Kirkcaldy

Kirkcaldy KDT KXY PS NT280917 1 385

(shire of) Kircalethyn 1128 David I Chrs. no. 33 [= Dunf. Reg. no. 1]
(shire and church of) Kircaldin c.1130 Dunf. Reg. no. 29 [rubric]
(shire and church of) Kircaladin c.1130 Dunf. Reg. no. 29
(shire of) Kirkaladinit c.1150 Dunf. Reg. no. 2
(church of) Kerkalethin 1152 x 1159 NLS Adv. ms. 15.1.18 no. 82 [o.c.; the original of Dunf. Reg. no. 92]
(church of) Kircalethin c.1152 x 1159 Dunf. Reg. no. 92
(shire of) Kircalethin 1154 x 1159 RRS i no. 118 [= Dunf. Reg. no. 35]
(church of) Kircalthin 1160 x 1162 Dunf. Reg. no. 93
(shire of) Kircalethin c.1166 RRS ii no. 30 [= Dunf. Reg. no. 50]
(vill and church of) Kircaldin 1183 Dunf. Reg. no. 238 [only mention of Kirkcaldy as a vill; see Dunf. Ct. Bk. p. 17]
(chapel of) Kircaldin 1220 Dunf. Reg. no. 225
(church of) Kircald’ 1220 Dunf. Reg. no. 225
(church of) Kircaldin 1220 Dunf. Reg. no. 112
(church of) Kircaldin 1240 [rubric]
(church of) Kircaledin 1240 [text] Dunf. Reg. no. 117
(church of) Kircaldy c.1250 Dunf. Reg. no. 313
(church of) Kirkaldin c.1250 St A. Lib. 32
(church of) Kercaledin 1276 APS i p. 427 (red)
(shire of) Kercaledin 1277 Dunf. Reg. no. 81
(mill pond of) Kyrcaldin’ 1280 Dunf. Reg. no. 603 [o.c.; with facsimile]
(church of) Kyrcaldyn 1287 Bagimond’s Roll p. 37
apud Kyrcaldy 1316 Dunf. Reg. no. 348
(burgh of) Kyrcaldyn 1321 RRS v no. 188 [= Dunf. Reg. no. 346]
Ricardus de Kirkawde 1321 Inchcolm Chrs. no. 32 [15th c.]
(burgh of) Kyrkaldy 1451 Dunf. Reg. no. 432 [rubric]
(burgh, port and muir of) Kyrcaldy 1451 Dunf. Reg. no. 432
(barony of) Kirkcaldy 1539 RMS iii no. 2138
apud Kirkcaldy-Wester 1556 x 1585 RMS v no. 843
(east mill of) Kirkcaldy 1563 RMS iv no. 1477 [in parish of Kirkcaldy]
(parish of) Kirkcaldy 1563 RMS iv no. 1477
Kirk Caldey 1654 Blaeu (Pont) West Fife
Kirkaldy 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
Kirkaldy 1753 Roy sheet 17, 5
Kirkcaldie 1775 Ainslie/Fife

Pictish * caer + Pictish * caled or pn Caled + – in

‘Place of the hard fort’ or ‘place of Caled’s fort’. Probably a Pictish name, the second element may be an adjective describing the fort, perhaps in the sense ‘impregnable, strong’ or even ‘made of stone’. However, Andrew Breeze has suggested that it is a personal name or epithet referring to a local ruler or war-lord (‘hard-man’). See Taylor 1994, 8–10 and Breeze 1997, 99.

It must be stressed that Kirkcaldy is not tautological, as has been frequently stated (e.g. Watson 1926, 371; Nicolaisen 1970, s.n.; and Barrow 1973, 65). The element which has been interpreted as din (‘fort’) is in fact simply the last consonant of caled plus the common locational suffix –in, meaning ‘place of’.

Another erroneous analysis of the name Kirkcaldy appears in OSA, 505, in which the second element is derived from ‘culdee’. This is unfortunately repeated in SBS Kirkcaldy, 12.

The element *cair often occurs north of the Forth in relation to Roman sites.[201] Though there is no material evidence of a Roman camp or fort in or near Kirkcaldy, there is a tradition (unsupported by archaeology) of a Roman camp at Carberry (NT284947) q.v., and more significantly nine Roman coins of the early 3rd century AD have been found at various times in the Kirkcaldy area, all at separate find-spots. This, the biggest cluster of Roman coins in Fife, may ‘represent the payment of subsidies to the local tribes. Another explanation may be the presence, as yet undetected, of a port or camp, however temporary, in the area’.[202] The place-name evidence supports the latter explanation.

The earliest form of the name without the l, which is nowadays famously silent, is in 1321 (in a fifteenth-century document). This was not noted in PNF 1, s.n.

/kɪrˈkɔdɪ/, formerly also /kɪrˈkadɪ/

This place-name appeared in printed volume 1