Suggested Meaning:‘wet place, boggy ground
First element1. Gaelic fliuch ‘wet’
2. Scots flush ‘boggy ground where water lies’
Blaeu Coila (1654):No entry
OS Name Books (1855-57):Flush (ruins)
Location:Ordnance Survey (1843-1882)

The ruins of Flush sit on the south side of the New Cumnock to Dalmellington road (B741) on the opposite side from the junction to the lands of Upper Beoch.

The Ordnance Survey map (1843-1882) shows a square enclosure with one building on its north-west side and another on the south-west side while the 1851 Census records two families living at Flush.

  • Sanquhar born John Kerr (coal carter) and his wife Mary along with their four children
  • Stration born Thomas McMillan (agricultural labourer) and his wife Mary along with their five children (all born in New Cumnock)

The Ordnance Survey Names Book Survey (1855-1867) entry reads-

the remains of an old house near the source of Knockenlee Burn.

Kennedy Smith, Barbeth Mains, Dalmellington, factor of Colonel McAdam Cathcart, is recorded as one of the ‘Authorities for spelling”.

Today all that remains of Flush are the lower parts of the stane-dyke square enclosure found within a clearing in the modern-day forestry plantations. Rushes in abundance, both within and outwith the enclosure, reflect the boggy nature of the land that gave rise to the name Flush.

Sir Herbert Maxwell [3] identifies Flush Hill. Kirkcolm as Gaelic fluich, ‘wet hill’ and draws comparisons with Fleugh Larg, Penninghame, Gaelic fluich learg ‘wet hillside’.

It is humbling to think of large families living in such a secluded place eeking out a living and yet on their doorstep concealed underground were artefacts left there by “New Cumnockians” over 3,500 years ago.

In 1937 a Bronze Age Burial Cairn (c. 2000-1600 BC), situated between Flush and the New Cumnock-Dalmellington road (B741), was excavated by Alexander G. McLeod [4]. Included in the finds was a decorated stone of greater antiquity probably c. 3000-2500 BC ), an heirloom passed through generations.

Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland


[1] Malcolm MacLennan ‘Gaelic Dictionary’
[2] Dictionary of the Scots Language| flush
[3] Sir Herbert Maxwell ‘The Place-Names of Galloway”
[4] Alexander G. McLeod | ‘Excavation of two Bronze Age Burial Sites in Ayrshire’ Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 72, 1937-1938, 241-247
Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland
Map 1 | Ordnance Survey|Flush
Ordnance Survey Name Books
By Permission of Scotland’s Places
Ayrshire OS Name Books (1855-57) Vol. 49| Flush
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