu 1654), Fairdeinreoch (1694, wills), Fardinreoch (1734, wills), Fardenreoch (Farm Horse Tax Roll 1797), Fardingreoch (1855)

The early form Fairdingrioch appears in Blaeu Coila Provincia (1654) while in the Farm Horse Tax Rolls (1797/98) the name appears as Fardenreoch.

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

The Ordnance Survey Name Book (1855-57) entry for the property is under that of Fardingreoch, the form Fardenreoch is also recorded. The entry also quotes from John Jamieson’s ‘Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language’ – “Farding – a farthing“.

Fardenreoch is indeed a ‘farthing‘ name which is a reference to the farthing-land, a unit of land measure. It is one of three ‘farthing-lands’ names in the parish of New Cumnock, with the nearby Blackfarding and Farding, being the other two.

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

However the origin of the first element is likely to be Gaelic fairdin ‘farthing’, rather than Scots farding, since the second element of the name is Gaelic riabhach ‘brindled, speckled’ which is a reference perhaps to the nature of the land. There is also a Fardenreoch, in the parish of Colmonnel, Ayrshire.

Map 3 Fardenreoch | Reproduced with the permission with The National Library of Scotland

Fardenreoch stood in ruins for a number of years before the buildings were knocked down as part of the Greenburn Opencast operations and only the south section of the Fardenreoch Plantation remain. A desk-based survey of the farmstead was carried out and recorded in ‘Discovery and Excavation in Scotland (2003)’ [3] and registered in CANMORE.

Fardenreoch farmhouse is presumed to date to the 18th century. The building developed from a single-storey dwelling to a more substantial two-storey building, and buildings were added to form a typical home farm of early 19th-century date, with buildings arranged around a central courtyard. No deposits of archaeological significance survived below the present farm.


[1] Malcolm MacLennan, Gaelic Dictionary | fairdin; riabhach
[2] Cressey, Johnson and Kirby, M, M and M. (2003) ‘Greenburn Opencast Mine, New Cumnock (New Cumnock parish), desk-based assessment; standing building recording; evaluation’, Discovery Excav Scot, vol. 4, 2003. Page(s): 53-4
[2] CANMORE National Record of the Historic Environment |Fardenreoch
Reproduced with the Permission of the National Library of Scotland
Map 1 | Blaeu Coila Provincia (1645) | Fairdingrioch
Map 2 | Ordnance Survey (1885-1903) |Fardingrioch
Map 3 | Ordnance Survey (1893-1860) | Fardenreoch
Ordnance Survey Name Books & Farm Horse Tax Rolls
By Permission of Scotland’s Places
Ayrshire OS Name Books (1855-57) Vol. 49| Fardingreoch
Farm Horse Tax Rolls (1797-98) | Fardenreoch
Scotland’s People
Old Parish Records, Births, Marriages, Deaths, Census Records, Valuations Rolls, Wills & Testaments