Kincardine TUL CUS S NS931874 1 393 10m

Kincarne 1540 RMS iii no. 2869 [... Bad, Kincarne, Sandis ...]
Kincarne 1553 RMS iv no. 746
Kincarne 1562 Assumption 291 [‘Lurg and Kincarne payis be the occupiaris in Petticommonis’]223
Kincarne 1581 RMS v no. 170
Kincairdin 1587 RMS v no. 1270
Kincarne 1600 RMS vi no. 1078
Kincairdin 1637 Retours (Perth) no. 552
Kincardyne 1640 Retours (Perth) no. 599
Kincardyne 1642 RMS x no. 1092 [in the lordship (dominio) of Culross, sheriffdom of Perth]
Kincairden 1645 Retours (Perth) no. 691
Kincarne 1655 Hume Brown 1891, 168 [Thomas Tucker’s description of Scotland; described as a small town]
Kincardin 1663 RMS xi no. 406 [Alexander Bruce, earl of Kincardine]
Easter Kincardine 1663 RMS xi no. 406 [‘the third part of the lands’ thereof]
Kincardin 1664 RMS xi no. 594
Kinkairdine 1667 Retours (Perth) no. 764 [John Colvill, in the lands of Lurge and Kinkairdine]
Kincardin 1681 Adair/Clackmannan
Kincardin 1682 Retours (Perth) no. 1209
Kincardine 1688 Retours (Perth) no. 975 [lands of Lurg and Kincardine]
(lands of) Easter Kincarden 1698 Retours (Perth) no. 1031 [in the lands of Kincarden and the lordship (dominio) of Culross]
Kincardin 1730 Cooper/Adair
Kincairn 1753 Roy sheet 16, 1
Kincardine 1783 Stobie [also Place of Kincardine; see TUL Introduction]
E. Kincardine 1783 Stobie
Kincardine 1821 Ainslie/S. Scotland
Kincardine 1866 OS 6 inch 1st edn.
Easter Kincardine 1866 OS 6 inch 1st edn.

G ceann + ? P or G * carden

The first element is Gaelic ceann ‘head, end’; the second is the Pictish or Gaelic loan-word from Pictish *carden (Watson 1926, 353, Jackson 1955, 150, Nicolaisen 2001, 204). Accepted by all these scholars as meaning ‘woodland’, it has recently been argued by Andrew Breeze that it may mean ‘enclosure, encampment’ (1999). Given the very ‘Pictish’ distribution of place-names with this element, it is perhaps best to see the Gaelic first element ceann as an adaptation or translation of the cognate Pictish *pen ‘head, end’.

Having said all that, I think we must question whether this Kincardine can in fact be explained in this way. There are six other places called Kincardine between the Dornoch Firth and the Forth. Four of them are medieval parishes (ROS, ABD, INV, PER), one is the important royal centre which gave rise to the sheriffdom-name Kincardineshire, and one is an early estate in Blackford parish PER. All are mentioned early in the record, none later than the thirteenth century.

In contrast to this there is no record of Kincardine TUL until 1540, with the first form indicating the carden-element appearing as late as 1587. There is therefore nothing to suggest that before its development as a flourishing burgh from the mid-seventeenth century (for which see TUL Introduction) it was in any way an important early place.

The earliest forms of the name suggest rather a G name consisting of ceann and c?rn ‘cairn, pile of stones’, and this may have become expanded by analogy with genuine names deriving from *carden, some of which were being shortened to cairn (as for example in Cairney, Forteviot PER, which appears as Cardny 1314 Inchaffray Chrs. no. xxx), as well as through the general prevalence of central places called Kincardine.

Easter Kincardine lay at the east end of modern Kincardine village near the municipal cemetery at NS939873.

This Kincardine is not to be confused with the parish of Kincardine in Menteith near Doune PER. which also lies on the Forth, described c.1190 as Kincardin iuxta Striuelin (Kincardine near Stirling) (RRS ii no. 334).


This place-name appeared in printed volume 1