Suggested Meaning:mouth of the ford
Blaeu Coila (1654):No Entry
OS Name Books (1855-57):Fordmouth
Location:Ordnance Survey (1892-1960)
Fordmouth on the right (Photo Robert Guthrie)

Fordmouth cottage sits on a ridge overlooking the River Nith and the Nith Bridge that ultimately made the original ford across the Nith near this place redundant.

Fordmouth overlooking the River Nith and Nith Bridge (Photo Robert Guthrie)

The earliest reference to Fordmouth, uncovered this far, is found in 1670 in the Will and Testament of Thomas Fleming. While, in the Old Parish Records (1706-1854) the following baptism records associated with the same family are found, which suggest Boig Rig as a local alternative name for Fordmouth.

1708 June 27 Janet daughter to James Park and Margaret Crosbie, in Fordmouth

1711 December 23 Margaret daughter to James Park and Margaret Crosbie in Boig Rig

Old Parish Records of New Cumnock

The property of Fordmouth was part of the lands of North Boig, the farm of which was situated on the opposite side of the Boig Road shown below. The relief on the map also shows that Fordmouth sits on a ridge that runs parallel with the road and appears to have been known locally as Boig Rig.

Map 1: Fordmouth (OS 1895) | Reproduced with the permission of The National Library of Scotland

Twenty years later James McDerment & Sons produced a series of turnpike and parish roads maps for the parishes of central Ayrshire, including New Cumnock. One of the parish roads from South Boig to Benston Toll at the parish boundary and crosses the River Nith just beyond ‘Fordsmouth‘.

Map 2: Fordsmouth (McDerment 1852) | Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

This road must have forded the river at this time since it would be 1879 before the Ayr Road Trust discussed the building of a bridge here [1] . William Campbell of Dalhanna, road surveyor challenged the decision to build a wooden-bridge [2].

“A bridge there is much-needed, and I merely wished to say that if, instead of erecting a wooden foot-bridge, a grant from the bridge funds had been applied for to build a bridge with stone abutments and iron girders and of a width suitable for the traffic of district, three-fifths of the cost might have been obtained, and the proprietors benefited would no doubt have contributed handsomely.”

The Ayrshire Advertiser, or West Country and Galloway Journal, November 27, 1879

William Campbell was the son of the late James Campbell of Dalhanna, Road Surveyor who had been the driving force in having a three arch stone bridge built in 1863 over the River Nith in the heart of the town. It would appear William was the driving force to having a stone bridge built at Fordmouth.

Map 3 : Fordmouth and Nith Bridge (OS 1895)| Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

Fordmouth now Waterside

Armstrong’s Map of Ayrhsire (1775) shows another Fordmouth just upstream from the bridge over the River Nith on the Kilmarnock-Dumfries road.

Map 4: Fordmouth ( Armstrong 1775) | Reproduced with the permission of the Natonal Library of Scotland

It later appears on John Thomson’s Map (1828/1832) which helps to identify the property as the forerunner to Waterside farm. Chris Rollie in ‘Robert Burns and New Cumnock notes that prior to the bridge being built, ‘the road crossed the Nith as the Nith-ford and immediately turned west towards Fordmouth (later Waterside, and now a ruin

Map 5: Fordmouth (Thomson 1832) | Reproduced with the permission with The National Library of Scotland


[1] British Newspaper Archive |The Glasgow Herald, November 15, 1879
[2] British Newspaper Archive |The Ayrshire Advertiser, or West Country and Galloway Journal, November 27, 1879
[3] Chris Rollie, Robert Burns & New Cumnock (1996)
Reproduced with the Permission of the National Library of Scotland
Map 1: Ordnance Survey, One-inch to the mile maps of Scotland, 2nd Edition – 1885-1900 (1895) | Fordmouth
Map 2: James McDerment & Sons Map of the turnpike & parish roads … [for parishes in central Ayrshire] New Cumnock (1852) | Fordmouth
Map 3: Ordnance Survey Maps – 25 inch 2nd and later editions, Scotland, 1892-1949 (1895)| Fordmouth
Map 4: Armstrong’s Map of Ayrshire (1775) |Fordmouth
Map 5: John Thomson’s Atlas of Scotland, Northern Part of Ayrshire. Southern Part. (1832) |Fordmouth
Ordnance Survey Name Books & Cart Tax Rolls
By Permission of Scotland’s Places
Ayrshire OS Name Books (1855-57) Vol. 49| Fordmouth
Cart Tax Roll (1785-1798) , Vol. 12 | James Wilson (1791)
Scotland’s People
Old Parish Records, Births, Marriages, Deaths, Census Records, Valuations Rolls, Wills & Testaments
Glasgow Commissary Court CC9/7/37, Will and Testament | Thomas Fleming (1670)
Old Parish Records, Baptism | Janet Park (1708)
Old Parish Records, Baptism | Margaret Park (1711)