Thistleford

Thistleford ATL S NT168913 1 125m

Thistleford 1828 SGF
Thistleford 1856 OS 6 inch 1st edn.

Sc or SSE thistle + Sc or SSE ford

‘Ford where thistles grow (in abundance)’. Both the ford, Thistle Ford, and the small settlement deriving from it, Thistleford, are named on the OS 6 inch 1st edn. The ford itself, over the Lochgelly Burn, was on the old road north from Burntisland, called on the above-mentioned map ‘The Old North Road’. Passing through Montquey and Balmule ABO, it crossed over Moss Morran where the ethylene plant now is. Owen Silver, in his excellent book on the roads of Fife, refers to this road as ‘the old White Rashes road’ (1987, 114). This old road was replaced by a new road constructed 1816–17, a section of the Great North Road, basically the modern road from Burntisland to Cowdenbeath (Silver 1987, 75–6) via Bernard’s Smiddy, the Cullaloe Cut and Beverkae Roundabout.

Thistleford is now a part of Cowdenbeath, but the settlement lay on the south (Auchtertool) side of the Lochgelly Burn. The settlement of Bridgend, also shown on the OS 6 inch 1st edn. (1856), lies a short distance to the south-west, and refers to the bridge which carries the above-mentioned Great North Road, the Old North Road’s successor, over the Lochgelly Burn.[60]

On OS 6 inch 1st edn. (1856) Whiskey Neuk is marked to the north-east of Thistleford, which the OS Name Book describes thus: ‘A small piece of rough pasture land on the farm of Thistleford where illicit distilling was carried on, whence the name’ (129, 37). The neuk or corner refers to the shape of the land (see ATL map). It was at a point where the parishes of ATL, BEA and ADN met. This liminal position, providing secrecy, coupled with the proximity of the Old North Road, providing a ready market, would have made it a favourable spot for such activity.

This place-name appeared in printed volume 1