Belliston CBE S NO500056 1 374 85m SOF

Belighiston’ 1266 Laing Chrs. no. 8 [CBE Introduction, Lords and Marches]
(Alroia lady of) <B>eliston 1428 CSSR ii, 192 [printed edition has Heliston; see CBE Introduction, An Irregular Priest, for more details)]
Bellistoun 1511 RMS ii no. 3590 [to John Oliphant of Kellie]
Bellistoune 1518 Fife Ct. Bk. 130 [Alexander Murtho in Belliston]
Bellistoun 1613 RMS vii no. 883 [in barony of Kellie CBE, q.v.]
Belliestoun 1643 Retours (Fife) no. 642 [Alexander, ‘earl of Kellie’ (comes de Kellye); in the barony of Kellie (Kellye)]
? Bane 1654 Blaeu(Pont) East Fife
Belliston 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
Belliston 1775 Ainslie/Fife
Bellowston 1786 RHP2153
Belliston 1855 OS 6 inch 1st edn

? pn + Sc toun

While the first element is probably a personal name ending in a Sc genitival -is, later -s, there is no obvious candidate for such a name, either in Celtic or Germanic sources, although a Germanic source is more likely. Bellie, a surname in Black 1946, derives from the parish of that name on the Spey near Fochabers MOR, and can be ruled out on the grounds of the 1266 form Belighiston’ alone. There is a Norse personal name Belgr, which according to Ekwall is found in the North Yorkshire place-name Bellerby (Belegebi in Domesday Book, Belegerbi 1167), a by-name from ON belgr ‘a bag’ (1960, s.n.), cognate with English belly. It is possible that this name became part of the northern Anglo-Scandinavian naming tradition which, from the eleventh century, generated names such as Ulf, Gunnhild, Waldeve, Other, Col and Ardulf, all found in Fife, the last four in place-names (*Beath-Waldeve BEA, DFL, Otterston DGY and Couston ABO, all PNF 1, and *Nydie-Ardulf SSL, this volume).

Gibliston and Belliston can be seen as a pair, appearing together for the first time in 1266 (Laing Chrs. no. 8). They are both formed in Sc toun ‘farm’ preceded by personal names which, certainly in the case of Gibliston, and probably in the case of Belliston, do not belong to the older local Gaelic naming tradition producing names such as Aodh, Buathach, Dubhthach, Maolmhuire and Cormac, all found in or associated with Kellie-shire in place-names or as named individuals in charters. And together they form a contiguous block of land, with Longside, another early Sc name immediately north of Belliston.

Gibliston and Belliston, with Longside, are surrounded by the lands of Cassingray and Baldutho to the north, Kellie to the east, Pitcorthie to the south and Balmakin to the west. They may have been formed de novo out of one or other of these land-holdings, or alternatively they may be pre-existing land-units re-named in the first half of the thirteenth century.


This place-name appeared in printed volume 3