Woodhead ABE S NO261153 1 362 125m

    the Wodheid c.1480 Laing 1876, 413 [in barony of Grange of Lindores: Lumquhat CLS, the Woodhead, the South Woods (the Southe Wodis)]
    (half the lands of) Wodeheid 1540 RMS iii no. 2114 [with half the lands of Weddersbie CLS; this is no doubt what later became known as Little Woodhead; in barony of Leuchars-Ramsay; see LEU Intro., Lordship and Baronies]
    (lands of) Woodhead 1565 Laing 1876, 461 (note) [royal confirmation of abbot of Lindores’s grant to James McGill (of Rankeilour MML) of lands of Woodhead described as entire south half of wood of Lindores; not in RMS iv]
    (half the lands of) Wodheid 1567 Retours (Fife) no. 63 [Leuchars-Ramsay]
    the toft of the Wodheid 1575 x 1585 Laing 1876, 423 [‘In the baronie of Grange (Grange of Lindores) ... Lumquhat (CLS), the toft of the Wodheid in few withe the Southe Wod, the Eist Wod, with the teindes thairof’]
?   Warheid 1584 RMS v no. 660 [to David Carnegie of Colluthie) Woodhead ?, Gaddon (Gawdwen) CLS and Bowhouse CLS]
    Wodhead 1590 x 1599 Pont MS 54B
    Wodheid 1600 RMS vi no. 1032 [in barony of Grange of Lindores, followed by South Wood and East Wood; see ABE Intro., Monastic Lands]
    Woodheid 1653 RMS x no. 183 [the towns (i.e. touns or vills) and lands of Weddersbie CLS, comprehending the lands of Weddersbie and Woodhead; also mentions a pendicle of Weddersbie called Southwood]
    Woodheid 1654 Blaeu (Pont) East Fife
    Woodhead 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
    Miekle Wood Head 1775 Ainslie/Fife [or Mickle Wood Head; the more northerly Woodhead]
    Little Woodhad 1775 Ainslie/Fife [sic; the more southerly Woodhead]
    Woodhead 1817 Sasines no. 11,552 [‘... Woodhead and half of the South Wood of Lindores]
    Woodhead 1827 Ainslie/East Fife [the more northerly Woodhead, but placed nearer the settlement of Cowden # ABE q.v.]
    Little Woodhead 1827 Ainslie/East Fife [the more southerly Woodhead]
    Woodhead 1828 SGF [the more northerly Woodhead]
    Little Woodhead 1828 SGF [seems to refer to settlement of Cowden # ABE q.v.; buildings marked at site of the more southerly Woodhead, but not named]
    Woodhead 1856 OS 6 inch 1st edn

Sc wuid + Sc heid

‘Head or end of the wood(land)’. The eponymous woodland was known as the South Wood (of Lindores) from the fifteenth century (see early forms of Woodhead). It presumably occupied the southern upland part of ABE around Woodhead, including part if not all of Grange Hill, Woodmill Hill and Cowden Hill. In 1600 East Wood is first mentioned (RMS vi no. 1032), which may have stretched across Collessie Den to Greenlaw and Baw Hill. As late as 1817 the lands of Woodhead include ‘half of the South Wood of Lindores’ (Sasines no. 11,552). The extent of the woodland, which had been carefully managed as part of the lands of Lindores Abbey, would of course have varied over time, and it is probable that by the early nineteenth century the name South Wood of Lindores was just that, a name, rather than a description of actual woodland. It is therefore unclear from toponymic evidence alone when the wood itself disappeared. None of the Pont/Gordon/Blaeu maps (whose evidence ranges from the 1590s to the 1640s) shows woodland here, in contrast to Gordon MS Fife (1642) and the subsequent Blaeu maps, all of which show woodland around Earnside ABE, on the Tay east of Lindores Abbey, using deciduous tree symbols, as well as the name Ironsyde wood etc.

    There are two places called Woodhead very near one another on OS Pathf.. The more northerly Woodhead, which supplies the above NGR, seems to be the more important, and appears on Ainslie/Fife as Miekle Wood Head. The more southerly Woodhead is shown as Little Woodhead on Ainslie/East Fife (1827) and SGF (1828), in ABE, SGF showing it close to the ABE/CLS parish boundary at the site of Cowden (NO265148). On OS 6 inch 1st edn (1855), both these places are called simply Woodhead, the southern one apparently having moved further south to straddle the parish boundary at NO263145. This southern Woodhead then moved again, 150 m south of its 1855 site, and is now located on OS Pathf. inside CLS, at NO263144.

    The situation is made even more confusing by what is probably the erroneous application of the name to Cowden # ABE on Ainslie/East Fife and SGF maps. The more southerly of these two Woodheads is probably the one referred to in 1653 (RMS x no. 183) as part of the lands of Weddersbie CLS ‘comprehending the lands of Weddersbie and Woodhead’.

This place-name appeared in printed volume 4