Kingsmuir

Kingsmuir ~ CRA R NO542083 1 374 120m

mora mea de Carell 1189 x 1195 RRS ii no. 370 [survives only in a confirmation of 1540 RMS iii no. 2132 (1); when the king speaks of Kingsmuir he calls it ‘my muir’; [110] see also discussion, below]
the Kings Muire 1329 x 1371 RMS i app. 2 no. 909 B [17th c. index; to William Herwart, of the office of keeping the Kingsmuir in Crail and rabbit warren (cunningare), in liferent; see also Mairstown CRA; ‘Carta Willelmi Harower de officio more (of the office of the muir) de CraillRMS i app. 2 no. 909 A; see also Mairstown CRA]
Kingis-mure 1537 RMS iii no. 1710 [to James Learmonth and Griselda Meldrum, the lands of Balcomy CRA, with port, mill and rabbit warrens (cuniculariis) with common grazing in the muir called Kingsmuir]
Kingis-mure 1542 RMS iii no. 2652 [to Charles Murray, for his services abroad, the muir and land called Kingsmuir, for £5 rental blanche ferme]
Kingismure 1594 RMS vi no. 100 [teinds to be paid ‘when it might be cultivated’ (quando coleretur)]
Kingismure 1600 Retours (Fife) no. 80 [‘lands of Balcomie CRA ... with common pasture in the muir called Kingsmuir’ (terris de Balcomy ... cum communi pastura in mora Kingismure nuncupata)]
Kingismure 1601 Retours (Fife) no. 91 [Ninian McMorane, an eighth of the lands of Kingsbarns, with common pasture in Kingsmuir]
Kingis-mure of Craill 1610 RMS vii no. 404 [Robert Lumsden sells ‘the office of keeper of the muir called the Kingsmuir’ (officium custodie more vocate the Kingis-mure), with three tofts on the said muir, viz Swinkie (Swincowhill) CRA, q.v., Scotfauld # (Scotfauldis) and *Greenwells (Grenewallis)]
Kingismure 1620 Retours (Fife) no. 301 [see Carnbee CBE]
THE KINGS MVIR 1642 Gordon MS Fife [written across the whole area]
Kingismuir 1648 Retours (Fife) no. 758 [James Binney (Bynning) of Dunino (Dynninow), various lands in DNO, with the privilege of ‘getting turfs’ (lucrando cespites) etc. in the muir called Kingsmuir; see also ibid. no. 1317]
Kings Muir 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife [written across the whole area]
Kingsmure 1668 Retours (Fife) no. 1046 [David Scott of Scotstarvit CER, TVX holds the estate of Caiplie KRY, with liberty of common pasture and fuel on the muirs called Kingsmuir and Crailmoor (Carrailmure)]
Kingsmuir Quarter 1745 Dunino Kirk Session Records [the whole of Kingsmuir is treated as within DNO, for the purposes of the minister and elders]
KINGS MOOR 1775 Ainslie/Fife [written over whole area, mostly in DNO]
King’smoor Place 1775 Ainslie/Fife
KINGSMUIR 1828 SGF
Kingsmuir 1855 OS 6 inch 1st edn [written across the whole area]
Kingsmuir House 1855 OS 6 inch 1st edn

Sc king + Sc muir

‘The king’s upland grazing’. This applied originally to a large stretch of upland in the royal lands of Crail. See Kilrymont SSL for more discussion of this name. On OS Pathf. 374, Kingsmuir is written immediately south of the settlement of Cabbagehall, and seems (still) to refer to a topographical feature. Kingsmuir House (q.v. below) appears on the same map.

It is first mentioned in the royal charter of 1189 × 1195, when King William grants to ‘the infirm brothers of the hospital of St Nicholas of St Andrews’ the right to have ‘one cart going for heather in my muir of Crail’ (unam quadrigam errantem ad brueriam in mora mea de Carell) for the use of their house (RRS ii no. 370). This shows just how important a resource this upland was, even for the inhabitants of the immediate vicinity of St Andrews about six km away.

Kingsmuir seems to have marched on the north with the estate of Kippo KBS, CRA since RMS iii no. 2545 (1542) speaks of ‘common pasture and free entry and exit through Kippo to Kingsmuir’ (cum communi pastura, libero introitu et exitu pre terris de Kippo ad Kingis-mure).

Note that in the seventeenth century grants of land in five modern parishes included the right to grazing on the King’s Muir. See the Retours for 1601 (KBS), 1620 (CBE), 1642 (DNO) and 1668 (KRY) above, as well as the several documents granting grazing rights to landholders in CRA itself.

In the 1790s OSA describes the King’s Muir thus: ‘Most of the ground of this ancient royal donations is, as its name insinuates, extremely wild in appearance; though, upon the whole, much less unfertile than might be expected.[111] ... the most fertile parts are parcelled out into small farms, let by the lump, to persons, most of whom are either tradesmen or work, during a great part of the year, by day-labour. ... The estate of King’s Muir is wholly devoid of planting, and no less destitute of enclosures, or any kind of fence. This large piece of ground, apparently an outcast from all parishes, as its inhabitants are sometimes humorously told ...’ (OSA, 262-4)). The people of the area, according to OSA, seem to have opted to be members of Dunino parish and ‘have, for [sic] time immemorial, connected themselves with the district of Denino, quoad sacra’, though the minister suspects that they may actually belong to Crail parish (OSA, 262-3). For more on the disputes between CRA and DNO over their claims to Kingsmuir, see DNO Introduction, but it is worth noting here that estates in five parishes were given grazing rights on Kingsmuir, and this may have served to confuse the issue even further.

Considered to be on the Kingsmuir, in 1610, were Swinkie CRA, q.v., Scotfauld # (Scotfauldis), a toft with 6 acres of arable, and *Greenwalls (Grenewallis, Sc wall ‘well’), a toft with 8 acres of arable (RMS vii no. 404).[112] Names on the Dunino part of Kingsmuir on Ainslie/Fife (1775) are Silverhall, Minetaill, Piperhill (c.NO538096), MountHooly, Loveshill and King’smoor Place, with Hunt House, Kingscairnmill and Cabbage Hall are shown on the CRA/DNO boundary. Three of these seem to have gone by the mid-nineteenth century: SGF (1828) shows only Cellerhole (Silverhall # CRA) and Kingscairn Mill ‘in ruins’, while OS 6 inch (1855) shows Lovelyhill CRA.

The NGR and altitude given above are for the high-point of the muir, 400 m south-west of Kingsmuir House.

This place-name appeared in printed volume 3