Castle Hill CUP R NO376146 1
Montem Castri 1543 St Andrews Calendar no. 293
Castels<t>eid of Cowper 1566 Retours (Fife) no. 61 [literally ‘castle place’]
Castle Hill 1775 Ainslie/Fife [inset Plan of Cupar]
the Castle-hill 1790s OSA 213 [site of the ‘schools of Cupar’]
Castle Hill 1820 Wood/Cupar
Castle or School-hill 1845 NSA ix, 3
Castle Hill 1856 OS 6 inch 1st edn. [marked ‘site of Castle’]
Sc or SSE castle + Sc or SSE hill
The site of the castle, according to Paula Martin, ‘may be entirely natural, the south-eastern extremity of the glacial ridge known as the Mote Hill [sic]. But it is possible that it is at least partly artificial’, pointing out that the ‘best evidence for there being structures of some size and quality is that in February 1275 Queen Margaret, wife of Alexander III and daughter of Henry III of England, died at Cupar Castle’; and that ‘Alexander was back the following year, holding court’ (Martin 2006, 14).
In 1294 Walter de Cambo gave an account of his income and expenditure for the lands and tenements belonging to Duncan, earl of Fife, in which he stated that he had spent 53 s. 1 d. on the repair ‘of the houses of the castle of Cupar’ (domorum castri de Cupro) and the hall of the manor of Rathillet (Stevenson, Documents i, 409/PRO E 372/141/m. 56; see also PNF 5, App. 2).
Martin suggests that after the occupation of Cupar castle by pro-English (pro-Balliol) forces in the 1330s, and its final collapse after a siege by Andrew Murray and Robert Stewart, it may have been demolished by order of David II. Certainly, after 1339 nothing more is heard of it (2006, 15–16). However, the footprint of certain offices connected with the running of the castle can still be traced in place-names recorded in the late medieval and early modern period, such as Constable Acre (formerly Constable Meadow) and Porterland # (q.v.).
Castle Hill was later also known as the School Hill (see for example Leighton 1840 ii, 8, footnote), from the fact that a school had stood here from the early eighteenth century at the latest (Martin 2006, 95–6).
This place-name appeared in printed volume 4