Cuttle Den

Cuttle Den BMO R NO351242 1 351 25m

    Cuttle Den 1888 x 1914 OS 6 inch 1st revision

? couthal + Sc den

The most common source of cuttle or cuthill in Scottish place-names would appear to be Sc couthal (or conthal?) ‘a popular, open-air court’ (from G comhdhail ‘assembly’), an element fully discussed by G. W. S. Barrow (1981, 1983a). Its relative proximity to the old coastal road from Balmerino to Birkhill would certainly render a site at the top end of this den a suitable one for a local assembly. However, the name appears very late in the record, and is not mentioned at all by Campbell in his detailed local history (1899), both of which must cast doubt on such an explanation. It is also omitted from Barrow’s relatively exhaustive list of cuttle-/cuthill-names in the above-mentioned articles.

    The second element is Sc (and SSE) den ‘den, gorge, steep-sided valley’, one of a series of short dens along the steep southern shore of the Firth of Tay, such as Dominie’s Den FLK, Corbie Den BMO/FLK and Tailor’s Den BMO.

This place-name appeared in printed volume 4