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East Kilpatrick

Information about the name 'New Kilpatrick'.


This land north east of Duntocher and north of the modern Faifley housing scheme, apparently takes its name from the Gaelic description aodann (="face" =[here]"rocky hill slope" or "rock face") bearnach (="cleft") - i.e. a sort of gap between rocky slopes. Edinbarnet School, in the Faifley scheme, stands only about half a mile south of Edinbarnet Farmhouse.


In his Place Names of Dumbartonshire, John Irving places Faifley under the strange form of "Fimbealach", quoting a 1381 spelling of "Fymbalac". He is implying, it seems, that the origin is in two Gaelic words fionn (="fair", "beautiful") and bealach (="hill or mountain pass"). He supposes it to refer to a pass near Edinbarnet. How these Gaelic words transformed themselves into a word pronounced "Faifley" is, however, far from clear. In Blaeu/Pont's map of 1654, the place is spelt "Faichla", clearly our modern Faifley, "ch" presumably representing a guttural sound that became "f". That is understandable. It is harder to see how the labial plosive "b" of bealach could have undergone that transformation.

It might be tentatively suggested that the name could have come from the Gaelic word faich (="field by the house") together with the descriptive suffix liath meaning "grey".

Perhaps this is one of those names that had best be filed under "of uncertain origin". Certain it is, nevertheless, that it is an old name, though today it is used almost exclusively to refer to the large post-second world war housing scheme built to the north east of Duntocher village, and forming a northern suburb of Clydebank.

Faifley Road is the unsurprising name for the main Faifley housing scheme thoroughfare.


A number of ferries crossed to the south bank of the Clyde from places in the Parish of Old Kilpatrick. One left from near the village of Old Kilpatrick beneath the site of the one-time terminal Roman fort at Chapelhill. The "dyke" was presumably the wall or bank beside the ferry's departure point.