Parbroath CRC S NO324178 1 362 70m SOF
Partebrothoc 1315 Swinton 1905, 173 [see discussion below]
P<o>rtebrothok 1335 x 1337 NLS Adv MS 34.6.24, p. 409 [18th c copy; <o> may be a; Cristina de Hay daughter of John de Hay, lady of Parbroath anent lands of Forthar (Forthir) KTT (PNF 2)]
Ale ander Seytoun of Perbroith 1479 Fife Ct. Bk. xvi
Ale andrum Seatoun de Perbrot 1491 NAS GD26/3/796 [17th c. copy]
Perbroith 1512 RMS ii no. 3756 [to John Seton of P. lands and barony of the same viz manor and mains of P., lands of Lindifferon MML with mill, annual rent of £6 from lands of Ramsay-Forthar KTT, lands of Urquharts viz Easter U., Middle U. and Lappie U. SLO + lands of Haistoun and Scrogarfeild ANG]
(laird of) Perbroth 1514 Fife Ct. Bk. 12
Perbroitht 1521 Fife Ct. Bk. 206
baronia de Perbroth 1538 RMS iii no. 1877 [see Lacesston SLO, below]
(Andrew Seton of) Perbroith 1548 RMS iv no. 259 [confirmation of charter of Thomas Lumsden of Airdrie CRA in which he grants to Margaret Seton, Andrew’s daughter, lands called Sypsies CRA in barony of Airdrie]
Perbroith c.1560 s Asssumption, 33
David Seytoun de Parbroth 1581 RMS v no. 287
apud Perbrocht 1581 RMS v no. 287
terras et baroniam de Parbroth 1592 RMS v no. 2215
Perbroth Castell 1590 x 1599 Pont MS 54B
terras et baroniam de Parbroith 1601 RMS vi no. 1201 [George Seton]
terras de Parbroith 1609 RMS vii no. 41 [George Clephane of Carslogie MML, with manor-place and other lands formerly held by George Seaton of Parbroath]
Perbroth 1654 Blaeu (Pont) East Fife
Perbroth 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
Pitbroad 1775 Ainslie/Fife
Parbroath 1855 OS 6 inch 1st edn [‘site of Chapel and Graveyard supposed’]
Pictish *part + en *Brothock
W. J. Watson, who misplaces Parbroath in Forfarshire (i.e. ANG), was unaware of the earliest forms with parte- or porte-, so assumes that the first element is the obscure element par- (1926, 373). However, the earliest forms show that the first element is parte or porte, and so may be a Pictish word related to Welsh parth ‘side, area, region’. Cognate with OIr –cert, as found in descert ‘south, southern part’ (GPC, DIL), it is an early loan-word from Latin pars, partis ‘part, side’. The second element must be the same as the second element in Arbroath, which Watson suggests (1926, 449) is probably related to G bruth ‘heat’, bruthach ‘fiery, furious, vigorous’, brothach ‘boiling’. However, given that both Arbroath and Parbroath contain Pictish generics, *aber and *part, it can safely be assumed that the specific element common to these two place-names is also Pictish; it is not, therefore, G bruth but a Pictish cognate (cf Welsh brwd ‘boiled, hot, boiling’). Such a word could really only apply to a water-course (as it does in Arbroath, ‘mouth of the Brothock Burn’), and so we should assume that the Fernie Burn, which runs very near Parbroath Castle, and which has been considerably canalised, was formerly known as the *Brothock or the like.
The suffix, which has been lost, perhaps under the influence of Arbroath (early Aberbrothoc), is also likely to be Pictish, and can be compared with the Welsh diminutive ending –awc.
It may be significant that Parbroath is very near Lindifferon MML, which also seems to be a name of Pictish origin.
In 1315 a charter was issued by John of Ogilvie to William of Kinloch (Kindelouch) CLS acknowledging that he had received from him charters of the lands of Parbroath (Partebrothoc) and Kinsleith (Kyndesleue) CRC, of the pasture on the island (insula) of Inchecostin in the tenement of the Mount MML pertaining to the lands of Parbroath (Partebrothoc), likewise of Forthar (Forthir) KTT and Lindifferon (Lediferine) MML pertaining to Cristina wife of the granter (William of Kinloch?) (Swinton 1905, 173). This Cristina is no doubt Cristina de Hay, who in c.1336 as lady of Parbroath grants to her relative John Ramsay son of Ness of Ramsay her land of Forthar KTT for an annual rent of £6 (NLS Adv MS 34.6.24, p. 409).
Some field-names on Parbroath farm were collected in 2002 from Mr Campbell Nairn, who farmed there from 1944 to 1983. These included Pitferdie (for which see below, s.n.) and Mid and Upper Lilac (for which see Lilac MML).
The above NGR is supplied by the farm of Parbroath. OS Pathf. also shows Parbroath Castle (antiquity), a ruin in a field at NO321176. Very little is left of the castle, only a wall fragment which was part of the base of a barrel vault, and the marks of a bailey that are seen in aerial photography but undetectable on the ground (NMRS NO31NW 6).
Associated with the castle, some 300 m north-east of it and lying in a field and part of the garden of Parbroath farmhouse, are the remains of a supposed chapel and graveyard, for more details of which see CRC Intro., Chapel.
It is now pronounced /parˈbro:θ/ or /pərˈbro:θ/, but earlier local pronunciation was /pɪtˈbro:d/, as in the Pitbrode Poles, a name recorded by Mr David Nairn, and perhaps referring to a nearby toll bar. Exactly this pronunciation is also seen in the Ainslie/Fife (1775) form Pitbroad. The first element has been assimilated to the common place-name element Pit-, and the final dental fricative th has become a voiced dental stop d.
This place-name appeared in printed volume 4