Navitie BGY S NT180981 2 130m

una pecia terre que dicitur Nevathy c.1400 St A. Lib. 1 [o.c.; checked against original GD 27/45/8 fo. 1v; a piece of land which is called Navity]
the stanry ffurde of Navathy c.1400 St A. Lib. 1 [o.c.; checked against original GD 27/45/8 fo. 1v; ‘the stoney ford of Navitie’]
Nevody 1477 RMS ii no. 1335 [one of the lands in the west part of Lochoreshire]
Navety 1531 RMS iii no. s 1004 [in Wester Lochoreshire]
Navite 1543 RMS iii no. 2922 [in Wester Lochoreshire]
Navitye 1543 RMS iii no. 2938 [in barony of Inchegall]
Navitie 1616 RMS vii no. 1405 [part of the lands of Wester Lochoreshire; see BGY Introduction]
Navetty 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
Hillhead of Navety 1753 Roy sheet 17, 5 [the east end of Benarty Hill]
Nivity 1775 Ainslie/Fife
Navity 1786 Sasines no. 1389
Navity 1801 Sasines no. 5839 [‘Navity, including the pendicle thereof called the Shank, & Hillhead or Backside of Navity’]
Nuvity 1828 SGF [site of OS Pathf. Navitie Farm]

G neimheadh + ? - in

‘Place of the nemeton; church-land’. Neimheadh, OIr nemed ‘sacred; noble or sacred place’, is a difficult element. Watson sees its origin in the Celtic nemeton ‘(pre-Christian) sacred place’, a place of tribal judgment and worship (1926, 244–50). These places of great socio-religious importance were later taken over by the church (ibid. 246). It occurs in at least 20 place-names throughout Scotland, with two in Fife: Navitie BGY in west Fife, and the lost *Nevethyendereth in east Fife, probably in SSL. The significance of this element as a place of originally pre-Christian sacred assembly has recently been suggested by Professor G. W. S. Barrow (1998, 56, 58–9 and 1998a). If Navitie does have pre-Christian origins, then it may be significant that it is beside the remains of the small but impressive hill-fort of Dunmore, which is strategically placed above the important early north–south route, beside which Navitie lies. Even more significant may be traces of two ring-ditches which were detected by the Royal Commission’s aerial archaeological survey in 1983 c.100 m east of Navitie Farm (NGR NT182981; NMRS Record Card NT19NE no. 13).

It must be stressed, however, that many of these pagan sites were Christianised at an early date, and there is evidence from Ireland of neimhidh referring specifically to church lands. Also Dwelly under neimhidh (marked as obsolete) gives the meaning ‘church land’. Navitie itself lies immediately north of the kirkland of Ballingry (now Kirkland Farm).

It appears on OS Pathf. in Navitie Farm, Navitie Hill (on which Dunmore hill-fort sits) and Navitie House.


This place-name appeared in printed volume 1