Pratis

Pratis LAR S NO382062 1 165m

Pratras 1204 x 1266 N. Berwick Cart. no. 10 [possibly 1204 x c.1214 N. Berwick Cart. Syllabus, 1; see discussion for more details; ‘Pratis and Montrave SCO’ (Pratras et Math’riue)]
Pratres 1310 x 1327 SAUL MS 37490, no. 1 [see CER Introduction]
Nethirpratris 1486 RMS ii no. 1631 [see Balcormo LAR]
Nethirpratirris 1486 RMS ii no. 1633 [part of barony of Lundin (Lundy)]
(lands of) Uvirpratris 1489 RMS ii no. 1839 [in barony of Lundin (Lundy)]
(quarter of) Netherpratris 1489 RMS ii no. 1839 [in barony of Lundin (Lundy)]
Prateris 1518 Fife Ct. Bk. 100 [Thomas Lundin of Prateris]
Nethir Prateris 1518 Fife Ct. Bk. 100
Over Prateris 1518 Fife Ct. Bk. 100
Over Prateris 1528 ER xv 661
Nether Prateris 1528 ER xv 661
Ovir et Nethir Prateris 1538 RMS iii no. 1859
Uver-Prateris 1538 RMS iii no. 1877
terras de Prateris superiores et inferiores 1540 RMS iii no. 2147 [part of barony of Lundin (Lundyne)]
Prateris Over et Nether 1554 RMS iv no. 977
Over Prater and Nether Prater 1545 x 1555 N. Berwick Cart. xxiii [‘Set to Maister George Lunde, Over Prater, and Nether Prater, and Montthryff (Montrave SCO), for xv lib. at Mertymes, and xv lib. at Vitsonday’]
Nether Prateris 1573 Assumption 145 [rental of North Berwick Priory]
Over Prateris 1573 Assumption 145 [rental of North Berwick Priory]
Over et Nether Praters 1600 Retours (Fife) no. 84 [part of the barony of Lundin (Lundy)]
Nether-pratous 1653 Lamont’s Diary 62 [a horse stolen from William Fairfull there]
N. Pratows 1667 Lamont’s Diary 196 [see Nether Pratis for more details]
Praithous 1684 Adair/East Fife [also N. Praithous]
terras de superiori et inferiori Pratas 1699 Retours (Fife) no. 1426 [part of the barony of Lundin]
Praters 1753 Roy sheet 18, 1
Nether Praters 1753 Roy sheet 18, 1
Nether Prates 1775 Ainslie/Fife
Upper Prates 1775 Ainslie/Fife [= OS Pathf. Pratis]
Pratis 1855 OS 6 inch 1st edn
Nether Pratis 1855 OS 6 inch 1st edn

This puzzling name shares a common origin with Prathouse IKG (PNF 1). The early forms of both names, Pratis and Prathouse, are remarkably similar. The name may go back to a loan-word into Pictish, Gaelic or Scots (perhaps via Old French) from Latin prat-um ‘meadow’ (which is found in its more usual Old French form pré(e) in the west Fife name Bouprie ABO). There was at least one Old French derivative, pratois ‘someone who owned a meadow’,[175] which retained the early Latin vowel and consonant.

    Another puzzle in connection with this name is that in the earliest references to both Prathouse IKG and Pratis LAR the colour white is mentioned. Prathouse is twice referred to as ‘White Prathouse’ (or ‘the white Prathouse’) in 1287 × 1299, in a boundary settlement between Dunfermline Abbey and Geoffrey de Moubray, in which the march is described as going ‘by a path (semitam) paved with stones beneath White Prathouse (subtus album Pratres) towards the south, keeping very close to the foot of the said White Prathouse (dicti albi Pratres) as far as the green road (viridem viam) towards the east side ...’ (Dunf. Reg. no. 592; see DFL Introduction, PNF 1, for full text). In the earliest occurrence of Pratis LAR land given to the nuns of North Berwick by Thomas of Lundin is described as ‘that white land which has been in dispute between Pratis LAR and Montrave SCO’ (terram illam albam que fuit in contencione inter Pratras et Math’riue) (N. Berwick Cart. no. 10). Since both these instances of white occur by or in land over which there has been contention, it is possible that the use of this colour adjective is somehow connected with land in dispute, or land without any clear ownership (see also Threipland # LAR, below). For other meanings of white in place-names, such as indicating good grazing capablility or possibly dairy production, see under fionn in Elements Glossary (PNF 5).

    A 1796 plan of the lands of Pratis (RHP3523) shows a threefold division into the farms of Mains, Greenside and Kame (Keam). Field-names and other features are given for each farm, for example on Mains there are: Quarry Park, West Lemon-side, East Lemon-side, Monthrive Hill, Cruel Well, Ward, Ten Riggs, Meadow, New-Lands, Clayside, Brakes, Foggieleys (Foggieleys LAR), Lousies Law (the hill north-east of Foggieleys, at NO388067) and Hallbutts; on Greenside are Upper Bank and Nether Bank; while on Kame (Keam) the Steading, horsegang, well, pond, plantations, bridge and turnpike road are noted.

    OS Pathf. also shows Pratis Burn, and nearby Nether Pratis and Nether Pratis Farm Cottages.

    /ˈpretəs/

This place-name appeared in printed volume 2