Allan

Allan SSL S NO5214 2

Helin 1173 x 1178 St A. Lib. 140 [Bp Richard grants to St Andrews Priory ‘Allan, that is the land of or belonging to Sluagadach’ (Helin terram scilicet Sluthagh) in exchange for land in Portmoak KNR, FIF; see below]
Helen 1183 St A. Lib. 59 [terram Helen quam Slothagth tenuit]
Elin 1180s St A. Lib. 146 [Elin quam Sluthadi tenuit]
Elin 1189 x 1198 St A. Lib. 152 [terram Elin quam Sloðah tenuit]
Elin c. 1220 Terrier C [17/18th c. copy; part of the Boar’s Raik]

? G eilean

‘Island, (raised) land in or beside water’? This interpretation is based on the similarity of the early forms with those of Ellon in Buchan ABD, which first appears in the Gaelic Notes in the Book of Deer as i nHelain ‘in Ellon’. This is discussed by Jackson (1972, 79), where he suggests it is perhaps nom. *Ela ‘but no etymology suggests itself’. More recently Roibeard Ó Maolalaigh has argued convincingly that Ellon derives from G eilean ‘island’, referring to a piece of raised land beside the river Ythan (Ó Maolalaigh 2008, 221–3). If this is the element involved in *Allan it may well relate to the fact that the lands were bounded on the south-west by a loch, later bogs, for which see Lochend SSL. Whatever the derivation, the initial H- in the two earliest forms is purely graphic.

In the twelfth-century entries, Allan(hill) is referred to as the land which Sluagadach (Sloðah, Slothagth, Sluthadi, Sluthagh) had held. This must have been before Bishop Richard (1165–78) gave it to St Andrews Priory in exchange for Portmoak (Portmooch) KNR (formerly FIF) and Arnot (Ernoth, printed Ernoch), Portmoak (St A. Lib. 140).

Sluagadach is no doubt the same person of that name mentioned in c.1128 as one of the two leaders of the bishop of St Andrews’s armed retinue (Slogadadh), and means appropriately enough ‘he who has a host’, from OG slóg or slúag ‘host’ (St A. Lib. 117, RRS i p. 75).[253] He also witnesses an important document issued by David I in 1127 regarding the consecration of Robert as bishop of St Andrews by Archbishop Thurstan of York (David I Chrs. no. 29, where Slugepah should read Slugeþah). It is probably his son G<?illemìcheil> son of Sluagadach (mac Slo<d>ac) who, as one of the six leading magnates in Fife, is addressed in a brieve of King Malcolm IV 1153 × 1162 (RRS i no. 181).

The name has survived only in the modern farm-name Allanhill (NO520141).

This place-name appeared in printed volume 3