The name Govan, the Kirk and the Doomster Hill

Alan MacQuarrie

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    The modern Gaelic name of Govan is Baile a'Ghobhainn, "smith's homestead", although there is no early attestation to this. I have suggested that this is probably a back-formation, since in modern pronunciation this would become Balgowan or Balgown, and since Govan appears to have been first and foremost an ecclesiastical settlement rather than a secular one, I have tentatively made the alternative suggestion that the name might derive from a diminutive form of Gaelic gob, "beak, nose": gobán, "little beak", referring to the promontory of raised ground on which the kirkyard is situated, stretching into the flood plain of the Clyde.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-3
    Number of pages3
    JournalAnnual Report of the Society of Friends of Govan Old
    Publication statusPublished - 1997


    • Govan
    • Doomster Hill
    • Scottish history
    • glasgow history


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