St David’s

St David’s DGY S NT146824 1 5m

St Davids know 1775 Ainslie/Fife [also shows Castle, see discussion]
St David’s Harbour 1786 Sasines no. 1312
St. David’s 1811 Moray/1811
St. Davids Park 1811 Moray/1811
that Rock called St Davie’s or St David’s Castle 1814 Sasines no. 10085
St Davids 1828 SGF [also shows St Davids Harbour]
St Davids 1856 OS 6 inch 1st edn

The development of the industrial harbour of St David’s began in 1752, ‘when Sir Robert Henderson laird of Fordell purchased [presumably from the earl of Moray] a small piece of ground facing the Firth of Forth, where he built a harbour for exporting coal from his Fordell pits. This harbour had two small piers, the southernmost built on a rock called “St David’s Castle”; and the harbour, therefore, was named after this rock’ (Simpson 1999, 86). This rock is the feature marked simply Castle on the coast here on Ainslie/Fife (1775). It was also known more familiarly as St Davie’s Castle, as the 1814 Sasine indicates (no. 10085). Why the rock was so-called, however, remains obscure. One possibility, which can be invoked for many otherwise inexplicably named coastal features, is that it was called after a ship of this name wrecked here before the mid-eighteenth century.

For more on the industrial harbour and village of St David’s, which was removed to make way for a western expansion of Dalgety Bay new town in the 1980s and ’90s (see Simpson 1999, 86–91, which includes some evocative photographs). The name persists in OS Pathf. St David’s Harbour and St David’s Clump, while the new housing development is referred to as St Davids Harbour Village (Simpson 1999, 89).

This place-name appeared in printed volume 1