Pitlethie LEU S NO459220 1 352 10m

    Pehtlethes 1183 x 1187 St A. Lib. 287 [granted with Leuchars church to St Andrews Priory; see LEU Intro.]
    apud Petlethy 1537 RMS iii no. 1708 [royal charter dated ‘at P.’ 26 Aug.]
    apud Petlathy 1539 RMS iii no. 1976 [ditto, 31 May]
    apud Petlethe 1540 RMS iii no. 2181 [ditto, 19 July]
    apud Pethale 1542 RMS iii no. 2624 [sic; ditto, 16 March]
    apud Petlathe 1542 RMS iii no. 2628 [ditto, 20 March]
    apud Petlithy 1542 RMS iii no. 2669 [ditto, 19 May]
    palice of Petlaithy 1552 May Recs. p. xxxiv [‘palace of Pitlethie’]
    Petlathie c.1570 Fraser, Wemyss ii no. 123 p. 201
    (Robert Bruce of) Petlathe 1571 x 1572 RMS iv no. 2020 [w. charter dated at Pitlethie (Petlaithe) 1571]
    Pitlathy 1566 x 1577 RMS iv no. 2691 [see LEU Intro., Minor Names]
    (Bruce of) Petlethie 1589 RMS v no. 1646 [see LEU Intro., Lordship and Baronies]
    Pitlethie 1611 RMS vii no. 464 col. B
    Pitlathie 1622 RMS viii no. 370 [meadow west of garden of Pitlethie]
    Pitletheis 1623 Retours (Fife) nos. 329–31 [Janet, Helen and Margaret Bruce, daughters of Robert Bruce of Pitlethie (Pitlethie), each retoured in a third of the kirklands of Pitlethies with teinds]
    terris de Pitlethie 1625 Retours (Fife) no. 364 [James duke of Lennox]
    Pitlethie 1635 RMS ix no. 307 [‘Kirktoun, Pitlethie, Innerbrige’]
    Pitkethlie 1641 RMS ix no. 1005 [‘Kirktoun, Pitkethlie, Innerbrig’; clearly a transcription or editorial error for Pitlethie]
    Pittlassie 1645 Gordon MS Fife
    Pitlathey 1654 Blaeu (Pont) East Fife
    Pitlassie 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
    Pitleathy 1775 Ainslie/Fife
    Lands of Pittlethie 1785 RHP1684
    Pitlethie 1790s OSA 601 [8 acres planted there belonging to Thomas Lawson]
    Pitlethie 1828 SGF
    Pitlethie 1855 OS 6 inch 1st edn [‘site of Hunting Lodge’ in Gothic script]

G pett + ? G leth + ? – es or ? – in

‘(Place of the) farm of (the) half’? It is first mentioned as part of the kirklands of Leuchars in the twelfth century, along with the two Pitlunies # (see LEU Intro.). So if it contains G leth ‘half’, it may refer to the fact that it formed half of a unit of church land, the other half being made up of the two Pitlunies. The final syllable is a problem: if it were the G locational suffix –es, found for example in Leuchars itself, it is surprising that it did not survive; it is probably best explained as being a copyist error, influenced by the –es ending on Pitlunie, which seems to be a Sc plural, in the phrase ‘with the two Pitlunies’ (cum duabus Pehtlumnes). This means that the original ending of Pitlethie is likely to have been the common locational suffix –in, which is regularly reduced to –ie/y.

    St Andrews Priory built a high-status residence at Pitlethie in the later middle ages, and James V issued at least sixteen charters there between August 1537 and May 1542 (see RMS iii, only some of which are given in the early forms, above). The local minister in the 1790s records that in the garden of Pitlethie ‘once stood one of the hunting seats of James VI, which had been taken down to a little below the surface and thus rendered invisible’ (OSA 602). For more on this, see NMRS NO42SE 7.


This place-name appeared in printed volume 4