Balmungo

Balmungo SSL S NO523147 1 363 65m NWF

Balleminigi c.1220 Terrier F [17/18th c. copy; probably for Ballemungi]
(David Halkett lord of) Balmongy 1420 Pitfirrane Writs no. 14 [in lordship of Muircambus KCQ; associated also with Boswells; held in ward by Bp Henry of St Andrews, Halkett (Haket)’s cousin]
Balmongy 1420 Pitfirrane Writs no. 14 [in lordship of Muircambus KCQ]
Balmongy 1476 ADA 52 [see PNF 1 ADN Introduction for full context]
Balmungy 1476 RMS ii no. 1233 [PNF 1 ADN Introduction for full context]
Ballmoungy 1587 Assumption, 13 [listed in the rental of the teind sheaves of the St Andrews Priory, within the parish of St Andrews (the Trinity); leased for 3 bolls bere, 14 bolls oats]
Bealmungo 1642 Gordon MS Fife
Balmungo 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
Balmungo 1654 Lamont’s Diary 91 [George Pringell of Balmungo found dead at the road-side]
Balmungie 1657 Retours (Fife) no. 874 [John Pringell, heir of George Pringell of Balmungo]
Bamungo 1661 Lamont’s Diary 140–1
Balmungie 1668 Pitfirrane Writs no. 606
Ballmungzie-Butts 1700 Retours (Fife) no. 1444 [see New Grange SSL]
W. Balmongo 1753 Roy sheet 19, 5 [shown at about the position of OS Pathf. Balmungo; no E. Balmongo is marked]
New Balmungo 1755 Ainslie/Fife
Old Balmungo 1775 Ainslie/Fife
David Tod of Balmungie 1796 Sasines no 4571 [seised in Balmungo (Balmungie)]
Easter and Wester Balmungo 1807 Sasines no. 7607 [see discussion, below]
Balmungie 1828 SGF
Old Balmungie 1828 SGF
Balmungo 1855 OS 6 inch 1st edn

G baile + ? G muingeach

Muingeach from G muing ‘mane’ cf OIr mongach, means ‘long-haired, etc.’, also ‘covered with thick vegetation’, with the secondary meaning ‘moorland’ (DIL). Liddall (1895, s.n.) also assumes muingeach, ‘maned, having a long, thick mane’, and renders the whole name ‘township of sedges’. On this well-drained hillside exposed to the sea winds it is unlikely that many sedges would grow; it could, however, refer to other types of vegetation which the wind might catch and toss: long, coarse grasses, grain-crops, or perhaps even trees. It has been assimilated to the well-known saint’s name Mungo, a process which may have begun as early as the fifteenth century.

A closely analogous name is Balmungie, Rosemarkie ROS (Balmongie 1567), G Baile Mhungaigh ‘probably from mong, mongach, a plant name; mongach measca glosses “simprionica”, and is rendered mugwort by O’Reilly; mong mhear is explained as hemlock’ (Watson 1904, 129). But Balmungie shares a similar situation to Balmungo, on relatively high ground exposed to North Sea wind and weather, and is therefore more likely to be explained in the same way.

The extent of the present farm surrounding Balmungo House does not represent the full extent of the medieval estate. This is made clear from the division shown on Ainslie/Fife (1775) of Old and New Balmungo, with the latter representing the modern Balmungo (House and Farm), while the former lay to the east of the St Andrews–Anstruther road (B9131), at approximately NO529145. This is shown also on Ainslie/East Fife (1827), while on SGF (1828) Old Balmungo appears as Old Balmungie, modern Balmungo simply as Balmungie. Brownhills appears to have taken over the eastern part of the Balmungo lands. In 1807 Norman Hill of Brownhills (Brownhills) was seised ‘in the town and lands of Easter Balmungo, with the proportion of the Prior Muir allotted to Easter and Wester Balmungo’ (Sasines no. 7607). Easter Balmungo here was presumably another name for Old Balmungo.

A 1931 plan of the water systems of Balmungo (in possession of Mr Jock Methven, farmer, Balmungo, since 1959) has a set of old field-names, including Deils Causie (‘Devil’s Causeway’), in the south-east corner of the farm along the road from St Andrews to Dunino, the B9131 (now called Milestone Park, from the old milestone on the road beside it).[259] Lower Deils Causie is the name of the field north of adjacent to Deils Causie, also beside the B9131. This suggests the existence of an old paved or cobbled road (Sc causey), and warrants further investigation. The same feature may appear in the nearby name of Causeyhead by Wester Grange (The Grange Farm) c.1 km to the west.[260]

OS Pathf. shows Balmungo (for Balmungo House) and, a short distance to the north-east, Balmungo Farm. The above NGR is for Balmungo Farm.

/balˈmʌŋgo/ or /bəlˈmʌŋo/

This place-name appeared in printed volume 3