(lands of) Purny 1465 Fraser, Wemyss ii no. 60 [the lands of Purny and Soitourland excepted from a grant of half the lands of Methill (Methill) made by James bishop of St Andrews to the prior of St Andrews]
Pyrne 1542 St A. Rentale 146 [Methill and Pyrne]
Pirnie 1614 RMS vii no. 1026 [lands of Methilhill (Hill) and Pirnie in the regality of St Andrews]
Pirvy 1642 Gordon MS Fife
Pirvy 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife [for Pirny]
Pirny 1753 Roy sheet 18, 1
Pirnie 1786 Sasines no. 1296 [Pirnie and lands of East Cameron Miln]
Pirney 1815 Pirney Sasines no. 10480
Pirnie 1817 Sasines no. 11579 [lands of Hill and Pirnie]
Pirnie 1828 SGF [shown just on the MAI side of the parish boundary]
? Pictish * pren + – in
‘Place of the tree(s)’? The tree in question perhaps had some special social and/or religious significance. There are several other places in Fife which contain this element e.g. Pirniss KGH and Prinlaws LSL.
The name survives in the Methill street-name Pirnie Street. The NGR is from SGF (1828). It lay between Smithy Hill on the west and Methelhill (formerly Hill) on the east. It is not on Ainslie/Fife (1775) or Ainslie/East Fife (1827), where Melton (i.e. Mailin WMS) is shown at approximately the same place. On OS 6 inch 1st edn. (1856) Ashgrove is shown at or near this site.
An earth-house or souterrain was found at Pirnie. It is mentioned by Campbell (1924, 27), and described in NMRS no. NO30SE 12.
Soitourland of the 1465 charter (Fraser, Wemyss ii no. 60) contains Sc suitor (also soytor-, soytour-, soitour-) ‘one who owes suit, or is chosen to give suit in a sheriff or baron court, and who functions as a member of the court with various duties’ (see PNF 5, Elements Glossary, s.v., for more details).
This place-name appeared in printed volume 1