Kinghorn

Kinghorn KGH PS NT273869 1 395 5m

(seals caught at) Kingorn’ 1128 David I Chrs. no. 33 [= Dunf. Reg. no. 1]
(in the king’s burgh of) Kingorn’ 1165 x 1172 RRS ii no. 22
(royal charter issued at) Kingorn’ 1165 x 1171 RRS ii no. 35
(church of) Estirkingorn 1165 x 1178 RRS ii no. 540A p. 481
(royal charter issued at) Kingor 1173 x 1182 RRS ii no. 171 [o.c.]
Johanne decano de Kyngor 1195 x 1198 C. A. Chrs. i no. 3 [John dean of Kingorn i.e. of Fothrif]
(church of) Kyngor’ 1202 x 1214 Holy. Lib. no. 47 [half of the teinds of corn (bladi) belonging to the church of Kinghorn]
Richard<us> senescall<us> de Kingor 1205 x 1211 RRS ii no. 470 [o.c.; Richard steward of Kinghorn]
A. persona de Kingor 1202 x 1211 Holyrood Liber no. 37
King’ 1234 Dunf. Reg. no. 272 [teind of the king’s wheat and oats from Kinghorn (King’), from Kellie (Kellin) CBE and from Crail (Karel); Pope Gregory IX’s confirmation]
(church of) magna Kingorn’ 1242 St A. Pont. p. xv [o.c.]
apud villam de Kingorn 1247 Holy. Lib. app. no. 8 [papal confirmation charter to Holyrood Abbey; half of the garbal teinds and three acres of land which the canons of Holyrood hold in the vill of Kinghorn]
(church of) magna Kingorn’ c.1250 St A. Lib. 33
(church of) magna Kyrgorn 1275 Bagimond’s Roll p. 40
(church of All Saints) Kingorn 1290 CPL i p. 512
in tenemento de Kyngorn 1328 RRS v no. 349 [land of Glassmount (Glasmonth) KGH in the holding or tenement of Kinghorn]
(constable of) Kyngorne 1358 ER i 563
(burgh of) Kyngorne 1358 ER i 564
(shire of) Kyngorne 1358 ER i 564
(constabulary of) Kyngorne 1369 RRS vi no. 425 [endorsed Kyngorne Schire]
(parish church of) Kingorn 1397 Holy. Lib. no. 111
ecclesia de Kingorn 1413 Holy. Lib. no. 117 [rubric]
ecclesia parochiali de Estirkyngorne 1413 Holy. Lib. no. 117
(constabulary of) Kyngcorne 1440 RMS ii no. 230
Kyngorn Estir’ 1457 Dunf. Reg. no. 452 [rubric; see KGH Introduction; in text appears as Kyngorn Est<er> and Estir’]
(burgesses of) Kyngorn’ 1457 Dunf. Reg. no. 452
Kyngorn 1471 x 1478 Wallace i, 2; i, 179
Castelriggis de Kingorne 1512 RMS ii no. 3752
(barony of) Kingorne. 1539 RMS iii no. 1989
lie Greyne de Kingorne 1539 RMS iii no. 1989 [the Green of Kinghorn]
Kinghorn 1642 Gordon MS Fife
Kinghorne 1654 Blaeu (Pont) West Fife
Kingorn 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
(parish of) Kinghorn-Eister 1649 Retours (Fife) no. 778
Kinghorn 1753 Roy sheet 17, 5
Kinghorn 1775 Ainslie/Fife
the vicarage of Kinghorn Easter 1785 Sasines no. 1337 [the kirklands of the vicarage of Kinghorn Easter called Vicar’s Grange]

G ceann + G * gronn

‘End or head of (the) bog, bog-head, bog-end’. A G derivation of this name is proposed here by virtue of the first element ceann, although the second element could equally well be Pictish (see discussion in Elements Glossary under *gronn). If the latter is the case, then we might be dealing with a G adaptation of a Pictish *pen gronn.

The bog in question stretched from beside Abden Farm in the east to Kinghorn Loch in the west, and is attested by later place-names such as OS Pathf. North Mire (NT268878) and Mid Mire (NT268876) and OS 6 inch 1st edn. (1856) Easter Mire, Wester Mire and Mill Mire. Kinghorn Loch itself would have formed part of this bog. The loch does not appear on Pont’s maps of East and West Fife from the 1590s, but it is marked on Gordon’s 1642 ms map and Blaeu (Gordon) Fife in 1654 (as Cragncat(t) L<och>), so it may have been formed in the early seventeenth century.[176] In a perambulation charter of 1457 (Dunf. Reg. no. 452) mention is made of a magnum marresium (‘big bog’) which lay on the boundary between Dunfermline Abbey’s lands of Wester Kinghorn and the lands of Woodfield KGH, Craigencalt KGH, and those belonging to the burgh of Kinghorn. In this same charter mention is also made of a ford (‘the ford called in Scots the furde’) [177] at the east end of the said bog, which refers to a crossing point. For more on this document, see KGH Introduction. The bog continued to the west of Kinghorn Loch, the westernmost part being called Kethymyre, through which the BUI-KGH boundary runs (discussed s.n. Section 1). Part of this extensive bog running from Easter Mire to Kethymyre is presumably that referred to as the Red or Reed Mire (le Redemyre) mentioned in 1358 ER i 564, for which see under Balgeuery # KGH.

This bog may have given rise to the name Kinghorn at both its east and west ends, which would account for the fact that when ‘Kinghorn’ first appears in the written record in the early twelfth century it refers to a large area of c.6.5 km from east to west comprising the present-day parishes of Burntisland (formerly Kinghorn Wester) and Kinghorn. The fact that Kinghorn also became the name for the royal burgh founded some time in the mid-twelfth century (RRS i p. 41 and RRS ii no. 22), and the centre of a constabulary within the sheriffdom of Fife, helped the name eventually to become restricted to the eastern part of the Kinghorn area.

The modern pronunciation is /ˈkɪŋhɔrn/. However, W. J. Watson notes that in the early part of the twentieth century it ‘is still pronounced locally, as I am informed, Kin-gorn with stress on the second part’. (1926, 379) This is the stress pattern one would expect for the analysis of the name given above, i.e. /kɪnˈgɔrn/.

This place-name appeared in printed volume 1