|Place-name:||House of Water|
|Suggested Meaning:||farm house on the land of Waterhead|
|Blaeu Coila (1654):||No Entry|
|OS Name Books (1855-57):||House of Water|
|Location:||Ordnance Survey (1894)|
|House of Waterhead (1691), House of the Water (1741), Waterhouse (1775), House O’ Water (1888, Newspaper Obit.)|
House of Water
The farmhouse attached to Waterhead farm
The House of Water stood on the banks of the River Nith less than a mile downstream from Waterhead, the two farms were connected by a footpath.
It would be reasonable to presume that the name simply reflects the farm house’s proximity to the River Nith, however the Hearth Tax Rolls of the late 17th century  show that an earlier form of the name was The House of Waterhead.
|People and/or Place||No. of hearths|
|John Hall, Waterhead||2|
|Thomas Hall, there||1|
|The House of Waterhead||6|
The House of Waterhead was attached to the main farm of Waterhead, tenanted by the Hall family at that time, and was probably home to agricultural labourers and their families. Waterhead farm in turn had taken its name from Waterhead Castle, once the residence of the Cathcarts of Waterhead, owners of the “9 merklands of Waterhead” that stretched along the head-waters of the River Nith from Blackfarding to Lethans Hill near the source of the river .
Later baptism records reveal a name change to ‘House of the Water’, the name Waterhead disappearing from view.
- 1741, March 10 | William, son to Hugh Brown and Janet Baird in House of the Water
- 1746, June 15 | James, son to Hugh Brown and Agnes Baird in House of the Water
Armstrong Map of Ayrshire (1775) introduces the name Waterhouse and although it also shows the unnamed ruins of Waterhead Castle, it does not show Waterhead farm.
The Ordnance Survey Name Book (1855-57) entry for House of Water simply reads –
A small farm house on the River Nith occupied by William Kennedy the property of Sir J Cathcart
Sir J Cathcart was Sir John Andrew Cathcart, 5th Baronet of Carleton the proprietor of the Waterhead estate. In later Valuation Rolls the farm and lands of House of Water are paired with Blackfarding .
House of Water farm was abandoned in the late 20th century and nothing remains of the building and the landscape greatly changed through opencast operations in what was named the House of Water Surface Mine.
| The Hearth Tax for Ayrshire 1691, Ayrshire Records Series Volume 1 , Robert H J Urquhart and Rob Close, editors (1998) ; A List of the hearths of the paroch of Cumnock, Old and New.|
| New Cumnock Place-Name |Waterhead Castle and Waterhead Farm|
| New Cumnock Place-Name |Blackfarding|
|Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland|
|Map 1 | Ordnance Survey (1895) |House of Water|
|Map 2 | Ordnance Survey (1856) |House of Water|
|Map 3 | Armstrong Map of Ayrshire (1775) |Waterhouse|
|Ordnance Survey Name Books|
|By Permission of Scotland’s Places|
|Ayrshire OS Name Books (1855-57) Vol. 49|House of Water|
|Old Parish Records, Births, Marriages, Deaths, Census Records, Valuations Rolls, Wills & Testaments|