Windy Edge

Place-name:Windy Edge
Suggested Meaning:ridge on hill exposed to wind
Blaeu Coila (1654):N/A
OS Name Books (1855-57):Windy Edge
Location:Ordnance Survey (1895)

Windy Edge

The entry in the Ayrshire Ordnance Survey Name Book (1855-57) for Windy Edge reads-

A steep edge, connecting what are called the “shoulders of Corson Cone” It lies about 12 chains ESE [East South East] of the top of the hill.

Map 1: Windy Edge (OS Map 1857) | Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

The ‘Authorities for Spelling‘ of the name were John Spence, senior, farmer in Corsencon and his son John Spence, junior in the neighbouring Nethertown. Of particular interest is their offering of the now lost local name “shoulders of Corson Cone” (or more likely “shooders o’ Corsencon”) and the perfect description of Windy Edge as a ‘steep edge’ connecting the shoulders.

Corsencon Hill (Robert Guthrie 2016)
Scots windy ‘place exposed to wind’

The following entry for wyndy and one of its variants windy in ‘A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)’ given in the ‘Dictionaries of the Scots Language’ [1] explains that not only is it a place-name element but also gives the example of Wyndeedge in Dunfermline [2].

Wyndy, -ie, adj. Also: windy, -ie, vyndy, -ie, wondie, vundie; (windé, windi, wyndé, wyndi, also ? pl. windes).

1. Of places. a. Exposed to the wind, frequently windy. Also in place-names.

1561 Reg. Dunferm. 439. :Teyndis aitis within Dunfermling parrochin … Wyndeedge j b. ij f.

Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd.
Scots edge ‘crest of a sharp ridge’

Similarly the entry for ege and one of its variant edge in ‘A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)’ [3] explains that not only is it a place-name element but also gives the example of Windiaige in Brechin [4].

Ege, Egge, n. Also: eyge, eige, edge, eadge, aidge, aige, age. [ME. egge, OE. ecge, nom. ecg.]. The crest of a sharp ridge. Occas. in place-names.

1596 Brechin Test. I. 144 b. Johne Paterson, cotter in Windiaige

Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd.

Windyedge

There are a number of references to other Windy Edges in Scotland’s Places including one in the parish of Closeburn, Dumfriesshire some 20 miles down Upper Nithsdale, described as a ‘rocky brow‘.

Further south in Roxburghshire, the perils of being near a Windy Edge during a thunderstorm, even in the summer!

A large stone, in the form of a gravestone extending about 4 feet above the surface; it is situated at the southern base of Windy Edge; and bears the following inscription: “Michel Dixon of Sclater, Castleton was killed here in a Thunderstorm, 20th July 1805.”

Scotland’s Places

Meanwhile, further north the former lands of Windyedge in the parish of Old Monkland, Glasgow were later renamed Mount Vernon. Several sources including W.F.H. Nicolaisen in ‘Scottish Place-Names’ [5], attributed the name change to George Buchanan, one of Glasgow’s leading tobacco lords, trading chiefly with Virginia, and said to have copied the name from George Washington’s Mount Vernon plantation in Virginia.

However, the entry in the Lanarkshire OS Name Book (1858-61) for Mount Vernon House includes the following notes from the Transcriber, explaining that the name Windyedge was changed to Mount Vernon by Robert Boyd, before the Buchanan family acquired the property. Robert Murray’s article on ‘Mount Vernon – The True Origin of the Name’ provides the supporting evidence [6].

Mount Vernon: This property was originally known as Windy Edge/Windyedge and renamed Mount Vernon in 1742 by a Glasgow merchant named Robert Boyd. the mansion house referred to in this record was built by him and subsequently enlarged by various members of the Buchanan family. It was demolished around 1930.

Scotland’s Places

Despite the controversy, all sources appear to agree that both Mount Vernon, the former Windyedge and Mount Vernon, Virginia were named after Admiral Edward Vernon (1684-1757).

Windy Edge cottage

Meanwhile, back in New Cumnock in the mid-18th century ( a year after Vernon’s death) there is evidence to suggest that there may have been, not a mansion, but a cottage, known as Windy Edge, as witnessed in the following entry in Old Parish Records of baptisms in New Cumnock.

  • 1758, 19 Oct Andrew and Elizabeth L. Twins to William McTurk & Jean Hair in Windy edge

The couple had lived in other parts of the parish over the period 1744-1758 and together they had 10 children and incredibly their third set of twins were born at Windy Edge – worthy perhaps of renaming the steep edge as Mount McTurk or more appropriately Mount Hair !

Corsencon Hill & Windy Edge (Robert Guthrie 2008)

Sadly, there are no signs of any ruins of the cottage on land or map. However, a track from Craigdullyeart and ending abruptly below Windy Edge on the west shoulder of Corsencon Hill are shown on OS maps.

Map 2: Windy Edge (OS Map 1895) | Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland
West face of Corsencon from Craigdullyeart lime quarry (Robert Guthrie 2003)

 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

References
[1] Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. | wyndy
[2] Registrum de Dunfermelyn. Liber Cartarum Abbatie…de Dunfermelyn Innes, Cosmo (ed.); BC, Edinburgh, 1842.
[3] Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. |ege
[4] [1576-1709] Brechin Testaments, 1576-1709 MS NAS CC3/3. Transcr. DOST Lib.
[5] W. F. H. Nicolaisen, Place-Names of Scotland (1976)| Mount Vernon
[6] Robert Murray, Baillieston & District A History (2009) |’Mount Vernon – The True Origin of the Name’

Maps
Reproduced with the Permission of National Library of Scotland
https://maps.nls.uk/
Map 1: Ordnance Survey Maps – Six-inch 1st edition, Scotland, 1843-1882 (1857) |Windy Edge
Map 2: Ordnance Survey Maps – Six-inch 2nd and later editions, Scotland, 1892-1960 (1895)|Windy Edge
Ordnance Survey Name Books
By Permission of Scotland’s Places
scotlandsplaces.gov.uk
Ayrshire OS Name Books (1855-57) Vol. 49| Windy Edge
Dumfriesshire OS Name Books (1848-58) Vol. 6| Windy Edge
Roxburghshire OS Name Books (1858-60) Vol. 7 |Monument (Windy Edge)
Lanarkshire OS Name Books (1858-61) Vol. 49 |MountVernon House
Scotland’s People
https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk
Old Parish Records, Births, Marriages, Deaths, Census Records, Valuations Rolls, Wills & Testaments, Farm Tax Rolls.