Kelty BEA DFL S NT144942 1 384 140m EAF

carbonaria de Kelty 1555 x 1583 Dunf. Reg. p. 475 [the coal mines of Kelty feued to the laird of Loch Leven (Lochlevin)]
Kelly wod 1561 Dunf. Reg. p. 438
terras de Kelty 1566 x 1572 RMS iv no. 2083 col. 2 [the lands of Kelty with its wood (silva), houses etc. (see notes below). Mentioned also Dunf. Reg. p. 472]
terras et silvam de Kelty 1566 x 1572 RMS iv no. 2083 col. 2 [see notes below]
ar<chibal>d peirsoun in keltie wodend wthin ye p’rochin of dunfermling in fyff 1594 NRS CC 8/8/27/560 [TT4]
ground & landis of keltie wodend 1594 NRS CC 8/8/27/560 [TT4]
Kelty B. 1642 Gordon MS Fife [B. probably an abbreviation of Burn]
Kyltyheugh 1642 Gordon MS Fife [shown south-west of Loch Ore]
Bin Keltey 1654 Blaeu (Pont) West Fife
Kyltieheuch 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
Kelty burn 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
Keltiewood 1686 Retours (Fife) no. 1269 [(lands of) Woodend alias Keltiewood in parish and regality of Dunfermline]
Kelty village 1724 Geog. Coll. i, 302
Kellyburn 1745 Moll/Fife
Burn of Kelty 1753 Roy sheet 17, 5
Kelty 1753 Roy sheet 17, 5
Keltyhead 1753 Roy sheet 17, 5
Keltie Bridge 1775 Ainslie/Fife
Keltywood 1784 Sasines no. 905 [Major Archibald Robertson, ‘in Craigencate, Blairenbathies, Woodend or Keltywood’]
Kelty 1828 SGF [on north side of the Kelty Burn, in Cleish parish]
Keltyhead 1828 SGF [between Kelty and Oakfield]

? G coillte or ? G caladh-dhobhar

Coillte or coilltean, both plural forms of coille ‘wood, woodland’ OR Gaelic cailtidh, a reduced form of an early *caleto-dubron, later caladar ‘hard water’ (in the sense of having a strong or violent current), from which derive the many burns and rivers in Scotland (and beyond) called Calder, Cawdor and the like, as well as places called Callander. It is most likely a Pictish coining, later adapted to G. The ‘hard water’ interpretation is the one given by Watson both for Kelty FIF and for various burns and settlements called Kelty and Keltie PER (1926, 441). If this is correct, it must originally refer to the Kelty Burn, known locally as the Black Burn. However, the derivation from ‘woods’ seems just as likely: not only is it closer to the surviving forms, which are admittedly very late, but Kelty was still associated with an important woodland area in the sixteenth century, as is shown by the 1566 × 1572 entry referring to Kelty with its wood (cum silva eiusdem), as well as the Keltiewood of 1686 and its alternative name Woodend.

The early reference (1555 × 1583) to the coal-heuchs or coal-mines of Kelty suggests that the monks of Dunfermline had already begun to exploit the important coal reserves around which the village developed at the end of the nineteenth century. The 1566 Dunfermline Abbey feu of the lands and wood of Kelty to William Durie, janitor or gate-keeper of the abbey, and to his spouse Janet Gourlay, while not mentioning coal, indicates both permanent settlement and the importance of this wooded upland territory as grazing land, since the lands of Kelty are feued ‘with its wood, and with houses, buildings, gardens, tofts and crofts, in the regality of Dunfermline’.[70] At the same time Dunfermline Abbey reserves for itself free access for grazing its cattle or sheep from the cattle-steadings to the said lands and wood of Kelty, as was customary.[71]


This place-name appeared in printed volume 1