Perrays Wood :: Shared Description

A square of woodland centred on NS37397659. The name is commemorated in a nearby area of housing called Lennox Gardens, centred on NS37387618, which has a Perrays Drive, Way, Crescent, Grove, and Court. The contemporary local pronunciation is (or was, since few even among the older generation of locals would know it) Pirrie's Wood.


There is a bomb crater in the woods. The author of this shared description was told that there were others in the fields nearby, but that they have since been ploughed out. Their presence here is perhaps related to a WWII decoy fire that was at nearby Kipperoch. The control bunker — LinkExternal link — for that decoy site survives at NS37387758.


In his "Old Cardross — A Lecture" (1880), David Murray has the following entry in his table of Cardross place-names:

▪ "Perrays Wood — the wood about half-way between Kellochy and Hawthornhill; partly on Hawthornhill and partly on Whiteleys."

Whiteleys is still in existence (NS38387660), but both of the farms used as reference points are now gone, although they are marked on early OS maps. For views of the locations, see NS3677 : The former site of Kellochy and NS3776 : The former site of Hawthornhill Farm. The comment that the woods are "partly on Hawthornhill and partly on Whiteleys" is reflected on current 1:25000 mapping, where a boundary neatly bisects the woods.


Murray lists other related "Perrays" place-names (see Link for the Ardochbeg mentioned here):

▪ "The Perrays — two fields on north of Hawthornhill, on east and west of the road to Ardochbeg."

▪ "Perrays Well — on the road to Ardochbeg."

▪ "Tartan Perrays — to the east of Clydebank."

Tartan Perrays was between the farms of Clerkhill and Clydebank, both long gone, and the latter not to be confused with the present-day town of the same name. See LinkExternal link and Link for their respective locations.


In the body of his book, Murray comments that the Perrays is "a name which seems to imply a Roman establishment of some kind", for which he gives a reference to "Notes and Queries, 6th S., I., p25".

It is highly unlikely that the name has any such signification in this area, for two main reasons: firstly, while Dr Murray was himself very learned, the methodology of place-name studies in his day left much to be desired; secondly, even if we had an explanation for the name Perrays that held true in Oxfordshire (for example), it would not be applicable here in the West of Scotland, on account of the very different linguistic histories of the two areas.

Nevertheless, some readers may come across the remark in Murray's book, and be led to wonder what his comment was founded upon (if only because they cannot otherwise assess its validity). For that reason, the relevant correspondence in "Notes and Queries" is quoted below, but solely for curiosity value, and not by way of endorsing the opinions expressed therein. The journal in question is "Notes and Queries", subtitled "A medium of intercommunication for literary men, general readers, etc.", and published at The Strand, London. The second of the quotations is the one that Murray cited; the first is the original query, reproduced here to provide some context:

▪ Fifth Series. — Volume Twelfth (July — December 1879), page 428:

"PERRY" AS APPLIED TO WOODY SPOTS. I should be glad if any one could explain the derivation of this word, affixed to woods and woody spots in many counties. There are Perry Wood and Croome Perry Wood in Worcestershire ; Perry Grove, Oxfordshire ; Perry Ditch, Herefordshire ; Perry Foot, Derbyshire ; Perry Bar, Staffordshire ; Perry River, Shropshire ; Perry, near Mark Moor, Somerset ; Perry Wood, near Staplehurst, Herts ; besides other places. —EDWIN LEES, F.L.S. Worcester. [Morris, Etymology of Local Names, gives it as a form of "Burg, or Borough = city, place of retreat," and supplies two other instances from Oxfordshire, Water-perry, and Wood-perry.]"

▪ Sixth Series. — Volume First (January — June 1880), page 25:

"PERRY" AS APPLIED to WOODY SPOTS (5th S. xii. 428). I have observed and published that Perry or Pury occurs in or near to Roman roads, and denotes some abandoned Roman establishment. It is quite possible it may be a form of byríg. —HYDE CLARKE."
by Lairich Rig
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11 images use this description:

NS3776 : Perrays Wood: the northwestern edge by Lairich Rig
NS3776 : Perrays Wood by Lairich Rig
NS3776 : The southern corner of Perrays Wood by Lairich Rig
NS3776 : Ditch in Perrays Wood by Lairich Rig
NS3776 : Bomb crater in Perrays Wood by Lairich Rig
NS3776 : Perrays Wood: the southeastern edge by Lairich Rig
NS3776 : Hollow at the edge of Perrays Wood by Lairich Rig
NS3776 : Hollow at the edge of Perrays Wood by Lairich Rig
NS3776 : Bomb crater in Perrays Wood by Lairich Rig
NS3776 : Perrays Wood by Lairich Rig
NS3776 : Perrays Wood: the northeastern edge by Lairich Rig

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Created: Mon, 22 Jan 2018, Updated: Thu, 25 Oct 2018

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