Cockle Mill

Cockle Mill * KCQ S NO4701 2

Cocklemilnland 1779 RHP3918 [lying to the west of West Muircambus (West Farm of Muircambus) KCQ]
lands of Cocklemare 1820 Sasines no. 13,196 [see St Ford KCQ, below]
Cockle Miln 1870 Elie Disposition fo 47r [‘All and Haill the lands of Cockle Miln and part of the west links of Saintford (St Ford KCQ) and the lands called Crackings being parts of the estate of Saint Ford ...’]

? Sc cockle + Sc miln

Sc cockle may be the verb meaning ‘totter, be unsteady, topple over’; also ‘chuckle or cluck like a hen’, perhaps referring to the sound of the burn in the mill-race; thus ‘tottering or unsteady mill’ or ‘chuckling or clucking mill’. There is also a verb cockle, used specifically in the context of mills, in the expression ‘Cockle the cogs of a mill’, meaning ‘to make a slight incision on the cogs, for directing in cutting off the ends of them, so that the whole may preserve the circular form’ (SND 1, taken from Jamieson 1808, Scottish Dictionary). It is, however, difficult to see how this might give rise to the name of a mill, unless it was one where this process had to be frequently carried out.

The lands of Cockle Miln were described in 1870 as having been obtained by John Anstruther of Anstruther from James Duddingston (of St Ford) in 1755, and were ‘bounded by the lands of Muircambus and Links of Balchrystie respectively on the north, the links belonging to Kincraig on the west, the remaining links of Saint Ford upon the south and east parts ...’ (Elie Disposition fo 47r). *Cockle Mill itself lay on the Cocklemill Burn, and may have been an alternative name for Muircambus Mill (at West Muircambus KCQ, q.v.). The mill has given its name to OS Pathf. Cocklemill Burn, for which see Section 1, above.

This place-name appeared in printed volume 3