Last of the Westland Whigs

In the late 17th century, the 'Westland Whigs' were the radical descendants of earlier Covenanters who had defied the absolutist rule of Stuart kings in south west Scotland.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The 'strands' of Galloway - streams not beaches

Strand as water course place name.

The Concise Scots Dictionary gives two forms of strand:1. a beach or shore of the sea or sandbank (probably from Old Norse strond rather than Old English strand; and 2. a little stream or rivulet.

In 1971/2 W. Riach carried out extensive research across the 44 parishes of Galloway into the Galloway dialect [published as A Galloway Glossary: Association for Scottish Literary Studies: Occasional papers No.7: 1988]. Riach gives: stran as ' a small stream' , which came from respondents in the central / northern parishes of Stewartry of Kirkcudbright plus Stranraer in Wigtownshire. The distribution of 'strand' matches Riach's findings.

McQueen [ Place-names in the Rhinns of Galloway and Luce Valley: Stranraer local History Trust: 2002: 9 , following Watson :Celtic Place names of Scotland ] suggests the 'stran' of Stranraer comes from the Gaelic sruthan; streamlet or burn.

The majority of the following 'strands' are found in upland locations. Back Strand NS 58 04 and West Strand NS 59 05 mark an east/ west boundary with 'sike' e.g. NS 80 04 Sandy Sike is the western most sike (sike/ syke also a small watercourse name). This boundary is also a 'political' one - point of intersection between Ayrshire/ Carrick and Dumfriesshire/ Upper Nithsdale with Stewartry of Kirkcudbright. Riach does also give sike as 'a gutter or seep-away' - from Dalry (north) and Kirkbean (south) parishes on eastern edge of Stewartry.

In eastern Dumfriesshire, e.g. Langholm and Eskdale, I have found almost 100 sikes. The Concise Scots Dictionary gives syke/ sike as a small stream or water course esp. one in a hollow or on flat boggy ground. - originally from Old Norse sik or Old English sic.


Note : the historic western boundary of the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright was the river Cree. The historic eastern boundary was the river Nith. As a rough guide therefore, any locations between NX 40 _ _ and NX 97 _ _ are within the historic Stewartry.

To view any of these strands on an Ordnance Survey map, go to the National Library of Scotland website

and type in as six figure map reference in search box


1. For Strand of the Abyss NX 44 73 and two 5s to map reference

2. This gives NX 445 735

3. Delete spaces to give NX445735

4. Enter in search box.

NX 13 90 Straid [ MacQueen in 'Welsh and Gaelic in Galloway': Transactions Dumfriessire and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society: vol 32: 1955:78 suggests may represent Welsh ystrad]

NX 19 51 Vennel Strand
NX 21 61 Loch Strand
NX 22 70 Ha'Hill Strand
NX 24 68 Loch Strand
NX 31 68 Damloch Strand
NX 31 81 Spirit Strand

NX 42 97 Dhu Strand
NX 42 98 Duple Strand
NX 44 73 Strand of the Abyss - see photograph below
NX 46 81 Cornarroch Strand
NX 46 70 Loch of the Lowes Strand
NX 48 83 Green Strand
NX 49 79 Droughandraie Strand
NX 49 83 Carselusk Strand
NX 50 73 Black Strand (1)
NX 50 76 Black Strand (2)
NX 50 76 Back Strand (1)
NX 50 79 Puldow Strand
NX 51 78 Smallwater Strand
NX 53 92 Moss Park Strand
NX 54 80 Hog Park Strand
NX 54 84 Gatepark Strand
NX 54 84 Craigveny Strand
NX 55 92 Heron Strand
NX 56 86 Black Strand (3)
NX 56 86 Rough Strand (1)
NX 57 84 Rough Strand (2)
NX 57 96 Disgee Strand
NS 57 03 Lone Strand
NX 58 50 Goat Strand
NX 58 95 Benloch Strand
NS 58 04 Back Strand
NS 59 06 West Strand
NX 60 83 Glen Sytrand
NX 62 90 Gibson's Strand
NX 62 99 Bitch Hole Strand
NX 85 74 Ged Strand
NX 65 88 Lag's Strand
NX 66 82 Bargain Strand
NX 68 82 Drummanister Strand
NX 72 99 Lamgarosh Strand
NX 74 02 Sheil Strand
NX 75 45 Castle Yard Strand


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