Skip to content

Click on a letter of the alphabet for specific place names beginning with that letter:

A | B | C | D | E-F | G | H | I-J | K | L | M | N | O | P-Q | R | S | T | U-V | W |


Ladyton

This is an old name for a settlement on the eastern slopes of the Vale of Leven. Originally named after a toun, or enclosure forming land belonging to the church and containing a small chapel dedicated to Our Lady, the Virgin Mary, the name survived as Ladyton Farm, and, since the 1970s, as the name of a Glasgow overspill Council housing estate built on those lands above Bonhill village.


Lennox

In medieval times large parts of Scotland were divided into overlordships. The provincial ruling lord was known as a mormaer. After the Norman conquest these areas retained their identity as feudal earldoms. One such was the area known as "The Lennox". Much of The Lennox became Dumbartonshire at a later period, but the earldom also included western portions of what was to become Stirlingshire.

So what was the origin of the place name "Lennox"? It appears have the same derivation as "Leven", i.e. from Brythonic Celtic lemn (="elm") and its Gaelic equivalent leamhain. Its medieval Latin form was, in fact, Levenax, an interpretation of the Gaelic na leamhanach. The Latin "-x" has survived in the Anglicised, or (more accurately) Scotticised "Lennox".

The historic earldom is still recalled today in many streets, road names and buildings in West Dunbartonshire:

  • Lennox Drive is in the Faifley housing scheme.
  • Lennox Place is in Dalmuir.
  • Lennox Road (Dumbarton) is a short street in the Silverton area.
  • Lennox Road (Milton) curves round from above Colquhoun Road down to the A82.
  • Lennox Street (Alexandria) connects the eastern ends of North Street and Wilson Street.
  • Lennox Street (Dumbarton) connects Victoria Street and Wallace Street in the Knoxland area of Dumbarton.
  • Lennox Street (Renton) is the name given to the southern part of the Main Street through the village.

 

 

Leven (River Leven)

Nennius, writing as early as the 9th century, refers to the River Leven as lemn, which appears to have been an old Brythonic Celtic word for "elm" (the modern Welsh is llwyfen, where the "f" is pronounced like English "v"). The origin of this name is otherwise generally supposed to be the Gaelic word leamhain (="elm"). Since the Brythonic Celtic-speaking Britons of Strathclyde and the Gaelic-speaking Scots have both had their part to play in the early history of this area, and since the word for "elm" seems in both languages to have come from the same Celtic root, it is probably correct to say that the English language version "Leven" has its origin in both. If correct, this would suggest that the valley of the Leven was, of old, covered in elm trees.

Where the matter gets really confusing, however, is when the claim is made that the same Celtic word is ultimately the source not only of "Leven", but also of "Lomond" and even "Lennox" - see the entries for these names.

The River Leven is, of course, the reference for such derivative names as "Levenbank", "Levenside", "Strathleven", etc.

Lomond (Loch Lomond)

The old county of Dunbartonshire included the whole of the west side and also the south-eastern corner of the world-famous Loch Lomond, and West Dunbartonshire can still lay claim to the extreme southern end at Balloch, and to the south-eastern portion in the vicinity of Gartocharn.

It seems that Ben Lomond, the distant view of the south-west facing slopes of which is so prominent in Dumbarton and the Vale of Leven, comes from an old Celtic root meaning "beacon": llumon is the Welsh-style word, and laomuinn the Gaelic. The ninth century writer Nennius referred to "the great lake of Lummonu" and went on to say that it was called "Lochleven". It looks, therefore, as if the Loch was at one time named by some after the mountain, and by others after the river, or the river area (or even the mormaership - see Lennox. It was perhaps because of the similarity of the two names in the Gaelic, that it was easy for them to become confused and, as it were, to coalesce. The same linguistic situation seems to have occurred with the Lomond Hills and Loch Leven in Fife!

Referring to Loch Lomond, or to Ben Lomond are several roadways and buildings (especially high blocks of flats!) in West Dunbartonshire, including:

  • Lomond Court in West Bridgend, Dumbarton;
  • Lomond Crescent in Levenvale, Alexandria;
  • Lomond Drive also in Levenvale, Alexandria;
  • Lomond Drive in Bellsmyre, Dumbarton;
  • Lomond Road which is a main artery running west-east along the southern edge of Balloch via the Lomond Bridge across the River Leven;
  • Lomond View in Church Street in the Kilbowie area of Clydebank.

Long Crags (Lang Craigs)

Part of The Kilpatrick Hills, The Long Crags, or, in Scots, Lang Craigs, are so named simply because they are a longish range of crags stretching from near Dumbuck north-westwards towards Dumbarton Muir. Rising to almost 1,000 feet, they form a prominent feature of the north eastern skyline from most parts of Dumbarton. The hills give their name to the Langcraigs, a residential and day-care centre for the elderly at the corner of Gooseholm Road and Townend Road, Dumbarton.

Information on the Kilpatrick Hills.