|Suggested Meaning:||‘sluggish stream’|
|Scots sike, syke ‘sluggish stream’|
|Blaeu Coila (1654):||No Entry|
|OS Name Books (1855-57):||See Table below|
|Location:||See Table below|
the sheughs and the sykes
A Sike or Syke is described as –
A small stream, rill or water-course, especially one that meanders through a hollow or across flat or boggy ground and is freqently dry in summerDictionary of the Scots Language
|Cameronsike Burn||Personal Name: Cameron|
Unable to identify the person Cameron that gave their name to the sike. See Cameronsike
|Gullet Sike||Scots gullet ‘deep channel’|
|Mitchell’s Syke||Personal Name: Mitchell|
Mitchell’s Sike flows into the Beoch Lane which in then flows to meet the Nith passing the original property of (Old) Craigman. In the early 17th century Daniel Mitchell of Craigman married Marion Cathcart the daughter of Allan Cathcart of nearby Waterhead Castle. Was Mitchell’s Sike a boundary of the Mitchell land.
|Otter Sike||Named no doubt at a time otters were pevalent here|
|Peat Sike||Probable because the sike was peaty.|
|Sandy Sike||Perhaps from sandy peat which is said to a be ‘a peat containing a good deal of earthy matter‘|
|Stot Syke||Scots: stot ‘ young castrated ox, a steer, bullock’|
|Sunny Syke||Sunny or possibly sandy as in sandy-peat|
|Whitelaysyke Bridge||white + Scots lay ‘ ground which has been tilled and is now in pasture’|
Peat Sike, Mitchell’s Sike and Gullet Sike
All feed into the Beoch Lane.
Palmsike Burn, Otter Sike and Stot Sike
In the north-east of the parish either side of the Martyrs’ Moss.
The sike is not named on the Ordnance Survey map or referenced in Scotland’s Place. However the bridge under which it passes was named as Whitlaysyke Bridge – now incorporated into the A76 trunk road.
Lay may be a variant of lea, ley which is ground that has been left fallow for a time and later covered by natural grass, under the field rotational system. The Dictionary of Scots Language gives the following Ayrshire based reference to lay –
Ayr. 1793 W. Fullarton Agric. Ayr. 25
Of all the rotations hitherto discovered, the best for Ayrshire appears to be from lay, oats or beans.
Whitelay may be a reference to the colour of the field during the lay rotation.
The upper reaches of the sike are linear in fashion and resembles aman-made ditch or sheuch (see also Cameronsike Burn). The syke flows into the channel that flows form Loch O’ the Lowes to the River Nith.
In 1951 it was proposed that the New Cumnock by-pass (east bound) would start at Whitelaysyke Bridge and rejoint the A76 at Marchburn. The plans came to nothing. The Tam O’Shanter Transport Cafe that one stood nearby has also disappeared. The ariel photograph gives a glimpse of a small section from Whitelayske.
| The Laird of Logan, Or, Anecdotes and Tales Illustrative of the Wit and Humour of Scotland|
| Dictionary of the Scots Language | sike, syke|
| Dictionary of the Scots Language | gullet|
| Dictionary of the Scots Language | stot|
| Dictionary of the Scots Language | sandy peat|
| Dictionary of the Scots Language | lea, ley|
from Fullarton, William ‘General View of the Agriculture of the County of Ayr. 1793 (Ayr.)
|Reproduced with the Permission of National Library of Scotland|
|Ordnance Survey 6 inch (1892-1960)|
|See table above|