Welcome to the Place-Names of the Coalfield Communities project website.
This project is part of the Heritage Lottery-funded Coalfield Communities Landscape Partnership. The project team will be surveying all the place-names of the five main historical parishes in this area of what is now East Ayrshire, and make these names and explanations about their meanings and historical contexts available through this website.
Place-names are a marvellous resource, allowing people to get in touch with the ‘intangible heritage’ of the past: alerting us to the languages the past people in the area spoke, how they interacted with the environment round about them; allowing glimpses of their society, religion and daily life. In an area like the Coalfield Communities, place-names can play an even more important role, since the landscape was in places so heavily over-written with industrial activity during the 19th and 20th centuries.
The main five historical parishes we will survey (that is, the parishes before the 1975 reorganisation), are
and New Cumnock;
the CCLP also encompasses parts of the parishes of Coylton, Dalrymple and Straiton, and we will investigate those names which fall within the boundary of the project.
The project will produce a searchable web resource based on the database we will compile; a general introductory booklet to the place-names of the area; and in due course the work done here will lead to a full published volume of the Survey of Scottish Place-Names. Once we have got the work further underway, we hope to have a number of events to explore and exchange information on the place-names of the area. The CCLP website and social media platforms will alert people to these when they happen.
In the meantime, we hope to produce fairly regular blogs about the place-names of the area. Stay tuned!