Bassaguard SSL S NO505162 1 15m

Balentagarth 1165 x 1172 St A. Lib. 179
Balentagart 1165 x 1172 RRS ii no. 13 [= St A. Lib. 217]
Ballesagard c.1220 Terrier C [17/18th c. copy]
shade(s) called Bassaguard 1798 Sasines no. 5155 [‘shades called the Old Burns and Bassaguard’]
Bassaguarde 1843 Priory Acres Plan [‘Gaupyshade or Bassaguarde’]

G baile + G an + G sagart

‘Farm of the priest’ (G baile an t-sagairt), as well as ‘priest-farm’ (baile sagairt). The form which has survived derives from the one without the definite article, and is first recorded c.1220 in the Terrier C. Balentagar MML has the same derivation, with the definite article. Bancliro # LSL (PNF 2) ‘farm of (the) cleric(s)’ also seems to have had both an articled and unarticled form.

It is one of a list of lands, all described collectively as the land beside St Andrews which Maolsneachda (Malsnacht, Malsnacth) held from Bishop Richard of St Andrews, and which the bishop now grants to St Andrews Priory (St A. Lib. 179). The full list of these lands, which lie up to four km from St Andrews, is in order of appearance: Priorletham CMN, Pothlin # SSL(?), *Pitnathrene SSL(?), Dirdum ? KMB (Douachredin etc.), Reskes # KMB, Pitmullen SSL, Bassaguard SSL, *Pituwenethe SSL, Crefmakarri # SSL and Clasangasch #, for which see Clash Wood CMN; also included is a toft in Kilrymont SSL ‘belonging to that same land’ (again with the collective meaning of all the above lands together). It was no doubt this same Maolsneachda whose name is attached to part of Strathkinness SSL c.1220 (for which see s.n.).

According to the Priory Acres Plan (1843), an alternative name for Bassaguard was Gaupyshade. The second element is Sc shed or shade ‘division of land’; Smart and Fraser interpret gaupy as ‘gaping’, ‘but whether the gaping related to the lie of the land or a characteristic of the soil we do not know’ (1995, 13). A mill belonging to Nydie SSL is called Gappies Mille (1655 Lamont’s Diary 91), in which Gappies looks like a personal name with genitival s.[265]

The lands of Bassaguard lay a short distance south-west of the medieval burgh of St Andrews, between the Kinness Burn on the north and the Canongate on the south, extending to 52.5 acres, half of which is now occupied by the Botanical Gardens (Smart and Fraser 1995, 13). The name has survived as that of a small area of commercial buildings beside the burn between the old railway viaduct and Largo Road, and it is this that has supplied the above NGR.


This place-name appeared in printed volume 3