|Place-name:||Loch O’ Th’ Lowes|
|Suggested Meaning:||Loch of the Lochs|
|First element:||Scots lowis ‘lochs’|
|Blaeu Coila (1654):||L. of the Lowis|
|OS Names Book (1855-57):||Lochside Loch|
|Location:||Ordnance Survey (1892-1960)|
|L. of the Lowis (1645), Lows (1775), Lochside (1857), Loch O’ Th’ Lowes (1897)|
L. of the Lowis
At first glance Blaeu’s map Coila Provincia appears to show that the body of water is a single loch called L. of the Lowis (1). However on closer inspection that name is assigned to the southern section of the loch while the northern section is called Black l. (2). The presence of two lochs helps to reveal the meaning behind the name ‘Loch of the Lowis’, i.e. ‘loch of the lochs’, from Scots lowis the plural of loch.
In turn the Loch of the Lowis has given rise to the farm names Over Lowis (3), Nether Lowis (4) and Lowis (5). It is also worth noting the farms of Over Krioch (6) and Nether Krioch (7) on the west of Loch of the Lowis.
The Black Loch probably takes its appearance from the dark appearance of the water. Black is a common place-name element in the parish and is found describing craigs, hills, woods etc.
The Armstrong Map of Ayrshire (1775) shows three distinct lochs but names only the southerly one, as Lows. In addition, Armstrong highlights the following unique feature of the lochs.
From the northmost of the Lochs a current runs North to Cumnock & Ayr and from the same Loch into the Nith and so to Dumfries, a very rare thing for two Streams to flow from the same Piece of water in contrary directions.
There is no entry for Loch of the Lowes in the Ordnance Survey Names Book (1855-57) , however there is the following one for “Lochside Loch”.
A considerable sheet of water the Southernmost of three Lochs. It abounds with Perch and Pike “Lochside Loch” is the modern name
The three ‘Authorities for Spelling’ of the Names Book were Mr. Kay, Dumfries House, Dr. Rankin, Lochside and Mr. Paterson, Little Creoch.
Mr. Kay was the factor for the Marquis of Bute who owned Lochside House and the adjoining small farm of arable land and outbuildings including kennels. Dr. Andrew Rankin was the tenant of the house and John Paterson, the farmer at Little Creoch. The modern-name “Lochside Loch” cleary originates from when “Lochside House” was built on the shore of Loch of the Lowes and the loch was then named after the house! The remaining “Authority for Spelling” was the Estate Map 1802 on which the loch was recorded as “Lowes Loch”.
In the same Ordnance Survey Names Book (1855-57) the name of the ‘middle loch’ is formally recorded as Creoch Loch, having adopted the name at some time beforehand, from the nearby Little Creoch farm.
Loch O’ Th’ Lowes
By the next edition of the Ordnance Survey Maps of 1897 the ‘L. of the Lowis’ of Blaeu’s Map (1654) is now the ‘Loch O’ Th’ Lowes’. Interestingly the nearby farm of Lochhill has been re-named as East Lowes (it has since reverted to Lochill). The change from lowis to lowes has since remained permanent.
Other Loch O’ Th’ Lowes
There are other well known Loch O’ Th’ Lowes in Scotland. In the Borders there is Loch of the Lowes with neighbouring St. Mary’s Loch. At Dunkeld, Perthshire there is Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre for those coming to see the ospreys nesting in the vicinity of the three lochs of Loch of Lowes, Loch of Craiglush and Loch of Butterstone.
Nearer to home in Kirkcudbrightshire there is Lowes Loch, a pair of lochs sharing the name in the parish Balmaclellan, Kirkcudbrightshire while there is a Loch of the Lowes, a solitary loch albeit with two arms.
| Dictionary of Scots Language | lowis|
|By Permission of National Library of Scotland|
|Map 1 |Blaeu (1645) |L. of the Lowis|
|Map 2 | Armstrong (1775) | Lows Loch|
|Map 3 | OS (1860) | Lochside Loch|
|Map 4 | OS (1942-1961) | Loch O’ The Lowes|
|Loch of the Lowes | Borders|
|Loch of the Lowes | Perth and Kinross|
|Loch of the Lowes | Minigaff, Kirkcudbrightshire|
|Lowes Loch | Balmaclellan, Kirkcubrightshire|