Primrose DFL S NT104842 1 394 30m SEF

Primros 1150 x 1152 David I Chrs. no. 172 [‘Probably 1150’; = Dunf. Reg. no. 2]
Primros 1154 x 1159 RRS i no. 118 [= Dunf. Reg. no. 35]
Primrosse 1451 RMS ii no. 429
Prumrosse 1450 Dunf. Reg. no. 434 [James II’s confirmation]
Prumros 1507 Dunf. Gild Ct. Bk. 48
David Anderson in Prymros 1533 Dunf. Reg. Ct. Bk. 100
Primross 1544 Pitfirrane Writs no. 105 [lands of Knockhouse (Knokes) DFL and Primrose in regality of Dunfermline]
Primrois 1580 RMS v no. 73 [Primrois and Knokis]
Prymros 1642 Gordon MS Fife [also Prymrosmuir to south-east]
Prymrose 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife [also Prymrosmuir, shown to the east of Prymrose]
Primrose 1753 Roy sheet 17, 5
Primrose 1775 Ainslie/Fife
Primrose 1828 SGF

? + G ros

Watson explains this name as consisting of Pictish *pren ‘tree’ + Pictish *ros ‘promontory or moor’, but this is unlikely, both from a structural aspect and from the fact that the first syllable ends in m from its earliest occurrence. OG *prim ‘first, prime’, is another possibility, giving ‘first promontory’. If this is correct, then it is another example of an m which would usually be lenited and pronounced something like /v/, surviving in its unlenited form. For other examples of this phenomenon, see Pitmilly KBS and Stermolind # SSL (PNF 3). The second element usually means ‘promontory, headland’ in eastern Scotland, and is almost always associated with water e.g. Kinross, Rossie CLS, Ardross ELI, and (the) Ross # BUI (for which see BUI Introduction). It is difficult to know exactly what the referent is in Primrose DFL, but it may be the gently rising spur of land to the north-west, on the south-facing slope of which lies the modern farm of (OS Pathf.) Blackhall.

Primrose is one of the lands granted by Alexander I (1107 × 1124) to the church of Dunfermline, listed in a series of confirmation charters from the time of David I onwards (the charter of Alexander I has not survived). It is always mentioned first in the list of Alexander’s grants. However, in the earliest of these confirmation charters, issued by David I probably in 1128, Primrose is not mentioned; instead, the list of Alexander’s lands is headed by Duninad (David I Chrs. no. 33 = Dunf. Reg. no. 1). This never appears again amongst Dunfermline’s possessions, and G. W. S. Barrow is therefore probably correct in seeing this as an alternative or earlier name for Primrose (David I Chrs. index under Primrose). However, Duninad is a perfectly acceptable early form of Dunninald, a medieval parish now in Craigie parish ANG.[149] Although the lands of Dunninald had been given to Restenneth Priory by 1161 (RRS i no. 195), it may be that they were given to the church of Dunfermline temporarily until the more convenient land of Primrose became available.

This place-name appeared in printed volume 1