TARBOLTON
Oft have I met your social Band,
And spent the cheerful, festive night;
Oft, honor'd with supreme command,
Presided o'er the Sons of light:
The Farewell to the Brethren of St.
James's Lodge, Tarbolton.
Sources
[1] A.M. Boyle 'The Ayrshire Book of Burns-Lore'
[2] Calendar of Documents relating to Scotland, Vol. V
(Eds. C.G. Simpson and J.D.Galbraith)
[3] Statistical Accounts of Scotland, Ayrshire 1791-1799
and 1845
[4]Edmond Ronayne 'The Master's Carpet'
[5] M. Scott 'Privick and Lickprivick' SPNS Conference 2000
[6] James Paterson 'History of the Counties of Ayr and
Wigton Volume 1, Kyle'
[7] W.F. H. Nicolaisen ' Scottish Place-Names'
[8] Daphne Brooke 'Wild Men and Holy Places'

W.J. Watson 'The Celtic Placenames of Scotland'
and
'Poems and Songs of Robert Burns' (Ed. James Barke)
TARBOLTON
'I was come round about the hill,
And todlin' down on Willie's mill,
Setting my staff wi' a' my skill
To keep me sicker,
Death and Dr. Hornbrook
Torboultoun,1177, Torboltona, 1335. [5]

The first element of the name Tarbolton, (Torbolton,1335
and still foun in the
Tor- form as late as 1871) appears to
be OE
torr Gaelic torr 'hill ' and is found elsewhere in
the parish at
Torcross (Torcorse, 1845) [TARBOLTON]
'cross or crossing hill' and at
Tarshaw [TARBOLTON]
'the shaw hill'. All three
torrs fall in the range of 300ft -
450ft above sea level.

The second element is recognisable as the OE compound
name bolton from bopl-tun, 'settlement of the lord's
hall'. Further evidence of Anglian settlement is found in a
charter of 1335 when, 'John de Graham granted the
patronage of the church of Torbolton, with the lands
of Unzank, on which the church is built, to Robert de
Graham.'
[6]. Unzank is OE unthanc, 'land held
without consent', a common place-name element in
Northumberland (cf. Onthank [KILMARNOCK]).
Nearby Barnweill [CRAIGIE], Berenbouell (1177-1204)
is one of a cluster of names in this vicinity which
contains the element W. pren 'tree' [7], The second
element in the early form, i.e., - bouell compares well
with Bowell-tun and early form of Bolton in East
Lothian. Incidentally, Burns' mother, Agnes Brown is
buried in Bolton Kirkyard, and she was born in Maybole
[MAYBOLE], an Anglian place-name in what Daphne
Brook describes as an Anglian 'shire' in Carrick. [8]

Other Anglian names in Kyle include Previck 'pear-tree
farm' [TARBOLTON] [5] , Prestwick 'priest's farm'
[PRESTWICK] and Corsencon ( Corswintoun 1488)
[NEW CUMNOCK] 'rounded-hill of the pig-farm' (see
page on New Cumnock). All these names in Kyle are
likely to be associated with the annexation of 'the plain of
Kyle' in 752 A.D by Eadbhert of Northumbria.


Tarbolton 'the settlement on the hill where Baal ( a pagan god of fertility)was
worshipped'.
A fanciful derivation offered by a local minister based on the goings-on at the
Torbolton June Fair, when'
a huge bonfire is kindled, and many of the inhabitants
assemble on the hill, apparently chiefly occupied with observing a feat performed by
the youths, who are to be seen leaping with indefatigable zeal upon the altar or turf
wall enclosing the ashes of former fires, and supporting the present one.
' [3]. This may
well be a case where the place-name has influenced local behaviour! Stranger still, a recent
publication [4] suggests that 'M
asonry and Baal Worship are identical', a view shared
perhaps
by the Brethern of St. Jame's Lodge, Tarbolton, those 'Sons of light'
'Here Souter Hood in death does sleep;
To hell if he's gane thither,
Satan, gie him thy gear to keep;
He'll haud it weel thegither'
Epitaph on a Celebrated Ruling Elder
The Baal hill, is the Tarbolton Motte, now known locally as Hood's
Hill,
after the parish schoolmaster Mr John Hood, who rented the
land in the mid-1700's [3]. Doubtless, the dominie was a close relative
of Burns' contemporary, William 'Souter' Hood, an elder of Torbolton
Church and shoemaker, the subject of Burns's mock epitaph.
The New Cumnock Mural , at the Mary Morrison Memorial Garden
By Robert Guthrie
LOCHLEA
'Gainers of the Premium for Flax Raising
Crop, 1781, Mr. Robert Burns , Lochlie
Farm, Tarbolton Parish - 3!'
Glasgow Mercury, 1781
Lochlea, Lochly,1654, Lochlie,1781 is in the parish
of Tarbolton. The loch was drained in the 19th century
revealing the remarkable Lochlea Crannogs, and
thereby the antiquity of the loch. Local pronunciation
varies from Loch-
lee to Loch-lie suggesting G. liath
'grey' or G. li 'gloss of oil on water', whilst G. lion
'flax' may be discounted, although Burns and his
brother were prize winning flax growers at Lochlie in
1781
[1]. A possible early form of the name is found
in the 14th century '
17th June 1307 : Thomas le
Convers his horse died at the abbey of Valle. Adam
de Swynburn his horse died at Lagolau'
[2]. Valle is
Fail Monastery, to the west of Lochlea, suggesting a
skirmish in this area, five weeks after Bruce defeated
the Earl of Pembroke at Loudon Hill.


Lagolau compares well with the numerous Loch o' the
Lowes (e.g. at New Cumnbock) and Lowes Loch etc.
found across Scotland where
lowes = loch ?

1777 - 1784
Home
Burns' Trail
Alloway
Mount Oliphant
Lochlea
Mossgiel
Kyle
Mauchline
New Cumnock
New World
Blaeu 'Coila Provincia, 1654'
showing the loch at Lochly and Fail Loch at Fail Abbey
and the Kirk at Tarbouton.
Tarbolton Motte - known as Hood's Hill
Anglian Place-names
Kyle
Carrick
Tarbolton Kirk - from Hood's Hill
Willie's Mill (Torboth Mill), Tarbolton
Place-Names in the
Land o' Burns