Category: Places

Derivation of Place Names: Thrushing Meadow

Thrushing Meadow was the 18th Century name for the piece of land that ran below the Barony, between it and the Manse. It is now Manse Road as shown in the picture. Thrushing is an old Scots language term that has nothing to do with birds as previous writers have suggested, but simply means threshing.

Portencross, The Great Haffue?

We have recently been looking at the origin of Halfway Street, or the Haef Weg. In this 19th Century map we¬†see that Halfway extended all the way to Portencross Castle and the harbour. Where do we get the idea that Halfway derives from Haef Weg or “the way to the sea”? In old Norse the

The Origin Myth of Portencross Castle

With my apologies to the Friends of Portencross whose continued hard work earns my greatest admiration and respect, but I feel the truth must out. The Myth A favourite local history myth is that the Boyd family built Portencross Castle around 1375. In April 2008, Glasgow University Archaeological Research Division (GUARD) said ” The medieval

Derivation of Place Names: Farland Head

Recently we have been exploring our Nordic past (see this post) as expressed in the place names of the Portencross area. We know that, prior to his mysterious death and beheading at the Battle of Renfrew (1164), we were part of the territory of Somerled mac Gillebride, the Norse-Gaelic King of Mann and Lord of

Viking West Kilbride

Our modern mind usually associates the word “Kirk” with the post-Reformation church. In many cases this is absolutely correct, but in fact the word “Kirk” has a much older history, and one that is relevant to our particular heritage. The lands to the West of where St Brides Roman Catholic Church now sits, have been

The Cup and Ring Markings, Blackshaw Estate

The Blackshaw Estate “Cup and Ring Markings” were discovered by D.A. Boyd and J.Smith in 1887. The find was communicated to the Society of Antiquaries by R.D. Cochran-Patrick. The full report can be read by clicking here. The area of rock, measuring 45ft in length by 19ft broad at one end, and 3ft broad at

How Old is the Main Street?

We have  discovered that our Kilbride became a distinguishable separate parish when we were separated from our mother Parish church to the North of Lamlash in 1567. We have also discovered that the name Kilbride first came into use for our church lands in 1337 when these lands, along with a large chunk of Arran

Where we began…(1337)

The Chapel of St Brigid at Margnaheglish, Arran In 1337, Sir John de Menteith gave a considerable amount of land to Kilwinning Abbey. These lands included a huge portion of Arran and also lands we now recognise as our village centre. In these medieval times the King owned all the lands but recognised feudal Earls

Origin of the Kilbride Name (680 years ago this year!)

I am finally finding a lot more detail on our village origins and I am currently working through how it all fits our history. Previously local historians had suggested we got the Kilbride name from an ancient church settlement in our area. This is a little true – I have been able to go right