Ballinkyrk 1451 RMS ii no. 458 [James II feus to Robert Hunter (Huntare), the lands of Cameron (Cameroun) MAI and of Ballenkirk]
de firmis de Ballynkirk 1451 ER v, 469
Balkirk 1456 RMS ii no. 603 [James II feus to Robert Hunter (Huntar) for money rent]
Balnakirk 1466 RMS ii no. 865 [to Archibald Hunter, son of Robert, lands of Cameron and Ballenkirk]
Ballinkerk 1541 RMS iii no. 2473 [See Balbreikie KWY]
Ballinkirk 1587 Assumption 15 [St Andrews Priory, teind sheaves]
terras de Barnekirk 1637 RMS ix no. 772 [Alexander Seton (Seatoun), lands of Rameldry (Rameldrie) KTT with mill and coals, and lands of Ballenkirk]
Bankirk 1654 Blaeu (Pont) East Fife
Bankirk 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
Bankirk 1775 Ainslie/Fife [shown in KWY parish]
Bankirk 1828 SGF [shown in KWY parish to east of OS Pathf. site]
Balnkirk 1845 NSA ix, 376
Ballinkirk 1856 OS 6 inch 1st edn [shown in KWY at NO329048 to east of OS Pathf. site]
G baile + an + G cearc
‘Farm of the hen(s)’ (baile na circe or nan cearc). The hen was of considerable importance in the early Irish economy, as it is frequently mentioned in the law-texts, much more so than the domestic goose or duck (Kelly 1997, 102; for a full discussion of the hen in that period, see ibid. 102–5). We can probably assume from the name that this farm specialised in hens in some way, or had at least more than average. A tenth-century Middle Irish poem quotes the saying ‘it is good that there should be a hen on a farm’ (fó cía beith cerc i trebad) (Kelly 1997, 102), suggesting that in Ireland it was not unusual for hens to be found on farm-steads, and there is no reason to suppose that eastern Scotland was very different at this period.
When a place appears in two different parishes over time, as is the case with Ballenkirk, it is usually because there has been a change in the parish boundary. In the case of Ballenkirk, however, the boundary has not changed, but Ballenkirk, which is shown in KWY at NO329048 on SGF (1828) and OS 6 inch (1856), has moved 300 m to the west, across the parish boundary into MAI.
OS Pathf. spells the name Ballenkirk, OS Explorer (2001) Ballinkirk. OS Pathf. also shows Ballenkirk Wood (south of Milldeans Wood KTT), but OS Explorer does not name this piece of woodland. Note the mistake in RMS vi nos. 177, 538, which have Ballinbrek for *Ballinkirk.
/ˈbalən kɪrk/ or /ˌbalənˈkɪrk/
This place-name appeared in printed volume 2