Map reference: NS 27497 71662 (Alt. 661ft.)
I located the foundations of a rectangular building, approx 8m x 4m, close to the Garvock Lodge area in July 07.
Previously unreported, this was probably the settlement known as Darneme, a farmstead which was near the south bank of the River Gryfe and can be found on Pont’s 16th C. maps. the settlement continued under that name until sometime after 1864 and the construction of the Gryfe reservoir and Garvock Lodge.
Only the rectangular outline of rough field stones remain, with much of the southern facing foundations missing and no sign of internal dividing walls
According to Roy's 1748 map, there was a second Darneme settlement, south of the original farm (This appears to be located on the site occupied today by Dowries farm).
Matching the ordinance survey maps from 1864 and a later version, the name of the Darneme farmland was replaced with that of a new building called Garvock lodge, which was constructed nearby and is now itself a ruin.
I have been unable to confidently identify the meaning of Darneme although one interpretation could be “Friendly Plot”-
Darn may be Brythonic (p-celtic) meaning ‘a plot’ while Eme is an old endearing Scots term meaning uncle or familiar friend.
The original Darndaff Farmstead (?)
Map reference: NS 2816 7151
Pont’s map of 1598 shows what is possibly the original site of the Darndaff farmstead, close to the Darneme site and on the south bank of what is now the Gryfe reservoir. (Opposite it's present location)
In this area archaeologist Frank Newall discovered a medieval rectangular building which yielded fragments of a 14th - 15th century pitcher near to a settlement of Late Bronze Age - Early Iron Age huts. He also found two other medieval rectangular foundations, with associated lazy beds and turf walls
Visiting the site in 2007 I found that deep forestry ploughing has virtually obliterated the entire site and no building foundations seem to have survived intact. (No information was obtained concerning the pottery fragments noted by Newall, nor are their whereabouts known).
The photograph was taken from the roadside close to the area identified by Newall.
I have been unable to confidently identify the meaning of Darndaff although one interpretation could be “Daff’s Plot”-
Darn may be Brythonic (p-celtic) meaning ‘a plot’ while Daff may have been the original occupier – (several Daff's are recorded in the Renfrewshire Hearth Tax of 1691). The settlement could have also taken it's name from the River Daff, (now part of the Daff Reservoir).