Snadown # SSL S NO5414 3

Snaudoun 1601 Retours (Fife) no. 90 [Thomas Monypenny, in lands of Kinkell SSL and Snadown]
(lands of) Snadoun’ 1619 APS iv p. 682 [lands of Kinkell and Snadown]
(lands of) Snawdoun 1638 RMS ix no. 1266 [lands of Kinkell and Snadown]
Snawdoun 1640 Retours (Fife) no. 592 [Robert Hamilton of Kinkell; also no. 661]
Snadown 1786 Sasines no. 1447 [one of lands of Kinkell]

? Sc snaw + ? Sc doun or en Snawdoun

‘Snow hill’, indicating an elevation where snow tends to lie? This is the meaning of Snowden, Yorkshire West Riding and Snowdon, Devon (Smith 1956, ii under snaw). According to DOST, doun meaning ‘hill’ appears to have been a Middle English borrowing into OSc found only in poetry. However, Snawdon, Lauder BWK is first recorded c.1350 (Snawdoun and Snadown, Dryb. Lib. no. 284), which Williamson (1942 s.n.) derives from the two elements in question here. Snawdon ELO, south of Garvald at NT583677, is high on a north-facing hill, and probably contains the same elements.

Snowdoun/Snawdoun, however, also belongs to a suite of Arthurian names, popular in Scotland in the later middle ages, and it may have been applied as such in this St Andrews context. Stirling was regarded as standing on the boundary of the ancient Scottish and British kingdoms, with strong associations with King Arthur. So it was possible for David II to claim to Jean Froissart in 1365 that Stirling Castle was the Snowdon of King Arthur (Boardman 2006, 13). This association is reflected in Barbour’s Brus in 1375, concerning Stirling Castle: ‘That all a quarter of Snawdoun / Rycht till the erd thay tummyllyt doun’ (Bk. iv, lines 181–2). In 1539, Sir David Lindsay’s Testament and Complaynt of our Soverane Lordis Papyngo has a dying parrot bid farewell to Stirling: ‘Adew, fair Snawdoun wi thy touris hie, thy Chapill Royal, park and tabyll rounde’, the last of these clearly alluding to that same Arthurian motif. Snowdon has also given its name to the office of Snowdon Herald, one of the heralds attached to the Scottish royal court (see also Herald Law AMY, PNF 4). For other signs of romantic attachment to Arthurian legend in later medieval Scotland, see Maiden Castle MAI (PNF 2).

This place-name appeared in printed volume 3