Gallows Knowe

Place-name:Gallows Knowe
Suggested Meaning:gallows hill
elementSSE gallows ‘gallows’
elementS. knowe ‘hillock, mound’
Blaeu Coila (1654):No Entry
OS Name Books (1855-57):Gallows Knowe
Location:Ordnance Survey (1895)

Gallows Knowe

The Ordnance Survey Name Book (1855-57) entry for Gallows Knowe reads –

A small knowe about 20 ch. [chains] S.E. [South East] of the Hall of Auchincross. Condemned criminals are said to have been executed upon it, after having been tried upon the Court Knowe by the Laird of Auchincross.

Map 1: Gallows Knowe | Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

Although not marked on the Ordnance Survey map a a gallows is said to have on a knowe, hillock [1] some 500 yards to the south-east of the site of the Old Hall of Auchincross. One of the offerings for the place-name Auchincross is Gaelic achadh crioch ‘field of the gallows’ [2].

The criminals were tried on the nearby Court Knowe which along with the gallows were likely to be under the jurisdiction of the Baron of Cumnock rather than for the personal use of the Laird of Auchincross [3].

Gallows Knowe (Robert Guthrie 2008)


[1] Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. |knowe
[2] New Cumnock Place-Name | Auchincross, Hall of Auchincross
[3] New Cumnock Place-Name | Court Knowe
Reproduced with the Permission of the National Library of Scotland
Images are used displayed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence.
Map 1 : Ordnance Survey Maps – Six-inch 2nd and later editions, Scotland, 1892-1960 (1895) |Gallows Knowe
Ordnance Survey Name Books
By Permission of Scotland’s Places
Ayrshire OS Name Books (1855-57) Vol. 49| Gallows Knowe