|Place-name:||Old March Burn|
|Suggested Meaning:||a boundary burn,|
(perhaps of older than another March Burn in the vicinity)
|First element||Scots march ‘boundary’|
|Second element||Scots burn ‘stream’|
|Blaeu Coila (1654):||No Entry|
|OS Name Books (1855-57):||Old March Burn (3 entries)|
|Location:||Ordnance Survey (1895)|
Old March Burn
Scots march ‘boundary ‘ Scots burn ‘stream’
There are several March Burns in the parish of New Cumnock and all serve or have previously served the purpose of forming a boundary. The first element is Scots march ‘a border or boundary’ , which is pronounced mairch locally and the second element is the common Scots burn ‘stream’ .
In this case the name is pre-fixed with Old perhaps it was renamed to distinguish between this march and the small man-made March Burn  to the south of a farm of the same name on the lands of Craigman.
Old March Burns
The boundary in question is unique in the parish of New Cumnock, in that it is made up of two burns, i.e. two Old March Burns, which flow in the opposite direction.
The two entries for the Old March Burns in the Ordnance Survey Name Books are given below and in each case Andrew Smith, farmer in Beoch and his son John Smith are recorded as the “Authorities for Spelling” in conjunction with the Property Map.
The entry for Old March Burn (1) reads –
A small Burn which runs in a N.W. [North West] direction, it at one time formed a Boundary between Upper and Nether Beoch farms
This Old March Burn flows north-west for half-a-mile to join the Black Water. The phrase ‘at one time formed a boundary between Upper and Nether Beoch farms‘ suggests an ‘old boundary‘ however it was possibly a reference to the fact that by this time Nether Beoch farm had fallen into ruin and its lands were was annexed to Upper Beoch . Both these properties were located significantly to the south of Old March Burn (1), see Map 2 below, and clearly this Old March Burn was not a boundary between them.. After the lands of Nether Beoch and Upper Beoch were combined these lands were oftened referred to as the ‘Two Beochs’ and perhaps there has been a misunderstanding and the entry should have read ‘ boundary of Upper and Nether Beoch, i.e. of the ‘Two Beochs’?
The entry for Old March Burn (2) reads –
A small Burn rising on the east side of Martyrs’ Moss and running southwards jo [joining] Beoch Lane Burn. It was [a] Property march.
This Old March Burn flows south-east for three-quarters of a mile to join the Beoch Lane.
The entry for Old March Burn (3) reads –
Strangely enough, there is third entry for Old March Burn which simply reads –
A Small Stream running into Beoch Lane Burn
This seems to be another reference to Old March Burn (2) above, since a second Old March Burn joining the Beoch Lane is not shown on either the OS Six Inch (1857) or OS 25 Inch (1856).
Beoch and Craigman march
The two Old March Burns form a boundary between the lands of Beoch and Craigman. It is also interesting to note that the western and eastern boundaries of the lands of Beoch are formed by the Black Water and Beoch Lane respectively.
|Many thanks to the Dumfries Archival Mapping Project for giving permission to use the above section of the Craignegillan estate map which shows the extent of the lands of the Two Beochs. The maps have been made available on-line through the National Library of Scotland Courtesy of Carsphairn Heritage Centre through the Dumfries Archival Mapping Project.|
| Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd.|march|
| Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd.|burn|
| New Cumnock Place-Names | March Burn (2) – in progress|
| New Cumnock Place-Names | Beoch|
|By Permission of National Library of Scotland|
|Map 2: Ordnance Survey (1849-1857) | Old March Burns and March Burn|
|Map 2: Ordnance Survey (1857) | Old March Burns|
|Map 3: Ordnance Survey | Craigengillan – Two Beochs|
|Ordnance Survey Name Books|
|By Permission of Scotland’s Places|
|Ayrshire OS Name Books (1855-57) Vol. 49|Old March Burn (1)|
|Ayrshire OS Name Books (1855-57) Vol. 49|Old March Burn (2)|
|Ayrshire OS Name Books (1855-57) Vol. 49|Old March Burn (3)|