Balmule DFL S NT101913 1 384 160m
the myll of Bawmyll 1534 Dunf. Reg. Ct. Bk. 118 [‘Thomas Meldrum myllar to the myll of Bawmyll alias Meldrumis myll’]
Bawmill 1561 Dunf. Reg. p. 426
Baw Myln 1561 Dunf. Reg. p. 436
Balmule 1563 RMS iv no. 1476
Balmuile 1599 Dunf. Reg. p. 495
Balmoold 1642 Gordon MS Fife
Bamuley 1654 Blaeu (Pont) West Fife
Balmoold 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
Balmull 1646 Henderson 1865, 18 [‘Balmull & the mylne’]
Ballmulie 1753 Roy sheet 17, 5
Balmule 1775 Ainslie/Fife [where OS Pathf. Balmule Farm is]
Balmule Place 1775 Ainslie/Fife [where OS Pathf. Balmule is]
Balmule 1828 SGF [where OS Pathf. Balmule Farm is]
Balmule Place 1828 SGF [where OS Pathf. Balmule is]
? G baile + ? G muileann
‘Estate of the mill, mill-farm’? Given the absence of early forms, and the variation in the forms we do have, this etymology must remain fairly speculative. It is likely, however, that the second element is an original G muileann ‘mill’, which has been assimilated to Sc miln ‘mill’ in several of the sixteenth-century forms. This assimilation would have been aided both by the underlying similarity of the words in the two different languages (both deriving ultimately from Latin molendinum ‘mill’), as well by the continuing function of Balmule as a milling centre, as is clear from various early references and its alias Meldrum’s Mill. The Meldrums are associated with Balmule already in 1534 (Dunf. Reg. Ct. Bk. 118), and Meldrum’s Mill appears as a separate name (Meldrumis mylne) in 1561 (Dunf. Reg. p. 437). By the second half of the sixteenth century there was more than one mill in this place: between 1555 and 1583 one Thomas Meldrum is feuar of the mills of Meldrum’s Mill (‘de molendinis de Meldrumis Mylne’, Dunf. Reg. p. 480), while in 1599 there is mention of the lands of Balmuile and their mills called Meldrumes milnes (Dunf. Reg. p. 495). SGF (1828) marks two working mills at Balmule, with Meldrum Mill the more westerly of the two.
The burn powering these mills is called on the OS 6 inch 1st edn. (1856) Meldrums Mill Burn. However, on OS Pathf. and OS Explorer (2001) the name Meldrum’s Mill Burn has been misapplied to a southern tributary.
Balmule ABO, which shares very similar forms to Balmule DFL from the late fifteenth century onwards, is ‘estate of the sons of Maol’, but this can only be ascertained by much earlier forms such as Balmacmol 1230 × 1239 (Dunf. Reg. no. 172). While it is unlikely, it cannot therefore be ruled out that ‘estate of the sons of Maol’ is also the meaning of Balmule DFL.
/balˈmjul/ or /bəlˈmjul/
This place-name appeared in printed volume 1