Scottish Place Names
- Adelaide, Australia
Of the names of the 416 cities and suburbs in the Adelaide-Gawler-Stirling-Port Noarlunga Metropolitan area, 110 (26.4%) are based wholly or in part on place names that can be found in Scotland, on Scottish family names or on Scottish words. Of course, many of the names are used in other parts of the British Isles as well but 45 (10.8%) of these appear to be unique to Scotland or are readily identifiable with places in Scotland that are based on the same names.
Picture of Torrens river and Festival Centre via Wikimedia.
Official suburbs and other localities with names that occur only in Scotland and not elsewhere in the British Isles, and/or are definitely or most probably of Scottish origin are:
- Aberfoyle Park (Aberfoyle in Stirling - illustrated here). The suburb takes its name from the homestead owned by John Chris Aberfoyle, who changed his name by deed poll in 1917 from John Christian Sauerbrier. Although the Sauerbrier family had originally come from Scotland (possibly the area around Aberfoyle in central Scotland), the name was mistakenly assumed to be of German origin. Anti-German sentiment during the First World War led Sauerbrier to change his name to Aberfoyle (Kennedy & Kennedy, 2006, p. 1).
- Andrews Farm - Andrews is a Scottish family name from Caithness and is found today across Scotland. According to the South Australian State Gazetteer website, the suburb was named after the Andrews family, early settlers in the area.
- Athol Park (possibly referring to Atholl in Perth & Kinross, or the Duke of Atholl).
- Auldana - There is no place in Scotland with this name but the link with Scotland is through Patrick Auld, an early settler, who was born in Wigtownshire (now part of Dumfries & Galloway) in 1811. Auld migrated to Adelaide in 1842 and became well known as a publican and wine and spirits merchant. He planted the Auldana vineyard from 1852.
- Blair Athol (Perth & Kinross, spelt Blair Atholl. See illustration above). The Adelaide suburb takes its name from the home of the Magarey family, settlers in the 1850s. It is not clear why they gave their home a Scottish name as the Magareys had closer associations with England and Ireland.
- Burnside (two places in Angus and one place in each of Fife, Moray and West Lothian). The Adelaide suburb was named for a farm near Second Creek owned by Peter Anderson, a Scottish settler, in the mid-nineteenth century. According to the City of Burnside's website, Anderson named his farm Burnside because the Scottish word for a creek is 'burn'.
- Campbelltown (Argyll & Bute, spelt Campbeltown). The suburb was named for Charles James Fox Campbell (1811-1859) who was born at Kingsburgh on the Isle of Skye into an aristocratic family, the Campbells of Melford, Argyllshire. Charles Campbell was very well known as a grazier in the early years of settlement in South Australia. The tartan shown here is Campbell of Argyll.
- Christie Downs and Christies Beach - there is a Christielands in Dumfries & Galloway and a Christie's Hole in the Shetland Islands. This Scottish family name is also found just over the border, for example, Christies Bog in Northumberland and Christie Wood in North Yorkshire. According to Kennedy & Kennedy (2006) and Praite & Tolley (1970), these Adelaide suburbs were named for the farm on which they are situated, owned by a pioneer couple, Lambert Ferris B. Christie and his wife, Rosa. There is a strong chance that they may have been Scottish.
- Craigmore (Argyll & Bute, Dumfries & Galloway and Stirling).
- Edinburgh - the capital city of Scotland. The suburb was named after Edinburgh Airfield, which in turn was named for the Duke of Edinburgh, in March 1954.
- Ferryden Park - there is a Ferryden in Angus.
- Frewville - there is a Fords of Frew in Stirling. This suburb was named for James Frew, the original landowner, who arrived in Adelaide on the "Lady Bute" in the late 1830s. James Frew and his wife Jane established a farm soon after their arrival from Glasgow (see Fullarton below).
- Fullarton (City of Glasgow, Midlothian, North Ayrshire and Perth & Kinross). The origin of the name of this suburb is a farm purchased in 1839 by James and Jane Frew (see Frewville above). James Frew named the farm "Fullarton Estate" after his wife's maiden name. Jane was the daughter of an Edinburgh printer.
- Glenelg (Highland) and Glenelg East, Glenelg North and Glenelg South by association. Governor Hindmarsh chose the name, in honour of Charles Grant, 1st Baron Glenelg (1778-1866). Born in Calcutta, India, Lord Glenelg was appointed Secretary of State for War and the Colonies (1835-1839) in Lord Melbourne's administration. Lord Glenelg took his title from the village of Glenelg in Inverness-shire (his parliamentary seat at Westminster).
- Glengowrie - there is no trace of a Glengowrie in Scotland but there are places such as Blairgowrie, Carse of Gowrie and Invergowrie in Perthshire. Gowrie is a Scottish family name, the name of the Adelaide suburb being a combination of Glenelg with Gowrie. The individual after whom the suburb was named was Sir Alexander Hore-Ruthven (1872-1955), governor of South Australia in 1928-1934 and Governor-General of Australia between 1935 and 1945. Sir Alexander was created Baron Gowrie in 1935.
- Glenside (Dumfries & Galloway, East Ayrshire, North Ayrshire, South Ayrshire and Stirling). There is also a Glenside in the outer suburbs of Newport in South Wales but this place is unlikely to have been the source of the name of the Adelaide suburb. Glenside in Adelaide was formerly known as Knoxville, recalling the city in Tennessee, USA.
- Glenunga - named for the estate of an early Scottish settler, Daniel Ferguson. It is not certain, however, whether the name of this Adelaide suburb is necessarily Scottish. According to Cockburn (1984), 'unga' is an Aboriginal word meaning 'near to', the prefix 'glen' being chosen because of the proximity of Ferguson's estate to Glen Osmond.
- Hawthorndene - there is a place in Midlothian spelt Hawthornden. According to Praite & Tolley (1970), the name is a corruption of Hawthorn Dene, which means 'valley of hawthorn'. If this is the case, then any link with Scotland may be more apparent than real.
- Hectorville - Hector is a Scottish family name originating in Angus. According to Praite & Tolley (1970), the suburb was named after John Hector, the first manager of the Savings Bank of South Australia.
- Hillbank (Dumfries & Galloway). The spelling of the name of this Adelaide suburb changed from Hill Bank to Hillbank in 1966. It is possible that this is a purely descriptive name and therefore may have no connection with Scotland.
- Huntfield Heights - there is a Huntfield in Dumfries & Galloway and also in South Lanarkshire.
- Largs Bay and Largs North - These suburbs definitely recall Largs on the Firth of Clyde, Ayrshire, Scotland. (The illustration shows the "Pencil" at Largs, commemorating the Battle of Largs in 1263 when the Scots defeated the Vikings who were attempting to invade.) In earlier years, Largs North had a Welsh name - Swansea.
- Macdonald Park - MacDonald is one of the best-known Scottish surnames, though there are Irish McDonalds as well. There are numerous branches of the MacDonald clan such as MacDonald of Sleat, MacDonald of Clanranald, MacDonnell of Glengarry and MacDonnell of Keppoch.
- Magill - This Adelaide suburb takes its name from the Makgill estate. As explained by Kennedy & Kennedy (2006), this estate "was owned jointly by Robert Cock and William Ferguson, two Scots immigrants who met on board the 'Buffalo' and pooled their resources in several investments, including the Makgill project. They named the farm after Mrs Cock's trustee, David Maitland Makgill of Fifeshire." (p. 168). No explanation has been found as to why the 'k' has since been dropped.
- Mansfield Park (Mansfield in East Ayrshire, Fife, Inverclyde, Midlothian and Stirling). Although there is also a Mansfield in Nottinghamshire, England, local historians consider the town of Mansfield in Ayrshire to be the most likely source of this suburb's name.
- Melrose Park (derived from Melrose in the Scottish Borders - see the graphic of Melrose Abbey). This Adelaide suburb acquired its present name as recently as 1989, having previously been part of neighbouring Edwardstown. It is perhaps sheer coincidence that both the old name and the new happen to have Welsh roots. Edwards is a common Welsh surname while the name Melrose in Scotland is based on two Old Welsh words related to Modern Welsh 'moel' (bare) and 'rhos' (moor or heath) - a reminder of the days when the Brythonic form of Celtic was still in everyday use in southern Scotland.
- Novar Gardens - The West Torrens Historical Society has given the following account of the naming of this Adelaide suburb. "First known as 'Morphettville' when laid out by the State Bank of South Australia on Part Section 152, Hundred of Adelaide, in 1921. The name was changed to Novar Gardens to honour Viscount Novar, who as Sir Ronald Munro Ferguson was Governor General of Australia. (He visited the site of the proposed new subdivision for returned servicemen's homes at Morphettville on 20 September 1919). A meeting of trustees of the State Bank decided two days later to name the subdivision in his honour. Munro-Ferguson requested that the area be called 'Novar' since this was the name of the Monro [sic] -Ferguson family's estate in Ross county, Scotland." "Novar was also the name by which Munro-Ferguson was best known in the Scottish highlands." Novar House, which is located between Alness and Evanton in the Scottish Highlands, still exists. Sir Ronald Munro-Ferguson (1860-1934), First Viscount Novar of Raith and the sixth Governor-General of Australia, was born in Scotland at his family's home in Kirkaldy, Fife. He was appointed Secretary for Scotland in Andrew Bonar Law's Conservative government after leaving Australia.
- Peterhead (Aberdeenshire, Fife and Perth & Kinross). The suburb recalls Peterhead in Aberdeenshire.
- Rose Park - This suburb in the City of Burnside was named in 1878 by Sir John Rose, chairman of the S.A. Company (PlaceNames Online). Rose is a Scottish family name.
- Rosslyn Park - there is a Rosslyn Castle in Midlothian. Rosslyn was the village that was made famous in Sir Walter Scott's 'Lay of the Last Minstrel'.
- Scott Creek - the Adelaide suburb was named after the creek. Scott is a common Scottish surname, originating in the Scottish Borders. Perhaps the most famous Scottish bearer of this name was the nineteenth century novelist and poet, Sir Walter Scott. (The Antarctic explorer, Robert Falcon Scott, was an Englishman, as were many other famous Scotts.) This suburb was named after John and Charles Scott, who arrived in South Australia on "Catherine Jamieson" on 7 December 1838. (Praite & Tolley, 1970).
- Seacliff and Seacliff Park - there is a village in East Lothian called Seacliff, the only occurrence of this name in the British Isles. This does not guarantee, of course, that these Adelaide suburbs were necessarily named for the place in Scotland.
- Skye (Inner Hebrides).
- St Kilda (an island to the far north-west of Scotland). The name was bestowed by Governor Musgrave, to recall the remote Scottish island.
- Stirling (Stirling; also Stirling Village in Aberdeenshire). Stirling Castle in Scotland is shown here. According to Praite & Tolley (1970), the name of this suburb honours Edward Stirling, Member of the Legislative Council, one of the leading advocates of Australian Federation and a well-known figure in the colony.
- Sturt (Angus) and Charles Sturt and Upper Sturt by association. The names of these localities commemorate Captain Charles Sturt (1795-1869) who explored and mapped the Macquarie and Murrumbidgee rivers. Sturt was born in India, the son of Thomas Napier Lennox Sturt, an English judge with the East India Company; his father's name certainly suggests the probability of some Scots ancestry, though Sturt's immediate ancestors were from Dorset in southern England.
- Urrbrae - there is a river to the west of the town of Dumfries called Urr Water, near which are the villages of Haugh of Urr and Old Bridge of Urr. Urrbrae is a name coined by the landowner, Robert Forsyth MacGeorge from a place in Scotland (presumably the river) and "brae", the Scottish word for a hillside or slope.
Other suburbs and communities with names that can be found in Scotland but that are not unique to Scotland are:
- Basket Range - there is a place called Basket in South Lanarkshire. However, the origin of the name of this suburb is uncertain. There are several theories, none of which currently relate to Scotland. According to Bishop (2005), it could be a purely geographical name, or named after a Mr Basket whose existence has not been established but who supposedly collected government fees from wood splitters. A third possibility is that the name might have arisen from the practice of German settlers in the area who carried their produce to market in baskets. Considering the large number of Scottish settlers in the nineteenth century, and that Basket does not occur as a place name element in other parts of Britain, a direct or indirect Scottish connection becomes a fourth possibility.
- Bellevue Heights (Bellevue in Dumfries & Galloway, Highland, Orkney Islands and Perth & Kinross). Bellevue is also commonly found in England, Ireland and Wales where it is sometimes spelt Belle Vue. The origin of the name is of course French ('beautiful view').
- Clarence Gardens - there is a Clarencefield in Dumfries & Galloway as well as several places in England with Clarence as part of the name. The Adelaide suburb may have been named for the Duke of Clarence, especially since the neighbouring suburb of Clarence Park (a place name found in Somerset, England) was definitely named for the Duke.
- Craigburn Farm - there is a Craigburn in the Scottish Borders as well as over the border in Cumbria. Craig is a Celtic word for a steep, rugged rock or peak (Cornish carrek, Gaelic creag, Irish carraig, Welsh craig) while burn is a Scots and northern English word for a creek or stream.
- Greenacres (Scottish Borders) but far more common in England. It is nevertheless interesting to note that the land was originally granted to a person with a Scottish sounding name (Duncan Dunbar) on 31 December 1839.
- Greenhill (Aberdeenshire, Argyll & Bute, Scottish Borders, Dumfries & Galloway, East Ayrshire, Falkirk, Highland, Moray, Orkney Islands, Perth & Kinross, Stirling and South Lanarkshire) but the name is used just as frequently in England and is also found in Wales. According to Bishop (2005), the name comes from Green's Hill over which the original line of the Greenhill Road passed prior to being re-routed in the 1880s. The identity of the person for whom the hill was named has not been established.
- Hazelwood Park - there is a Hazelwood in Moray, but the name occurs more frequently in England. It is nevertheless interesting to note that many of the streets in this Adelaide suburb bear Scottish names, probably because the original landowner, Sir Alexander Hay, came from Scotland. Praite & Tolley (1970) attribute the name to a place name Birmingham in the English midlands but this name is not traceable on modern Ordnance Survey maps.
- Heathfield (Aberdeenshire, Dumfries & Galloway, Highland, North Lanarkshire, Orkney Islands, Renfrewshire and South Ayrshire) but found just as commonly throughout England and also in County Cork, Ireland.
- Kings Park (City of Glasgow and Stirling) also in England and Wales. Praite & Tolley (1970) are of the opinion that the name is possibly a reference to royalty.
- Kingswood (Perth & Kinross) but more common in England and is also found in Ireland and Wales. The origin of the name of this suburb is uncertain. One source suggests a place in Gloucestershire, England, while Praite & Tolley (1970) suggest that the suburb was most probably named after Stuart King, a member of John McD. Stuart's expedition of 1861-1862.
- Lonsdale (South Lanarkshire) also a plantation by this name in North Yorkshire, England. It is more probable, however, that the Adelaide suburb took its name from Kirkby Lonsdale in the Lake District of Cumbria, northern England, though this has not been confirmed.
- Mitchell Park - there is a Mitchell Hall in East Lothian, a Mitchell Hill in Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders, Mitchellhill in Aberdeenshire and Mitchellslacks in Dumfries & Galloway, but place names based on Mitchell are even more numerous throughout England, including Mitchell itself in Cornwall. The name Mitchell is found frequently enough in Scotland, however, for there to be a family tartan (illustrated here). According to Praite & Tolley (1970), the suburb was named after Richard Mitchell (ancestry not reported), who once owned the land.
- Newton (Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll & Bute, Scottish Borders, Dumfries & Galloway, Fife, Highland, Inverclyde, North Ayrshire, Midlothian, Moray, Orkney Islands, Perth & Kinross, Shetland Islands, Stirling, South Lanarkshire, West Lothian and Western Isles. There are also many other places such as Newton Mearns in East Renfrewshire, Newton of Ardtoe in Highland, Newton of Balcormo in Fife, etc.) Newton is just as commonly found throughout England and, to a lesser extent, Wales. There are in fact very few counties in the whole of Great Britain which do not have at least one Newton. Surprisingly, the name is not used in Ireland.
- North Haven (Aberdeenshire and Shetland Islands) also in Pembrokeshire, Wales. The location of this suburb near the (northern) tip of the LeFevre Peninsula suggests a purely descriptive reason for this name.
- Northfield (Aberdeenshire, City of Edinburgh, Dumfries & Galloway, Fife, Highland, Orkney Islands, Scottish Borders and West Lothian) but just as commonly found in England.
- Northgate (Aberdeenshire) also in four English counties. The naming of this suburb, which was recently carved out of Northfield, may in part be descriptive of its location as literally a northern gateway to central Adelaide.
- Norton Summit (there is a Norton in Scottish Borders and Orkney Islands; also Norton Mains in Edinburgh) but Norton is far more common throughout England and parts of Wales. This suburb was actually named for Robert Norton, the first person to ascend the hill with a bullock dray in 1851. Since Norton is an English family name, the likelihood of any Scottish link is greatly reduced.
- Smithfield (Angus, Borders, Fife and South Ayrshire) and Smithfield Plains by association. Places called Smithfield are also found in Cumbria and in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Smithfield is also the name of the well-known meat markets in London and Dublin. These Adelaide suburbs were named after an early landowner, J. Smith (ancestry not reported), who built Smithfield Hotel in the 1850s. Smith is the most common family name in both Scotland and England and is also fairly common in Ireland and Wales.
- Walkerville - there are several places in Scotland based on the surname of Walker. The list includes Walkerburn (Scottish Borders), Walkerdales (Moray), Walkerdyke (South Lanarkshire), Walkerhill (Aberdeenshire and Dumfries & Galloway), Walkersknowe (Scottish Borders), Walkerstrough (Moray) and Walkerton (Fife). Walker is found even more commonly in England, especially in the north. This includes places actually called Walkerville in North Yorkshire and Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The Adelaide suburb commemorates an early settler and merchant, Captain Walker, whose ancestry has not been recorded. Walker is a fairly common surname in both Scotland and England.
- Woodcroft (Aberdeenshire; also Woodcroft Farm in Dumfries & Galloway) but far more likely to be named for one of the many places in southern England.
A final category of suburban names comprises places that can be found in Scotland but which, in Adelaide's case, definitely or most probably have no connection with Scotland.
- Angle Park (Fife). According to the (South Australian) PlaceNames Online website, this suburb was "possibly so named because the subdivision was divided diagonally by a government road." It might therefore be pure coincide that Angle Park also exists as a place name in Scotland.
- Ashton (Highland and Inverclyde) but found more commonly in England and also occurs in Wales. According to local historical evidence, the Adelaide suburb appears to recall a place in Northamptonshire, England and therefore cannot be counted as Scottish.
- Blackwood (Dumfries & Galloway, East Ayrshire and South Lanarkshire) also found just as frequently in England, Ireland and Wales. The origin of the suburb's name appears to be purely descriptive, however. It was named after Blackwood Inn which in turn derived its name from the blackwood tree (acacia melanoxylon) or peppermint gum (eucalyptus odorata).
- Bowden (Scottish Borders) but found more frequently in England. The Adelaide suburb was named for Sir James Hurtle Fisher's native town in Northamptonshire, England and therefore has no connection with Scotland.
- Brown Hill Creek - places in Scotland called Brown Hill can be found in Aberdeenshire, Dumfries & Galloway, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Highland, Inverclyde, Moray, North Ayrshire, Orkney Islands and South Lanarkshire. Brown Hill also occurs in northern England but far less commonly than in Scotland. There are also several places in Scotland and England spelt Brownhill. The surname Brown is of course not unique to Scotland, but being the second most common surname in Scotland, there is a Brown family tartan, seen here. According to Kennedy & Kennedy (2006) this suburb takes its name from the colour of the nearby hill, and is therefore a purely descriptive name.
- Burton (South Ayrshire) but places with this name are far more frequently found in both England and Wales. According to Praite & Tolley (1970), this Salisbury suburb was probably named after Burton in Cheshire, England.
- Carey Gully - there is a Carey in Perth & Kinross as well as three places in south west England. Carey is also an Irish surname. An Irish connection seems the most plausible in the case of this Adelaide suburb since, according to Bishop (2005) the suburb was supposedly named for an unknown identity by the name of Paddy Carey.
- Eden Hills - there is a mountain in Argyll & Bute called Eden Hill. This may be pure coincidence, however, as Eden occurs throughout the British Isles, being an Old Celtic name of several rivers, not to mention its biblical connotations. The origin of the name of this Adelaide suburb is considered to be either descriptive or to have been derived from the name of a sailing barque.
- Findon (Aberdeenshire) but far more commonly found in England. The Adelaide suburb was named for a town in West Sussex and therefore has no connection with Scotland.
- Gilberton - there is a Gilberts Rig in Dumfries & Galloway, Gilberts Bridge in Perth & Kinross and Gilbertfield in South Lanarkshire, though Gilbert occurs more commonly in English place names. As a family name, Gilbert is both English and Scottish. The Scottish Gilberts are a sept of Clan Buchanan - that's the Buchanan tartan shown here. The Adelaide suburb was named after Joseph Gilbert, who bought the land in 1846 (Kennedy & Kennedy, 2006, p. 109). According to the Australian Dictionary of Biography, Joseph Gilbert was born in May 1800 at Puckshipton, Wiltshire, England and sailed for South Australia in the Buckinghamshire in 1838.
- Gilles Plains - Gilles is a Scottish family name of Norman origin, though it originated in Yorkshire. The suburb was named for Osmond Gilles, first colonial treasurer (see Glen Osmond below).
- Glen Osmond and Mount Osmond - there is an Osmondwall in the Orkney Islands, though Osmond seems to be more strongly associated with County Durham and North Yorkshire in northern England. These suburbs honour London-born Osmond Gilles (1788-1866), Colonial Treasurer, who took up land near Adelaide on his retirement.
- Grange (Aberdeenshire, Dumfries & Galloway, East Ayrshire, Fife, Highland, Midlothian, Orkney Islands, Perth & Kinross, South Lanarkshire and West Lothian). There are also many other places in Scotland with Grange as an element in the name, but Grange is even more popular in England than it is in Scotland and is also fairly widely used in parts of Ireland and Wales. The Adelaide suburb was named for the house built by the explorer Captain Charles Sturt, which according to Kennedy & Kennedy (2006) recalls a London suburb.
- Hawthorn (Scottish Borders) also found in England and Wales. The Adelaide suburb was evidently named after Hawthorn in County Durham (Praite & Tolley, 1970) and therefore has no Scottish connection.
- Heathpool - there is a Heathpool Common in the Scottish Borders, but this suburb was actually named for Heathpool across the border in Northumberland (Kennedy & Kennedy, 2006).
- Highgate (Dumfries & Galloway and North Ayrshire) but far more commonly found in England and Wales. F.J. Bottling apparently named this suburb after his birthplace in London (Praite & Tolley, 1970).
- Hilton (Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll & Bute, Scottish Borders, Clackmannanshire, Fife, Highland, Moray, Orkney Islands, Perth & Kinross and Stirling) but found just as commonly throughout England. The suburb was named for a Matthew Davenport Hill, the original landowner. The author of this article has been unable to ascertain whether this person was the famous English lawyer and penologist.
- Hope Valley – Hope is an element in numerous Scottish place names, for example Hopetoun House in West Lothian and Hopefield in East Lothian. Hope is also a noble Scottish family name, the family being descended from John de Hope who probably came to Scotland from France in the 16th century with Magdalen de Valois, the wife of King James V. The Adelaide suburb in Tea Tree Gully has no connection with Scotland, however, the connotations of the name being biblical instead. Hope Valley “was named by William Holden, a journalist who had lived in the area for ten years. In 1851 his house was burnt down, and he is supposed to have invented the name Hope Valley to indicate that he had not lost hope in the future.” (Praite & Tolley, 1971, p. 58). In the South Australian State Gazetteer website it is further stated that William Holden, after the disastrous fire, supposedly made the following jocular remark: “Now let these pining Israelites feed on hungry hope.”
- Ingle Farm - there is an Ingle Stone in Dumfries & Galloway. However, there is also an Ingle Bridge in North Yorkshire. Kennedy & Kennedy (2006) state that a local historian attributes the name of this suburb to that of a farm owned during the early 20th century by Jabez Rowe. Jabez Rowe had apparently named the farm as a result of his marriage to a Miss Wright of Inglewood. Since Inglewood (see below) has no connection with Scotland, the same would be true of its derivative, Ingle Farm.
- Inglewood (Clackmannanshire) also in Berkshire and Cumbria. The Adelaide suburb was named for the place in Cumbria and therefore cannot be claimed for Scotland.
- Kilburn (Angus, Dumfries & Galloway, East Renfrewshire) but the name also occurs in several English place names. The Adelaide suburb recalls the suburb in north-west London. It was known as Chicago until the name was changed in 1930 because of adverse publicity about the American city, its name having become synonymous with organised crime.
- Longwood (Dumfries & Galloway) but found more commonly in England and is also found in Ireland. The Adelaide suburb was actually named for a parish in Yorkshire and therefore has no connection with Scotland.
- Lower Hermitage and Upper Hermitage - there are places called Hermitage in Dumfries & Galloway, Scottish Borders and the City of Edinburgh. Hermitage occurs even more frequently throughout England and is also found in Wales. The Adelaide suburbs were apparently named after Hermitage in Northamptonshire, England.
- Marden (Scottish Borders) but more common in England. The Adelaide suburb was actually named after a town in Wiltshire, England.
- Marion - there is a Marionburgh in both Aberdeenshire and Moray, the only places in the British Isles where this personal name is used. The suburb was named after Miss Marion (or Marianne) Fisher, daughter of Sir James Hurtle Fisher, the first mayor of Adelaide. Since Sir James was born in Northamptonshire, it is highly unlikely that the name of the Adelaide suburb has any connection with Scotland.
- Morphett Vale and Morphettville - Although Morphett is considered to be a Scottish family name (one of the many variations of Moffat), these suburbs were named for an Englishman, John Morphett, who arrived in South Australia in 1836 and who became a member of the legislative Council in 1843.
- Norwood (Dumfries & Galloway) but was actually named for the suburb in south London.
- Paradise (Aberdeenshire and Fife) but more common in England. The Adelaide suburb was actually named after property owned in England by the local landowner.
- Parkside (Aberdeenshire, North Lanarkshire, and Perth & Kinross) also in England and Wales. The Adelaide suburb appears to have been given its name purely because of its contiguity with parklands.
- Royston Park - Royston is found in Aberdeenshire, Dumfries & Galloway and the City of Glasgow, as well as in four English counties and in North Wales. The suburb was actually named for a place in Yorkshire, England.
- Seaton (Aberdeen City) but is a common place name throughout England. Praite & Tolley (1970) are of the opinion that the suburb was "probably named by Gifford Tate after Seaton in Devon, England." (p. 168).
- Seaview Downs - there is a Seaview in Highland, as well as in two English counties. The area has been described as "undulating slopes with sea views." (Praite & Tolley, 1970, p. 168), which strongly suggests a purely descriptive origin of the name.
- Springfield (Argyll & Bute, Dumfries & Galloway, Fife, Highland and Perth & Kinross) also in England and Wales. The suburb was actually named after Springfield in Surrey and therefore has no Scottish connection.
- St Agnes (Scottish Borders) also in Cornwall, England. According to Praite & Tolley (1970), this suburb was named in 1959 after the products of Angoves Pty Ltd., vignerons and distillers. Dr Angove settled in the area in the early 1880s. St Agnes is the patron saint of purity.
- St Marys (Moray and Orkney Islands) also in Devon, England. The origin of the name is unlikely to be a place in either Scotland or England since the suburb takes its name from the Church of St. Mary's. The father of John Wickham Daw, who owned the land and helped to establish the church, bestowed the church's name (Praite & Tolley, 1970, p. 165).
- Torrens Park, Torrensville and West Torrens - Although Torrens is considered to be a Scottish family name from Stirling, the names of these suburbs honour either Sir Robert Richard Torrens (1814-1884), Premier of South Australia, who was born in Cork, southern Ireland, or his father, Colonel Robert Torrens. Colonel Robert Torrens was Chairman of the Colonization Commissioners for South Australia (Praite & Tolley, 1970, p. 182). The connection is therefore primarily Irish rather than Scottish.
- Trinity Gardens - there is a Trinity in Angus and the City of Edinburgh, as well as in Devon, England and the Channel Islands. There is also the famous Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. The Adelaide suburb takes its name from subdivided glebe land owned by Holy Trinity Church and is therefore unlikely to have a Scottish connection.
- Virginia (Orkney Islands) also in Ireland and on the Isle of Man. The Adelaide suburb was actually named for the place in County Cavan, Ireland, and therefore has no connection with Scotland.
- Waterloo Corner - there is a Waterloo in Aberdeenshire, Highland, North Lanarkshire, Perth & Kinross and Shetland Islands. Waterloo is found even more commonly throughout England and is also found in Ireland and Wales. All of these places, including those in Scotland and the Adelaide suburb, presumably commemorate the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in Belgium in 1815.
Cowandilla, Glenalta and Stonyfell also have a "Scottish ring" about them, but have not yet been established as place names that actually exist in Scotland. There are several places in Scotland containing the name Cowan, but Cowandilla is actually the Aboriginal name for the Glenelg area and is therefore clearly not of Scottish origin. Fell is a geographical term found in the Scottish Borders and northern England, but Stonyfell as such does not seem to occur in the UK, the name (meaning 'rocky hill') being made up by Annie Montgomery Martin, a settler. There is a case for claiming Elizabeth as a suburb that has a Scottish link since it honours Queen Elizabeth II who is half Scottish through her mother. Elizabeth and its eight extensions (Elizabeth Downs, Elizabeth East, Elizabeth Grove, etc) have not been included as Scottish names, however, as this would overstate the connection between Adelaide and Scotland. Myrtle Bank also has a Scottish connection, though there is nothing obviously Scottish about the name. This suburb takes its name from a residence built by a 19th century Scots settler, William Sanders, who was born in Kinross.
In line with its image as an essentially "English" city, the toponymy of Adelaide is dominated by names of English origin (only Boston, Massachusetts and possibly Christchurch in New Zealand appear to be even more strongly "English" in this regard). Scottish influences on Adelaide place names are nevertheless fairly marked, as this article demonstrates. While Scottish place names can be found throughout the Adelaide Metropolitan area, their concentration varies considerably from one part of the city to the next. True to its Scots origins, the City of Burnside is particularly well endowed with Scottish place names, with as many as 30.8% being uniquely Scottish (compared with 10.8% for Adelaide as a whole).
- Australian Dictionary of Biography - Online Edition
- Bishop, Geoffrey (2005). East Torrens placenames and local history. Placenames Australia, June 2005, pp. 8-9.
- City of Burnside website (article on Local History and information on the origins of street names).
- Cockburn, Rodney (1984). What's in a Name? Nomenclature of South Australia. (Ferguson Publications, Glen Osmond, SA).
- Greater Adelaide, 2001 (Hema Maps Pty Ltd).
- John Andrewartha and members of the West Torrens Historical Society (City of West Torrens website; articles on suburbs).
- Kennedy, Brian & Kennedy Barbara (2006). Australian Place Names. (ABC Books, Sydney).
- PlaceNames Online (South Australian State Gazetteer).
- Praite, R. & Tolley, J. C. (1970). Place Names of South Australia. (Rigby Limited, Adelaide).
- Reed, A.W. (1973). Place Names of Australia (A.H. & A.W. Reed, Sydney).
- Scarlett, James D. (1975). The Tartans of the Scottish Clans. (Collins, Glasgow and London).
- Websites, place name gazetteers and published Ordnance Survey maps of British and Irish cities, towns, villages and counties.
© Ian Kendall
Melbourne, Australia, May 2005
Revised February 2008
If you wish to contact Ian about his research, his e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where else would you like to go in Scotland?
All Features Index>
Search This Site>
Scottish Pictorial Calendar 2014>
Places to Visit>