Celebrating Galloway Place Names

The Galloway Glens Place Names Day marks a celebration of recent work to better understand and interpret Galloway’s Place Names. Social media posts through the day will build to an event in the evening featuring regional and national place names enthusiasts.

Since 2018, the Galloway Glens Scheme has been working with the experts from the University of Glasgow’s School of Celtic & Gaelic Studies to really lift the lid on Galloway’s place names, where did they come from and what can they tell us about our ancestors.

This culminated with the launch off the ‘Place Names of the Galloway Glens’ database, now available. The project derived from a variety of interests in the topic, including support from local enthusiast Michael Ansell.

Now hosting more than 2,500 names, focussed on the Ken/Dee valley in the Stewartry, this database is available to all and is a great resource for academia and general interest.

Professor Thomas Clancy with a map planning his trip up the Ken Dee valley

On 2nd November, one of the main architects of the database, Professor Thomas Clancy, will be travelling up the Ken/Dee Valley, meeting a variety of partners to discuss place names of particular interest – including the Doon, Threave and Muirdrochwood. These interviews will be broadcast through the Galloway Glens Facebook Channel.

The day ends with an event in Kirkcudbright’s Dark Space Planetarium which gives an overview of findings. Thomas will be joined by the database’s co-author Gilbert Markus and local enthusiast Colin Mackenzie, editor of the much loved ‘DG Place Names’ social media accounts.

Tickets can be booked for the evening event which is being delivered in ‘hybrid’ format, with tickets available for online attendance or in person, in Kirkcudbright.


Looking ahead to the 2nd of November, Galloway Glens Project Officer Nick Chisholm said:

“Most place names have only been written down relatively recently, but they emanate from the tongues of people who looked like us but spoke a language we would find incomprehensible. Traces of these people are found across maps up and down the Galloway Glens and by interpreting them it gives us an insight to their lives a thousand years ago. The Galloway Glens Place Names Day will be a brilliant opportunity understand this better. Keep an eye on our social media channels through the day and do sign up for an evening ticket.”

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