Carnbee

Carnbee CBE PS NO531065 1 374 90m SEF

Domin<us> Ricard<us> de Karnebehyn 1235 x 1239 St A. Lib. 277 [date from St A. Syllabus, 22]
vicarius de Garnebrin 1275 Bagimond’s Roll, p. 37 [20 s.]
vicarius de Karneby 1276 Bagimond’s Roll, p. 62 [10 s.]
(barony of) Carnebeyn 1278 Balm. Lib. no. 42 [see CRA Introduction]
baronia de Carenbeyn 1278 Balm. Lib. no. 43 [Elias (Helya) Truan and Thomas Smith (fabro) of the barony of Carnbee; see CRA Introduction]
(John Melville lord of) Karnebe c.1351 NAS Cal. of Charters vol. i, no. 119A
Johanne de Mala villa domino de Carnebee 1358 RRS vi no. 206 [o.c.; John Melville lord of Carnbee, w. to a charter of 1351 x 1354; see Pitcorthie CBE]
(lands of) Carnbe 1394 RMS i app. 2 no. 1703 A [16th c. index; to David Lindsay the lands of Carnbee which pertained to James Melville]
(lands of) Carnbie 1394 RMS i app. 2 no. 1703 B [17th c. index]
(John Days perpetual vicar of the parish church of) Carnbee 1428 CSSR ii, 192 [or Kellie (Kelli); see CBE Introduction, An Irregular Priest]
(parish church of) Carnbe 1429 CSSR iii, 7
(perpetual vicarage of) Carnbe 1429 CSSR iii, 8
(parish church of) Carnbe 1429 CSSR iii, 23
(Robert Melville lord of) Carnbe 1443 RMS ii no. 373
at Carnbee 1443 RMS ii no. 373 [place-date of the charter]
(John Swan vicar of) Carnbee 1443 RMS ii no. 373
Carnebe 1515 Fife Ct. Bk. 9 [case pursued against David Thomson (Thomsone) in Carnbee]
(barony of) Carnbee 1528 RMS iii no. 706
(John Melville of) Carnbe 1535 RMS iii no. 1450 [to John Melville of Carnbee and Agnes Strang his spouse the lands of Nether-Carnbee]
(lands of) Nether-Carnbee 1535 RMS iii no. 1450 [see preceding]
Carinbee 1540 Knights of St John, 25
(barony of) Carnbie c.1560 s Purves 153 [£10]
the kirk of Carnebie c.1560 s Assumption, 38 [one of the kirks formerly belonging to Dunfermline Abbey leased for £266 13 s. 6 d., more than double that of Perth (Sanct Johnnestoun)!]
parochia de Carrnbie 1592 RMS v no. 2100 [see Balmakin CBE]
parochia de Carnebie 1601 Retours (Fife) no. 95
Overcarnebie 1620 Retours (Fife) no. 301 [David Huntar, son of Patrick Huntar of Over Carnbee, in lands of Over Carnbee and part of croft called *Cotton Croft (Cottoun Croft), with pasture etc. in muir called Kingsmuir (Kingismuire) (see CRA), lands of Lochty (Lochtie) CBE, with the *Backside-lands (Baksydelands) of the lands of Carnbee (Carnebee), in barony of Carnbee]
(barony of) Carnebie 1620 Retours (Fife) no. 301 [see preceding]
parochia de Carnbie 1631 RMS viii no. 1804 [Over Carnbee (Over Carnbie), *Cotton Croft (Cottouncroft) and Lochty (Lochtie) in the parish of Carnbee, and the lands of Hill Tarvit (Hiltarvett) CUP, TVX in the regality of St Andrews]
Carnbie 1642 Gordon MS Fife [also Cotton of Carnbie, O. Carnbie]
terras templarias de Carnebie 1645 Retours (Fife) no. 690
The Maines of Carnebie 1653 Retours (Fife) no. 808 [John Moncreif, ‘the lands callit The Maines of Carnebie with the milne lands, extending to ane 10 merk-land ...’]
Coroy 1654 Blaeu (Pont) East Fife
Carnbie 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
Cotton of Carnby 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
O. Carnbie 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
lands of Carnebie 1657 Lamont’s Diary 103 [sold to Mr William Ord, sheriff-clerk (shyrra-clerke) of Perth]
(William Philp of) Overcarnebie 1682 Retours (Fife) no. 1207 [in lands of Over Carnbee, with part called *Cotton Croft (Cottounecroft); lands of Lochty (Lochtie) CBE with *Backside-lands (Backsydelands) of lands of Carnbee (Carnebie), in barony of Carnbee (Carnbie); the temple lands of Carnbee (Carnbie), a croft and 4 acres of lands with pasture, in barony and territory of Carnbee (Carnebie)]
Cairnbee 1684 Adair/East Fife
Carnbie 1691 Retours (Fife) no. 1321 [Margaret Philp (Philpe); lands of Lochty (Lochtie) CBE with *Backside-lands (Backsydelands) of the lands of Carnbee in barony of Carnbee (Carnbie)]
David Philpe of Overcarnbie 1691 Retours (Fife) no. 1321
Cairnbee 1753 Roy sheet 19, 5
Carnbee Kirk 1775 Ainslie/Fife
Upper Carnbee 1775 Ainslie/Fife
Carnbeemoor 1775 Ainslie/Fife
Caronbee 1785 RHP2153
Over-Carnbee 1790s OSA, 110 [coal being worked there]
Upper Carnbee 1828 SGF
Carnbee 1855 OS 6 inch 1st edn
Nether Carnbee 1855 OS 6 inch 1st edn
Carnbee Dean 1855 OS 6 inch 1st edn [see discussion, below]

G càrn + ? G beith(e) + – in

‘Place of or at the cairn of (the) birch tree(s)’? G càrn in Fife place-names almost always refers to a pile of stones, more specifically a burial cairn. There is a large cairn, 17.6 m (56 feet) in diameter, a little over one km to the west of Carnbee, on Kellie Law, a hill which dominates the surrounding countryside, and this feature may be the eponymous cairn of Carnbee (NMRS NO50NW 3). Identifying the second element as G beith(e) ‘birch’ is more problematic, since in Fife G beith(e) usually retains the dental fricative (th) in some form, as in Banbeath SCO (PNF 2), and Beath and Balbedie KGL (PNF 1). However, it is possible that Gaelic was already beginning to lose this consonant before it gave way to Scots in this area. In the earliest recorded form, Karnebehyn, the h may well represent its last gasp, so to speak. A similar process may explain the pronunciation of Balbie BUI (PNF 1), if it, too, contains beith(e). For the comparatively late survival of Gaelic in CBE in contrast to the coastal areas of the East Neuk, especially in relation to CRA and KBS, see CBE Introduction, Settlement-Names, above.

Interestingly in regard to this suggested etymology, in the 1790s the author of the OSA account of Carnbee reported that ‘there is immediately to the north of the church ... a pretty large enclosure, which to this day goes by the name of the Birch-Park, though there is no-one alive who remembers having seen a single birch growing in it’ (p. 23).

The name Carnbee in reference to the parish, which was formerly called Kellie, is well established by the early fifteenth century, although it is sometimes still referred to as Kellie or Carnbee (1428; but in 1429 the parish is referred to seven times simply as Carnbe (CSSR iii, 7, 8, 9, 23, 55)).

‘When Carnbee was sold by Sir John Melville in 1598 the estate was divided into two portions, denominated Over Carnbee and Nether Carnbee’ (Millar 1895 i, 432). However, Nether Carnbee is mentioned already in 1535 (RMS iii no. 1450), and is shown as such on OS 6 inch 1st edn at NO536052.

The settlement, shown as Carnbee Farm on OS Pathf., is at NO529065. Nothing remains of the medieval church, but the present church built at the site in 1793 gives the above NGR. It is perched dramatically on the western edge of a deep den, called Carnbee Dean on OS 6 inch (1855) and on OS 1:10,000 (2007). Carnbee Dean (for the more usual Fife den) must be the Kirkdaine (‘the kirk den’) mentioned in Retours (Fife) no. 728 (1647), by which William Moncreiff is retoured in, among other lands belonging to the lordship of Pittenweem, Balmonth Wester (Balmonthe-Wester) alias Gordanshall (Gordounshall), with the Kirkdaine, and lands called *Priests Hill (Preists-hill) and Broomhill # (Broomhill), all in CBE.

/karn bi:/ or /ˈkarən bi:/.[66] The epenthetic or helping vowel between r and n seems to have already been developing by the end of the thirteenth century (Carenbeyn 1278 Ba

This place-name appeared in printed volume 3