Barroway Burn

Barroway Burn ~ AMY/SLO R NO242110 1 40m

    Barroway 1722 Geog. Coll. i, 295 [‘to the N. of Myres there is a water called Barroway’; see Miglo SLO, below, for more details]
    Barraway Burn 1832 Miller/map
    Barraway Burn 1856 OS 6 inch 1st edn

This name may be connected with the settlement-name Dumbarrow ANY, early forms of which are: Dunberauch 1331 Balm. Lib. no. 52; Galfridus de Du<n>berauch’ manens apud Du<n>berach c.1340 Dunf. Reg. no. 325 [‘Geoffrey of Dumbarrow dwelling at Dumbarrow’]; Drumbarrow 1511 RMS ii no. 3669 [barony of Ballinbreich FLK, sheriffdom of Fife]; Drumbarra 1513 RSS i no. 2501; (William Scot in) Drumberrow 1517 Fife Ct. Bk. 72, 75; Drumbarroch 1532 RMS iii no. 1218; Drumbarro 1547 RMS iv no. 149; Dunbarrow 1642 Gordon MS Fife. It comprises G dùn + G biorach, literally ‘sharp or pointed hill-fort’; G biorach, earlier berach ‘sharp, pointed’; can by extension mean ‘bristling with spears’ (see DIL under berach); alternatively it may represent the personal name which derives from this adjective, Berach (diminutive Berchán): in the Irish life of St Berach the saint is said to have come to Aberfoyle PER and to have been given a fort there by Aedán son of Gabrán, king of Dál Riata in the late sixth century. Dumbarrow contains the same elements as Dunbarrow, Kirkden (formerly a detached part of Dunnichen) ANG (Dumberach’ c.1224 Arb. Lib. i no.103). The main tributary of the Barroway Burn forms the eastern march of Dumbarrow farm, then flows around the west and south-west sides of the above-mentioned hill-fort, joining what is today the main branch of the Barroway Burn at Friarsmill SLO (q.v.).

    The present farm-house and steading of Dumbarrow is at NO196127; however, the fort from which it took its name may be the one whose remains are clearly discernible on the conspicuous hill at NO204117, c.1 km to the south-east, immediately north-west of Wester Pitlour. It overlooks an important pass through the Ochils, from Falkland and Strathmiglo to Abernethy.

    If the first element of Barroway is connected with the specific of Dumbarrow, the second element may well be G magh ‘plain, good arable land’. From the point where the two branches of the burn meet, at Friarsmill, the Barroway Burn makes its way through rolling arable land, skirting Strathmiglo on its northern side, then heading towards Myres AMY across increasingly flat land to join the Auchtermuchty Burn at Myres Castle. If this is the case, then Barroway, ‘the plain of Barrow (or Dumbarrow), was an old name for the land through which the Barroway Burn flows, this territorial name surviving only in the burn-name.

    Alternatively, the name may be a primary hydronym (water-course-name) sharing the same derivation as the Bervie KCD and the River Barrow in Ireland (for more details of which see Bervie # CLS, below).

/ðəˈbarəwɔ bʌrn/ is the most usual local pronunciation, although /ðəˈbarəwe bʌrn/ is now also heard.

This place-name appeared in printed volume 4