Suggested Meaning:gallow’s hill
Blaeu Coila (1654):No Entry
OS Name Books (1855-57):No Entry
Location:Roy Military, Lowlands (1752-55)

The name Gallowhill does not appear on Blaeu Coila Provincia map (1654) nor does it appear in the later Ordnance Survey maps; or the Ordnance Survey Name Book (1855-57). Hoever, it does however appear on William Roy’s Military Map, Lowlands (1752-55).

Map 1 William Roy Military Map (1752-1757) | Copyright British Library Board

The earliest reference to the property of Gallowhill is found in the Old Parish Records of New Cumnock (which date back to 1706) in the register of baptisms of the children of Andrew Mitchell and Elizabeth Gemmell, namely Andrew (1712), Agnes (1714) and Andrew II (1719). The latest entry found in the register is that of Jean (1744), daughter of James Waddle and Abigail Drummond before the family relocated to nearby Muirfoot farm.

Although nothing now remains of Gallowhill the name and its location has survived locally as ‘Gala hul‘, a knowe in a field on the opposite side of Mansfield Road from Gatehead [1].

Map 2 | Site of Gallowhill | Reproduced with the permission of tThe National Library of Scotland

The property of Gallowhill presumably took its name from a gallow’s hill that once stood here visible from the ancient route to Cumnock Castle by way of Corsencon hill , now known as Mansfield Road [2], as a warning to others and a reminder that crime had its consequences. The gallows would be used by Barons of Cumnock from their seat at Cumnock Castle to administer justice. There were also gallows at what is now the cemetery on the Barrhill Road, Cumnock.

Map 3 G: Gallowhill C: Castle | Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

Similarly Yarngallows Knowe was postioned at the head of Glen Afton, on the major route from Cumnock Castle to Carrick and beyond. While there was said to be a Gallows Knowe in the lands of the Hall of Auchincross for the personal use of the Laird [3].


[1] Many thanks to Walter Daubney and Jackie Kerr for identifying the location of Gallowhill (Gala hull)
[2] For Corsencon-Cumnock Castle route See Gatehead
[3] For Gallows Knowe see Auchincross
Reproduced with the Permission of the National Library of Scotland
Map 1 | Roy Military, Lowlands (1752-55) | Gallowhill
Map 2 | Ordnance Survey (1892-1960) |Gallowhill
Map 3 | Ordnance Survey (1885-1903) | Mansfield Road
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