GLENHASTEL

Place-name:Glenhastel
Suggested Meaning:valley of the castle
Gaelic Gleann a’ Chaisteil ‘valley of the castle’
Blaeu Coila (1654):No Entry
OS Name Books (1855-57):Glenhastel
Location:Ordnance Survey (1894)

Glenhastel

Gaelic gleann a’ chaisteil ‘valley of the castle’

Glenhastel Burn rises in Glenhastel Craigs and flows through Glenhastel on its way to meeting the Carcow Burn just north of Carcow farm (now known as Monquhill).


Map 1 Glenastel | Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

The Ordnance Survey Name Book (1855-57) entries for Glenhastel read –

Glenhastel: A hollow through which a stream of the same name flows.

Glenhastel Burn: A Stream rising at Glenhastel Craig and flowing in a NW. [North West] direction, unites with Carcow Burn, north of Blood Moss

Glenhastel Craigs: Precipitous rocks, situated at the source of Glenhastel Burn

In discussions with Michael Ansell he identified Glenhastel as Gaelic Gleann a’ Chaisteil ‘valley of the castle’ and noted the proximity with Carcow which might contain Cumbric caer ‘fort’. He also explained that on occasion the term caisteal was used figuratively so if there’s a hill or rocky top that looks somehow castellated that might explain it [1].

There is no record of a castle or fortification in this vicinity other than a reference to Covecastlehill near Carco [2] which possibly is a misreading of Covecasehill shown on John Thomson’s Atlas of Scotland (1828). The second element –casehill could possibly be an anglicisation of Gaelic chaistell [1]. However, the name Covecasehill does not appear in earlier or later maps other than a later imprint of Thomson’s map and is not known locally.

Map 2 : Covecasehill (Thomson’s Atlas) | Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

Perhaps the craigs, rocks [3] at the source of Glenhastel Burn are the source of the name chaisteil.

N.B. Two miles to the east of Glenhastel Craigs in the upper reaches of Glen Afton is a rock named Castle William, albeit it is not castellated in form (see Map 4).

Map 3: Glenhastel Craig | Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

References
[1] Courtesy of Michael Ansell
[2] George Sanderson, ‘New Cumnock Far and Away’ p. 39
[3] Dictionaries of the Scots Language |craig
Maps
Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland
https://maps.nls.uk/
Map 1 | Ordnance Survey (1894) |Glenhastel
Map 2 | John Thomson’s Atlas of Scotland | Covecasehill
Map 3 | Ordnance Survey (1894) | Glenhastel Craigs
Map 4 | Ordnance Survey (1894) | Castle William
Ordnance Survey Name Books
By Permission of Scotland’s Places
scotlandsplaces.gov.uk
Ayrshire OS Name Books (1855-57) Vol. 49| Glenhastel
Ayrshire OS Name Books (1855-57) Vol. 49| Glenhastel Burn
Ayrshire OS Name Books (1855-57) Vol. 49| Glenhastel Craigs