Strathairly LAR S NO433033 1 374 40m SOF
Straitherly 1486 RMS ii no. 1633 [‘with the superiority of the lands of Strathairly’ (cum superioritate terrarum de Straitherly)]
terras templarias de Straitherlie 1497 RMS ii no. 2342 [‘temple lands of Strathairly’, in barony of Lundin (Lundy)]
(temple lands of) Stratharlie 1497 Laing Chr. no. 231 [temple lands of Strathairly called Sandyhillock # (Sandy Hillock) in barony of Lundin]
tercia parte terrarum de Stratherly 1508 RSS i p. 638 footnote 1 [king approves etc. ‘the infeftment’ (infeodationem) made by William Lundin (Lundy) of that ilk of ‘a third part of the lands of Strathairly’]
Stretharlie 1516 Fife Ct. Bk. 28
Stratharlie 1539 x 1540 Knights of St John 25 [‘the temple of the Sandehillok pertaining to the lard of Stratharlie callit Londy’]
Stratharlie 1540 RMS iii no. 2147 [see LAR Introduction]
Strathairlie 1543 Laing Chrs. no. 471 [lands granted to John Lundin by Walter Lundin of that ilk, his cousin]
St<r>autharlie 1554 RMS iv no. 977
Stratharlie c.1560 s Purves 154 [?2]
Straayrlie c.1560 s Assumption 167
Straarlie 1573 Assumption 145 [rental of Balcormo and Strathairly, to North Berwick Nunnery]
(lands of) Stratherlie 1600 Retours (Fife) no. 84 [part of barony of Lundin]
(lands of) Straitherlie 1605 Retours (Fife) no. 161
Stratherlie 1607 RMS vi no. 1972
Jacobus Lundie de Straherlie 1632 Retours (Fife) no. 477
Temples Startharlie 1645 Retours (Fife) no. 690 [‘temple lands of Sandyhillock called Temples Strathairly’ (terras templarias de Sandiehillok vocatas Temples Startharlie)]
Straerlie 1653 Lamont’s Diary 62 [2 horses stolen]
Straerly 1660 Lamont’s Diary 123 [‘lands of Straerly called Keirs and Dame-syde laying on the East syde of Straerly’]
lands and mains of Stratherlie 1668 Laing Chrs. no. 2626
Straverly 1669 Lamont’s Diary 213 [‘Robert Lundin, Straverlys thrid brother’]
Stratherly 1753 Roy sheet 18, 1
Strathearly 1775 Ainslie/Fife
Mains of Strathairly 1781 Sasines no. 45 [‘Mains of Strathairly, Buckhorns, Keirs, Damside and Temple Lands’]
Strathearly 1828 SGF
? Pictish *trev or G treabh + ?
There is no feature in the vicinity which could be described as a strath (G srath) or broad valley. But it is possible that an original generic element *trev has been assimilated to G srath, as has happened in the case of Strathyrum SSL, which is a *trev-name (q.v.).
The second element is very problematic, and the lack of relatively early forms does not help. It might also appear as the specific of Drumeldrie NBN, which abuts Strathairly on the east. Thus the specific element would be a territorial name something like *Er(e)lin or *Er(o)lin applied to lands running along much of Largo Bay, and straddling LAR and NBN (see also Drumeldrie NBN).
The most obvious parallel to the second element of Strathairly is the parish-name Airlie ANG. This is attested much earlier than Strathairly, and a detailed discussion of the Angus name may help throw some light on the Fife one. Early forms of Airlie ANG are as follows:
? Ierlin 1201 C. A. Chrs. i no. 11
totum abbathein de Erolyn 1212 C. A. Chrs. i no. 21
ecclesiam suam de Erolin 1220 C. A. Chrs. i no. 26
(church of) Erolin c.1225 C. A. Chrs. no. 36
ecclesia de Erolyn’ 1250 × 1259 Dunf. Reg. no. 313 p. 210
apud Erale in castro eiusdem 1447 Spalding Misc. iv 117
(mains lands of) Eroly 1459 RMS ii no. 683
(Ogilvie of) Erly 1479 RMS ii no. 1490
apud Eroly 1479 RMS ii no. 1490
ecclesiam parochialem de Erlie 1506 RMS ii no. 3004.
These forms underline the appropriateness of considering Airlie and Strathairly together, since Airlie is developing its syncopated two-syllable modern form at almost exactly the same time as the appearance of the earliest forms of Strathairly (as -erly, -erlie and -arlie). Airlie probably contains the same element or elements as Errol PER (Erole × 1219 Lind. Cart. no. 37; Erole 1230 × 1240 Lind. Cart. no. 79; Erole 1200 × 1240 Lind. Cart. no. 79), but with the addition of the common locational suffix -in, reduced as always to -ie. This extra syllable has later (in the Scots-speaking period) caused the loss of the medial syllable (syncope). The first element er- is probably either an Old Gaelic or Pictish reflex of the early Celtic preposition *are ‘near, beside, on’ (modern Gaelic air); also ‘east of’. For an early Irish example of er- in Erchlúad ‘Clyde-side’, literally ‘on Clyde’, see Watson 1926, 41. I am at a loss as to the second element, which could be *ol-, *f(h)ol- or *-rol-.
The charter of 1668 cited in the early forms, above, describes the bounds of the lands and Mains of Strathairly, possessed by Thomas Mackie and David Adamson:
beginning at the west end of that peice of land called Christies aker, and north nook or corner of it, and from that westward and north-west the north side of the midle of the stank coming to the midle of the burne of Stratherlie, and from thence up the midle of the burne northward and eistward under the yairds and planting of Stratherlie to the burne brae as far as the planting goes, and from the eist corner of the planting northward be the dyke biggit for keiping the young planting, and thence westward be the same dyke to the west corner of it, and from thence west be the south side of the headrig untill the March of the landis of Largo, and from thence northward to the landis of Monturpie (Laing Chrs. no. 2626).
The lands of Strathairly were bounded by OS Pathf. Largo Burn on the west and the LAR/NBN march burn on the east (known locally as the Strathairly Burn, for more on which see *Aberdollo LAR), and in 1781 included Buckthorns, Keirs and Damside (Sasines no. 45). In a boundary description of 1660 Keirs and Damside # are described as lying in the east part of Strathairly (Laing Chrs. no. 2544, for full details of which see Keirs LAR, above), while a sasine of 1781 describes the lands as consisting of Mains of Strathairly, Buckhorns, Keirs, Damside & Temple Lands (Sasines no. 45).
Cunningham describes the house of Strathairly as ‘charmingly situated on the rising grassy slopes which form the fringes of the Forth’, and quotes a line from a song as ‘The steep, steep brae o’ Strathairly’ (1907, 85).
/straθˈerlɪ/ or /strəˈθerlɪ/
This place-name appeared in printed volume 2