forestum de Cardenni 1165 x 1172 NAS GD 212/15 p. 42 [19th-c. copy; the (royal) forest of Cardenni (or Cardenin or Cardeuin). See ADN Introduction]
de officio forestaree de Cardenane 1329 x 1371 RMS i app. 2 no. 1120 A [16th c. index; for Cardeuane? Anent the office of forester of Carden to Adam de Spensa]
(keeping of the forest and moor of) Cardenenie 1329 x 1371 RMS i app. 2 no. 1120 B [17th c. index; for Cardeuenie? In barony and constabulary of Kinghorn]
(John Martyne of) Cardwane 1466 Dunf. Reg.no. 458
(lands of) Cardwane 1483 RMS ii no. 1556 [to Henry Mertyne, in constabulary of Kinghorn]
(Henry Mertyn of) Cardvane 1506 Dunf. Reg. no. 501
(John Martyne of) Cardwane 1516 Fife Crt. Book 34
(lands of) Cardone 1623 RMS viii no. 623 [in parish of Kinghorn (Eister Kinghorne); see ADN Introduction]
lie Maynes de Cardone 1623 RMS viii no. 623 [in lands of Carden]
Cardon 1654 Blaeu (Pont) West Fife & East Fife
Cardan 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife [also Cardanmill]
(lands and barony of) Cardone 1659 RMS xi no. 80
Castle of Karden 1753 Roy sheet 17, 5
Cott of Carden 1753 Roy sheet 17, 5
Karden Craig 1753 Roy sheet 17, 5
Mill of Cardon 1753 Roy sheet 17, 5
Cardon Coals 1775 Ainslie/Fife
Old Cardon 1775 Ainslie/Fife
It is usually assumed that this represents the Pictish or G loan-word from Pictish *carden (Watson 1926, 353; Jackson 1955, 150; Nicolaisen 2001, 204). However, forms such as Cardwane, Cardvane call this into question, and suggest different readings for the earliest forms, as given above. An alternative interpretation might be the Pictish or G loan-word from Pictish *cair ‘fort’ + a specific element *deuan or the like. If this is the case, then there may have been a change in the stress from second to first syllable. The element *cair is found as a simplex in the nearby name Keir ADN, KGH.
For some possible early forms not recorded above, see Cowerrie # KGH.
The twelfth-century document describing Carden as royal forest (open hunting area, not necessarily wooded) is discussed in full in ADN Introduction, where a detailed definition of these lands is also given.
The above NGR is for Carden Tower, in Carden Den, called Old Cardon on Ainslie/Fife (1775). OS Pathf. New Carden NT228954 is called Carden Farm on SGF (1828). Carden has also given its name to Carden Mill (Ainslie/Fife), Cardenbarns and Cardenden q.v.
This place-name appeared in printed volume 1