Crawnest CBE S NO556052 1 374 30m

Crownest 1642 Gordon MS Fife
Crolunest 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife [evidently misreading MS w as lu]
Cragness 1753 Roy sheet 19, 5
Crowness 1828 SGF
Crawnest 1855 OS 6 inch 1st edn

? Sc craw + Sc nest

‘Crow’s nest’, a humorous name, perhaps inspired by an actual such nest or nests nearby, or metaphorically applied to a smelly, noisy, messy or cramped place, and possibly influenced by the farm-name Crawhill KRY, one mile to the south. There would also seem to be a connection between the name and a story recounted by Millar of Sir Philip Anstruther being teased by Charles II about the limited space in Dreel Castle in Anstruther, when the king was entertained there: ‘Eh, what a fine supper I’ve gotten in a craw’s nest!’ (1895 i, 407). Charles II was at Dreel Castle in February 1651, shortly after his coronation at Scone (see Lamont’s Diary 27), and the name already existed by 1642, when it appears on Gordon MS Fife in its present position. The king, therefore, might have been inspired to make his remark partly because he was aware of this local name, Dreel Castle being two km from Crawnest and less than one from Crawhill.

This place-name appeared in printed volume 3