Valleyfield CUS S NT005872 1
Valefeild 1540 x 1543 RMS iii no. 2869 [see CUS Introduction]
in pascuis de Valefeild 1540 x 1543 RMS iii no. 2869 [in the grazings of Valleyfield commonly called East Wood (Est-wod); see CUS Introduction]
(Archibald Prestoun of) Valayfeild 1558 Fraser, Melville iii no. 87
Walafield 1583 Laing Chrs. no. 1068
Valafeild 1586 RMS v no. 1043
Valayfeild 1609 RMS vii no. 9
Valleyfeeld 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
Wallayfield 1664 RMS x no. 328
Valeyfield 1663 RMS xi no. 404
Valeyfeild 1699 Retours (Perth) no. 1045 [Francis Kinloch in the lands and barony of Valleyfield; lands of Overton (Overtoun) all in the lordship (dominio) of Culross]
Valley field 1730 Cooper (Adair)
Vallyfeild 1753 Roy sheet 16, 1
Valiefield 1776 Taylor and Skinner
Vallyfield 1783 Stobie
Valuefield 1821 Ainslie/S. Scotland
? en *Valley or ? Sc valley + Sc field
The most obvious interpretation of the first element is that it refers to the valley (Sc valley) of the Bluther Burn. For the last km of the burn’s course, before it reaches the sea, and as it passes on the east side of Valleyfield, it runs in a valley between two significant rises: on the west the brae of Culross (whence Kirkbrae), which rises to 88 m and on the east the hill on which Torrie House stands, which rises to 60 m.
However, early forms such as Valefeild and Walafield may indicate a different origin for the first element. In 1637 Valay-burne occurs as an alternative name for the Bluther Burn (aquam de Blodder) (RMS ix no. 786), which is itself a continuation of the Devily or Devilla Burn (for which see Devilla CUS above). The earliest forms for Devilla are Dovalie (1540 × 1543 RMS iii no. 2869) and lie (the) Devolye (1586 RMS v no. 1140). It is therefore quite possible that the first element of Valleyfield derives from the re-interpretation of the second element of Devilla, the alternative name for the burn which flows close by. That such a re-interpretation was possible is graphically shown by the 1664 rendering of Devilla as Dove Valley (RMS xi no. 889).
The name persists in High Valleyfield, a former coal-mining village south of Valleyfield House (marked as such on OS 6 inch 1866 and now demolished, which gives the above NGR), and in OS Pathf. Low Valleyfield, formerly on the coast, now on the edge of extensive landfill.
This place-name appeared in printed volume 1