Guelt Water

Place-name:Guelt Water
Suggested Meaning:river named after Guelt farm
First elementOld Welsh guelt ‘pasture’
Second elementScots water ‘river”
Blaeu Coila (1654):Ghelt R.
OS Name Books (1855-57):Guelt Water
Location:Ordnance Survey (1885-1900)
Earlier forms
Gelt (1512), Ghelt (Blaeu 1654)

Guelt

Welsh gwellt Old Welsh guelt ‘grass, pasture’

Gelt, an early form of the name is found in the following instrument of 1512 witnessed at the Castle of Cumnock [1] –

Instrument narrating that Andrew MeCadam … granted that if James Dunbar of (Cumnok ?) paid the sum of £20 Scots before Martinmas he would quit-claim his rights over the lands of Overgreif and the half merkland of Gelt. Done in the Castle of Cumnok 7 January 1512. Witnesses, . . . Talzefer, chaplain, Thomas Dunbar and John Herowing and others,

gavin ros

In Blaeu’s Coila Provincia (1654) it appears in the form Ghelt –

Map 1: Guelt names (Blaeu 1654)| Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

W. J. Watson in his ‘Celtic Place-Names of Scotland’ gives [2] –

Guelt in Cumnock as W. gwellt O.W. guelt ‘grass, pasture’

W. J. Watson, ‘Celtic Place-Names of Scotland’ p.191

Presumably from the pasture land in the vicinity of Nether Guelt

Nether Guelt (parish of Old Cumnock) sits to the south of Glenmore (Glemuir) Water, to the east of its confluence with Guelt Water. The name Over Guelt (parish of Old Cumnock) is now applied to the stretch of moorland that sits to the south of Guelt Water and to the west of Limekilns Burn.

Map 2: Nether and Over Guelt | Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

Guelt Water

The Guelt Water takes its name from the lands of Guelt.

The Ordnance Survey Name Book entry for the stretch of the Guelt Water that flows through the parish of New Cumnock (or between that and the neighbouring parish of Auchinleck) reads –

A large stream forming the boundary between the Parishes of Auchinleck & New Cumnock. The name is applied to it from the junction of Clocklowie Burn and the Boundary stream called the Back Lane, westward thro [through] New Cumnock Parish.

Map 3: Guelt Water | Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland
Guelt Water (upstream from the confluence with Limekilns Burn)
© Copyright Chris Wimbush and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Guelt Lime Works

The Guelt Lime Works were owned by the Earl of Dumfries and later by his descendant Marquis of Bute, which enjoyed the distintinction of havng the limestone quarries located in the parish of Old Cumnock while the limekilns were built in the parish of New Cumnock.

Map 4: Guelt Water | Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

Photographs of the Guelt Lime Works , Robert Guthrie (2008)

Showing limekilns in the parish of New Cumnock and the flooded lime quarry in the parish of Old Cumnock. In the background, north of kilns, the conveyor belt taking coal from an opncast site in the neighbouring parish of Kirkconnel to the rail-head in the parish of New Cumnock.

Lime Road

The lime from the Guelt Lime Works was transported to Kirkconnel, one of its markets, by way of the road over the back of Corsencon and joins the main road from New Cumnock to Kirkconnel at Nether Farding farm near Kirckconnel Church. The Reverend John Robertson in the First (Old) Statistical Account of the parish of Kirkconnel makes makes the following references to Guelt Lime Works [3] –

Improvements and Disadvantages. – Within these 20 years. agriculture has been carried on here to a much greater extent thand formerly , by means of lime brought from a quarry, belonging to the Earl of Dumfries, about 5 miles from the centre of the parish.

Roads.- Beside the old great road, from Sanquhar to Cumnock, a part of that long track, made solely at the expence of the late amiable, revered, and munificent Duke of Queensbery; there is a side road from it to the Earl of Dumfries’s lime quarry.

Rev. John Robertson, Kirkconnell, County of Dumfries, OSA, Vol. X, 1794
Left – The road past the back of Corsencon hill to Kirkconnel
Right – Map 5: Lime Road | Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

The ‘side road‘ mentioned by the Reverend Robertson is shown on George Taylor and Andrew Skinner’s ‘Survey and maps of the roads of North Britain or Scotland, 1776’ and is aptly named as Lime Road, a long lost name.

(This not to be confused with Lime Road in village of New Cumnock which was named after the route from High Park Lime Kilns to the New Cumnock to Kirkconnel road)

Photographs
Chris Wimbush | Geograph: Guelt Water
References
[1] Scottish Record Society (1908), Protocol Book of Gavin Ros 1512-1534 | No. 22
[2] W. J. Watson, Celtic Place-Names of Scotland, p.191
[3] Reverend John Robertson |Kirkconnell, County of Dumfries, OSA, Vol. X, 1794
Maps
By Permission of National Library of Scotland
https://maps.nls.uk/
Images used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence.
Map 1: Blaeu Atlas of Scotland, Coila Provincia, 1654 | Ghelt River
Map 2: Bartholomew`s Revised Half-Inch Map, Great Britain, 1940-47 | Guelt Water
Map 3: Ordnance Survey, One-inch to the mile maps of Scotland, 2nd Edition – 1885-1900| Guelt Water
Map 4: Ordnance Survey Maps – 25 inch 2nd and later editions, Scotland, 1892-1949|Guelt Lime Works
Map 5: George Taylor and Andrew Skinner’s Survey and maps of the roads of North Britain or Scotland, 1776| Plate 42: The Road from Glasgow to Kilmarnock, Sanquhar & Dumfries, Continued; The Road from Dumfries to Monyhive.
Ordnance Survey Name Books
By Permission of Scotland’s Places
scotlandsplaces.gov.uk
Ayrshire OS Name Books (1855-57) Vol. 49|Guelt Water
Ayrshire OS Name Books (1855-57) Vol. 52 , Old Cumnock| Nether Guelt
Ayrshire OS Name Books (1855-57) Vol. 52 , Old Cumnock | Over Guelt