Camps CNK S NT043885 2 125m
(Jerome Berriehill in) Campse of Carnock 1646 Pitfirrane Writs no. 584
Camps of Carnock 1753 Roy sheet 17, 5 [one of three sites, the others being Camp and East Camp shown nearby]
E. Camps 1775 Ainslie/Fife
W. Camps 1775 Ainslie/Fife
E. Camps 1828 SGF
W. Camps 1828 SGF
? G cam + ? suffix or Sc camp
Webster writes that in the Carnock and Luscar Writs extending over many years the name is invariably spelt Campse, adding that other local uses of this name are Camsie House in Charlestown DFL and Campsieknowes (Dunfermline Parish Register, 15 March 1636; 1938, 2). This, as well as the 1646 Campse form (Pitfirrane Writs no. 584), suggests that it may be a G name containing G cam ‘crooked, bent’, with one or more locational suffixes, so ‘bent place’, probably with reference to some topographical feature.
Alternatively it may be that we are dealing here with the plural form of Sc camp (campis) named from a real or perceived encampment or fortification on the ridge south of the village, on which stand OS Pathf. East and West Camps as well as Camps Bank and East Camps Cottages. Under Camps Bank NMRS Record Card NT08NW no. 4 (at NT04588856) records the statement of the OS Name Book of 1854 (127, 41) to the effect that ‘two military stations may still be traced on Camps Bank’. O. G. S. Crawford visited the site in 1925 and concluded that it was more likely to be medieval than Roman, though much defaced’ (1949, 146), while RCAHMS Fife, 50 no. 97 states that ‘there are now no traces of the supposed ‘Roman’ encampment near the farm of West Camps’, and this is reiterated by the RCAHMS Field Inspector in 1975.
Whatever the origin of the name, it is certain that it came to be interpreted as SSE camp. This in turn may well have led to the notion that there was an early military station on the ridge.
This place-name appeared in printed volume 1