Stirton

Stirton KLM S NO358216 1 351 60m

    Sturton 1775 Ainslie/Fife
    Sturton Toft 1775 Ainslie [to south-west of above]
    Sturton 1828 SGF
    Stirton 1845 NSA ix, 551 [‘the soil of Stirton is the poorest. It is thin cold land, with a retentive subsoil’]
    Sturton 1855 OS 6 inch 1st edn

pn Stirk + toun

The Stirk family appear in various documents relating to north Fife, starting with William Stirk, who in 1390 was one of the jurors at Glenduckie FLK in an inquisition anent the tenancy of Balmeadowside CRC and of Pittachope FLK (RMS i no. 854; see FLK Intro., The Chapel of Glenduckie). In 1518 a Robert Stirk was in Kinnaird ABE (Fife Ct. Bk. 121); while in 1543 Alexander Stirk resigned a twelfth part of the southern quarter of the toun of Auchtermuchty, which was then granted to George Seton (Seyton) (RMS iii no. 2859). Around the time of the Reformation, when Balmerino Abbey lands were being farmed out to lay tenants, Paul Stirk came to hold twelve acres of Ballindean BMO, since in 1598 these twelve acres are described as having been ‘feued to the late Paul Stirk’ (RMS vi no. 702).[266] The lands of Ballindean lie adjacent to Stirton (on Stirton’s north-east), and are still in the hands of the Stirks in 1644, when George Stirk of Ballindean, son and heir of George Stirk of Ballindean, is retoured in the lands of Ballindean, as well as in three acres of the lands of Dochrone # BMO and other small pieces of land in the lordship and barony of Balmerino (Retours (Fife) no. 668). For some aggressive behaviour of George Stirk senior towards his neighbours in 1607, see under Dochrone # BMO, above.

    According to MacLeod (1996, 6–7), in 1674 George Stirk junior ‘resigned his lands in favour of his second son, Thomas, his eldest son having died previously. In 1686 Thomas Stark resigned his property in favour of his eldest son, John. Thomas was still alive in 1722, however. During repair and improvement of the house of Ballindean in 1897, the initial letters of Thomas Stark and his wife, Margaret Greig ... were found carved on a stone in it, with the figures “1690”, doubtless the date of the erection of this building. John Stark became minister of Logie-Murdoch in 1700 and dying in 1748 was succeeded in the property by his eldest son John, both as laird of Ballindean and minister of Balmerinoch. .... A headstone in Balmerino cemetery shows “Thomas Stark Christie of Ballindean, died 1920”’.

    Stirton is not shown on Blaeu (Pont or Gordon), suggesting that it did not come into existence until after the mid-seventeenth century, presumably as an extension of the Stirks’ lands of Ballindean. This alone militates against G. W. S. Barrow’s suggestion, made in the Index to RRS i under Melchrethre, that ‘Le Esterton’, which appears in a document of 1294 in connection with Rathillet KLM is an early form of Stirton (Bain CDS ii no. 684; cf also Stevenson, Documents ii no. 320 and PNF 5, App. 2). This is more likely to represent ‘the Easterton’, an otherwise unrecorded division of Rathillet.

    OS Pathf. also shows Stirton Mill (Sturton Mill 1855 OS 6 inch 1st edn).

This place-name appeared in printed volume 4