Kilgour FAL PS NO221079 1 373 100m
(William the parson and his vicar of) Kilgouerin 1224 St A. Lib. 327
(church of) Kilgoueri c.1250 St A. Lib. 33
Kilgoueryn’ c.1250 Dunf. Reg. no. 313
Kylgouerin 1275 Bagimond’s Roll, p. 37 [3 merks]
(late W<illiam> rector of) Kylgouery 1276 Bagimond’s Roll, p. 60 [24 s.]
(church of) Kylgouery’ 1316 NLS MS Adv. 15.1.18 no. 58 [o.c.; see FAL Introduction for more details]
(parish church of) Kilgoveri 1329 CPL ii 304
(vicarage of) Kilgoure 1417 CPP i, 606 [granted to Hugh Waltrini (son of Waltrinus?)]
(parish church of) Kylgoure 1418 x 1443 St A. Cop. no. 65 [which has accidentally burnt down]
(parish church of) Kylgour’ 1421 St A. Lib. 413-14 [one of the churches belonging to the priory of St Andrews]
kirk of Kylgowre 1440 St A. Cop. no. 99
kyrk of Kylgour 1440 St A. Cop. no. 115
(lands of) Kilgour 1496 RMS ii no. 2332 [William Scott of Flawcrag]
(lands of) Kilgour 1504 RMS ii no. 2806 [Andrew Aytoun, captain of Stirling Castle]
(lands of) Kilgour 1510 RMS ii no. 3427 [William Scott of Balwearie]
Kilgowre 1517 Fife Ct. Bk. 399 [17th c. copy]
(lands of) Kilgoure 1529 RMS iii no. 760
Kilgour c.1560 s Purves 154 [?1]
kirk of Kilgour 1587 Assumption 15 [teind sheaves of St Andrews Priory]
Kilgour 1606 RMS vi no. 1746 [‘the lands of Kilgour and Cairngate FAL’ (terras de Kilgour et Cairnegat)]
Kilgawr k<irk> 1642 Gordon MS Fife
Kilguur K<irk> 1654 Blaeu (Pont) East Fife [and West Fife]
Kilgaur K<irk> 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
Gilgour 1665 Retours (Fife) no. 974 [‘in parochia de Gilgour alias Faulkland’]
Kilgoure 1666 RMS xi no. 965 col. 2 [toun and lands of Kilgour and Cairngate (Cairnegaite)]
ecclesiae parochialis de Kilgour alias Falkland 1668 Retours (Fife) no. 1040 [‘of the parish kirk of Kilgour alias Falkland’]
Kilgowre Farm 1757 Falkland Plan/1757
Kilgowr 1775 Ainslie/Fife [wrongly shown in SLO]
Kilgour 1782 Sasines no. 374 [‘patronage of the parish Church of Kilgour or Falkland’]
Kilgowr 1821 Falkland Wood Plan/1821
Kilgour 1856 OS 6 inch 1st edn
G cill + ?
The first element is G cill ‘church’, but the second element is not clear. ‘Gobhran (Gabrán)’s church’ is a possibility, or ‘church on the (place of the) Gour Burn’. Watson (1926, 323) suggests it contains the name of the early saint Gabréin, who is mentioned in the Martyrology of Donegal under 24 June, possibly identical with the Bp Gabrán who was said to be a contemporary of Columba (ibid. 519). The name Gabrán is a diminutive of OG gabar ‘goat’, meaning ‘kid, little goat’. Kilgour’s specific could contain this personal name, with the diminutive ending assimilated to the common locational suffix –in ‘place of’. That it did not become the expected *Kilgourie or *Kilgowrie may have arisen from the need to distinguish it clearly from ‘Gowrie’, the name of the territory immediately north-west of Fife.
However, elsewhere Watson implies a quite different possibility: that the specific is indeed the G goat-word, but refers not to the animal, or a person, but to a water-course, in this case the one known today as the Arraty Burn. It must be remembered that burns often change their names, or have different names at different parts of their course. Watson makes the point that animal names are frequently found in names of burns and rivers, as in the Burn of Tervie on Speyside, containing G tarbh ‘bull’; and the River Banvie in Atholl, which contains the G banbh ‘pig or piglet’, as well as the Gowrie, a tributary of the Conon in Ross-shire; while in Perthshire G gobhar can mean ‘a sort of branching river’ (Dwelly s.v.). Also Watson draws attention to the Welsh gofer meaning ‘rill’, which is probably cognate with gobhar (1926, 442). This would mean that in the early medieval period the burn would have been called simply *Gabor or its Pictish equivalent; then when the church was founded on its banks, it was called the *cill Gaibre ‘church of or on the Gabor Burn’. The suffix –in would have been added to mean ‘place of’. It is unusual, but not unknown, for a cill-name to be qualified by the name of a burn. Two other such names in Fife (Kinglassie KGL and Kinglassie SSL) may also be named after watercourses.
Kilgour was the original name of Falkland parish (see FAL Introduction above). Although no trace of the church remains above ground, the site of the kirkyard can still be clearly discerned, bounded on the east, south-east and south by the Arraty Burn (NO222079). Also there are at least two stones showing early interlace pattern built into the magnificent nineteenth-century farm-steading of Kilgour farm (now disused). It is likely that these stones came from the site of the church. The medieval church was rebuilt at least once in its history, after it burnt down around the year 1400 (St A. Cop. no. 65). In the 1850s the tenant at Kilgour, Mr Morgan, reported that ‘he has found traces of its foundation, and the field in which it was situated still bears the name Kirkleys’ (OS Name Book 27, 48). Kirk Leys are also shown on Falkland Plan/1775, to the east of the buildings of Kilgour, while between this field and the farm buildings themselves the Falkland Wood Plan/1821 shows Glibe (i.e. Glebe). The church at Kilgour probably also had links to Clerks Leys and Widows Acre, shown side by side on Falkland Plan/1775 on the south side of the Den Burn (i.e. Arraty Burn) around NO244080. The former probably supported the clergy (one or more) attached to Kilgour, while the latter supported a widow or widows (a duty of the church). Balinblae Plan/1779 shows Widdows Acr. at this site, and in 1782 Widow’s Acre appears in the context ‘Croftangrie or Christie Croft, Widow’s Acre, Barbrinaway (sic, for Balrinaway # FAL) and patronage of the parish church of Kilgour or Falkland’ (Sasines no. 374).
There is a fine late medieval grave-stone of a priest now in the garden of Kilgour farm-house.
Compare also Kilgory etc in Ireland (Hogan 1910, under cell gabra and cell gobhra), simply the gen. sing. of G gobhar ‘goat’?
OS Pathf. shows Wester Kilgour, and OS 1:10,000 shows Kilgour Craigs at NO225078. See also Kilgourieknowe below.
This place-name appeared in printed volume 2