Falkland FAL S NO255073 1 373 70m NEF
Macbeath thaynetum de Falleland c.1128 NAS GD45/27/8 fo 52r col. b [ = St A. Lib. 117; late 13th c. translation from Gaelic; ‘Macbeth thane of Falkland’; possibly a scribal error for Falk(e)land?]
Falecklen 1160 x 1162 RRS i no. 190 [17th c. copy]
Falkeland 1233 Aberdeen Registrum i 51
Falkeland 1267 St A. Lib. 312
Falkeland’ 1267 St A. Lib. 313
apud Falcland 1336 RRS v no. 56
Fawklande 1406 RMS i no. 888
Falkland 1407 RMS i no. 892
manerio seu castro de Falklande 1451 RMS ii no. 462 [‘the manor or castle of Falkland’, with ‘its park’ (parka eiusdem) granted to Queen Mary (of Guelders) by James II along with the earldom of Fife]
Faukland 1451 ER v, 472 [William Bowman, keeper of the park of Falkland, ‘for the maintenance of the paling’ (pro sustentacione de le palez)]
in quartario de Faukland 1458 RMS ii no. 636 [in the quarter of Falkland]
(burgh of) Falkland 1459 RMS ii no. 706
(burgh of) Faucland 1459 RMS ii nos. 707–25
(burgh of) Fauclande 1459 RMS ii no. 726
(burgh of) Faucland 1459 RMS nos. 727–8
(the king’s barn of) Fauclande 1466 RMS ii no. 865 [renders to be delivered to the king’s barn of Falkland on the feast of St Martin]
apud Faucland 1467 RMS ii no. 921 [also nos. 925, 956–7, 1183]
Faukland 1479 Fife Ct. Bk. xvi [‘the sheriff courts held at Falkland’ (the shiref courtis haldin at Faukland), some form of intermediate court, according to the editor]
Falkland 1516 RMS ii no. 89
le parkis de Falkland 1528 RMS iii no. 558 [palace and woods and parks or ‘enclosures’ (indagines) viz the parks of Falkand]
molendinum de Falkland 1541 RMS iii no. 2466 [mill of Falkland]
infra ortum molendini de Falkland 1542 RMS iii no. 2750 [‘within the mill-yard of Falkland’; also ‘the mill-land of the said mill’ (lie Mylnland dicti molendini)]
Faulkland 1590 RMS iv no. 1788
Castellsteid de Falkland 1641 Retours (Fife) no. 606 [see Castlestead of Falkland #, above]
Faklande 1650 Lamont’s Diary 20 [Charles II staying at Falkland]
Fackland wood 1652 Lamont’s Diary 43 [see Falkland Wood]
Falkland 1654 Blaeu (Pont) East Fife
Falkland 1753 Roy sheet 18, 1
Falkland 1775 Ainslie/Fife
? + G lann
The name had clearly been coined before the early twelfth century, which makes it much more likely to be Celtic (Pictish or Gaelic) than Scots, despite its popular etymology (see below). Thus the second element is probably G lann ‘enclosure’, or its Pictish cognate, found also in nearby Conland FAL. It often became assimilated to Sc land.
The first element is much more problematic. One possibility is that it derives from the same root as G falach ‘hidden, concealed’, which, if correct, would refer to Falkland’s protected, almost concealed, position directly beneath the 424 m high East Lomond (Falkland Hill). Another is that it is connected with G failc ‘wash, bathe’, cf OIr folcaid, ‘washes’ (usually applied to washing the head), and the related OIr folc or falc ‘heavy rain, wet weather’ (DIL). Falkland’s situation directly beneath (and on the north side of) the second highest hill in Fife, already alluded to, may result in higher precipitation than in the surrounding settlements.
Falkland is commonly explained as deriving from Sc falcon land, an interpretation which, going by the early forms, was probably current by the early fourteenth century at the latest, and one which was strengthened by Falkland’s well-known royal connections with hunting in the later Middle Ages. For the reasons discussed above, this can be safely rejected.
The Wood or Park of Falkland lay to the north of the palace, where the farms of Falklandwood and Woodmill lie today. See Falklandwood FAL.
For Falkland as a parish-name, see FAL Introduction above. Besides Falkland (village) and Falklandwood (farm), OS Pathf. also shows Falkland Common (NO26 07), Falkland Moss (NO22 06), Falkland Palace (Antiquity), House of Falkland, and Newton of Falkland (q.v.).
/ˈfɔ:klənd/ or /ˈfɔlklənd/, often locally without the final /d/.
This place-name appeared in printed volume 2