Balmakie

Balmakie # CER SSL S NO436134 2

? Ballemohob c.1220 Terrier D [17/18th c. copy; land held of Priory of St Andrews by Adam son of Odo]
Monniacky medew 1438 St A. Lib. 430 [probably for Mon<m>acky medew; see also discussion]
pratum de Balmakye 1589 x 1591 RMS v no. 1909 [marches given; see discussion]
Balmakie-medow 1619 RMS vii no. 2077
Balmakie medow 1621 APS iv p. 682
Balmakie-medow 1635 RMS viii no. 315
terris de Balmakie-medow 1662 Retours (Fife) no. 914 [Thomas Hope of Craighall, in the barony of Kinninmonth]

G mòine or G baile + ? pn

This name appears to show variation in the generic elements between mòine ‘bog, moss’ and baile ‘farm’ (see *Moncoutie Myre KTT, below, and Taylor 1997 for more on this phenomenon). The mòine of the 1438 entry may refer to the flat and low-lying land south-west of Streamside of Blebo. The second element may be a personal name beginning with G mac ‘son’.

    The argument that the Terrier’s unique Ballemohob is perhaps an early form of this name is as follows: it appears in the Terrier’s list of lands held of St Andrews Priory by Adam son of Odo of Kinninmonth, along with Kinninmonth itself, Baldinnie, *Pittendriech, Magask and Laddedie. Apart from *Pittendriech, about which we can only speculate (see below s.n.), we know that all these lands lie in the vicinity of Kinninmonth, and were transferred from SSL to CER in 1621 as part of the barony of Kinninmonth (APS iv p. 682; see CER Introduction above). Amongst these lands transferred in 1621 was also Balmakie Meadow. The unlikely form Ballemohob could well be the result of one of the copying errors in which this poor eighteenth-century transcript abounds. It is quite possible, therefore, that it represents an early form of Balmakie. Alternatively, Ballemohob may have lain at the opposite end of the parish, being a separate holding within the extensive lands of Balrymonth SSL. Much depends on the interpretation of the Terrier’s phrase ‘Ballemohob quod abscondit Ballerimuned’, for which see Appendix 2, D, Notes.

    It seems to have ceased to be a settlement by 1438, as it is always thenceforth referred to as a meadow. That by this time it was not considered very good land is clear from a document of 1438 addressed by James of Kinninmonth (Kyninmond) to St Andrews Priory, which contains the following statement: ‘Mon<m>acky medew sen I am possessit of part of it considering that it did yhow neuer proffitt’ (St A. Lib. 430).[14]

    Its exact site has been lost. However, in the manuscript of RMS v no. 1909 its marches are given as follows: the lands of the *Limelands CER, SSL to the east, the lands of Ladeddie CER, SSL to the south, the lands of Kinninmonth CER, SSL and Blebo KMB to the north,[15] and the lands of Blebo and Morton of Blebo KMB to the west and north.[16] This would then situate it in the north-east corner of the lands of Kinninmonth, somewhere around NGR NO436134, and in this case, given the fact that from the fifteenth century Balmakie is constantly referred to as a meadow, it is perhaps significant that the modern name of the field at this NGR is ‘The Meadow’.[17]

This place-name appeared in printed volume 2