Place-name:Lochingirroch, Lochingirroch Burn
Suggested Meaning:Gaelic Lag na gCaorach  ‘hollow of the sheep’
1st element:Gaelic lag ‘hollow, cavity’
2nd element:Gaelic caorach  ‘sheep’’
Blaeu Coila (1654):Ladringerah, Lachan guroch b.
OS Name Books (1855-57):Lochingirroch, Lochingirroch Burn
Location:Ordnance Survey (1898)
Early Forms
Lagurgeroch (1535), Lochingeroche (1621) ,Lochingerauche (1624), Lochingerauch (1635), Ladringerah, Lachanguroch b. (Blaeu 1654), Lochingiroch (1668), Lochingeroch (1672), Lochingirrochon (Hearth Tax 1691), Lochingerroch (OPR 1712), Lochengirroch (OPR 1724), Lochingirroch (OPR 1743),Lochingarroch (OPR 1746), Clachingiroch (Roy 1744-47), Lockingirrok (Armstrong 1775), Lochingerroch (Valuation Rolls 1895-1940).

Lochingerroch with Blackcraig in the background (Robert Guthrie 2017)

Following the death of James Dunbar, baron of Cumnock in 1535 the following parcel of lands in Glen Afton, including Lagurgeroch, passed to another member of the Dunbar family [1].

At Striueling , 27 Jul [1535]

‘Ane Letter maid to DAME JONET STEWART, LADY MOCHRUM (a footnote says “the second wife of Sir John Dunbar of Mochrum, and mother of Gavin Dunbar, Archbishop of Glasgow), hir airis and assignais ane or ma, – of the gift of nonentres, malis, fermes,profittis and dewities of the four merk land of the Blakcrag, ane merk land of Munthray, twa merk land of Cragydarrocht, thre merk land of Lagurgeroch, twa merk land [of] Polloch, three merk land of Puntlo and twa merk land of Lagbrowen, with the pertinentis,pertenyng to hir in in (sic) conjunct fee, liand in the barony of Cumnok, within the shirefdome of Aire, being in oure soverane lordis handis be resoun of nonenteree of the last terme of Witsounday, throw the deceis of umquhill James Dunbar of Cumnok.

Register of the Privy Seal of Scotland, vol 2, no. 1737.
Map 1: Lochingirroch & Lochbrowan (Barth. 1906) | Reproduced with the persmission of the National Library of Scotland
1535OS Map
2. MunthrayMontraw (Monthraw)
3. CragydarrochtCraigdarroch
4. LagurgerochLochingirroch
5. PollochPollach
6. PuntloPencloe
7. LagbrowenLochbrowan

Through time the names underwent some changes, some more dramatic than others. Of particular interest is the transformation of the place-element Gaelic lag ‘hollow’ [2] to what appears to be Scots loch, in the neighbouring properties of Lagurgeroch to Lochingirroch and Lagbrowen to Lochbrowan. Another example of this transformation in the parish is found in Lagmanharbe (1520) to Lochmeharb [3]. While, of course there is no loch in the vicinity of Lochingirroch and Lochbrowan nor indeed at Lochmeharb.

In between times other ‘in-between’ forms of Lochingirroch are encountered including the Blaeu forms (1645) of Ladringerah (where ‘ch‘ may have been transcribed as ‘dr‘) and Lachanguroch b. where lachan is suggestive of Gaelic lagan ‘little hollow’ [4]. It is also interesting to note the nearby N. Laglaf and O. Laglaf which survives today as Laglaff, having resisited the transformation to Lochlaff! Meanwhile Lagbrowen has fully embraced the loch- form albeit as Lochbranen.

Map 2: Ladringerah and Lachanguroch b. (Blaeu 1654) | Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

In testaments and wills of the 17th century [Scotland’s People] the loch– or indeed lochin– forms are dominant but with variations of the second element –geroche,- gerauche, –gerauch, –giroch and –geroch.

29 May 1621 Hew Dumbar of Lochingeroche, parish of Cumnok.
05 Oct 1624 Hew Greir in Lochingerauche, parish of Cumnok.
12 Aug 1635 Johne Thomesoune younger in Lochingerauch, parish of Cumnock.
05 May 1668 John Gibsoune in Lochingiroch, parish of Cumnock.
08 Jan 1672 Agnes Grier spouse to James Campbell in Lochingeroch, parish of Cumnock.

During Covenanting times, the elderly John Campbell in Lochengarach, no doubt a relative of the above James Campbell, ‘was the objectivity of persecuting malignity to the curate of the parish in which he resides’, so penned Rev. Robert Simpson in the ‘Traditions of the Covenanters’ [5] . The Reverend John Warrick adds some local knowledge to Simpson’s account identifying the incident took place during the curacy of Francis Fordyce at Cumnock Kirk (1686?-1688), at which time part of duties was to take note o of those that failed to attend services at the kirk or indeed were believed to frequent conventicles. Warrick writes [6] –

John Campbell of Lochingerroch had incurred Fordyce’s suspicion. His name was at once placed on the roll of the offenders. By and by, Campbell , or some one for him, sent a note to the curate, requesting prayer to be offered for him in the prospect of his death. Fordyce, imagining that Campbell was about to depart this life, deleted his name. Of course, as long as his name was on the fatal list, his life was in danger in every day; but it was clearly intended that the request should be understood, as if the good farmer was approaching his end. Doubtless the distance of Lochingerroch from the curate’s manse rendered it easy to carry out the ruse.

Rev. Warrick ,The History of Old Cumnock

The despised Fordyce’s short spell at Cumnock kirk ended abruptly in the year of the Revolution – ‘a band of ninety armed men forced him into the churchyard, forbade him to preach, and tore his gown‘.

Old Parish Records

In the early 18th century several branches of the Farquhar family are resident at Lochingirroch. The following baptism/birth records are found in the Old Parish Records of New Cumnock (1706-1855) where the place of birth is recorded in the forms ending in –gerroch, –girroch and –garroch!

Hew Farquhar & Janet Gemmell
No name
William Farquhar & Elizabeth Hutchison
William Farquhar & Janet Crawford

By the close of the century the Mitchell family was established in Lochingirroch although in the Farm Horse Tax Roll of 1797/98, Hugh Mitchell is found in the fanciful Long-garroch! [Scotland’s Places].


1. Gaelic Lag na gCaorach  ‘hollow of the sheep’

The Ordnance Survey Name Book (1855-57) entry for Lochingirroch reads-

A farm house, occupied by Mr. John Mitchell, the property of the Marquis of Bute.

Unsurprisingly, John Mitchell, Lochingirrroch was one of the ‘Authorities for Spelling’ and equally unsurpisingly he plumped for Lochingirroch, agreeing with two other authorities. The two other alternatives were Lochengirroch and Lochinginoch – typographical error from the Voters List.

Map 3: Lochingirroch & Lochingirroch Burn (OS 1856) | Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

Although Lochingirroch was the form that would appear on Ordnance Survey maps it was the alternative form Lochingerroch that became established form in the later Valuation Rolls, indeed John Mitchell took that form to the grave!

Headstone John Mitchell, Lochingerroch , headstone Auld Kirkyard, New Cumnock (Robert Guthrie)
1st element: Gaelic lag ‘hollow” or Gaelic lagan ‘little hollow’

The first element of early form Lagurgeroch (1535) appears to be Gaelic lag ‘hollow’ or possibly Gaelic lagan ‘little hollow’ ( lagun transcribed as lagur?). Today the property of Lochingirroch sits 350 yards south of Lochbrowan and both could be said to share the hollow lying between Lochbrowan Hill to the east and Ashmark Hill to the west, with Lochingirroch in the ‘little hollow’.

Map 4: Lochingirroch & Lochbrowan (Barth. 1895) | Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland
2nd element: Gaelic caorach ‘sheep’

The early forms of the second element –geroch (1535), –geroche (1621) –gerauche (1624), –gerauch (1635) fit reasonably well the now established form of Lochingerroch. In this form it compares well with the place-name Craigengerroch, in the parish of Kirkcolm, Wigtownshire. Sir Herbert Maxwell considers this name in ‘The Place-Names of Galloway’ through cross-referencing it to the place-name Craigengeary in the parish of Carsphairn, Kirkcudbrightshire which he considers to be creagan gearrfhiadh [girree, geary] ‘the hare’s crag’ [7].

However, perhaps the 2nd element of Craigengerroch is also pronounced geary which is not the case locally for Lochingerroch!

It is worth noting that March Burn, which enters the Afton Water 600 yards upstream from Lochingirroch, rises in the lower slopes of Hare Hill; albeit the hill summit is some 2 miles away.

Map 5: Lochingirroch & Hare Hill (OS ) | Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

Michael Ansell kindly offered a more likely explanation Gaelic Lag na gCaorach  ‘hollow of the sheep’ [8, 9] which of course fits well with this former sheep-farm. Indeed the sheep-ree or fold can still be seen on Lochingerroch lands across the Afton Road from the farmhouse.

Lochingerroch Farm from the March Burn with the sheep ree and Pencloe beyond (Robert Guthrie 2007)

John Mitchell of Lochingerroch enjoyed some success at the 43rd annual exhibition of the Ayrshire Agricultural Association at Ayr in early May, 1878 in the Blackfaced Sheep Breed with 1st prize in the Aged Tup categorty and 3rd place in the Two-year old category [10].

British Newspaper Archive | The Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald , May 4 1878

Lochingerroch Photos (Robert Guthrie 2003-2017)

Lochingirroch Burn

Place-name: Lochingirroch + Scots burn ‘stream’ [11]

A Stream which divides the farms of Pencloe and Lochingirroch, and runs northerly into the Afton.

Map 6: Lochingirroch Burn (OS

Lochingirroch Burn effectively forms a march burn or boundary burn between the prorperties of Lochingirroch and Pencloe.

Lochingerroch Burn Photos (Robert Guthrie 2007-2017)

[1] Register of the Privy Seal of Scotland, vol 2, no. 1737
[2] Edward Dwelly, Illustrated Gaelic -English Dictionary | lag
[3] New Cumnock Place-Name | Lochmeharb
[4] Edward Dwelly, Illustrated Gaelic -English Dictionary | lagan
[5] Reverend Robert Simpson. ‘Traditions of the Covenanters’
[6] Reverend John Warrick ‘The History of Old Cumnock’ (1899)
[7] Sir Herbert Maxwell ‘The Place-Names of Galloway’ (1930) | Craigengerroch
[8] Michael Ansell correspondence
[9] Edward Dwelly, Illustrated Gaelic -English Dictionary |caora, coarach
[10] British Newspaper Archive | The Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald , May 4 1878
[11] Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. | burn
Reproduced with the Permission of National Library of Scotland
Images used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence.
Map 1: Bartholomew’s “Half Inch to the Mile Maps” of Scotland, 1899-1905 (1900) | Lochingirroch
Map 2: Joan Blaeu, 1596-1673 Coila Provincia, [or], The province of Kyle / auct. Timoth. Pont( 1645) |Ladringerah, Lachanguroch b.
Map 3: Ordnance Survey Maps – 25 inch 1st edition, Scotland, 1855-1882 (1856) |Lochingirroch, Lochingirroch burn
Map 4: Bartholomew’s “Half Inch to the Mile Maps” of Scotland, 1899-1905 (1900) | Lochingirroch & Lochbrowan
Map 5: Ordnance Survey, One-inch to the mile maps of Scotland, 2nd Edition – 1885-1900 (1895) | Lochingirroch & Hare Hill
Map 6: Ordnance Survey, One-inch to the mile maps of Scotland, 2nd Edition – 1885-1900 (1895) | Lochingirroch Burn
Ordnance Survey Name Books & Land Tax Rolls.
By Permission of Scotland’s Places
Ayrshire OS Name Books (1855-57) Vol. 49|Lochingirroch
Ayrshire OS Name Books (1855-57) Vol. 49| Lochingirroch Burn
Scotland’s People
Old Parish Records, Births, Marriages, Deaths, Census Records, Valuations Rolls, Wills & Testaments