Place-name:Quintin Knowe
Suggested Meaning (1):1. ‘Disputed land’ knowe
First element:Gaelic cointin ‘dispute’
Second element:Scots knowe ‘hillock’
Suggested Meaning (2):2. Personal name
First element1.Quintin McAdam 2. St.Quintin
Second element:Scots knowe ‘hillock
Blaeu Coila (1654):No entry
OS Name Books (1855-57):Quintin Knowe
Location:Ordnance Survey (1937-1961)
Quintin Knowe (Photo Courtesy David Bunten)
Map 1 Quintin Knowe | Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

1. Quintin | Gaelic cointin ‘ dispute’ and Scots knowe ‘hillock’

Sir Herbert Maxwell [1] in The Place-Names of Galloway considers Quintin, Mochrum and Quantan’s Hill, Carsphairn as cointin ‘dispute’, Dwellly gives cointean ‘controversy’ and cointeanach ‘contentious’ [2]. The second element is Scots knowe ‘hillock’ [3].

Quintin Knowe stands in the east of the parish of New Cumnock a mile and a half from the meeting place of the three parishes of New Cumnock (or original parish of Cumnock), Sanquhar and Kirkconnel. Of course the parish boundary with New Cumnock and both Kirkconnel and Sanquhar marks the boundary of Ayrshire and Dumfriesshire. Perhaps the boundary was disputed at the time of Gaelic-speaking settlers?

It is also interesting to note that Quintin’s Burn in the parish of Sanquhar runs parallel with the stretch of Kello Water that forms the boundary with Sanquhar and Kirkconnel at this point. Perhaps the boundary was disputed here too.

Map 2 Boundaries View | Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

2. Quintin | Personal Name

2.1 Quintin McAdam

The Ordnance Survey Name Books entry for Quintin Knowe reads –

A long ridge-like Knowe about 8 chains south of Star Bog, and 30 chains East of Ern Cleugh. The name is probably derived from the name of a man: Quintin McAdam, Esq., is proprietor of the lands of Muir.

The two local authorities for the spelling of the name were John Welsh, Blackcraig and Thomas Lee, Dunside. Their reference to the lands of Muir are probably those of Moor on the other side of the Water of Deugh from Lochmeharb.

In the 1803 Land Tax Rolls although Quintin McAdam, Craigengillen is recorded as the proprietor of Lochmeharb, Lanemark and Two Beochs in the parish of New Cumnock, there are no records of him owning land near Quintin Knowe or the boundary with Dumfriesshire. Sadly, he came to a sorry end, taking his own life two years later.

2.2 St. Quintin

At Kirkton in the parish of Kirkmahoe, Dumfriesshire a 14th century church was dedicated to St. Quintin.


David Bunten | Quintin Knowe
[1] Sir Herbert Maxwell ‘The Place-Names of Galloway”
[2] Edward Dwelly ‘Gaelic Dictionary’
[3] Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd | knowe
By Permission of National Library of Scotland
Map 1 | OS (1937-61) Quintin Knowe
Map 2 | OS (1857-91), Boundaries Viewer| Quintin Knowe
Ordnance Survey Name Books
By Permission of Scotland’s Places
Ayrshire OS Name Books (1855-57) Vol. 49|Quintin Knowe
Dumfriesshire OS Name Books (1848-1858) Vol. 31 | St. Qunitin’s Church (site of)