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 stream which runs into Bottom Burn

The March Burn is only 700 yards long and doesn’t appear to have served as a boundary. However it rises some 800 yards to the east of Quintin Knowe which has been suggested as Gaelic cointon ‘disputed land’ [3] . It also flows into the Bottom Burn which then flows east for 500 yards to join the Kello Water which not only forms a parish boundary between New Cumnock and Sanquhar in this vicinity but also the county boundary between Ayrshire and Dumfriesshire.

[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 | Quintin Knowe
By Permission of National Library of Scotland
Map 1: Ordnance Survey (1895) |March Burn
Ordnance Survey Name Books
By Permission of Scotland’s Places
Ayrshire OS Name Books (1855-57) Vol. 49| March Burn