Wethers Brae

Wethers Brae # ADN KGH S NT235948 1 105m

Weathirsbie 1659 RMS xi no. 80 [part of the lands and barony of Carden, parish of Auchterderran (Auchterderar)]
Wethirsbie 1661 RMS xi no. 146
Weatherby 1753 Roy sheet 17, 5
Weathersbie 1757 RHP1710 [also Weathersbie Tofts]
Weathersbrae 1775 Ainslie/Fife
Wethersby 1815 Sasines no. 10474
Wethers Brae 1856 OS 6 inch 1st edn.

ON veðr + ON bý(r)

‘Wether (castrated ram)- farm’. The name is identical to Weddersbie CLS, with a sing. veðr used to represent a plural. Both names underline the importance of sheep-farming amongst the small group of early Norse-speakers in Fife.

On the fine plan of Raith estate RHP1710 (1757) the land of Weathersbie and Weathersbie Tofts is described as ‘thin soil, carpet grass ... sheep pasture’. It occurs also on OS 6 inch 1st edition, but mistakenly as Wethers Brae, the small building to which this name is attached described as ‘in ruins’. The assimilation of the final element to Sc brae is already evident on Ainslie/Fife (1775).

It is noteworthy that Wethers Brae lies directly between two G place-names which contain mult, ‘wether’: five km to the south-west lies Balmuto KGH ‘wether farm’, and eight km to the north-east, on the south bank of the River Leven, lies Auchmuty MAI, ‘wether ford’. This shows a high degree of integration into the local economy.

Wethers Brae is one of a handful of ON place-names containing ‘farm’ scattered through central Scotland, with at least four others in Fife. For more on these, see Introduction, this volume. See also Taylor in Williams and Bibire 2004.

This place-name appeared in printed volume 1