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Gartocharn is the biggest settlement in the Parish of Kilmaronock. The village is on the main A811 road, half-way between Balloch and Drymen. The name comes from the Gaelic gart a charn, meaning "field by the cairn, or rock, or humped hill". It may be that the name refers to the land's proximity to Duncryne (alias Dumpling) Hill, but this is by no means certain.


Gavinburn, is a residential area that grew from a settlement established near the small river of that name between Bowling and the Village of Old Kilpatrick. On the face of it, the name comes from "Gavin's Burn", i.e. a burn (stream) which at one time was connected in the minds of the local people with someone called Gavin.

However, it is just possible that "Gavinburn" represents a semi-translation from some Gaelic expression including the elements allt (="burn") and gobhainn (="blacksmith"). The form "Gowaineburne" exists in a Privy Council document of 1585, though this does little to help us to adjudicate between the Gaelic and the personal name "Gavin". "Gawaine" was an old spelling of "Gavin", while "gobhainn" can be pronounced "gowan" as in "MacGowan" (="son/descendant of the blacksmith").

Up until about 1800 there were two farms on Gavinburn lands. These were High (Upper) Gavinburn and Low Gavinburn, referring to their relative position.

The following housing area roadways, all in Gavinburn itself, are obviously named because of their location: Gavinburn Gardens, Gavinburn Place and Gavinburn Street.


One meaning of the place name suffix holm is "flat grassy meadow beside a river". "Gooseholm" would appear to be a patch of such land that was at one time associated with geese. Gooseholm farmhouse stood at the end of a lane leading westwards from the Dumbarton to Bonhill Road, about 250 yards north of Barloan. Its lands were low-lying, and stretched westwards towards the River Leven. The farm has since been swallowed up by the part of the A82 that was redirected from Dumbarton to form the Alexandria by-pass, and by the former J&B whisky bottling plant and warehouse (used recently as a set for the TV soap "River City".

Gooseholm is also the name of a small twentieth century Dumbarton housing development in the vicinity, made up of: Gooseholm Road and Gooseholm Crescent.


Grocery ("The Grocery")

It is claimed in one or two local history sources that "The Grocery" was an earlier name for Alexandria. This, however, is not supported by evidence from contemporary documents. While the name "Alexandria" first appears in the Old Parish Register in 1788, it is not until 1797 that "The Grocery" is first mentioned there. It would appear that one, Walter Buchanan, had a grocer's shop near the oak tree (where The Fountain now is). As it would be the main non-industrial feature of the then new and tiny village, it is likely that for a while "The Grocery" was used as a nickname for Alexandria as a whole. People from the adjacent villages would sometimes be, literally, going to 'The Grocery'!

Information on Alexandria.