Denork

Denork CMN SSL S NO452138 1 363 135m NOF

Dunhorc Ferdes 1173 x 1178 St A. Lib. 140 [rubric]
Dunhorc Ferdeis 1173 x 1178 St A. Lib. 140 [Bp Richard to St Andrews Priory]
Dunhorh Ferdis 1179 x 1183 St A. Lib. 146 [Bp Hugh’s confirmation]
Dunorchferdis 1183 St A. Lib. 59 [papal confirmation]
Dunorc . ferdis 1189 x 1198 St A. Lib. 152
Dunork 1196 x 1199 RRS ii no. 412 [Dunork et Torlkelly]
Dunork 1200 Barrow 1971 no. 11 [Dunork et Corlbelly]
Dunorc Auiel 1212 x 1215 St A. Lib. 317 [‘Dunorc Auiel quam idem Girg tenet de eisdem canonicis et alia Dunorc quam Adam filius Odonis tenet de eis’; see discussion, below, for translation]
alia Dunorc 1212 x 1215 St A. Lib. 317 [‘the other Denork’; see below]
Dunor<c> A<ui>el c.1220 Terrier B1 [17/18th c. copy; MS has Dunort Aneel; held of St Andrews Priory by Christin son of Girg (Mackgrig); for full text, see Appendix 2, below]
Dunor<c>auiel c.1220 Terrier B2 [17/18th c. copy; MS has Dunortauiel; lands held of St Andrews Priory by Christin (Crestin)]
Dunor<c> Ferdi<s> c.1220 Terrier C [17/18th c. copy; MS has Dunort Ferdii or Ferdu; held directly by St Andrews Priory]
Dunorg Macorgelsin c.1220 Terrier F [17/18th c. copy; held by bp and his men]
Dunork 1593 RMS v no. 2273 col. 5 [St Andrews Priory land]
Dynnork 1611 RMS vii no. 464 col. 1
terras de Dymork 1625 Retours (Fife) no. 364 [‘or Dymock’ (vel Dymock)]
Dunorke 1645 APS vi (part i), 332 [part of newly formed CMN]
Dynnork 1656 Retours (Fife) no. 857 [‘the lands of Dynnork with the myre’]
Dunork 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
Dunocrek 1753 Roy sheet 18, 1 [probably for Denork Craig]
Denork 1775 Ainslie/Fife
Dunork 1800 Cameron Parish Papers
Dunork Place 1800 Cameron Parish Papers
West Dunork 1800 Cameron Parish Papers
Dunork Craig Lug 1800 Cameron Parish Papers
E Denork 1828 SGF
W Denork 1828 SGF [probably earlier Budfez #, q.v.]
Denork 1856 OS 6 inch 1st edn [also shows Old Denork to the east at NO458136, and Denork Craig]

G dùn + G orc

‘Young pig- or boar-fort’. It could also be Pictish, since the Pictish cognates of both elements were very similar. A large hill-fort, the eponymous dùn (or *dūn-), was discovered beside Denork House last century, for details of which see Feachem 1955, 83 and NMRS NO41SE 5. For a discussion of the specific, which occurs in Orkney, presumably deriving from the P-Celtic equivalent *orc-, and Orkie KTT (PNF 2), see Watson 1926, 28–30, where he suggests, rightly I think, that it is used in Denork in a tribal or totem sense. It probably also occurs in Sallork #, the old name for Montrose ANG (RRS i no. 195).

It was clearly an important centre in the Iron Age, as 0.75 km to the south-east, on Drumcarrow Craig, is a ruined broch. It may be more than coincidence that this broch, one of the few in the eastern lowlands, is beside a place-name with a specific found also in that great broch-building centre, Orkney.

The change of the first element from Dun- to Den- probably took place under the influence of neighbouring Denhead SSL and Denbrae SSL, and is relatively modern. A similar process can be seen, for example, in some forms of Dunino (this volume) and in Denmuir DBG (PNF 4).

St A. Lib. 317 (1212 × 1215) suggests Denork was divided into two parts, Denork Aviel and ‘the other Denork which Adam son of Odo holds’ (Barrow 1971, 126). However, it is clear from the frequent mention of Dunorc Ferdis, that there was a third part, and this three-fold division is found in the Terrier.

The three parts of Denork in the late twelfth, early thirteenth century are as follows: (1) Denork Aviel: first mentioned 1212 × 1215, when it belonged to St Andrews Priory, and was tenented by Girg, whose name also appears as Gillegirg. One of Gillegirg’s obligations as tenant was to pay annually to Laurence, archdeacon and Fer Léginn (ferlanus) (i.e. the man in charge of education) of St Andrews, the ‘ancient cain or rent in kind’ (antiquos canos) of ten stone of cheese and two bolls (melas) of marketable dry barley and half a wedder, for the needs of the poor scholars of the said city (St A. Lib. 317).[33] In c.1220 it was held by Christin, Girg’s son (Terrier), presumably on the same terms as his father had held it. Aviel is a Norman French personal name. One Aviel held the lands of Fernie MML in the later twelfth century probably from the earl of Fife. He witnesses three charters to St Andrews Priory of Earl Duncan II (1154 × 1204) (St A. Lib. 242–4). He is probably the Aviel de Strathleven (Stradleuene) MAI who witnesses a charter of Earl Duncan II to the nuns of North Berwick c.1160 × 1172 (N. Berwick Cart. no. 3); and may well be the Aviel connected with this part of Denork, perhaps as a previous tenant either of the priory or of the earl of Fife, or as the donor. We have no record of how this part of Denork came to be given to the priory.

(2) Denork Ferdis: given to St Andrews Priory by Bishop Richard 1173 × 1178 (St A. Lib. 140), according to the Terrier it was still being held directly by the canons c.1220. Ferdis is probably a Latinised form of OG ferthigis, the name of an ecclesiastical official, defined by DIL as ‘a steward in a household ... especially the magister hospitum (‘guest master’), or officer who in a monastery had charge of the hospice or guest-house’.[34] Ferdis appears twice in the Terrier, the second time attached to the Bishop’s land of *Craigie or Craigtoun CMN.

(3) Denork and Torlkelly etc.: in the late twelfth century this part of Denork was held by Malcolm, whose father Malpatric was master of the poor scholars of St Andrews. Around the year 1196 Malcolm feued Dunork and Torlkelly to Adam son of Odo (RRS ii no. 412, and note p. 395). In 1212 × 1216 Adam son of Odo held ‘the other Denork’ from the priory (St A. Lib. 317), and presumably ‘the other Denork’ refers to ‘Dunork and Torlkelly’. This identification is further supported by the fact that according to this same charter the scholars of St Andrews still (1212 × 1215) had claim to cain from this ‘other Denork’.

Torlkelly (Corlkelly and Corlbelly) apparently forms some kind of a unit with this part of Denork, as in RRS ii no. 412 both are referred to by the singular terra ‘land’ (terra de Denork et Corlkelly). This is a peculiar feature to which I will return shortly. Barrow (1971, 126) states that ‘the only extant name in east Fife which seems at all similar is Carlhurley, in Largo parish’. This is too far away to have any direct relevance here, as is the case also with Carhurly in KBS (Carlhurly 1508 RMS ii no. 3178). However, a name that repeats itself twice in east Fife within c.16 km may well have once existed at Denork. I have absolutely no ideas as to the etymology of Car(l)hurly.

It may be that the Terrier’s Dunorg Macorgelsin refers to the same place. The second element Macorgelsin is obviously a personal name with some kind of tenurial sense, whereas Torlkelly etc. would seem to be a place. Since the three forms (Torlkelly, Corlkelly and Corlbelly) all occur in a poor sixteenth-century transcript of a late fourteenth-century transumpt, and are thus at least twice removed from their originals (Barrow 1971, 108), it is just possible that the Terrier (itself a poor eighteenth-century copy, but which can be proved to have accurately preserved several archaic features) may contain a reading which is closer to the original. This would explain the above-mentioned use of singular terra in RRS ii no. 412 to refer to two pieces of land.[35] It would also mean that this third division of the lands of Denork is distinguished, as are the other two, by the addition of a personal name.

However, immediately following Macorgelsin is ‘odoresterche’. Resterche would seem to represent Reskes # ? KMB. If odo refers to Odo the steward, Adam’s father, and refers in some proprietorial or feuditory way to the preceding Dunorg Macorgelsin, then it is more likely that Macorgelsin is a corruption of a place-name, than that Torlkelly etc. is a corruption of a personal name.

In the Terrier Dunorg Macorgelsin is listed amongst those lands held by the bishop and his men. The identification of this Denork with the Terrier’s Dunorg Macorgelsin depends partly on whether Adam son of Odo can be defined as one of the bishop’s men. His father was steward both of the bishop (see Barrow 1971, 111) and of the priory (ibid. no. 7). Adam and his heirs, on the other hand, are granted the office of hereditary steward of the priory (ibid. no. 7), but nowhere is he mentioned as steward of the bishop.

However, Adam does continue to be closely associated with the bishop of St Andrews. He appears five times as a witness in St A. Lib.: twice to charters of the bishop (St A. Lib. 154, 157), twice in witness-lists headed by the bishop (ibid. 260, 319). The bishops in question are Roger (1198–1202) and William (1202–38). The only other charter he witnesses is an agreement between the priory and the archdeacon (ibid. 316).

If the word following Macorgelsin in the Terrier, odo, does refer to Odo the bishop’s steward, and is to be linked to the preceding rather than to the following word (see above, and Reskes # ? KMB, PNF 2), then this brings us even closer to the household of the bishop. It also points to a link between this part of Denork and Odo’s family before its first written reference in RRS ii no. 412.

/ˈdɛnɔrk/ or /dɛn ɔrk/

This place-name appeared in printed volume 3