Gask DFL S NT103927 1 384 175m NWF

Gascinienemfin 1215 x 1231 Dunf. Reg. no. 174 [rubric]
totam terram de Gascinienemfi 1215 x 1231 Dunf. Reg. no. 174 [All the land of ‘Gascinienemfi iuxta V<u>eth’ (beside Outh DFL) was granted to Dunfermline Abbey by Michael Scot and Margaret his spouse]
Gaskinienemf’ 1215 x 1231 Dunf. Reg. no. 175 [rubric; not mentioned by name in the text of the charter]
Gascynienelf’ 1231 Dunf. Reg. no. 80 [rubric]
tota terra de Gascynienf’ 1231 Dunf. Reg. no. 80 [the grant of all the land of ‘Gascynienf’ juxta Uueth’ (beside Outh DFL) confirmed by Alexander II; see ibid. nos. 174–6]
usque ad Faluhil qui uocatur Crosc114 yneanghynki 1231 NLS MS Adv. 34.1.3 (a), fo 123r [printed Croft yneanghynki Dunf. Reg. no. 193; see PNF 5, Chapter 9 (No. 12), for full text and translation]
Gaskinienemf’ 1236 x 1236 x 1240 Dunf. Reg. no. 176 [rubric]
Gaskinienemphy 1236 x 1236 x 1240 Dunf. Reg. no. 176 [confirmation of Dunf. Reg. no. 174–5, issued by Margaret of Ceres widow of Michael Scot]
Gask 1328 Dunf. Reg. no. 370 [Rescobe and Gask are amongst the lands thirled to Lassodie Mill]
terras de Gask 1450 Dunf. Reg. no. 434
the Gask 1561 Dunf. Reg. p. 427 [Rescobe, the Gask, South Lethans (Suthelethemmis) DFL, Dunnygask (Tunegask) DFL and Blairenbathie (Blarnebothie) BEA, DFL, all of which are listed as bouplaces (‘cattle places’) in Dunfermline parish, producing butter and cheese]
Gask 1647 RMS ix no. 1780 [... Knok, Gask, Balmule ...]
Fengask 1642 Gordon MS Fife
Gack 1654 Blaeu (Pont) West Fife
Fingask 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
Gask 1753 Roy sheet 17, 5
Gask 1775 Ainslie/Fife
Gask 1828 SGF

This is a difficult name to analyse. The first element poses no problem: it is G gasg ‘tail, low ridge’; the second element is most likely G innean ‘anvil’, found in the hill-name the Inneans on the north side of the Cleish Hills (Yneianes 1231 Dunf. Reg. no. 192). The feature referred to as an anvil is probably the anvil-shaped outcrop of rock on the summit of Gaskie Hill 600m south of Gask.115 The final syllable of the hill-name Gaskie may well represent the much reduced second and third element of the original name. The final element or segment of the name, which seems to represent something like –emfin/enfin/enfi is obscure to me, although it may contain G fionn ‘white’.

In the above I am assuming that forms such as Gascinienemfin refer to modern Gask. In James II’s confirmation charter of the lands of Dunfermline Abbey, the lands of Gask are said to have been granted to Dunfermline Abbey by Alexander II. However, statements of royal generosity are sometimes to be taken with a pinch of salt, since the charter states the same regarding the lands of *Beath-Waldeve BEA, DFL, which we know was granted to Dunfermline by Saer de Quincy during the reign of William I (Dunf. Reg. nos. 66, 154).

The land seems to have belonged to the family of Ceres, which itself was a branch of the family of the earls of Fife (Macduff), since Margaret of Ceres, daughter of Duncan of Ceres and wife of Michael Scot, issues her own charter granting the land of Gaskinienemf’ to Dunfermline Abbey before 1231 (Dunf. Reg. no. 175).

Gask gives its name to OS Pathf. Gask Burn, Gaskglen Plantation and Gaskie Hill.


This place-name appeared in printed volume 1