Officers Land

Officers Land # ABO F NT193857 1

Officers Land c.1785 RHP1023

Sc officer + Sc land

‘Officers’ land or officer’s land’. This was the name of a new field created out of the Aberdour Acres in the second half of the eighteenth century, presumably on land which had formerly supported an officer of some kind. He may have been the officer of the barony court of Easter Aberdour, which perhaps originally convened at White Law (White Law RHP1023), a prominent mound immediately south-west of Officers Land. A barony court at Aberdour will have existed at least since the first mention of the barony of (Easter) Aberdour in 1325 (RRS v no. 263) until the abolition of heritable jurisdictions in 1757. Alternatively he may have been an officer or official acting on behalf of the Hospital of St Martha, founded by the earl of Morton in 1474 for the benefit of pilgrims and given over to the care of the Sisters of the Third Order of St Francis in 1486.[44] This lay immediately south of Officers Land, and give rise to the name of the adjacent field called Sisters Land on the same plan (RHP1023). The hospital and nunnery itself lay at the southern edge of Sisters Land, at the western corner of what is now Murrell Terrace and the Main Street. A large and dilapidated building, now demolished, stood on the site until the 1960s or thereabouts, and was known as the Old Manse. On the c.1785 plan this building is described as ‘Ministers Houses and yards’ (RHP1023). This change of ecclesiastical use which the nunnery underwent after the Reformation is reflected also in the name of the street of early twentieth-century houses which now stands on Sisters Land, namely The Glebe, which signifies the portion of land assigned to a parish minister in addition to his stipend. The Glebe, with definite article, is applied to this part of Aberdour on OS Pathf., but not on OS Explorer (2001).

This place-name appeared in printed volume 1