Carpow Lea

Carpow Lea DBG ABE R NO294191 1 362

    Carpowy c.1560 s Assumption, 32 [listed under the kirk of Abdie (Ebdie), paying teinds of 3 bolls wheat and 3 bolls bear (bere) to Lindores Abbey]
    Carpowye c.1560 s Assumption, 36 [as preceding]
    Carpullie 1574 x 1603 Campbell 1899, 618 [Balmerino Abbey Rental: ‘lands of Carpullie lying betwixt the land of Dunmuir (Denmuir) and Quarrelhop on the ane and oth<e>r parts set to Cant for £2 13 s. 4 d. and 6 capons’]
    Garpow 1590 x 1599 Pont MS 54B
    Carpullie 1596 Campbell 1899, 621
    Carpw 1603 RMS vi no. 1411 [James Elphinstone of Barnton (Barntoun); in barony Pitgorno SLO, now incorporated into barony of Balmerino]
    Carpully 1603 RMS vi no. 1492 [James Beaton of Creich, list of lands including lands of Gadvan DBG, except for its chapel, ‘with due service or carriage <a feudal render>’ (cum servitio debito seu careagiis) of lands of Carpow Lea and of a 3rd of Colzie (Colsy) ANY PER, FIF, to be performed for the king and for the said monastery of Balmerino]
    Carpowie 1617 Campbell 1899, 623
    terras de Carpullie 1617 RMS vii no. 1686 [to Andrew Ayton of Denmuir and his wife, Agnes Lundy, ‘the lands of Carpow Lea with the meadow and a rood [of] marsh’ (cum prato et partica marresia) in the lordship of Balmerino]
    Carpowes 1617 RMS vii no. 1732 [to Andrew Lord Gray teinds etc of touns and lands of Over and Nether Denmuir DBG, ABE, Carpow Lea and Halton Hill ABE, ‘in parish of Abdie’ (in parochia de Ebdie)]
    Carpoway 1623 RMS viii no. 418
    terras de Carpullie 1625 RMS viii no. 918 [John Ayton of that ilk]
    Carpowie 1632 RMS viii no. 2023 [part of Ayton DBG, q.v.]
    Garpou 1654 Blaeu (Pont) East Fife [not on Blaeu (Gordon) Fife]
    Carpow 1668 Retours (Fife) no. 1040 [part of lands of Ayton DBG]
    Carpow Rig 1855 OS 6 inch 1st edn
    Carpou 1895 Bambreich Estate (Zetland)
    Carpow Lea 1888 x 1914 OS 6 inch 1st revision

This name so closely resembles Carpow ANY PER, which lies c.10 km to the west, that it makes sense to see some kind of direct connection between the two. Carpow is one of the core lands of the important Pictish church of Abernethy, whose territory included Abdie and Dunbog, as well as Flisk and Balmerino (see BMO Intro. for more details). Carpow is one of the earliest recorded names in Scotland, occurring as it does in an ancient foundation account of the church of Abernethy (for which see Anderson 1980, 247 and Taylor 2005). It contains Pictish *cair ‘fort’ and Pictish *pol ‘burn (probably sluggish and pool-like)’.[188] The fort in question is the large Roman fort north-east of Abernethy, some remains of which are still visible.

    Carpow (Lea), in contrast, does not appear in the record until the mid-sixteenth century. The modern form is a re-formation of an early Carpowy or Carpullie, and so we can rule out the idea that it refers to lea (‘open grassland’ etc) belonging to Carpow, Abernethy. Watson, who was careful to look to the earlier forms, saw Carpow Lea (which he calls Carpoway, the 1623 form from RMS viii no. 418) as being a completely separate name (though linguistically related), containing *cair (‘British caer’) and pollaigh, gen. of pollach, ‘puddly place’, ‘place of a hollow, hollows’ (1926, 371). But as already stated, the resemblance between Carpow and Carpow Lea is too great for the names to be completely unconnected. One solution is to see Carpowy etc as a diminutive of Carpow, formed probably by Gaelic-speakers (though possibly by Scots-speakers). Why this apparently small and unimportant piece of land in the territory of Denmuir DBG should be referred to as ‘Little Carpow’ is not clear. It may well go back to some early tenurial link (given that Denmuir lay in the heart of Abernethy territory, as defined above). Alternatively there may have been a feature nearby which reminded local people of the fort at Carpow. Carpow Lea is overlooked from the west by the large hill-fort on Glenduckie Hill (see Glenduckie FLK, below), though its hill-top situation makes it in many ways the antithesis of a Roman fort. If there is any mileage in this idea, then it is more likely that the structure which gave rise to the name was on lower ground and had enough characteristics of a Roman fort to be reminiscent of the fort at Carpow. Nothing has shown up in the archaeological record in the immediate vicinity, but the name Chesters Knowe # FLK (Chesters Know 1775 Ainslie/Fife; Chesters Knowe 1827 Ainslie/East Fife), which lay a short distance (perhaps two or three hundred metres) to the north-west of Carpow Lea, may provide a clue as to the existence of such a fort, since Sc chester(s) is often used for features perceived to be ancient fortifications (see Elements Glossary, PNF 5, s.v.).

    Carpow Lea belonged to Balmerino Abbey. It is described in a late sixteenth-century abbey rental as lying between the lands of Denmuir and Quarrelhop (Campbell 1899, 618). Quarrelhop (Sc quarrel ‘quarry’ and hope ‘valley’) has not survived. There is, however, a disused quarry shown on modern maps c.400 m south of Carpow Lea.

    The OS 6 inch 1st edn form is Carpow Rig, which is best seen as arising from the substitution of Sc rig for Sc lea (both agricultural terms). OS Name Book 41, 7 describes Carpow Rig as: ‘A very small eminence, the surface of which is wood, and rocks. It owed its name to the circumstance of a house being on it at some period, called Carpow. The property of Joseph Murray Esq. of Ayton’.

    In Campbell’s statement that ‘Carpullie (Carpowie or Carpow) ... now form[s] part of Glenduckie farm, near Dunbog’, for ‘Glenduckie’ read ‘Ayton’.

    The area of mixed woodland shown as Carpow Lea on OS Pathf. is immediately south of a field which is known locally as Carpow. This is the field that appears on the plan of 1895 as Carpou (Bambreich Estate (Zetland)).

/kar'pəu li:/[189]

This place-name appeared in printed volume 4