terras occidentalis dimedietatis de Dunmure 1508 RMS ii no. 3180 [‘lands of west half of Denmuir, with the brewland and meadow of the same’ (cum le brewland et prato earundem); feued to king’s servant Andrew Ayton (Aytoun)]
Dunmure-Wester 1558 Retours (Fife) no. 34 [John Ayton (Aytoun) heir of his father Andrew Ayton of Wester Denmuir in lands of Glenduckie FLK, q.v.]
Dunmure-Aytoun 1590 RPC iv [‘Dunmure-Aytoun & Dunmure-Paterson’]
N<ether> Dunmore 1590 x 1599 Pont MS 54B
Andrew A<ytoune> de Nether Dwnmure 1601 x 1603 RMS vi no. 1441 [see Denmuir DBG for more details]
in liberam baroniam de Aytoun 1617 RMS vii no. 1686 [various lands incorporated ‘into the free barony of Ayton’, ordaining that the manor-place and fortalice of Denmuir ‘then to be called of Ayton’ (tunc de Aytoun nuncupand.) was to be the principal messuage]
terris et baronia de Aytoun 1625 Retours (Fife) no. 365 [John Ayton of that ilk]
Aytoun 1632 RMS viii no. 2023 [‘Nether and Wester Denmuir and Carpow Lea then called Ayton’ (Nethir et Westir Denmuir et Carpowie tunc Aytoun nuncupat.)]
Aitoun c.1636 x 1652 Gordon MS 54A [no place called Denmuir]
Aiton 1642 Gordon MS Fife [with Dunmuire]
Aiton 1654 Blaeu (Pont) East Fife [with N<ether> Dunmor; for suggestion that Aiton is later addition to this map, see Taylor and Wentworth 2001, 57]
Aitoune 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife [with Dunmuir]
Aiton 1775 Ainslie/Fife [also Aiton Cottown to north-east; and Milltown to east of Aiton, across burn; upstream from Milltown OS 1855 shows ‘Mill Dam’]
Ayton 1828 SGF
Ayton Hill 1828 SGF [settlement shown on the hill, OS Pathf. Ayton-Hill]
Ayton Hill 1856 OS 6 inch 1st edn
Ayton is the name of the family to whom the land was feued in the early sixteenth century, a name which derives ultimately from Ayton BWK. Ayton DBG was originally part of the lands of Denmuir, and was also known as Nether Denmuir and Wester Denmuir (distinguishing it from that part of Denmuir held by the Paterson family which was also called Over Denmuir or Easter Denmuir, and appears on OS Pathf. simply as Denmuir). See Denmuir DBG for further discussion of the two parts of Denmuir.
OS Pathf. also shows a settlement called Ayton-Hill, north-west of Ayton at NO296198: the hill on which it stands is shown as Ayton Hill on OS 6 inch (1855), but as Redhall Hills on Ainslie/Fife (1775) (see Kitchen Wood DBG, below).
The Ayton family who held ‘the western half of Denmuir’ in 1617 also held the lands of Carpow (RMS vii no. 1686) DBG, ABE, which lies on the south-western flank of this same Ayton Hill.
For a discussion of this name in relation to the Pont and Gordon maps of Fife printed by Blaeu in 1654, see Taylor and Wentworth 2001.
The remains of a ‘chapel’ stand 200 m west of Ayton (OS Pathf. NO299183), shown on OS 6 inch (1855) as ‘Chapel, ruins of’ and ‘Site of Graveyard’. NMRS describes ‘the ruins of a 17th century chapel ... There is an armorial panel, bearing the date 1683, built into the east gable’, and the graveyard, ‘a slight-flat-topped knoll to the west of the chapel. No trace of the graveyard itself can be seen’ (NO21NE 22).
William Ayton sold Ayton to Patrick Murray in 1723, ‘impoverished by legal expenses in connection with his father’s affairs’ (McLeod 1997, 1).
This place-name appeared in printed volume 4