Pinnel Hill ABO R NT163849 1 394 82m
the Pin-Hill 1756 RHP3800
Pinnel Hill 1856 OS 6 inch 1st edn.
? Pictish *pen
It is just possible that the first element is Pictish *pen ‘head, (conspicuous) hill’. A common British place-name element south of Forth (e.g., Pencaitland ELO, Penicuik MLO, Peniel Heugh ROX and Penmansheils BWK; for more examples see Watson 1926, 354), it is rare to the north (see Taylor 2004a, xxii). The second syllable could be part of an original early formation, or an explanatory hill added by Scots-speakers: this is certainly how it is interpreted on the 1756 Fordell Estate Plan (the Pin-Hill). If the latter is the case, then it can be closely compared with the famous Pendle Hill in Lancashire, originally British *pen, with explanatory OE hyll ‘hill’ added early, then later English hill added once the first ‘hill’ was no longer intelligible (see Ekwall 1960, 361).
Pinnel Hill is a steep and very prominent feature in the west part of ABO. The main road from Aberdour to Inverkeithing runs beneath its southern slope. It has two summits, the higher being the one given above, which lies to the north-east. While OS Pathf. marks the slightly lower top to the south-west ‘Pinnel Hill’, it is clear from OS 6 inch 1st edn. that the name applies to both.
This place-name appeared in printed volume 1