Derivation of Place Names: Meadowfoot (Road)

The name Meadowfoot is a relatively modern name, but the road we nowadays call Meadowfoot Road is far more ancient. This would originally have been the track used to enter church lands when travelling from Kilwinning Abbey.

In the 1700’s, this main trackway was used by horses and carriages bringing travellers to our little village. Such travellers would likely be wealthy enough to stay at the Coaching Inn, which would have been open 24 hours a day. This Coaching Inn is now known as number 1, Meadowfoot Road.

At the Ardrossan end of the trackway was a small arable farm where sheep were grazed. In the early 1800’s this farm was shown on maps as “Croftfoot”- here it is shown below on an 1855 Map.

Here, the building was known as Croftfoot as it was situated at the bottom of an arable farm or croft. There are many farms in England entitled Meadowcroft – meaning an arable farm situated in a meadow.

In our case, a decision has been taken at some point to change the word Croft for Meadow to become Meadowfoot. Such changes were not uncommon e.g. the Ridshiels farm was changed to Bowfield.

When the railway came to West Kilbride in the late 19th Century, it started a process of road improvements throughout the village. The railway brought huge numbers of tourists and provided easy access to the city for retired business people or professionals. For example, the eminent Dr Kerr Love retired to Sunnyside at the end of Meadowfoot Road when his daughter married Rev Pearson of the Barony Church in the early 20th Century.

The road or area was certainly called Meadowfoot prior to the housing estate being built as postcards appeared in the 1920’s and 1930’s with the name Meadowfoot printed on them.

Perhaps it was the railway planners themselves that changed the name. I do have a few original compulsory land purchase documents from the 1870’s but I don’t think any of them relate to Croftfoot / Meadowfoot – but I will check sometime soon.


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