Ballachton # CER S NO410123 2
? Ballechodyn 1196 x 1198 Barrow 1971 no. 7 [part of Kinninmonthshire granted to Adam son of Odo by Prior Gilbert of St Andrews]
? Ballechodyn 1196 x 1204 Barrow 1971 no. 8 [= RRS ii no. 411; William I confirms Prior Gilbert’s grant to Adam son of Odo]
? Balleocherthyn c.1220 Terrier E [amongst the lands held by the Culdees of St Andrews]
Nether Baleichton 1791 Sasines no. 2790 [lands belonging to Alexander Thomson of Rumgally KMB in Wester Pitscottie CER comprising the lands besouth Ceres Burn called Nether Baleichton]
Nether Ballachton 1816 Sasines no. 11046
? G baile + ? pn Eochadan
‘Eochadan’s farm’? The suggested personal name is a diminutive of the fairly common early G male name Eochaid (CGSH has Eochadan at §§ 295, 302, 126, 127.1). It is derived ultimately from OIr echaid, ‘horseman’.
Although Ballechodyn, mentioned twice amongst the lands of Kinninmonthshire CER, SSL (Barrow 1971 nos. 7, 8), may appear to correspond with Baldinnie CER, SSL, the form is so unlike the other early forms of Baldinnie that this identification must remain doubtful (see Baldinnie CER, SSL above). If Ballachton is a later form of this name, then the marches of Kinninmonthshire must have shifted, as we know from the Sasines that Nether Ballachton lay on the lands of Wester Pitscottie, within the older core of CER. From the same source we also know that Nether Ballachton lay south of the Ceres Burn. Going by the 1940s marches of Wester Pitscottie, the only part of its lands south of the Ceres Burn was the small field at NO410123, east of OS Pathf. Kilhill. If there was a Nether Ballachton, we can assume that there was also an Upper or Over Ballachton, and its most likely situation would be south or south-east of Nether Ballachton, much of which land was in the 1940s part of North Callange. We know from the Old French name Callange not only that it was a later name than the Celtic name Ballachton (Ballechodyn), but also that there had been a dispute over the lands important enough to leave a rare Old French or Anglo-French name attached to it. I would therefore tentatively suggest that the bulk of the lands of Ballachton (Ballechodyn) later became known as Callange, and that the result of the dispute which gave rise to the name was that these lands were removed from Kinninmonthshire at an early date.
The matter is further complicated by the fact that there is amongst the Culdees’ lands in the Terrier (E) a place called Balleocherthyn, which looks very like Ballechodyn. It may be that the Culdees claimed all or part of Ballachton, and that this was the origin of the above-mentioned dispute. It occurs immediately after what are probably three places in CER (see CER Introduction, above, andPNF 3, Appendix 2). However, it also occurs before two places near Kinkell SSL (*Pitkenny and Kingask), and so it is possible that it belongs in the area south-east of St Andrews.
The possible unenclosed settlement which aerial photography has revealed at NO410122 may be the remains of Nether Ballachton. The nearby field-name Raith Park on the lands of Easter Pitscottie may also be relevant here. Its first element most likely derives from G ràth ‘enclosed or fortified settlement’, usually applied to fairly high-status sites. It is recorded on an 1814 estate plan of Easter Pitscottie (RHP5308), the only field to the south of Pitscottie–Ceres road (NO414128). It is bounded on its east side by the Ceres Burn and on its west side by a road which no longer exists (from Kinninmonth to Wester Pitscottie).
This place-name appeared in printed volume 2