Carmurie

Carmurie ELI KCQ F NO485009 1 20m

(lands of) Carmury 1529 RMS iii no. 874[152] [excepted from barony of Ardross]
Carmwre 1545 x 1555 N. Berwick Cart. p. xxiv [teind sheaves of Kilbrackmont (Cilbrachmont) KCQ and Carmurie set (leased) to Elizabeth Crichton lady of Ardross by North Berwick Nunnery for £20]
Carnurrie c.1560 s Assumption, 64 [fermes paid to St Mary’s College, St Andrews, by Elizabeth Crichton, lady of Ardross]
Carmurie 1596 Retours (Fife) no. 1529 [lands of *Drummies (Drummeis) and Carmurie in KCQ][153]
(lands of) Carmwrie 1599 RMS vi no. 874 [to William Scott of Grangemuir (Grangemure) ELI; see ELI Introduction]
Carnmuiry 1642 Gordon MS Fife
O<ver> Murey 1654 Blaeu (Pont) East Fife
Carnmuirie 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
All and Haill the Town and Lands of Carmuiry 1870 Elie Disposition fo 44v
Carmurie 1928 Elie Plan/1928 [a field-name]

? Pictish or G * cair or ? G càrn + ? pn Muire or ? Pictish * mur or G muir

Both Carmurie’s elements are problematic, and the fact that it appears relatively late in the record does not help matters. The first element may represent either the Pictish or Gaelic word for ‘fort’ (*cair, for which see Crail, above). Nothing remains in the vicinity that might have given rise to such a name, but that need not preclude this possibility. Alternatively, the first element may represent G càrn ‘cairn’, although the early forms render this less likely. Nevertheless, at least two prehistoric underground structures have been found on the lands of Carmurie. One, found in 1787, contained large bones which might actually have been animal bones. While it is no longer possible to locate it precisely, NMRS suggests a location of NO49 00 (NO40SE 21), so it was probably not the same monument as the souterrain located at NO504009, and shown on OS maps. Charles Howie reported that the latter was found in East Cairn Park, in a field called Cairn Field, indicating that it was certainly perceived locally as a cairn. He also records the possible existence of a third underground monument in the vicinity, in which were found ‘a number of stone coffins ranged in the shape of a horse shoe, and piled one above another’ (1878, 626–7).

The second element may be the G personal name Muire ‘Mary’, attested in the name Gilmur (‘servant of Mary’), which appears several times in Fife in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries (e.g. St A. Lib. 231, 290, 291, 325, 329). Alternatively it may be G muir (gen. sing. mara) ‘sea’, or its Pictish equivalent, with the locational ending –in. The lands of Carmurie marched on the north-west with the lands of Muircambus, which itself probably contains G muir ‘sea’. And it is possible that the lands of Carmurie once stretched down as far as the sea.

The site of the settlement of Carmurie is on the farm of Broomlees KCQ. Carmurie is not on Ainslie/Fife, but Broomlees is. The name persisted as a field-name, which is still known in the area, at the NGR given above (see 1928 entry).

/kərˈmurɪ/ or /karˈmurɪ/

This place-name appeared in printed volume 3