|Place-name:||Saddle Hags, Haggs|
|Suggested Meaning:||1. saddle-shaped marshy hollow piece of ground in a moor|
2. marshy hollow piece of ground in a moor on saddle-shaped ridge
|First element||saddle ‘saddle-shaped’|
|Second element||Scots hag ‘marshy hollow piece of ground in a moor’|
|Blaeu Coila (1654):||No Entry|
|OS Name Books (1855-57):||Saddle Hags|
|Location:||Ordnance Survey (1894)|
Although Saddle Hagg appears in John Thomson’s Atlas of Scotland (1832) as an impressive hill the Ordnance Survey Name Book entry for Saddle Hags tells a different story.
A Spot of ground on a ridge of hill, east of Glenhastel Burn, on which is a Small pond The ground is in a few places broken, but differs little in appearance from the quality of the remainder of the ridge.
Alternative spelling: Saddle Haggs.
1st element : Scots saddle ‘saddle-shaped’
The feature known as Saddle Hags is situated on the south end of the ridge of Auchincally Hill, which presumably is named after a now lost field of the same name – Gaelic achadh na cailliche ‘field of the old wife’ . The ridge could be considered to be saddle-shaped and perhaps Thomson’s map reflects a time when it was better known by that name?
Alternatively saddle may reflect the shape of the ‘small pond‘ on the broken ground at the south end of the ridge.
2nd element : Scots hag, hagg ‘A soft marshy hollow piece of ground in a moor’
One of the Dictionaries of the Scots Language entries for hag  reads –
3. (1) HAG, v.1, n.1 Also hagg, haag, haug. A soft marshy hollow piece of ground in a moor, e.g. where channels have been made by water or where peats have been cut; “moss-ground that has formerly been broken up; a pit, or break in a moss”
Also used attrib. and in such combs. as moss-hag (Ayr. 1790 A. Tait Poems 224, -haug), peat-hag, etc. Now Gen.Sc. Also found in n.Eng. dial.Dictionaries of the Scots Language, Dictionars o the Scots Leid | hag
Saddle Hags fits well the description of a hag with an area of broken moss filled with water, perhaps a saddle-shaped pond?
The origin of the name appears to have two possibilities –
- A hag situated on saddle-shaped hill
- A saddle-shaped hag on the edge of a hill
Place-name hag distribution
There are three occurrences of the place-name element hag, hags in the parish of New Cumnock, all in the southern uplands of the parish within less than a mile of one another.
- Craigenrig Hag: On the west side of the footpath from Pencloe to Glenlee, just over one and half miles south of Pencloe .
- Jock’s Hags: On the east side of the footpath from Pencloe to Glenlee, just over two-miles mile south of Pencloe .
- Saddle Hags: On the south of Auchincally Hill, just over a half-mile east of Jock’s Hags.
|Pond at Saddle Hags © Copyright Chris Wimbush and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.|
| New Cumnock Place-Name | Auchincally Hill|
| The Dictionaries of the Scots Languages Dictionars o the Scots Leid|hag|
| New Cumnock Place-Name | Craigenrig Hags|
| New Cumnock Place-Name | Jock’s Hags|
|By Permission of National Library of Scotland|
|Map 1: John Thomson’s Atlas of Scotland (1832) | Saddle Hagg|
|Map 2: Ordnance Survey (1937-61) | Saddle Hags|
|Map 3: Ordnance Survey (1857) | Saddle Hags|
|Ordnance Survey Name Books|
|By Permission of Scotland’s Places|
|Ayrshire OS Name Books (1855-57) Vol. 49| Saddle Hags|