Lindifferon MML S NO316165 1 362 55m
Lediferin 1204 x 1229 NAS GD20/1/189 [HMC 8th Report, 304–5; Malcolm earl of Fife grants Lindifferon to Ness of Ramsay, son of Ness of Ramsay (Ramesey); from the Crawford Priory/Earl of Glasgow documents]
Lediferine 1315 SHR ii, 173 (no. 8)
(lands of) Landiffern 1512 NAS C2/18 no. 78 [o.c.; printed as RMS ii no. 3756, which has Laudisfern; with mill, part of the barony of Parbroath CRC, q.v.]
landis and merchis of Ladifferone 1515 Fife Ct. Bk. 5 [see Kilface # MML]
Lindiffren-Barclay 1517 Fife Ct. Bk. 396 [17th c. copy]
Lindiffren-Seaton 1517 Fife Ct. Bk. 396 [17th c. copy]
Ladiffroun 1538 St A. Rent. 7 [in parish of Monimail (Monymeill)]
Frelandis de Landifferoun 1540 RMS iii no. 2149 [David Barclay’s free barony of Collairnie DBG]
Lawdiefrone 1616 Retours (Fife) no. 256 [David Barclay of Collairnie DBG]
Lindifferen 1642 Gordon MS Fife
terras templarias de Londeffron 1645 Retours (Fife) no. 690 [‘temple lands of’]
Lendiffren 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
Ladiffrin 1654 Blaeu (Pont) East Fife
cum molendino de Ladisfrone 1664 Retours (Fife) no. 968 [‘with the mill of’]
Lindiffren 1723 Geog. Coll. i, 304 [‘... by which the Kings highway ... passes ‘twixt the Southferry and the waterside of Dundie’]
Lindifferin 1775 Ainslie/Fife
Freeland or Friarland of Ladifferon 1789 Sasines no. 2342 [‘with the Temple lands thereof’]
Ladifron 1790s OSA, 658 [‘a strip of land on the farm of Ladifron, belonging to Mr Paterson of Cunoquhie, is called the Temple’]
Lindifferon 1855 OS 6 inch 1st edn
? Pictish * let + ? Pictish * dif(e)rin
W. J. Watson (1926, 383) suggests that the first part ‘may be lann, a field, enclosure’, quoting only the 1540 form Landifferoun (RMS iii no. 2149). However, much earlier forms, as well as some later ones, show that the n is intrusive. It is unclear, however, what this first element might represent (see next paragraph). Watson (loc. cit.) classifies this place-name as ‘British’ (i.e. Pictish), chiefly on the strength of the second element, which bears a remarkable resemblance to Welsh dyffryn ‘watercourse, valley’ (dwfr ‘water’ and hynt ‘way’), first attested in the Book of Llandaf, compiled in the early twelfth century using older material, in the phrase ‘Lann Teliau bechan in difrin Teiui’ (‘Little Llandeilo in the Tywi valley’ Lib. Llan., 124, 254). However, this resemblance may be more apparent than real. Since the first element probably ends in d (see next paragraph), it is also possible that the second element begins with a vowel, *iferin or the like.
If we accept the second element as Pictish, while keeping an open mind as to what it might mean, then it is reasonable to look for a Pictish solution to the first. It may be a word cognate with Welsh lled ‘half’, which occurs in the Welsh place-name Lledrod. Owen and Morgan interpret this, literally, ‘half wheel’ or ‘half-shield’ (Welsh rhod), and figuratively as ‘semicircular defensive enclosure’ (2007, 292–3), although other interpretations of the second element are possible (see Wmffre 2004, PNF 2, 820–1). W. J. Watson proposes it as the first element in Larbert STL (Lethberth 1195), translating it ‘half-wood’ (lled-berth) (1926, 357), the second element being British *perth ‘wood, grove’. Its cognate in Gaelic is leth, which, besides ‘half’, also means ‘side, hill-side’. A meaning ‘valley side’ does in fact exactly describe the farm and lands of Lindifferon, which occupy the eastern side of the important pass through the Ochils, a pass which has given rise to the farm-name Cunnoquhie MML on its western side, and through which flows the Fernie Burn.
Alternatively, the first element may be from G leathad ‘hill-side, slope’, or its Pictish cognate (cf G leathan ‘broad’ and Welsh llydan ‘broad’). If Gaelic, then the second element may be an existing name, referring either to the valley in which Lindifferon is situated or preserving an old name for the Fernie Burn.
Whatever the first element of Lindifferon, it would appear to be shared with two other places in the Ochils, the neighbouring (though not contiguous) farms of Ledlanet (NO07 05) and Ledlation (NO06 05) on the southern slopes in Orwell KNR, west of Milnathort.
OS Pathf. also shows Lindifferon Hill (NO324167 190 m), a western shoulder of Mount Hill, and Lindifferon Wood.
This place-name appeared in printed volume 4