|Place-name:||Lowesmuir, Lowesmuir Mount|
|Suggested Meaning:||moorland of the lands of Lowes|
|First element:||Place-name: Lowes|
|Second element:||Scots muir ‘moorland, heath’|
|Third element:||Scots munt ‘low tree covered hill’|
|Blaeu Coila (1654):|
|OS Names Book (1855-57):||Lowesmuir and Lowesmuir Mount|
|Location:||Ordnance Survey (1892-1960)|
|Lowesmuir (1815), Lowes Muir (1832), Lowesmuir (1841,1851)|
Lowes Muir Hill (1851), Lowes Muir Mount (1881)
Lands of Lowis / Lowes
In Blaeu’s Coila Provincia (1654) the lands of Lowis are shown to comprise the three properties of Lowis, Nether Lowis and Over Lowis . These Lowis properties take their name from Scots lowis, lowes ‘lochs’ , a reference to the nearby lochs of Black Loch and Loch of the Lowis that they overlook . Today the stretch of water comprises the three distinct lochs namely, the small Black Loch, Creoch Loch in the middle and then the larger Loch O’ Th’ Lowes, i.e. the ‘loch of the lochs’. [N.B It may be the case that the lands of Lowis take their name specifically from the Loch O’ Th’ Lowes].
Through time the form lowes replaced lowis and the place-name element that differentiated the three properties also changed, several times. For example in Thomson’s Map (1832) they appear in the forms of East Lowes (Lowis), Mid Lowes (Nether Lowis) and West Lowes (Over Lowis), while also appearing on a map for the first time is Lowes Muir.
In the written records, the earliest reference to Lowesmuir, found thus far, is a baptism record from 1815 ‘of a son William, to David McKerrow and Mary Howatson, in Lowesmuir‘ [Scotland’s Places].
Lowesmuir & Lowesmuir Mount
The Ordnance Survey map of 1895 provides a good illustration of the location of the Lowesmuir properties in relation to their Lowes neighbours. The three original Lowes properties, known then as West, Mid and East Lowes are situated on the lower ground while the two Lowesmuir properties, i.e. Lowesmuir and Lowesmuir Mount, sit on the higher ground beyond the tree plantation known as Lowesmuir Belts, i.e. on the moorland of the lands of Lowes.
Place-Name: Lowes + Scots muir ‘moor’
Presuming that the property of Lowesmuir was established long after the original three lowis properties, i.e. by the time the later form lowes had become the established place-name for this stretch of land, then the first element of the name Lowesmuir is that place-name Lowes.
The second element could be Scots muir ‘moor’, i.e. the Scots form of English moor . Alternatively it may be Scots mure, muir ‘barren open country, moorland, heath’ , although the examples of this form given in the Dictionaries of the Scots Lanuage pre-date the 1700s.
The Census Records of 1841 and 1851 show that John McCowan farmer, his wife Elizabeth Crichton and their family lived at Lowesmuir [Scotland’s Places]. In 1844 the family enjoyed some success at the Cumnock Farmers’ Society with John McCowan winning prizes for growing potatoes from dung – 1st prize for ‘London Blue’ and ‘Mangold Wurtzel’ and 2nd prize for ‘Crawford’s American Red’ while Mrs McCowan won 2nd prize for fresh butter . By 1851 the size of the family had expanded to 6 children and Lowesmuir was also home to two farm servants and three agricultural labourers. Sadly in the same year John McCowan, farmer, grazier & cattle dealer was declared bankrupt. The family left Lowesmuir and set up home in the Eagle Inn, Cumnock with John working as the innkeeper and cattle dealer!
The Ordnance Survey Name Book entry for Lowesmuir reads –
A farm house and steading occupied by William Craig the property of the Marquis of Bute
William Craig was one of the Craig dynasty of farmers that over time would populate a host of farms in the parish of New Cumnock. William, his wife Jane Weir and family were tenants at Lowesmuir for a time. At the Ayrshire Agricultural Show of 1859, he won 2nd prize for the best two year old Tups (blackfaced sheep), earning a sovereign .
In the years that followed, Lowesmuir continued to produce prize-winning blackfaced sheep and in the 1930’s farmer Hugh Vallance rounded up a number of awards. For example, in September 1936 at the Ayr cattle market, under the auspices of the Ayr Ram Show he came out on top .
A notable winner in the blackfaces was Mr Hugh Vallance, Lowesmuir, New Cumnock, who had the leading award in four classes, and also carried off the championship with a lamb got by Grand Parade, a Hazelside £100 sheep.
Tup Lamb :1st & 2nd | Pen of Five Tup lambs: 1st | Silver cup for best pen of Seven lambs | Ram, two shear and upwards 1st | Championship H.Vallance (tup lamb)The Scotsman, Thursday, October 1, 1936
Although blackfaced sheep can still be seen on the lands of Lowes, Lowesmuir lies in ruin.
Lowesmuir to Lowesmuir Mount
The path from Lowesmuir to Lowesmuir Mount heads south-east for about 1/2 mile before dog-legging north-east for another 1/4 mile.
The discovery of an earlier road is reported in CANMORE  –
NS61NW 11 612 159 to 602 172.
A road, similar to that described on NS61NW 10*, preceding the mapped Lowesmuir to Lowesmuir Mount road, is traceable from just W of the stream S of the Mount, passing through the forest S of the above road to reach Lowesmuir, and pass to a now ruined bridge to the N, at the approach to which deeply developed hollow ways ran to the river on either side of the 18th century (possible) bridge approach. This road length is in the 8.6m to 10m wide category.
W Lonie and F Newall 1986CANMORE, National Record of the Historic Environment | Canmore ID 44689
N.B. The road was found to have similar characteristics to a road found stretching from Roughside to Mounthope and onto Street .
Place Name: Lowesmuir + Scots munt ‘low tree-covered hill‘
The Ordnance Survey Name Book entry for Lowesmuir Mount reads –
A house on Cairnscadden Hill occupied by farm servants of Lowesmuir.
The farm house was situated between two circular groups of trees known as Highmount Plantation and Lowmount Plantation . The place-name element mount (pronounced locally as munt) is Scots munt ‘low tree-covered hill’  and was probably applied to this south-west facing slope of Cairnscadden Hill and gave its name to the farm house.
Indeed in the 1851 Census Record, when the farm was home to Robert Wilson, agricultural labourer, Marion Brown and their five children along with farm servant Jean Gibson, their address was given as Lowes Muir Hill. Whereas in the 1881 record, when it was home to William Wilson, shepherd, Mary Wilson and their daughter Sarah, the address was Lowes Muir Mount. [Scotland’s People].
Lowesmuir Mount, like Lowesmuir, now lie in ruins
Lowesmuir and Sir William Wallace
The New Cumnock School-Fellows Association asked the question about the validity of the following local tradition of Sir William Wallce and his men attacking the English garrison at Cumnock Castle during the Wars of Independence  –
Was it true a small band of Wallace’s men watched from Lowesmuir while he, in disguise, passed the English garrison, who were outside the fosse, enjoying a game. With the strength of four men he drew the drawbridge, then blew his horn, when his men came down and enacted the last chapter of this small struggle?New Cumnock School-Fellows’ Association, Annual Magazine (1898)
Certainly, on a good day, the castlehill could be seen from a spot south-east of Lowesmuir Mount…. perhaps from the aforementioned road!
| New Cumnock Place-Name | Lowes|
| Dictionary of Scots Language | lowis|
| Dictionaries of the Scots Language Dictionars o the Scots Leid |muir|
| Dictionaries of the Scots Language Dictionars o the Scots Leid |mure,muir|
| British Newspaper Archive | The Ayr Advertiser, Thursday 21 November 1844.|
| British Newspaper Archive | Inverness Courier, Thursday 07 August 1851.|
| British Newspaper Archive | The Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 30 April August 1859.|
| British Newspaper Archive |The Scotsman, Thursday, 01 October, 1936.|
| CANMORE, National Record of the Historic Environment | Canmore ID 44689|
| CANMORE, National Record of the Historic Environment | Canmore ID 44688|
| New Cumnock Place-Names | Highmount Plantation and Lowmount Plantation|
| Dictionaries of the Scots Language Dictionars o the Scots Leid |munt|
| New Cumnock School-Fellows’ Association Annual Magazine (1898)|
|Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland|
|Images used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence.|
|Map 1: Blaeu Atlas of Scotland, 1654, Coila Provincia, Lowis, N. Lowis, O.Lowis|
|Map 2: A. E. Thomson, Johnston’s map of the county of Ayr. With parish boundaries, railways, | East Lowes, Mid Lowes/Calton, West Lowes|
|Map 3: Ordnance Survey Maps – Six-inch 2nd and later editions, Scotland, 1892-1960|Lowesmuir and Lowesmuir Mount|
|Map 4: Ordnance Survey Maps – 25 inch 1st edition, Scotland, 1855-1882 |Lowesmuir|
|Map 5: Ordnance Survey One-inch to the mile maps of Scotland, 2nd Edition (Hills), 1885-1903 | Lowesmuir and Lowesmuir Mount|
|Map 6: Ordnance Survey Maps – 25 inch 1st edition, Scotland, 1855-1882 | Lowesmuir Mount|
|Ordnance Survey Name Books|
|By Permission of Scotland’s Places|
|Ayrshire OS Name Books (1855-57) Vol. 49|Lowesmuir|
|Ayrshire OS Name Books (1855-57) Vol. 49|Lowesmuir Mount|
|Old Parish Records, Births, Marriages, Deaths, Census Records, Valuations Rolls, Wills & Testaments|