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How in the Heck Do You Pronounce Buccleuch ?


In Wyldwood, Alex tells Saorsa that he hails from a place called Buccleuch. But where did this place get its name, and how in the world are you supposed to say it out loud? (My editor for the book laughingly called it "Electric Book-a-clue", as in "Electric Boogaloo.)


The name Buccleuch originates from the 10th century and means "Cleft (or ravine) of the Buck". A deep ravine is known as a cleugh, so Buck + Cleugh = Buccleuch. It is pronounce buh-clue.


Legend has it King Kenneth III was hunting in this area near Clear Burn when a buck became cornered and charged towards the unarmed King. A young man named John Scott threw himself at the buck, grabbed it by the antlers, and wrestled it to the ground, saving the King’s life. From that day, the Scott family were referred to as Buck Cleuch, the “buck from the ravine”, and were rewarded handsomely for their bravery. Their coat of arms features a buck to this day.


The Scotts built a stronghold on this site, and then later replaced the original structure with a newer one in the 16th Century. Eventually, though, the Scotts moved to a castle at Branxholme, which will be discussed in a different post. The foundations of Buccluech Castle were unearthed in 1832 when a farmhouse was built on the site, but nothing remains today.


Buccleuch Castle is used extensively in both Book 2 of the Spiral Pathways Series (Circle of Three) and in Book 3. The Castle was, of course, completely gone long before 1746 when our characters arrive there; but I wanted a second Scott Castle near Branxholm with an ancient history and so I re-built it in my mind with a generous amount of artistic license.





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