Stermoling # SSL S NO515162 2

usque ad pontem Stermolind 1160 x 1162 St A. Lib. 127 [see Kinness Burn SSL for more details]
Stermolin 1165 x 1169 RRS ii no. 28 [o.c.; corresponds to St A. Lib. 215, which has Stermulin]
Stermolind 1165 x 1166 St A. Lib. 143
Stermolind 1179 x 1184 St A. Lib. 146
Steruolind 1189 x 1198 St A. Lib. 151
the Bowbrig alias Stirmoling-brig 1560 x 1573 RMS iv no. 2105 [see The Bowbrig # SSL, above]
lie Bowbrig alias Stermolingbrig 1598 RMS vi no. 765 col. 2

G stair + G muileann

‘River- or bog-crossing of or by (the) mill’. In modern Gaelic this would be stair mhuilinn (muileann ‘mill’, gen. sing. m(h)uilinn). It is possible that the u in Steruolind (1189 × 1198 St A. Lib. 151) represents lenited m of mhuilinn. However, as lenited m is so rarely represented in the orthography of names of G origin in Fife at this period, and as all other early forms of this name have m; it is probably better to regard it simply as a scribal error, omitting one minim from the exemplar’s Stermolind.

This place-name is always preceded in the charters by the Latin pons ‘bridge’. This may roughly translate G stair, which was probably more like a set of stepping-stones; however Barrow (1984, 61–2) regards the use of the word pons as signifying an upgrading of this crossing which had already taken place some time before 1160, the first time pons Stermolind is recorded.

Barrow (loc. cit.) identifies this crossing with the site of today’s Shore Bridge (Shore Bridge 1820 Wood/St Andrews), which carries the road from St Andrews eastward towards Crail and Anstruther (hence the NGR given above). From the specific muileann it would appear that a mill stood on the Kinness Burn at this point. All trace of it has now vanished, and its functions were taken over by the later Shore Mill, which lay a short distance to the north.

The name survived at least until the sixteenth century, by which time it was becoming known by its Sc alias the Bowbrig ‘arched bridge’ (q.v. above).

This place-name appeared in printed volume 3