About

Balmaha St Maha's Well This website is the result of a project, 'Commemorations of Saints in Scottish Place-Names', funded by a Research Project Grant from The Leverhulme Trust (2010-13), and undertaken by staff in the University of Glasgow's School of Humanities (Celtic & Gaelic, and HATII). Further funding has been given by the School of Humanities, the College of Arts, and the Hunter-Marshall Fund, at the University of Glasgow, and the project team is very grateful to all these bodies for their support.

The project team is
Professor Thomas Owen Clancy (Principal Investigator),
Dr Rachel Butter and Gilbert Márkus (Researchers), and
Matthew Barr (Systems Developer)

The database that has been assembled presents the fruits of our research. It contains over 5000 places, 13,000 place-names, and some 750 saints potentially commemorated in these names.

The backbone of the database are records drawn from the Ordnance Survey 1st Edition 6" maps, produced from 1843 to 1882. All names we could identify from these maps likely to commemorate saints, and many unlikely to but nonetheless worth considering, have been harvested for the database, and linked to the current map forms of the names, where they are still current. We harvested many other sources for earlier historical forms: earlier maps, monastic cartularies, the Register of the Great Seal, antiquarian accounts. This process of historical harvesting is not complete, but we aim to continue to augment the site through periodic harvesting and uploading of selected documents. We would be happy to hear from individuals willing to help us in filling out our historically recorded forms.

At present, as well as information about the places recorded, and historical forms of names, we have identified where possible and applicable the saint or saints who may be commemorated in the place-names. We have been careful to indicate our level of confidence in these identifications. We have also excluded many of the names recorded here as not containing saints' names. Those which have been identified as having saints' names have an Has saint symbol after them.

There are also entries on individual saints and groups of saints. These records too are being augmented, and should become incrementally fuller over the next few months.

One major analytical tool not yet available is the detailed analysis of each name, according to the meaning of its individual elements. This is work in progress.

Detailed GUIDANCE on how the database is constructed, and how it can best be used are available HERE.