Balone SSL S NO485153 1 363 60m

Ballothen 1140 St A. Lib. 122 [Bp Robert to St Andrews Priory]
Ballothen c.1141 x 1150 David I Chrs. no. 126 [= St A. Lib. 190 (Ballochen)]
Ballothen 1156 St A. Lib. 51
Balochen 1160 x 1162 St A. Lib. 131
Ballothen 1163 St A. Lib. 54
Balloden 1165 x 1169 RRS ii no. 28 [o.c.; royal confirmation charter]
Balelothen 1165 x 1169 St A. Lib. 214 [royal confirmation charter]
grangiam de Ballothen 1187 St A. Lib. 64 [gifted to Priory by Bp R., presumably Robert]
grangiam de Balloden 1188 St A. Lib. 68
grangia de Ballothen 1248 St A. Lib. 100
Ballothen 1291 Records of A. Bek, 24 [o.c.]
Ballon 1440s Scotichron. Bk. 6, ch. 57 (vol. 3, 436) [one of Prior James Haldeston’s dwelling-places; see below for more details]
Johannes de Camera de Ballothyn 1419 SAUL SL110/6/15 [John Chambers, a St Andrews burgess]
nostra grangia de Ballothyn 1419 x 1430 St A. Cop. 72
Ballone 1437 St A. Cop. 135
owr tway millis of Ballothyn 1440 St A. Cop. no. 75 [‘our two mills of’]
oure Westirbrome of Ballothin 1440 St A. Cop. no. 110 [see Goswell # SSL]
Ballochin 1452 x 1480 RMS ii no. 1444 [St Andrews Church land]
grangias de Balbothin 1471 RMS ii no. 1039 [probably for *Ballothin; the granges of Balone, Strathkinness (Strakinnes), New Grange (New-Grangis) and Stravithie (Strawithly) DNO; note this royal confirmation charter also mentions the mills of Peekie (Putky) SSL, Stravithie (Strawethy), Balone (Balbothin probably for *Ballothin), Newmill (Newmyll) DAE etc]
peciam terre vocatam Balloun-medo 1571 NAS C2/33 no. 76 [printed as RMS iv no. 2105; see discussion, below]
columbare de Balloun 1571 NAS C2/33 no. 76 [‘doocot of Balone’; printed as RMS iv no. 2105; see discussion, below]
vill<a> de Baloun 1571 NAS C2/33 no. 76 [‘toun of Balone’; printed as RMS iv no. 2105, which has Barroun; see discussion, below]
Ballone 1587 Assumption, 19 [set in feu to James Reid for £47 2 s. 5 d.]
Ballon 1593 RMS v no. 2273 [among St Andrews Priory lands]
columbario de Ballone 1614 Retours (Fife) no. 230 [to Eliz. Turnbull, lady of Airdrie CRA and wife of John Preston of Penicuik, ‘the doo-cot of Balone’ with a piece of green land on which it is built, 2½ acres of land west of the said doocot, an acre of arable land called ‘the Barnyard of Balone’ (the Barnezaird of Ballone); a piece of land called ‘the Ward and Meadow of Balone’ (The Waird and Medow of Ballone), with teinds]
lie Auld Ballone 1634 RMS ix no. 1201 [‘2 arable acres in the shed (division) called the Old Balone, and 2 in the shed called *Shuilbraid’ (2 acras arabiles in lie sched vocato le Auld Ballone, et 2 in lie sched vocato Schuilbred); Shuilbraid is the name for a narrow strip of land as broad as a shovel (Sc shuil)]
Balon 1654 Blaeu (Pont) East Fife
Easter Balon 1654 Blaeu (Pont) East Fife
Midd Balon 1654 Blaeu (Pont) East Fife
pratum lie Horswaird de Ballone 1598 RMS vi no.765 [‘the meadow the horseward (i.e. horse enclosure) of Balone’]
Baalon 1642 Gordon MS Fife
territory callit Ballonyeardis 1653 Retours Fife no. 816 [‘lyand among the remnant acres of St Andrews Priory and regality’]
Balon 1654 Blaeu (Pont) East Fife
Easter balon 1654 Blaeu (Pont) East Fife
Midd Balon 1654 Blaeu (Pont) East Fife [to east of Balon and Easter balon]
Boalon 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
Balon 1684 Adair/East Fife
Ballon 1775 Ainslie/Fife
E Ballon 1775 Ainslie/Fife
Little Ballon 1775 Ainslie/Fife [= SGF (1828) S. Bogward, c.NO491153]
Ballone 1828 SGF
Ballone 1855 OS 6 inch 1st edn

G baile + ? G loth + – en

‘Muddy or mud-farm’ or ‘foal-farm’? The second element is problematic. It may contain a G word related to OIr loth ‘mud’, found also in modern Sutherland Gaelic as loth ‘marsh, mud’. Alternatively it may contain G loth ‘foal, filly, colt’, which does not seem to have an OIr equivalent. In the former case, the suffix or extension –en may be the same as that found in G lòn ‘marsh, mud, meadow’, which MacBain derives from loth ‘mud’. If G loth ‘foal, filly, colt’ is the word involved, it may be a pl. ending (modern G lothan ‘foals’).

The occasional forms with ch are best seen as the common misreading of th. Since Gaelic in Fife generally retained the dental fricative th long enough for it to be preserved in modern place-names (e.g. Beath from beithe ‘birch’), the fact that it has not survived in the modern form, Balone, has implications for the history of Gaelic in the St Andrews area. These are explored more fully in the ‘Place-names and Language’ section in PNF 5.

Balone was an important grange for St Andrews Priory from the twelfth century, and by the fourteenth century it had two mills (one of which was Law Mill SSL). The Scotichron. records that Prior James Haldeston (1418–43) rebuilt a domesticum manerium at Balone, as well as at several other priory estates.[261] It was usual for monastic granges to possess chapels, and Balone was no exception, since in 1598 mention is made of ‘certain small parts of the cemetery or yard called Chapelyard of Balone’ (quasdam parvulas partes cemeterii sive horti vocati Chapell-yaird de Ballone) RMS vi no. 765.

If the interpretation of this name as ‘foal-farm’ is correct, then the meadow ‘lie Horswaird de Ballone’ in 1598 (RMS vi no. 765) may point to continuity of use over several centuries. In 1140 mention is made of the teind of the bishop’s studs (equarie) from the parish of Holy Trinity (of St Andrews) (St A. Lib. 123). Balone, mentioned in the same charter, may be the site of one of these studs.

It is one of the original holdings of the priory, and was part of the Boar’s Raik, but is not mentioned in the Terrier. I assume it has been omitted by mistake.[262]

The doocot, still extant, is mentioned in 1571, along with other local names. In this charter the commendator of St Andrews (the prior’s successor) feued to David Orme of Priorletham CMN ‘a piece of land called Balone Meadow and its ward, with its teinds included, lying amongst the St Andrews Priory Acres (and) its Regality, sheriffdom of Fife, having the lade going down to the lower mill of Balone called the Law Mill (q.v.) to the east, the lands of the vill of B<alone> to the west, the green beside the doocot of B<alone> belonging heritably to the said David (Orme), and the lands of Robert Hamilton, Thomas Dawson and Alexander Lumsden to the south, and the acres called the *Hungry Hill and one part of the lands of the vill of Balone to the north.’[263]

/baˈlon/ or bəˈlon/

This place-name appeared in printed volume 3