• Place-name: Stayamrie
  • Meaning: steep, rugged
    • Scots: stay, stey ‘steep’
    • Old Erse: aimreidh (amrie) ‘steep, rugged
  • Location: OS Six-inch Scotland 1892-1960
    • National Library of Scotland

The name Stayamrie (local name Stayamra) is often assigned to Craigbraneoch Hill at the head of Glen Afton. However, Stayamrie is one of the three rock faces on the hill, the other two being Corbie Craig and Garnel Craig

Bruce: Stayamrie

Craigbraneoch Hill and Stayamrie at the head of Glen Afton.

Stayamrie on the north west side of the hill is by far the steepest of the rock faces. In the Ayrshire Ordnance Survey Name Books 1855-57 it is described as ‘a high perpendicular cliff’


In the Ayrshire Ordnance Survey Name Books 1855-57 Stayamrie is described as ‘a high  cliff on the north side of Craigbraneoch Hill. Derivation not known.’


The first element of the name is [Scots] stey, stay  ‘steep hill, rising sharply, difficult to climb’, cf. Steygail in neighbouring Dumfriesshire, a hill called Steygail which is described as ‘steep on all sides’. It is worth drawing comparison with the Lakeland Pass names, Stye Head Pass (the Stey heade 1540) and Stybarrow Crag and Dodd (Stybraycragge 1573, Stiveray Dod c.1692), given by Diana Whaley.

The second element of the name is  found by Sir Herbert Maxwell in the Galloway place-name Carrickcamrie, which he believes is from Old Erse aimreidh (amrie) ‘steep, rugged’ and he explains that the word consists of the negative prefix aim and reidh.

The place-name element Stayamrie is therefore an example of tautology, i.e. it contains two elements with the same meaning i.e. Stayamrie, Scots stey and Irish amrie ‘steep hill’.

Stayamrie, Stayamrie – so steep they named it twice!