Cairnbriggs # SMS S NO523027 1 25m

terra de Cranebriggis c.1300 May Recs. p. cxiii [lost charter from Rotulus of c.1300, item 21: ‘Carta Malcolmi Coci de terra de Cranebriggis’]
Crangbregis 1452 x 1480 RMS ii no. 1444 [among lands of Pittenweem Priory, confirmed to the bishop of St Andrews]
Cranriggis 1526 RMS iii no. 388 [among lands of Pittenweem Priory]
Cranrigis 1541 RMS iii no. 2292
Crainbrigis 1594 RMS vi no. 97
Cramb-riggis 1594 Laing Chrs. no. 1282 [William Stewart, commendator of Pittenweem]
Cranbrigges 1632 Retours (Fife) no. 479 [Thomas Abercrombie, heir of Alexander Abercrombie of that ilk; in the lordship and barony of Pittenweem]
Cran-brigges 1634 Retours (Fife) no. 504 [Thomas lord Fenton, among lands in the lordship of Pittenweem]
Cranbrigs 1643 Retours (Fife) no. 642 [Alexander earl of Kellie]
terras de Cairnbrigs 1699 Retours (Fife) no. 1430 [Alexander earl of Kellie]
Cair Pricks 1775 Ainslie/Fife
Cairnbriggs 1828 SGF
Cairnbriggs 1855 OS 6 inch 1st edn

? Sc cran + ? Sc brig or ? Sc rig

‘Bridges/rigs associated with cranes or herons’? The first element appears to be Sc cran ‘crane or heron’, later (by 1699) assimilated to the much more common Sc place-name element cairn ‘cairn, pile of stones’. More problematic is the second element. The earliest forms suggest that it was originally Sc brig ‘bridge’, assimilated to Sc rig (‘agricultural strip, rig’) in the sixteenth century, but reverting to brig in the seventeenth and thereafter (apart from Ainslie’s strange Pricks). The problem with this explanation is twofold: (1) the nearest burn is the Dreel, which at its closest point is 300 m from Cairnbriggs; and (2) it is always in the plural. It is possible, therefore, that this is an early example of brig in the sense of ‘a large flat stone, a flagstone, such as might be used … to cover a ditch or other opening’ (SND Supplement).

The site of Cairnbriggs is still known to the farmer at Abercrombie SMS, on whose farm it now lies, as ‘the ruin’, and the field on whose edge it sits as ‘Below the Ruin’. The name itself is no longer used.[343]

This place-name appeared in printed volume 3