Snug as a bug in a rug

After reading me a bedtime story and putting me to bed my mum used to say, no doubt like her mother said to her when she was wee: “Sleep tight. Snug as a bug in a rug”.

This was also the last thing I used to say to my children before wrapping them up warm and cosy in their beds.

A close friend of mine recently gave me a book of “Historical Notes” that he had found in a secondhand bookshop. It was published by the Forth Naturalist and Historian and contains the notes of Moray Sutherland Mackay on the parish of Kilmadock.

This entry caught my attention:

I had never heard of this old Inn and was fascinated by its entomological derivation “the house of bugs”.

So I looked it up on the first edition OS map:

By the second edition OS map there was no trace of “the house of bugs”.

So on a wet Sunday, 11th November 2018, with my wife Sian, we went to try and find it. We found that the “house of bugs” is now mature woodland with only the stone boundary wall surviving:

Back home I dried out, and warm and snug I looked for any traces of “the house of bugs” in the archives.  I found ‘ Tynagulock’ in the 1861 census for Kilmadock:

I then found the notification of the death of Joseph Clark in the local paper.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have been able to hear auld Joseph recall the stories of the drovers!


However auld Joseph had his last bed made in beautiful Kilmadock churchyard, where on a most worn and faded stone, one can just about still read “Tynagulock”:

“Sleep tight. Snug as a bug in a rug”

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