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 in Blaeu Coila Provincia map (1654) nor does it appear in the later Ordnance Survey maps; or the Ordnance Survey Name Book (1855-57). However, it does 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 the property of Gallowhill the name 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 gallows hill that once stood here and would be clearly visible from the ancient route to Cumnock Castle by way of Corsencon hill [2], and serve as a warning to others and a gruesome reminder that crime had its consequences.

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

Similarly near the head of Glen Afton sits Yarngallows Knowe [3] which would be visible from the main route from Galloway to Cumnock Castle.

On the lands of Hall of Auchincross there was a Gallows Knowe [5] said to be for the personal use of the Laird, however the authority to try civil and criminal cases rested with the baron of Cumnock.


[1] Many thanks to Walter Daubney and Jackie Kerr for identifying the location of Gallowhill (Gala hull)
[2] New Cumnock Place-Name | Gatehead
[3] New Cumnock Place- Name |Yarngallows Knowe (in progress)
[4] New Cumnock Place-Name | Gallows Knowe
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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