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Hidden History in Local Names

Our list of Carluke house names gives us a snapshot of the whole of the town’s history.

Here are some examples of names and how they connect to Carluke’s history.


Cairneymount, for example, was the site of a cairn in the Bronze Age where prehistoric cists containing urns were discovered in 1790 during agricultural improvements. Similar finds were made on the top of Law Hill. Sadly, these relics have been lost but we know there were people living in the area at that distant time.


Agriculture – Raes Cottages at Miltonhead, Carluke, sometimes called Raeses, were surrounded by cattle farms. The name ‘Rae’ could be a surname but it is also an old Scots word meaning an enclosure for cattle. Or it could be both.


Terrain and landscape – Burnbank, Burnbrae and Burnside are all named after the burns in and around the town where we played happily as children. (‘Burn’ is Scots for stream.) Other common name elements are ‘gill’ meaning a steep, wooded ravine, and ‘brae’ meaning a hillside or slope. ‘Gair’ is Gaelic for short, presumably a reference to its moorland situation and absence of trees. Other Gaelic elements in names are, for example, ‘ach’ or ‘auch’ meaning a field, and ‘ard’ meaning a height.


Wildlife – Gladdenhill possibly takes its name from ‘gled’, a Scots word meaning a kite or buzzard. ‘Catcraig’ could be a lost memory of a time when wild cats roamed the Clyde Valley heights.


Fruit-growing – Orchard, Applebank and Currantbank bear witness to Carluke’s fruit-growing heritage in the Clyde Valley.


Bee keeping – Honeybank Row was a row of cottages where the beekeepers lived.


Clothing trade – Thimblehall at Braidwood is an old Scots term meaning a tailor’s workshop.


Industrial – Furnace Row, Engine Row and Foundry Cottage derive from the mining and iron working in Carluke’s past. Luggie Road was said by an elderly resident to refer to the coal wagons from Castlehill Pit that were known as ‘luggies’.


Engineering – Perhaps Carluke’s most unusual house name is Ormuzlee. Thanks go to Sam Miller for telling us this cottage was named after a ship, the ‘Ormuz’.


Find out more about our Carluke House Names Project - https://www.carlukehistory.com/post/carluke-house-names-project



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