Place-name:March Burn
Suggested Meaning:a boundary burn
First elementScots march ‘boundary’
Second elementScots burn ‘stream’
Blaeu Coila (1654):No Entry
OS Name Books (1855-57):March Burn
Location:Ordnance Survey (1895)

March Burn

Scots march ‘ boundary’ Scots burn ‘stream’

There are several march burns in the parish of New Cumnock which generally serve or have previously served the purpose of forming a boundary. The first element is Scots march (pronounced mairch) ‘boundary’ [1] and the second element is Scots burn ‘stream’ [2].

Map 1: March Burn | Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

The Ordnance Survey Name Book (1855-57) entry for March Burn reads –

A Small Burn flowing by the farm of Marchburn into Burnton* Burn.

N.B. The entry should read Burnston Burn which takes its name from Burnston farm [3]

The March Burn forms a small part of the boundary between the lands of Craigman and those of the neighbouring lands of Burnston. Indeed, in ‘field boundary’ maps of 1944-45 [Scotland’s People], only a part of the March Burn forms a boundary, with the remainder of it wholly contained within the lands of Craigman.

It is very likely that the nearby farm of Marchburn [4] took its name from the burn, however in later years, following the demise of Craigman farm (which was then renamed Old Craigman), Marchburn farm adopted the name Craigman! Sadly as a consequence of extensive opencast operations all of these farms are gone and so too the March Burn.

Marchburn /Craigman look#oking over to Burnston Bog – the March Burn is in there somewhere! (Robert Guthrie 2008)
[1] Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd.|march
[2] Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd.|burn
[3] New Cumnock Place-Names | Burnston- in progress
[4] New Cumnock Place-Names | Marchburn- in pog
By Permission of National Library of Scotland
Map 1: Ordnance Survey (1857) |March Burn
Ordnance Survey Name Books
By Permission of Scotland’s Places
Ayrshire OS Name Books (1855-57) Vol. 49| March Burn
Scotland’s People
Ordnance Survey 6 inch plan (Ayrshire, sheet XLI.SE) marked to show farm boundaries, RHP75835 [1944-1955]