Wood Haven 1775 Ainslie/Fife
Wadehaven 1790s OSA, 351 [‘so named, it is said, from General Wade’]
Wadd’s Haven 1790s OSA, 351 [‘others call it Wadd’s Haven. How it got that name, if the right one, is not known’]
Wood Haven 1828 SGF
Wood Haven 1855 OS 6 inch 1st edn
? + Sc haven
The first element may be Sc wood. This was certainly the view proposed by the OS Name Book in the 1850s, which stated that it was called Wood Haven because it was ‘where vessels usually discharge wood’ (81, 55). But the two forms from the 1790s raise doubts about this origin. If we accept the explanation given by OSA, involving the personal name Wade, there may be a connection between Wood Haven (Wadehaven) and nearby Wadeslea, a street-name at the east end of Elie burgh (NT493999).
Of the harbour it was said in the 1790s, ‘it is very large and has deep waters, in so much that it would contain the largest Men of War, drawing from 20 to 22 feet water’ (OSA, 542).
This bay is known locally as Ruby Bay. For the origin of this name, see Millar 1895 ii, 7, quoting from Bishop Pococke’s Tour Through Scotland (1760): ‘Another mile brought us to Elly, where there is a harbour for large Ships, and on the east side of it is a rock of freestone in which they find Garnites (garnets); and being set with a foil they look like rubies, and are so called.’
Note that there is a Woodhaven FGN (PNF 4) on the river Tay.
This place-name appeared in printed volume 3