Crail CRA PS NO613078 1 364 25m EAF

sira de Cherel 1148 x 1150 David I Chrs. no. 165 [David I grants right of common pasture in the shires of Kellie (Chellin) CBE and Crail to the monks of Isle of May]
burgo meo de Karel 1153 x 1165 Dunf. Reg. no. 151 [or 1165 x 1178; [103] Countess Ada grants to Holy Trinity church Dunfermline a toft of land in ‘my burgh of Crail’]
unum plenum toftum in burgo meo de Karele 1153 x 1165 Dryb. Lib. no. 16 [16th c. copy; or 1165 x 1172; [104] Countess Ada grants ‘a full toft in my burgh of Crail’ to the monks of Dryburgh]
vnum plenum toftum in burgo meo de Kerell 1153 x 1165 Cambus. Reg. no. 192 [or 1165 x 1178; Countess Ada grants ‘a full toft in my burgh of Crail’ to the canons of Cambuskenneth (Saint Mary’s of Stirling)]
Carelsira 1153 x 1178 Laing Chrs. no. 2 [o.c.; Countess Ada grants to Alexander of St Martin a carucate of land in Crail-shire, to wit, in Pittowie # (Petollin) CRA, and other lands]
syra de Karel 1165 x 1172 St A. Lib. 209 [‘shire of Crail’]
in burgo de Karel 1165 x 1172 RRS ii no. 29 [= St A. Lib. 226; William confirms Ada’s grant of, inter alia, a full toft in the burgh of Crail, to St Andrews Cathedral Priory]
burgo meo de Karele 1165 x 1174 RRS ii no. 89 [= Dryb. Lib. no. 17 (16th c. copy); William confirms Ada’s grant to Dryburgh Abbey of a toft in ‘my burgh of Crail’]
omnibus amicis suis et hominibus suis de Carel 1165 x 1178 Duncan 1957, 73 [Countess Ada addresses a charter ‘to all her friends and her men of Crail’]
in feudo meo de Carel 1165 x 1178 Duncan 1957, 73 [Countess Ada, protecting the rights of the monks of May ‘in my fief of Crail’]
in burgo de Carel 1171 x 1174 RRS ii no. 126 [= Cambus. Reg. no. 66; William confirms grant of Countess Ada of a silver merk from the ferme of that burgh to Cambuskenneth Abbey]
in Karel c.1171 x 1174 RRS ii no. 131 [‘a full toft in free burgage’ (unum plenarium toftum in libero burgagio) in Crail; see Cambo KBS for more details]
terra in Karal x 1178 St A. Lib. 208 [rubric]
terram in Charel x 1178 St A. Lib. 208
Karel 1173 x 1178 RRS ii no. 170 [= St A. Lib. 210; ‘that land in Crail in which Ralph of Allerwash lived’ (terram illam in Karel quam Radulfus de Aluerbas inhabitauit), granted by Ada, confirmed by William I, to St Andrews Priory]
in communi de Caraill 1178 x 1185 RRS ii no. 196 [late copy; see under Wormiston CRA (discussion), below]
burgi mei de Karel 1178 x 1204 St A. Lib. 228 [William grants 40 s. annually for the lights of the church of St Andrews, from the rent of ‘my burgh of Crail’]
(William chaplain of) Karal 1178 x 1205 St A. Lib. 382
Reingod de Karal 1178 x 1205 St A. Lib. 382
mora mea de Carell 1189 x 1195 RRS ii no. 370 [survives only in a confirmation of 1540, RMS iii no. 2132; grants to St Nicholas’ hospital, St Andrews, the right to have a cart collect heather from the king’s muir of Crail]
Karell 1189 x 1195 RRS ii no. 370 [16th c. confirmation; see preceding entry]
burgi mei de Karel 1209 x 1210 RRS ii no. 490 [= St A. Lib. 228-9; King William grants one silver merk annually from the rents ‘of my burgh of Crail’ to the hospital of St Andrews for support of pilgrims; see St Leonards SSL, below]
burgo nostro de Karel 1234 Balm. Lib. no. 35
(common pasture of) Karel 1235 NLS Acc. MS 8487 doc. [between the common pasture of Crail and the land of Pitcorthie (Petcorthin) KRY]
cust<os> warrenarum de Karral 1264 ER i, 4 [‘the warren-keeper of Crail’, for his meal and service, 16 s. 8 d. for the year]
castrum de Karrall 1264 ER i, 4 [repairs to the houses within the castle]
vicarius de Karale 1275 Bagimond’s Roll, p. 34
Lambard’ vicaire de Karal 1296 Inst. Pub. 145 [Lambard vicar of Crail does homage to Edward I along with others from the county of Fife]
Karale 1309 RRS v no. 12 [Laurence of Wormiston has the constabulary of Crail]
Carale 1312 RRS v no. 22 [to the officers and bailifs of the burgh of Crail, telling them to stop imposing toll on the burgesses of Arbroath]
Carrail 1471 x 1478 Wallace ii, 15
(port and haven of) Carrale 1498 RSS i no. 260 [‘portis and havynes of Pettinweme, Andstruthir, Erlisferry and Carrale’]
Creill 1587 RMS v no. 1290
Crayll 1650 Lamont’s Diary 22
Carell 1654 Blaeu (Pont) East Fife
Careill 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
Crailhaven 1684 Adair/East Fife
Crailsmuir 1684 Adair/East Fife
Crayl 1745 Elphinstone/North Britain
Crail 1753 Roy sheet 19, 5
Crail 1775 Ainslie/Fife

Pictish or G *cair + ? Pictish * al or G ail

‘Rock- or cliff-fort’? The first element, which is cognate with Welsh caer ‘fort’, is almost certainly of Pictish origin, but seems to have been borrowed into Scottish Gaelic at an early period. It is found in the important coastal settlement of Kirkcaldy and in neighbouring Dunnikeir KDT (see PNF 1; also PNF 5, Elements Glossary). The second element is either the well-attested Gaelic ail ‘rock’, or possibly, and rather more problematically, Pictish *al. The latter of these is problematic because there is no secure instance of *al occurring in the P-Celtic languages of these islands. But if the generic element *cair is Pictish here, then it is likely that so, too, is the specific.[105] For further discussion of the *al or ail element, see PNF 5, Elements Glossary under ail.

Topographically the interpretation of the name as ‘rock- or cliff-fort’ makes very good sense, with the medieval castle, which probably succeeded an early medieval fortification, perched on a cliff above the harbour. There are no remains of the medieval castle now visible, NMRS NO60NW 19.


This place-name appeared in printed volume 3