Inverdovat FGN S NO431274 1 352 75m SWF

    Inuerdoueth 1230 x 1240 St A. Lib. 274 [a pile of stones beside the road from Inverdovat to St Andrews is a boundary marker]
    Rogeri coci de Inu<er>douet’ 1288 St A. Lib. 346 [see discussion, below]
    Gregoire de Inredouet 1296 Inst. Pub. 145 [Gregory of Inverdovat]
    de tenemento de Inverdovet 1363 RMS i no. 186 [Lochflat #, Welflat # and *Braiddale, all part ‘of the tenement of Inverdovat’; see *Tremblayslands FGN]
    in villa et territorio de Invirdubet 1391 RMS i no. 834 [Alexander de Moravia lord of Culbin (Culbyn) MOR and Newton FGN confirms to Patrick Forstar burgess of Dundee (Donde) all the lands with pertinents in the toun and territory of Inverdovat which had been held (of Alexander) by Patrick’s brother Walter Forstar (see also Tarvit CUP); (misdated 1309 by Inchcolm Chrs. p. 146)]
    the Fluires of Inuerdovat 1391 x 1406 RMS i app. 2 no. 1903 B [17th c. index; confirmation charter by ‘Robert Turnbull to Gregorie Kingissone [220] of certain aikers in the Fluires of Inuerdovat (Floors of Inverdovat)’; note the field-name West Floor Park at NO422243 on an estate plan of c.1800 in possession of Mr Andrew Mylius of St Fort FGN]
    Inverdowat 1451 x 1458 RMS ii no. 609 [Alan of Kinnaird (Kinnarde) PER feus to Gilbert Forster (Forstare) archdeacon of Brechin 1 carucate of land of Inverdovat, along with 3 acres in the Floors (le Fluris) and with 1 toft in vill of Inverdovat; ‘render for 12 acres of Laverock Law, of the said carucate: 1 penny silver in the name of blanchferme; and for the rest of the said carucate, etc, three suits (of court) at three capital pleas at Newton FGN’ (Reddendo pro 12 acris de Laveroklawe dicte carucate: unum denarium argenti nomine albe firme; et pro residuo dicte carucate, etc, tres sectas ad tria placita capitalia apud Newtoune)]
    in villa de Inverdowat 1451 x 1458 RMS ii no. 609 [see preceding]
    Willelm<us> Lassalis de Inuerdovat 1466 Dunf. Reg. no. 458 [w.]
    Innerduffat 1512 Laing Chrs. no. 290 [see *Leightonslands FGN]
    Inverduvate 1527 RMS iii no. 496 [king to John Lascelles (Lessellis) of Inverdovat, the lands of Inverdovat and *Ploughland FGN, q.v.]
    Inverdovat 1529 RMS iii no. 848 [to David Crichton (Creichton) the barony of Naughton including Inverdovat, Byrehills with their fishing in the water of Tay (Birehillis cum piscaria earundem in aqua de Taya)]
    Innerdonet c.1560 s Assumption, 14 [scribal or editorial error for Innerdouet]
    Innerdovet c.1560 s Assumption, 20
    Innerdavet Lightoun c.1560 s Purves 153 [in ‘Quarter of Edyn’]
    Innerdavet Lessells c.1560 s Purves 153 [in ‘Quarter of Edyn’]
    Innerdowett 1563 Laing Chrs. no. 763
    (Dauid Lesellis of) Inuerdiffet 1586 Fraser, Grant iii no. 249
    Inverdovat 1601 Retours (Fife) no. 94 [to Lindsay of Balcarres KCQ ... the lands of Inverdovat alias *Leightonslands (Inverdovat alias Lichtounislandis)]
    Inverdovatt 1615 RMS vii no. 1321 [see Baledmond FGN, discussion]
    Frederici Elphingstoun de Innerdevat 1615 Retours (Fife) no. 239 [Frederick Elphinstone, father of James who is retoured in the lands of Inverdovat]
    in terris de Innerduvat 1615 Retours (Fife) no. 239 [see preceding]
    Inverdovet 1627 RMS viii no. 1089 [see Laverocklaw FGN]
    Innerdovate 1629 Retours (Fife) no. 406 [James Livingston, in superiority of half lands of Naughton, including ten merks of lands of Inverdovat ‘once called *Tremblayslands, with right of patronage of the chapel of St Thomas of Seamill’ (olim vocatarum Crymbleyis landis, cum jure patronatus capellae Sancti Thomae de Seymylnes)]
    (lands of) Inverdevott 1633 RMS viii no. 2208 [see *Tremblayslands FGN]
    Innerdivett 1642 Gordon MS Fife
    Inverdovat 1643 Retours (Fife) no. 635 [to Alexander Nairn of St Fort]
    Innerdivet 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
    Innerdovit 1654 Blaeu (Pont) East Fife
    Innerdovat 1656 Retours (Fife) no. 859 [6 acres of its lands united into barony of St Ford (Sandford)]
    Enderdivett 1665 Lamont’s Diary 184 [Andrew Wilson of Inverdovat]
    Innerdovat 1670 Retours (Fife) no. 1070 [see Slatemuir FGN, below]
    Inverdivot 1775 Ainslie/Fife
    10 merks lands of Innerdivot 1815 Sasines no. 10726 [‘10 merks lands of Inverdovat called Frynlaws lands’; see next entry]
    10 merks of Inverdivot 1820 Sasines no. 13056 [‘10 merks of Inverdovat called Trynlands also Frynlawslands’ (for which see *Tremblayslands FGN)]
    Inverdivot 1828 SGF
    Lands of Inverdivot c.1810 x 1834 Tayfield Plan P43
    Inverdovat 1855 OS 6 inch 1st edn

G inbhir + en *Dovat

‘(Settlement at) mouth of the *Dovat’. The Dovat, which no longer exists as such, and the identity of which is discussed below, probably contains G dubh ‘black’ or its Pictish equivalent, which would have been similar, with an ending which derives from an early Celtic –ant–, appearing as –at, later –ad  or –aid, a name-forming suffix on place- and river-names in both Ireland and Scotland (Watson 1926, 444–5), and seen in the north Fife place- and parish-name Tarvit (q.v., above). If so, it would mean simply Black Burn or Black Water.

    If the name was coined to refer to a settlement at or near the present site of Inverdovat farm, on the southern flank of Laverock Law, there is no obvious candidate for the eponymous burn-mouth. Inbhir-names can, however, sometimes refer to an inland confluence, so it is possible that the name was coined in relation to the meeting of the now unnamed burn (the *Dovat?), flowing eastwards from below (and south of) Inverdovat, with the Scotscraig Burn, a point which forms the easterly limit of the lands of Inverdovat (and later the site of the settlement of Burnfoot, for which see Burnside FGN, above).

    Alternatively, and more plausibly, the lands were named after a site on the coast, possibly around Tayfield House, which was built on the lands of Inverdovat in the late eighteenth century (q.v., below), the *Dovat referring to the burn which flows past the house, through Tayfield Den, and into the Tay at Sea Mills FGN, q.v. If this is correct, then the central place on the lands of Inverdovat had already moved to its present-day more upland position by the end of the sixteenth century, as this is where it is shown on Blaeu (Pont) East Fife. If the *Dovat was the Tayfield Den burn, and if it does indeed contain a word for ‘black’, then this would fit well with the impressive black basaltic crags over which it flows as it enters the Tay at Newport.

    There is a cluster of references to a place, which may or may not be Inverdovat FGN, associated with an event in the later ninth century. They have not been included in the early forms, above, partly because of this uncertainly, but also because of the complex nature of their context. In the year 876 the Annals of Ulster record the death of ‘Constantine son of Kenneth, king of the Picts’ (Custantin m. Cinaedha rex Pictorum) (AU s.a. 876). The annals do not give a place for his death, nor a cause, but other sources do. In three regnal lists of Scottish kings it is stated that Constantine was killed by Norwegians ‘in a battle in Inverdufatha’.[221] Skene identified this place with Inverdovat, and hazarded an analysis of the name as G inbhir dubh àtha ‘the inver of the black ford’ (Celtic Scotland i, 327–8). This identification is plausible,[222] although the analysis is unlikely, since the name probably contains the name of the burn, the *Dovat.[223] Skene also suggests (loc. cit.) that the ‘pile of stones beside the road from Inverdovat to St Andrews’ (congeries lapidum juxta viam de Inverdoveth versus Sanctum Andream)[224] is a ‘record of [i.e. a memorial or monument to] the battle in which Constantine was killed’, a speculation which is much less plausible than that which connects Inverdovat with the location of the battle, since a pile of stones is also a standard way of marking a medieval boundary.

    Constantine’s death is also recorded in the Prophecy of Berchán, ‘on a Thursday in a pool (or pools) of blood, on the shore of Inbhir Dubh-Roda’ (Dia dardáin na linn fola for traigh Inbhir Dubh-Roda),[225] which is clearly another version of the regnal lists’ Inverdufatha etc., but which has undergone a different re-analysis, as if containing OG rót,[226] interpreted by Skene as ‘inver of the black road’ (Celtic Scotland i, 328).

    Walter Bower in the 1440s quotes the verse chronicle, which gives the name of the battle as Nigra Specus i.e. ‘black cave or chasm’ (Scotichron. Bk. 4, ch. 15, vol. 2, 312–13), and a little later as Nigra Specus ‘Black Chasm’ (Bk. iv, ch. 16, vol. 2, 316). Bower has added to the margin of his working copy that he found in an old chronicle that Constantine, after he had ruled for 20 years, was killed by Norwegians in the battle of Inverdovat (bello de Invirduschak) (loc. cit.). The notes (ibid. p. 464) state that this Black Chasm ‘is traditionally identified with Constantine’s Cave CRA near Fife Ness’ (for which see s.n. PNF 3), but correctly points out that this is unlikely. Nevertheless, by the time Boece wrote his history of Scotland in the 1520s the idea of a cave as the place of Constantine’s death was firmly established,[227] vividly expressed in William Stewart’s metrical version of Boece (completed 1535):

    And Constantyne in handis also tane;

    And to ane coif wes had into that tyde,

    Into ane craig that stude be the se syde,

    And for dispyte into that samin steid,

    With ane wod-ax thair tha straik of his heid.

    The Blak Cove than wes callit, I hard sa,

    The Feindis Coif is callit now this da.[228]

    It is worth noting the emphasis on the colour which is common to all the versions of the name of the battle-site, and the above mentioned black basalt rocks which form the bed-rock at the mouth of the burn.

    The names of three inhabitants of Inverdovat are recorded in 1288, when they are present (as witnesses) at the giving back of the (unidentified) land of Ryhinche FGN to St Andrews Priory by Serlo of Lascelles (Lascelis), while in two cases their professions are also given. They are Roger the cook of Inverdovat (Rogeri coci de Inu<er>douet’), Matthew of *Torr of Inverdovat (Mathei de Torre de Inu<er>douet’)[229] and Robert the weaver of Inverdovat (Roberti textoris de Inu<er>douet’) (St A. Lib. 346). This is probably the earliest mention of a Fife weaver. Another of the witnesses is one John the Irishman of Friarton FGN (Johannis Yberniensis de Frertun’).


This place-name appeared in printed volume 4