Place-name:Witch Knowe, Witch Pool
Suggested Meaning:Witches meeting place
Blaeu Coila (1654):No Entry
OS Names Book (1855-57):Witch Knowe, Witch Pool
Location:Ordnance Survey (1892-1945)
Earlier Forms

The Witch Knowe and Witch Pool lie in a field between the Afton Water and the Afton Road just beyond Blackcraig farm. The location was likely to have been considered as a meeting place for witches. However, if the Witch Pool had been a deep one in the nearby Afton, rather than a spring, then perhaps a place of punishment would be a more sinister explanation; albeit there is no record witch executions in the parish.

Witch Knowe and Witch Pool | Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

The Ordnance Survey Names Books (1855-57) entries for Witch Knowe and Witch Pool read –

Witch Knowe: A small green Knowe about 4 chains north East of the foot of Black Craig.

Witch Pool: A large spring, now nearly filled up with stones, at the base of Witch Knowe.

The small green knowe among the rushes (Robert Guthrie)

The Witch Knowe is instantly recognisable as a green knowe rising above the rushes while the Witch Pool, i.e. spring is hidden within rushes as is the small stream that flows from it.

Witch Knowe (Robert Guthrie)

Hopefully on the day these two photgraphs (above and below) were taken the purple circle at the Witch Knowe below is simply a sun flare on the lens!

Witch Knowe with camera flare or not? (Robert Guthrie)

 A search through the Ordnance Survey Name Books of Ayrshire reveal a Witch Knowe in each of the parishes of Auchinleck, Coylton and Craigie.

Witch Knowe, Glen Afton (Robert Guthrie)


By Permission of National Library of Scotland
Map 1 |OS Map (1892-1949) |Witch Knowe,Witch Pool
Ordnance Survey Name Books
By Permission of Scotland’s Places
Ayrshire OS Name Books (1855-57) Vol. 49|Witch Knowe, Witch Pool