Cairnie * SLO S NO220103 1 55m
terras de Carny alias Wester Strathmeglo 1535 NAS C2/25 no. 189 [printed as RMS iii no. 1472; to Wm Scott of Balwearie and Isobella Lindsay, spouse: lands of *Cairnie alias Wester Strathmiglo, with their tower and fortalice, lands of Reedie AMY, *Laing’s Land AMY, *Drumreichnach AMY?, Raemore ANY, AMY, Cairngate # FAL and east mill of Strathmiglo, in barony of Strathmiglo]
Carneyflapett c.1650 NLS Adv. MS 33.2.34 fo 41r [‘ane old ruinous place named by K<ing> Ja<mes> 5 Carneyflapett for ye sudenne building of it’; from a MS written by Sir James Balfour of Denmylne]
Cairneyflappet Castle 1856 OS 6 inch 1st edn [‘site of’]
? G càrn + ? – in
‘Place of cairns or piles of stones’? Although there is no form earlier than 1535, it would appear to have the same derivation as the better-documented and extensive lands of Cairnie in KLM and MNZ (for which see Cairnie KLM/MNZ, Section 1, above). It is no doubt from this name that the drolly-named Cairneyflappet Castle developed. This first appears on OS maps (6 inch 1st edn. 1856) as an antiquity ‘Cairneyflappet Castle (site of)’, showing the outline of a large moated building labelled ‘moat’ (at the above NGR). It stood on the highest point of what is now the large field east of Sandygates or Glebe Park. There are no traces visible today.
It was the old castle of Strathmiglo, which Millar states was demolished in 1734, part of the stones being used in the erection of the steeple in front of the town-house of Strathmiglo (1895 i, 257). Miller 1832 (in his text on Miller/map) states that the stones from the castle were granted to the townsfolk by the then feudal superior, Lady Margaret Balfour of Burleigh, this being the reason why the fine Balfour of Burleigh Arms appear on the front of the steeple, with the date 1734 and Lady Margaret’s name. This information is repeated by Leighton 1840 ii, 188.
Leighton also repeats, in English, Balfour of Denmylne’s statement of c.1650 (see early forms), that the castle was erected in the time of James V ‘who bestowed upon it, rather unaccountably, the nickname of Cairnie-flappet, from its having been very hurriedly erected’ (1840 ii, 187). The word is not mentioned in DOST or SND, but clearly implies ‘badly or crudely built’, composed of Sc cairnie ‘stony, full of cairns’ and the past participle of the Sc verb flap ‘to fall or throw oneself down flat suddenly’ (SND). Millar points to evidence for the existence of a castle in Strathmiglo before this time, stating that in 1420 Robert duke of Albany and Governor of Scotland dated an important document from this castle. This is not quite correct, since it refers to RMS ii no. 167, which is a royal confirmation issued by James I at Edinburgh in 1430 of a charter dated at Falkland (not Strathmiglo) 4 August 1420 by which Robert duke of Albany grants lands in Angus to the Grahames. The Grahames, Sir William, his wife Mariota Stewart, sister of James I, and their son Robert, all personally resigned these lands ‘at Strathmiglo’ (apud Stramyglo), presumably into the hands of Duke Robert. However, there is no explicit mention of a castle, although some kind of high-status residence can be assumed. The first explicit mention of some kind of a fortalice at Strathmiglo is in the royal grant dated February 1510 (RMS ii no. 3427), for more on which see SLO Intro., The Scotts and Strathmiglo.
The alias of *Cairnie SLO given in 1535 is Wester Strathmeglo (RMS iii no. 1472). This is surprising, since the castle, with its Cairnie association, is very much to the east of the burgh. This is either a mistake on the part of the scribe, or the lands of Cairnie were not as clearly connected to the east end of the burgh as their association with the castle suggests.
*Cairnie SLO is mentioned only once, and is not to be confused with the better known lands of Cairnie in CUP and MNZ.
This place-name appeared in printed volume 4