Dreel Burn

Dreel Burn ~ ANE/ANR/CBE/KRY/PIT/SMS W NO565035 1 374 0m

Driel W<ater> 1684 Adair/East Fife
Dreel 1827 Tennant 1827 line 1189 [a poem: “The fisher-knicht enarm’d them weil / Wi’ swerds and pow-axes frae Dreel”; this likely refers to the castle that formerly stood at the mouth of the Dreel Burn, for which see below]
Dril Burn 1828 SGF
Dreel 1845 NSA vol. ix, 612–3 [‘a small burn called the Dreel, or more commonly Anstruther Burn’]
the Dreil 1845 NSA vol. ix, 914
Dreel Burn 1855 OS 6 inch 1st edn
Drill Burn 1850s OS Name Book 80, 87 [informant, George Ingram of Inch CBE]
Drivel Burn 1870 Elie Disposition fo 52r [‘Greendykes ... on the south side of the Drivel Burn’]

? Sc dreel

Analysis of the name must be speculative, especially since our earliest form is from the late seventeenth century. The origin may be in Sc dreel. As a noun this can mean ‘furrow’ and similar shapes, which may refer to the bed of the burn. Sc dreel can also mean ‘move fast, hurry along’, referring to its movement.

Rising in the heart of CBE, this burn forms several parish boundaries during its course, first between CBE and SMS, then between CBE and PIT, between PIT and ANR, between ANR and KRY, and finally between ANR and ANE.

The burn gave its name to Dreel House CBE, and to the now vanished Dreel Castle ANE which was ‘built on the margin of the Dreel close by the sea’. Millar suggests that the oldest portion of Dreel Castle was built by the Caundle (de Candela) family, who took the name of ‘de Anstruther’ in the thirteenth century (Millar 1895 i, 405; see also NMRS NO50SE 9). For more on Dreel Castle see under Crawnest CBE.

This place-name appeared in printed volume 3