Kilconquhar Loch

Kilconquhar Loch ~ KCQ W NO488017 1 374 15m

the Reidmyre 1599 RMS vi no. 874 [‘the gret loch callit of auld the Reidmyre’]
lie Reidmyre 1615 RMS vii no. 1259 [between the landsof St Ford (Sandfuird) KCQ and Kilconquhar (Kilconquhair)]
lie Reidmyre 1615 RMS vii no. 1259 [‘and the loch formerly called the Reidmire’ (et lacu ab antiquo nuncupato lie Reidmyre)]
lacu nuncupato Reidmyre 1629 Retours (Fife) no. 415 [‘the loch called Reidmire’]
Keanwchar L<och> 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife [also Gordon MS Fife]
Kilconquhar Loch 1775 Ainslie/Fife
Kilconquhar Loch 1855 OS 6 inch 1st edn

en Kilconquhar + Sc loch

It appears from sampling from the bed of the loch that it is a relatively recent feature in the landscape, and before it was flooded with water by the blocking up of its outflow it had been been a peat bog, the Reidmyre. There is even archaeological evidence that fuel was extracted from it (Whittington and Jarvis 1986; see also the local tradition in OSA, 294–5). According to OS Name Book the loch had other economic uses: it abounded in pike and eels, and was unusual in that ‘little or no water runs into it. It is supplied almost entirely by springs within itself’ (81, 15).

The channel, which was blocked by sand in 1624 or 1625, turning the bog into a loch, is traditionally said to have carried water westwards out of the bog and into the Cocklemill Burn (OS Name Book 81, 63). Indeed there is still a great deposit of sand in that intervening space. On the other hand it is clear that by 1599 the loch was being drained by an artificially maintained aqueduct running south or south-east from the loch, via Bucklyvie ELI, and that the loch had already flooded what had previously been dry land at that earlier date (RMS vi no. 874; for full details of which, see ELI Introduction). This drain is presumably the burn noted by NSA in the mid-nineteenth century, which ran into Elie Harbour, and which the author imagined might be useful for driving machinery (vol. 9, 280). It was indeed used to drive a lint-mill in the nineteenth century,[185] and was driving a mill as early as 1599 (RMS vi no. 874). This burn draining Kilconquhar Loch to the south-east is not marked on OS Pathf. because it flows mainly underground, although some parts are still open. It is known locally as the Loch Run, and runs into Elie Harbour close to the Ship Inn.

The name for the bog which preceded the loch, *Reidmire, could contain Sc reid ‘red’, or its homophone Sc rede or reid ‘reed’.

This place-name appeared in printed volume 3