Allan Water

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For the river of the same name in Ontario, see Allan Water (Ontario).
The Allan Water at Dunblane
Allan Water above Bridge of Allan in dry summer
Floods at lower Bridge of Allan in winter

The Allan Water (Scottish Gaelic: Uisge Alain) is a river in central Scotland. Rising in the Ochil Hills, it runs through Strathallan to Dunblane and Bridge of Allan before joining the River Forth. It is liable to cause floods in lower Bridge of Allan.[1]

It shares its name with a tributary of the River Teviot. The name is similar to the Ale Water in Berwickshire, the River Alness in Ross-shire, the Allander Water in Stirlingshire, the River Alne and the Ayle Burn in Northumberland, the River Ellen in Cumbria, and several names in the south of England, Wales and Cornwall.[2] Ptolemy, who wrote his Geography about 150 AD, gave the names of some of these rivers as Alauna or Alaunos.[3] Ekwall says that Alauna or Alaunos are British [i.e. Brythonic or P-Celtic] river names.[4] Nicolaisen says that the name Allan is of Pre-Celtic Indo-European origin. Its original form was Alauna, from the Indo-European root *el-/ol-, meaning "to flow, to stream". Several European rivers and settlements have names that may come from that root.[5] Others say that Alauna was a Celtic river goddess, also found in Brittany;[6] Alaunus was a Gaulish god of medicine and prophesy.

Two broadside ballads refer to the "Allan Water". According to one, a Scottish ballad, the "Allan Water's wide and deep, and my dear Anny's very bonny; Wides the Straith that lyes above't, if't were mine I'de give it all for Anny." The other, more familiar, English ballad begins "On the banks of Allan Water" and relates the death of a miller's daughter whose soldier lover proves untrue. This version, popularised by C. E. Horn in his comic opera, Rich and Poor (1812), is sung by Bathsheba Everdene at the sheepshearing supper in Thomas Hardy's novel Far From The Madding Crowd (1874). A similar rendition was recorded with church organ accompaniment by Italian singer Ariella Uliano in 2008.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allanwater Herald. Report gives options into flood reduction in Bridge of Allan. 3 July 2013.
  2. ^ Nicolaisen, W F H (1986) [First published 1976]. Scottish place-names : their study and significance. London: Batsford. pp. 186–187. ISBN 978-0-7134-5234-1. OCLC 19174615. 
  3. ^ Müllerus, C (Ed) (1883) Claudii Ptolemaei Geographia, Paris.
  4. ^ Ekwall, E (1960) The concise Oxford dictionary of English place-names, 4th edition. London: Oxford University Press. p.7
  5. ^ Nicolaisen, W F H (1986) [First published 1976]. Scottish place-names : their study and significance. London: Batsford. pp. 186–187. ISBN 978-0-7134-5234-1. OCLC 19174615. 
  6. ^ Monaghan, P (2004) The encyclopedia of Celtic mythology and folklore. New York: Facts on File. p.13

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 56°08′30″N 3°57′16″W / 56.14167°N 3.95444°W / 56.14167; -3.95444