-+
 
Old bridge at Berwick-upon-Tweed
Home >Miscellaneous>Mediaeval Roads:Evidence from Charters >Fifeshire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miscellaneous

Mediaeval Roads: Evidence from Charters
Fife

The charters of the following abbeys contain a number of references to roads in Fife.
Balmerino Abbey
Lindores Abbey
Inchcolm Abbey
Dunfermline Abbey
Isle of May Priory
St Andrews Priory
Other Sources

Overview Map

Map based on Arrowsmith's map of 1846 courtesy of David Rumsey Historical Map Collection. The image is copyright Cartography Associates but has been made available under a Creative Commons license for non-commercial use.

Several routes are mentioned in Balmerino charters. One was a right of way to a quarry at Nydie, part of which may have been used to access St Andrews. There was another via regia between Cupar and St Andrews and one passing through Gauldry to Portincrag. A local road or track developed between the abbey and Coultra, a couple of miles south of the abbey; and there was one between Anstruther and Crail.

A via regia at Kedlock, north of Cupar, ran from Cupar towards the Tay; it is picked up again in a charter for Kinnear, in Kilmany parish. Also in the Kinnear area, there may have been a road parallel to the Mottray Water, and one giving access to the Gauldry.

Of roads mentioned in Lindores charters the only local road was a right of way from a petary in the south of Collessie parish, and which passed through the village of Collessie. In Perthshire there was a road in Newtyle; and in Aberdeenshire, a bridge just north of Inverurie, a road that may have led from Inverurie to Huntly, and a local road in Rathmuriel.

Of Isle of May charters, a couple of roads or tracks are referred to in the north of Dalgety parish, near Fordell but are difficult to identify. There is however a clear reference to a road coming from Dunfermline and a mention of an ancient bridge near Fordell. In Aberdour there is mention of a road to Kinghorn, and a road at the west of the town which probably came from Queensferry and Inverkeithing. This would give a continuous route from the ferry to Kinghorn, something we would suspect anyway from the death of Alexander III. A charter for Leith mentions the high road between Edinburgh and Leith, and one for Tibbermore in Perthshire ties in well with one for Scone abbey and is likely to be the "Old Gallows Road".

Dunfermline Abbey has numerous references to roads in its charters. Some are just tracks that gave access to parts of an estate but others gave access to nearby settlements where the abbey had lands. In a couple of cases there are useful references to long-distance routes leading to Perth and St Andrews.

In Dunfermline itself, other than streets there was a reference to a bridge over the Tower Burn to Pittencrieff. Immediately south of Dunfermline they had a port at Limekilns with valuable shipping rights, and a road must be presumed to have run from here to the town and to a grange just south of Dunfermline. Nearby, at Pitfirrane, there were "gates" giving access to parts of a runrig system. There is a tradition that Margaret and her party made landfall at a bay now called St Margaret's Hope and on the way to Dunfermline Margaret stopped to rest at a stone called St Margaret's Stone. A road does pass this stone and as it leads directly to the town it is likely enough that there was an early road on this line.

At Dunduff, a few miles north of the town, there is mention of a ford, a word that sometimes has the meaning of a "way" as well as the usual meaning of a crossing point on a stream. Whatever the case, any related track is likely to be local. Although not mentioned specifically in the charters, it is very likely that there was a coastal route from the ferry over the Forth, through Inverkeithing to Kinghorn and Kirkcaldy. Alexander III was killed in 1286 near Kinghorn as he was making his way at night and in bad weather to see his new bride in the castle at Kinghorn.

Three charters allow us to reconstruct north-south routes through Fife. One charter refers to a road leading directly north from Inverkeithing to Perth and another charter has a road from Dunfermline to Perth joining this near Kelty. The third charter picks up the road again at Kinross - the via regia being described as ancient.

At Markinch there was an ancient bridge but it is not certain if it was on a local or long distance route. Over at Largo Law, there is mention of a couple of tracks, probably local, a bridge, and a road to St Andrews that is likely to have had the line of the present day A915 road.

Outwith Fifeshire there was a controversy with Coupar Angus over access to the lands of Bendochty just north of Coupar Angus abbey, and another argument with the convent at North Berwick which has a useful reference to a causeway running north from the earlier bridge at Stirling to Airthrey. Also at Stirling was an exchange of land that refers to the via regia leading to Cuiltedouenald, perhaps in St Ninians south of the town.

At Airntully in Perthshire there is mention of local access to moorland, and near Edinburgh there is mention of a road near Colinton that is likely to be the road to Lanark. At Musselburgh there was a road to Niddrie, three miles to the west; and a couple of short routes near Inveresk and Dalkeith as well as one from Haddington to Newbattle.

Also of note are the numerous references to Queensferry that gave important access to routes to Perth and St Andrews.

Four charters for the Priory of the Isle of May which mention roads are of interest. All are in East Lothian: two in Garvald & Bara and two in Whittinghame parish. The Garvald & Bara charters mention a Monkesgate but it is not at all clear who the monks were or where it ran. The Whittinghame charters are for land near Penshiel, where Melrose also had land. A couple of local tracks are mentioned as well as "Richard's Road" (Ricardisrode) which is mentioned in a Melrose charter and had the line of the present day minor road leading to Longformacus.

The Cartulary for St Andrews Cathedral Priory has several interesting charters. A road in Portmoak parish came from Inverkeithing and passed to the east of Loch Leven where at least one hospital/hostel had been established for the reception of pilgrims travelling to Scotlandwell. It is thought that the route would have continued past Leslie and Markinch to Kennoway to join with another pilgrim route to St Andrews. There was a causeway in Markinch but it may just have been to cross marshy ground, although an old track runs to the village of Star by Cuinan Hill - Star is gaelic for a crossing and must refer to Star Moss just north of here.

There was a road near Lundin Tower in Largo parish but it is hard to tell if it was a main road or just local. North of Cupar a via regia ran up to the Tay past Kedlock and is picked up again to the north in a Balmerino charter for Kinner in Kilmany parish.

In Forgan parish a road is said to have ran from Inverdovat towards St Andrews, and a road led to the church of Forgan. Several charters for St Andrews mention roads and a bridge (the Stermolind bridge). Outwith Fife, there were charters for Easter Fowlis near Dundee, Kirkden near Letham, and Bourtie near Inverury.

Of other sources that have been checked two mention bridges, viz. Guardbridge replacing a dangerous river crossing to the west of St Andrews and Dairsie Bridge that was on an early route from Cupar to St Andrews.

A charter for the lands of Cameron in Markinch parish refers to a highway going to Kirkcaldy but it is not immediately clear what route it had. There is an old road in the near vicinity but it is not certain that it is the same road - this is Queen Mary's road said to have been used by her to travel between Wemyss Castle and Falkland. There is an old bridge on the route.

In Ceres parish, two roads are of interest. One is the Pilgrimsgath which probably came up from Kennoway; although it is not clear how it continued to St Andrews. The other is the Waterless Road or Bishop's Road that can be traced on fairly recent maps between Kennoway and Ceres. An old bridge there continues its route on the old line by St Andrews Wells, Upper Magus, and Magus Moor where Archbishop Sharp was attacked and killed by a party of Covenanters in 1679.

Besides the above roads, other routes are likely such as from St Andrews to the ferry at Portincraig giving access to Dundee and Montrose, the Earl's Ferry (Guide to the East Neuk of Fife, D Hay Fleming, 1886) giving access to St Andrews for pilgrims, and a route from Perth along the south side of the Tay. With Falkland firmly established as a royal palace from the early 1500's there was a route from Stirling, and a coastal route through Kirkcaldy must have developed early on.

Balmerino Abbey

Nydie Quarry near Strathkinness Cultra Logie (Kedlock) (dealt with under St Andrews Priory)
Nydie Anstruther Dundee
Gauldry Kilmany (Kinner)  

Overview
Balmerino was a Cistercian abbey founded c. 1227 by Ermengarde de Beaumont, widow of William the Lion, and her son Alexander II, and settled by monks from Melrose. It is situated on the south side of the Tay nearly opposite Dundee.

Several routes are mentioned in its charters. One was a right of way to a quarry at Nydie, part of which may have been used to access St Andrews. There was another via regia between Cupar and St Andrews and one passing through The Gauldry to Portincrag. A local road or track developed between the abbey and Coultra, a couple of miles south of the abbey; and there was one between Anstruther and Crail.

A via regia at Kedlock, north of Cupar, ran from Cupar towards the Tay; it is picked up again in a charter for Kinnear, in Kilmany parish. Also in the Kinnear area, there may have been a road parallel to the Mottray Water, and one giving access to The Gauldry.

Additional information:
The Chartularies of Balmerino and Lindores,
W. B. D. D. Turnbull, Abbotsford Club 1841
Further details of charters pre-1314 can be found on the People of Medieval Scotland website, see Balmerino charters. Amanda Beam, John Bradley, Dauvit Broun, John Reuben Davies, Matthew Hammond, Michele Pasin (with others), The People of Medieval Scotland, 1093–1314 (Glasgow and London, 2012) www.poms.ac.uk.

The maps for Balmerino charters are based on the 1926 one-inch map for Dundee & St Andrews and the
1914 OS half-inch map, sheet 24. With thanks to Ordnance Survey.

Nydie Quarry near Strathkinness
Charters 46/47/48

Balmerino abbey
Balmerino abbey

In the early 1200's Balmerino Abbey, was granted rights to quarry stones at Nydie near Strathkinness, four miles west of St Andrews, and transport the stones to the abbey for use in building.

Map of road to Balmerino abbey
Click on map for larger image. Based on the 1926 one-inch map for Dundee & St Andrews. With thanks to Ordnance Survey. Campbell quotes a tradition that there was a branch from near Brighouse, two miles east of Kilmany, over to Guard Bridge and St Andrews


The route taken by the monks between the quarry and the abbey is discussed in a paper by R Fyfe Smith and Rev. Norman M Johnston (Quarry to Abbey: an Ancient Fife Route) which was published in the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquarians in Scotland. It also identifies the segments that still remain of the road. Campbell (Balmerino & Its Abbey, p.135) also mentions the road, and has the same route to near Brighouse but then crossing over to the Gair (Guard) Bridge and St Andrews. He quotes tradition for it linking to St Andrews but it is not clear what its route from Brighouse might have been - one feels it would have been easier to continue on towards Nydie and then cut over to the Guard Bridge.

 

The authors also refer to a via regia between Cupar and St Andrews mentioned in another Balmerino charter (no.50 - see Nydie below).

 

As the route to the quarry has been fully dealt with in that paper and also by Owen Silver in the Roads of Fife we will restrict ourselves to providing a map of the route as determined by Smith and Johnston and some relevant references.

Additional Information
Balmerino and Its Abbey, James Campbell, Edinburgh, 1868,  page 92; see also page 135
Quarry to Abbey: an Ancient Fife Route, R Fyfe Smith and Rev. Norman M Johnston. PSAS, Vol 83 (1948-49), pps 162-167
The Roads of Fife, Owen Silver, John Donald Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh 1987

 


Nydie
Charter 50, page 38
Donacio Ricardi de Nidyn de quodam tofto
Gift of Richard de Nidyn of a toft

Medieval route from Cupar  to St Andrews. Click for larger image.
Medieval route between Cupar and St Andrews. Click for larger image.

On page 91 of Balmerino and its abbey, Campbell says that:
Richard de Nidyn with consent of his wife Amabilla grants a portion of land in his tenement of Nidyn, which is "bounded on the east by the landmark placed there, on the west by the cattle road leading from Nidyn, on the north by the King's highway leading to the city of St Andrews and on the south by the great moor." He gives also grass for two cows one horse and sixty sheep on the common pasture of Nidyn.

Interpretation
This is the road R Fyfe Smith and Rev. Norman M Johnston refer to as the King's Highway to St Andrews (p.166). There is little reason to doubt that it would be the same as that shown on Adair's 1684 map of the east part of Fife.  This left Cupar and ran east through Prestonhall and Chapelwell to Dairsie Mains (part of the course is now farm tracks) where it crossed Dairsie Bridge. This was constructed c.1522, replacing an earlier bridge and presumably an earlier ford (see Canmore record). From there it had the line of the existing minor road past the location of the charter to Strathkinness and St Andrews.


Galuran (Gauldry)
Charter 51, page 39
Concessio Johannis de Haya de Athnauthan de Galuran Balmerino

Based on the 1926 one-inch map for Dundee & St Andrews. With thanks to Ordnance Survey.

On page 96 of Balmerino and Its Abbey, Campbell says that between 1328 and 1332 John de Haya lord of Athnauthan (Naughton), in settling a long standing dispute between his family and the abbey over some ground between his land of Galuran (Gauldry) and the abbey land of Duchwarner (Dochrone), made the land over to the abbey in this charter. Campbell gives the boundaries of the land thus: Beginning on the west side of the village of Galuran where his land and theirs meet, and extending eastward along the ancient King's highway leading to the Ferry of Portinkrag; and from the said highway southwards in a straight line to a certain well called “Bridiis Well;”(Canmore record) and thence to a certain stone lying on the moor; and thence to the marches of Kilmanyn; and thence to a certain footpath called Scongate; and then ascending along this footpath to the west side of Galuran already mentioned.

Interpretation
Although the placename of Dochrone has disappeared, Campbell says that it was just south and west of Gauldry. He also says that a well in Gauldry itself, and south of the main road, fitted the description of St Bride's Well. It is shown on the 2nd series 6" map (Fife & Kinross Sheet III.se).

Both these points fit the description of the charter quite well. One would start on the main road just west of Gauldry, follow this to a point north of the well then proceed south to the well and beyond this to the parish boundary which is quite near. From there one would go west to hit a footpath and follow this northwards to the starting point. There is in fact a footpath at or near this location.

From this it is clear enough that the main road is the king's highway leading to Portincraig though it is not at all clear where it was coming from or indeed what its route was after leaving Gauldry.

The footpath above may be the Scongate though it is not clear why it has this name. There is a Gaelic word "sgonn" which has a meaning of a shapeless mass or a lump or block, perhaps referring to a local landform but this is speculative.


Cultra
Carta Henrici Reuel et Margarete sponse eius de terra de Balmurinach
Charters of the Priory of St Andrew, page 271

Based on the 1926 one-inch map for Dundee & St Andrews. With thanks to Ordnance Survey.
On page 26 of Balmerino and Its Abbey, Campbell says that: Henry de Reuel and Margaret his spouse granted to the Priory of St Andrews fifteen acres of land which are described as lying north of Cultra, and west of the road leading from Balmerino to Cultra, as perambulated by the said Henry Richard Reuel, his nephew Matthew the canon and his good men, and also the common pasture pertaining to that extent of land

Interpretation
This must on the same or similar line to the existing road between these places. As there was a grange less than a mile to the south of Cultra, it is likely the road extended to that point.

 

 

 


Anstruther

Charter 49, page 37

Campbell in Balmerino and Its Abbey (page 96) says that William de Candela granted the abbey some land on the east side of Anstruther between the Crail road and the sea.

Interpretation
Both Adair in 1684 and the Military Survey c.1750 show the road between Anstruther and Crail as having very much the line of the present day road which is about half a mile from the sea.

 

 


Kilmany (Kinnear)
A group of Balmerino charters (Charters 12 -18) deal with lands in Kinner, now Kinnear, 3 miles ESE of Balmerino. Of these, charters 16 and 18 mention (the same) roads.

Charter 16 was a gift by Simon, son of Simon of Kynner, to the hospital of St John the Baptist of Jerusalem of six acres of land in the western ville of Kynner with a certain house and adjacent croft which Mertham, son of Mertham, held on the west side of the Brigflat. Three of the said acres led from the house to the other road and three acres from the western side of the house led to the marsh. Common pasturage for eighty sheep with their lambs from one year, four oxen, four cows and two horses was also granted.
……sex acras terre in occidentali villa de Kynner cum quadam domo quam Mertham filius Mertham tenuit cum crofto propinquiores le Brigflat ex parte occidentali. Tres scilicet acras tendentes de domo usque ad alteram viam et tres acras ex occidentali parte domus tendentes usque ad marescum cum communi pastura maresium octoginta ovium cum sequela sua unius anni et quatuor boum et quatuor vaccarum et duorum equorum ……….

Further on in this charter, a special condition was included, that Hugo of Kilmanyn could hold this land on payment to the hospital of 12d annually. The grant is described as: the foresaid house with the said six acres of land, or another house and another six acres of land in Easter Kynner, namely the house near to the house which Mertham held with a croft, and two acres with crofts below the house leading to the road, and four acres below the road leading to the marsh along with the previously noted appurtenances, liberties and easements…
…….predictam domum cum predictis sex acris terre, vel aliam domum et alias sex acras terre in orientali villa de Kynner, domum scilicet propinquiorem domo quam Mertham tenuit cum crofto, et duas acras cum croftis sub domo tendentes usque ad viam, et quatuor acras sub via tendentes usque ad mariscum cum prenominatis pertinenciis et libertatibus et aisiamentis…….

Charter 18 notes that at a later date Hugo granted the land, the croft and the pasture rights to Balmerino Abbey provided they paid the 12d. to the hospital. The land is described as:
…six acres of arable land in wester Kynner with a certain area for the construction of a building where there used to be a house which Mertham son of Mertham held along with a croft adjacent to the west side of the Brigflath. Three of the acres led from the foresaid house as far as the other road, and three acres from the west side of the foresaid house leading to the marsh with common pasture for 80 sheep and their lambs for one year, four oxen, four cows and two horses…
……sex acras terre arabilis in occidentali villa de Kynner cum quadam area ad construendum edificium ubi domus esse consuevit quam Mertham filius Mertham tenuit una cum crofto propinquiores le Brigflath ex parte occidentali. Tres scilicet acras tendentes de domo predicta usque ad alteram viam et tres acras ex occidentali parte domus predicte tendentes usque ad maresium cum communi pastura octoginta ovium cum sequela sua unius anni et quatuor boum et quatuor vaccarum et duorum equorum…..
This is practically the same as the first entry in charter 16 above although Mertham's house had gone.

For further information on the charters see:
The Chartularies of Balmerino and Lindores,  W. B. D. D. Turnbull
Balmerino and Its Abbey, James Campbell, 1868. Page 90
POMS All Kinnear charters; charter 16; charter 18
Placenames of Fife, Simon Taylor with Gilbert Markus, Vol. 4, pps 446-449
The medieval marches of Wester Kinnear, Kilmany Parish, Fife. Simon Taylor & Michael Henderson: Tayside and Fife Archaeological Journal, 4. pp. 232-247.


Based on the 1926 one-inch map for Dundee & St Andrews. With thanks to Ordnance Survey.

Interpretation
Kinner is now Kinnear, 3 miles ESE of Balmerino. There is still a Wester and an Easter Kinnear. Other charters (Balmerino charters 12 -14) give the overall boundaries of this land and have been translated by Campbell ( Balmerino and Its Abbey, page 83) and studied in detail by Taylor and Henderson. While these charters do not mention any roads, a previously unknown charter does mention one, which they identify as the road between Cupar and Woodhaven. This is shown on the Military Survey map and must be the continuation of the via regia mentioned for Kedlock.

In addition to this road, we know that there was a route that ran from Balmerino via Gauldry to Nydie and St Andrews - this passed between Kilmany and Wester Kinnear. This leaves us with the task of identifying three roads from charters 16 and 18: "the other road", the road to the marsh, and the road which was distinct from "the other road".

The road to the marsh is said to have been on the west side of the house (charter 16) and was probably marshy ground near the Mottray. The "other road" is difficult. It may have been the old track mentioned by Taylor and Henderson that ran from Kinner to The Gauldry and so Balmerino. The road distinct from "the other road" could suggest a track parallel to the Mottray which would connect the east and west parts of the estate and to Kilmany and the Cupar road on the south-west.


Logie (Kedlock)

Dealt with under St Andrews Priory, see here. A via regia is mentioned that ran north from Cupar to the Tay, as well as a road near a hill called Adkar.



Dundee

Charter 33, page 26

This charter mentions the "via maris de Dunde"



Lindores Abbey
Collessie
Newburgh
Newtyle (Angus)
Insch (Aberdeen)
Kinnemonth (Aberdeen)
Inverurie (Aberdeen)

Overview
This was a Tironensian abbey founded as a daughter house of Kelso in 1191 by David, Earl of Huntingdon, younger brother of William I (the Lion) and grandson of David I. Its attractive ruins lie just east of Newburgh, near the river Tay.

Of roads mentioned in its charters the only local road was a right of way from a petary in the south of Collessie parish, and which passed through the village of Collessie. In Perthshire there was a road in Newtyle; and in Aberdeenshire, a bridge just north of Inverurie, a road that may have led from Inverurie to Huntly, and a local road in Rathmuriel.
Chartulary of the Abbey of Lindores 1195-1479, Right Rev. John Dowden, D.D., Bishop of Edinburgh on Internet Archives.
The Roads of Fife, Owen Silver, John Donald Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh 1987
People of Medieval Scotland website. This has details of charters pre-1314, see Lindores charters. Amanda Beam, John Bradley, Dauvit Broun, John Reuben Davies, Matthew Hammond, Michele Pasin (with others),The People of Medieval Scotland, 1093–1314 (Glasgow & London, 2012),www.poms.ac.uk.

Collessie

Lindores abbey

Several charters of Lindores Abbey refer to a right of way between the abbey and a petary in present day Collessie parish. The charters were translated by John Dowden, Bishop of Edinburgh, in his edition of the Chartulary, published in 1903. Extracts from these are given below.




A charter of Roger De Quency (charter 135, page 176) says that
:

  "the monks of Lundors, and their men with their oxen, horses, and carts should have a free road (cheminagium) through the middle of his wood of Kyndeloch, if they think it an advantage to them, and through the whole of his land, wherever it might seem to them best and most suitable, as far as to the moor of Edyn for heather; and through the middle of the moor itself as far as the peatmoss, which is called Monagrey, for peats, and thence to the monastery, both going and returning, without hindrance or opposition from his bailiff, or the bailiff or his heirs and successors."
Dowden notes that "cheminagium (chymnachium) is from the old French cheminage, commonly used for the payment of tolls demanded by the owners of forest for the passage of horses and wagons. Liberum cheminagium is permission of passing without toll through the wood."

A charter of Elena of Brechin (charter 136, page 177) gave Lindores two small parcels of land in Kyndeloch where they could stack their peat. The charter says of these lands that:
  "one is called Inch (Insula), which lies to the north, immediately next to the land which the monks have and had in the vill of Kyndeloch. And that Inch is surrounded on the west and north by a marsh, which is called in English Seggymir, and on the east by a marsh which is called in English Muchelli. But the other small portion is in the south part of the moor of Edin lying, on its north part, next adjoining the marsh of the monks, which by another name is called Mungrey. And that small portion of land contains one acre and a quarter. She also gave the monks "a free road for drawing and carting (cariandi) the said fuel without hindrance through her lands of Kyndeloch from their marsh to each of the two places, and beyond, as often as they please and have need." Dated August 1302

Charter 137 (page 180) of Roger de Quency granted Lindores 200 cart-loads of heather each year from his moor of Kyndeloch and the same amount of peats from his peat-moss of Monegre. He also granted one acre nearby where they could dry the peats and:
  "a messuage adjacent to the nearest ford, which is called Ethyweyn, on the eastern side in the field (in campo) of Thoreston, containing two acres of land, to which messuage they can draw their heather and peats. Further, the monks and their men are permitted to have a free road (chiminagium), in a straight line as far as the moor, for heather, and a free road through the middle of the moor for peats, and thence to the messuage in returning." Dated 1247.
A messuage implies a dwelling with outbuildings.

John de Kocbrun (Charter 140, page 186) gave Lindores:
  'that whole land with its pertinents which lies in breadth between the main road (magnam viam), which leads from my vill of Cullessin to the monastery of Lundors, and the land of the monks which is called Cardynside, and in length, beginning from the land of the same monks which is called Suthleys, towards the north as far as the burn (rivulum) running into the great lake, between me and them, with that small portion (particula) of land which I have caused to be estimated (extendi), and bounded for them on the south part of the aforesaid main road, in a right line from my land which is called Wudeknocside northward as far as the middle of the meadow belonging to the same monks, which is called the meadow of the great lake.
Moreover, he gives to the monks two acres of land outside the vill of Culessin, towards the north, where they may make a messuage for themselves, to which they can draw their peats and other goods, and there, if they wish, keep them safe ; and also a free passage or road by the midst of his land of Coulessin, to wit, in going through the midst of his vill of Coulessin, with their men, horses, oxen, waggons, and carts (carrectis), towards their peat-moss in the moor of Edyne, and in returning, by the same way, as they had been accustomed for the purpose of drawing their fuel, without any disturbance on the part of him, his heirs, and assignees, excepting [damage to] their corn and meadow-grass (herbagio)."
Dowden identifies the great loch as the loch of Rossie which was drained in the late 1700’s. He acknowledges an alternative view that it could be the loch of Lindores.

Interpretation
Click on map for larger image. Based on the 1926 one-inch map for Dundee
& St Andrews. With thanks to Ordnance Survey.

Unfortunately, not all of the placenames have survived but Monagre is shown on the Military Survey map just east of Ladybank. Kindeloch is Kinloch south of Collessie and the name Moor of Eden still survives. The location of the small parcels of land where the monks could collect their peats and heather is not certain but Monkstown and Heatherinch (formerly Nether Inch) are possibilities and there seems to have been grants of land nearer to Kinloch and to the north of Collessie.

 

 


 

The track is likely to have run over these hills to Lindores

The last charter is difficult to interpret although the reference to the magnam viam between Collessie and Lindores abbey is clear enough. The topography suggests it would have had much the same route as today, probably on a higher line as this would be drier - Silver (Roads of Fife) suggests it could be the track running up through Braeside and to the east of Green Law.

Although it cannot be determined exactly today, the route taken by the right of way through Collessie and Kinloch to Monagre must have been fairly direct, perhaps through Monkstown.


Collessie
Of the Manse near the Church of Cullessy

Chartulary of Lindores, charter XCI, page 98
This refers to the public street beside the church of Collessie.

Newburgh
Sasine of Land in Newburgh
Chartulary of Lindores, charter CLIII, page 225. Dated 1479. Notes, page 282
This refers to a sale of land and a house in Newburgh where in completing the transaction the parties went by the "straight road" to the location.

Interpretation
It is not clear if this means "going directly to" or is an actual reference to a straight road. As it was in Newburgh we would in any case expect there to be streets


Newtyle
William Wascelyn's Charter of the Land of Newtyle
Chartulary of Lindores, charter XXXVII, page 39. Notes, page 247. Date: c.1200
This is dealt with under Angus. It refers to some land in Newtyle between the high way and the hill (or perhaps the upper road and the hill).


Insch
Of the Chapel of Weredors
Chartulary of Lindores, charter LIX, page 65. Notes, page 254. Dated 1228X1239.
This is dealt with under Aberdeenshire. It refers to land near Wardhouse, west of Insch, lying
"between the great road and the moor towards Gillandreston". This may have been a long distance route between Inverurie and Huntly and beyond.


Kinnemonth
Church Land of Rathmuriel
Chartulary of Lindores, charter LV, page 61 Dated 1245
This is dealt with under Aberdeenshire. It refers to a high road which goes from the ford of Ury towards Leslie.


Inverurie - Bridge of Balhaggardy (Balhalgardy)
Charter of Earl John concerning xx. shillings in Inverurie
Chartulary of Lindores, charter XVII, page 21. Date 1232X1237. Notes, page 240.
This is dealt with under Aberdeenshire. It mentions the Bridge of Balhagerdyn, about two miles north of Inverurie.


Inchcolm Abbey
Dalgety - marches of the moor of Boclavy and of Fordell
Aberdour
Leith (Midlothian)
Tibbermore (Perth)

Overview

Inchcolm Abbey.

In 1123, Alexander I was driven to Inchcolm island during a storm, and vowed to build a monastery in thanks for his deliverance. However he died before he was able to keep his promise.

Shortly after, his brother, David I, invited a party of Augustinian canons to set up a priory on the island. It was eventually made an abbey in 1235.

Like other abbeys it received generous grants and a few roads are referred to in its charters. In the north of Dalgety parish, near Fordell, a couple of roads or tracks are referred to but are difficult to identify. There is however a clear reference to a road coming from Dunfermline and a mention of an ancient bridge near Fordell. In Aberdour there is mention of a road to Kinghorn, and a road at the west of the town which probably came from Queensferry and Inverkeithing. This would give a continuous route from the ferry to Kinghorn, something we would suspect anyway from the death of Alexander III. A charter for Leith mentions the high road between Edinburgh and Leith, and one for Tibbermore in Perthshire ties in well with one for Scone abbey and is likely to be the "Old Gallows Road".

Charters of the Abbey of Inchcolm, D.E.Easson & Angus MacDonald (Eds), Scottish History Society, 1938
The Roads of Fife, Owen Silver, John Donald Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh 1987
William Ross, Aberdour and Inchcolme, 1885
Further details of charters pre-1314 can be found on the People of Medieval Scotland website, see Inchcolm charters. Amanda Beam, John Bradley, Dauvit Broun, John Reuben Davies, Matthew Hammond, Michele Pasin (with others), The People of Medieval Scotland, 1093–1314 (Glasgow and London, 2012) www.poms.ac.uk.


Dalgety - marches of the moor of Boclavy and of Fordell
Charters of the Abbey of Inchcolm. Charter XIX, page 17. Notes p.130. Date: 1240

Fordell and Bucklyvie boundaries in green. These also follow parish boundaries. Based on 1913 OS half-inch map, with thanks.

This relates to a dispute between Inchcolm and William de Hercht, lord of Fordell, over the marches of the moor of Bucklyvie and Fordell. The marches are given thus: "Beginning at the ford called Hollefurd and ascending by that syke (a small stream, often dry in summer) which goes from the west side of Glasgely as far as the cross next to the bridge of the canons which leads to the canon's petary of Glasgely. And from that cross as far as the high road (altam stratam) and by that high road as far as the syke which goes round the Grenhill. And from the foot of Grenhill as far as the foot of Blakhill, as a pile of stones placed there shows, as far as an ancient bridge which is between the spring and the petary of which a certain part was in contention. And from the bridge by a path at the head of the spring that leads to the side road directly towards the south as far as a cross which stands above the mother syke. And from that cross as that mother syke falls in to Rereford.

And know that the abbot and convent and their men shall have free passage from that cross that stands above the mother syke transversly to the high road that comes from Dunfermline (altam stratam que ducit de Dunfermling) for carts and wagons and their cattle freely and without impediment saving damage to the crops of the said William.

Also by the rivulet which falls from Rerefurd as far as opposite Hakenheuid and from there as far as a pile of stones, called a cairn, towards the west. And from that cairn towards the south by piles of stones as far as a great round stone. And from that stone by piles of stones as far as that syke which falls into the petary of Coleistoun."

Interpretation
With most of the placenames lost and doubt about those remaining, this is nearly impossible to interpret. Some help in identifying the approximate location (other than Wester Bucklyvie and Fordell) is provided by two documents. One is a 6-inch map (sheet XXXIX NE) which has been marked to show farm boundaries, the other is a plan of Fordell estate made in 1756.

The estate plan shows that the boundary between Bucklyie and Fordell ran north-south between them and followed the parish boundary. Although this was in 1756, land boundaries do survive for long periods of time and there seems little to doubt that this is the case here. To the north, the estate plan shows Fordell turning west along a parish boundary at the Mowbray Burn.

From this, two possibilities for the location of Bucklyvie Moor suggest themselves: one is north of the village of Fordell, the other just south of Fordell where Fordell Muir was, on the assumption (which may be incorrect) that Bucklyvie Muir would adjoin it.

The estate plan shows numerous boundary stones and it is likely that these are the same as those mentioned in the charter, though exactly where they coincide is difficult to say. One slight clue to the location is the Blakhill which may be the same as the Blackhill in Fordell itself; the only other hill nearby is Gallows Knowe which may be Grenhill. If this was the case then the starting point of the charter may have been up at the Mowbray Burn, then following a stream up to Gallows Knowe and the road. This would suggest the road ran east to Kirkcaldy. This however is conjectural.

From the Blackhill it may be describing the marches to the south. William Ross's (Aberdour and Inchcolme, p. 85) identifies Coleiston as Couston, about one mile west of Aberdour; the abbey had lands in this area. Another possibility is that it is the Coaltown shown on the estate plan. If Ross is correct it suggests the charter is describing the boundary all along its length.

With such slight clues, it is hard to say much sensible about the roads other than repeating the charter itself, viz. that a road ran in from Dunfermline to the Fordell area and that the abbey had a right of passage cutting across from this to their own lands and that there were a couple of local tracks. The mention of the ancient bridge is intriguing but its location is uncertain.

William Ross, Aberdour and Inchcolme, 1885
People of Medieval Scotland website. Document 4/20/31.


Aberdour
Registrum Honoris de Morton, vol.2. Charter 231, page 236. Dated 1474.

This was a grant by James, Earl of Morton, to the Vicar of Aberdour of one acre of land lying within the territory of his town of Aberdour, at the east end of it, and on the north side of the road which leads to the town of Kingorne (Kinghorn). This was to be used for a hospital which could also be used by pilgrims visiting the pilgrim's well in the town.
The original grant of one acre was augmented by further grants, viz. Reg. Hon. de Morton, Charter 232, page 238; Charter 233, page 240.
For translation see Aberdour and Inchcolm, William Ross, 1885 Lecture 3, page 46. On page 48 he refers to arrangements to ensure that a road, "not less than 16 ells in breadth", would extend to "le pylgramys well."

Charters of the Abbey of Inchcolm. Charter LXVII, page 93. Dated 1548. Notes page 208
This document refers to land on the west side of Aberdour close by the king's highway (via regia). It is likely that this led to Inverkeithing and Queensferry.


Leith
Charters of the Abbey of Inchcolm. Charter XIII, page 11. Notes page 118. Dated c.1220-1226

This charter is dealt with under Mid-Lothian. It refers to land "in the territory of Restalrig on the west side of Horstanes and on the south side of the high road between Edinburgh and Leith (alte strate inter Edinburgh et Leth)". The road ran by the later Bonnington Road and Broughton Road to Holyrood Abbey.

Tibbermore
Charters of the Abbey of Inchcolm. Charter XXXVII, page 36. Notes page 154

This is dealt with under Perthshire (Scone Abbey) and is for a grant of land near Tibbermore which mentions a road to the south of the settlement. It is possible that it is the continuation of a road mentioned in a Scone charter, also for Tibbermore.

Dunfermline Abbey

Dunfermline (3) Kinross Stirling (2) (Stirlingshire) Smeaton (East Lothian)
Inverkeithing Markinch Airntully (Perthshire) Perth
Gellat Largo area (4) Colinton (Midlothian) Berwick
Pitfirrane Bendochty (Coupar Angus - Perthshire) Edinburgh (Midlothian) Ferries
Dunduff Airthrey (Stirlingshire) Musselburgh (Midlothian)  


Overview
In 1070, a priory was founded in Dunfermline by Queen Margaret, wife of Malcolm Canmore and settled by Benedictine monks she invited from Canterbury - there was an earlier Culdee establishment in Dunfermline. In 1128, her son David I elevated the priory to an abbey in honour of his mother, building a new church and providing the new abbey with many generous gifts. In time, Dunfermline became one of the weathiest abbeys in Scotland.

There are numerous references to roads in the charters. Some are just tracks that gave access to parts of an estate but others gave access to nearby settlements where the abbey had lands. In a couple of cases there are useful references to long-distance routes leading to Perth and St Andrews.

In Dunfermline itself, other than streets there was a reference to a bridge over the Tower Burn to Pittencrieff. Immediately south of Dunfermline they had a port at Limekilns with valuable shipping rights, and a road must be presumed to have run from here to the town and to a grange just south of Dunfermline. Nearby, at Pitfirrane, there were "gates" giving access to parts of a runrig system. Although not mentioned below, there is a tradition that Margaret and her party made landfall at a bay now called St Margaret's Hope and on the way to Dunfermline Margaret stopped to rest at a stone called St Margaret's Stone. A road does pass this stone and as it leads directly to the town it is likely enough that there was an early road on this line.

Memorial to Alexander III, killed by a fall from his horse near this spot.

At Dunduff, a few miles north of the town, there is mention of a ford, a word that sometimes has the meaning of a "way" as well as the usual meaning of a crossing point on a stream. Whatever the case, any related track is likely to be local. Although not mentioned specifically in the charters, it is very likely that there was a coastal route from the ferry over the Forth, through Inverkeithing to Kinghorn and Kirkcaldy. Alexander III was killed in 1286 near Kinghorn as he was making his way at night and in bad weather to see his new bride in the castle at Kinghorn.

Three charters allow us to reconstruct north-south routes through Fife. One charter refers to a road leading directly north from Inverkeithing to Perth and another charter has a road from Dunfermline to Perth joining this near Kelty. The third charter picks up the road again at Kinross - the via regia being described as ancient.

At Markinch there was an ancient bridge but it is not certain if it was on a local or long distance route. Over at Largo Law, there is mention of a couple of tracks, probably local, a bridge, and a road to St Andrews that is likely to have had the line of the present day A915 road.

Outwith Fifeshire there was a controversy with Coupar Angus over access to the lands of Bendochty just north of Coupar Angus abbey, and another argument with the convent at North Berwick which has a useful reference to a causeway running north from the earlier bridge at Stirling to Airthrey. Also at Stirling was an exchange of land that refers to the via regia leading to Cuiltedouenald, perhaps in St Ninians south of the town.

At Airntully in Perthshire there is mention of local access to moorland, and near Edinburgh there is mention of a road near Colinton that is likely to be the road to Lanark. At Musselburgh there was a road to Niddrie, three miles to the west; and a couple of short routes near Inveresk and Dalkeith as well as one from Haddington to Newbattle.

Also of note are the numerous references to Queensferry that gave important access to routes to Perth and St Andrews.

The maps below are based on the 1913 OS half-inch map, sheets 23 and 27. With thanks to Ordnance Survey.

Registrum de Dunfermelyn, Bannatyne Club, 1842
Royal Dunfermline - see Resources

The Roads of Fife, Owen Silver, John Donald Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh 1987
The Internet Archive has various works on the history of Dunfermline and the abbey, see here.
Further details of charters pre-1314 can be found on the People of Medieval Scotland website, see Dunfermline charters. Amanda Beam, John Bradley, Dauvit Broun, John Reuben Davies, Matthew Hammond, Michele Pasin (with others), The People of Medieval Scotland, 1093–1314 (Glasgow and London, 2012) www.poms.ac.uk.

Dunfermline
Register of Dunfermline: Charter 443, page 335

Based on the 1927 one-inch map for Stirling & Dunfermline. With thanks to Ordnance Survey.

This charter refers to a street in Dunfermline leading from a town port towards the Tower Burn: "viz. near our lower port situated in the lower part of the burgh of Dunfermline in the street which extends from the said port to the water of Ferm, colloquially called the Tower Burn on the west side of the same street between the garden of the blessed Laurence on the north side on the one hand and the said water on the south side on the other along with a portion of land lying on the west side of the same garden…"

Viz. propre portam nostram inferiorem iacente in villa inferiore burgi de Dunfermeline in vico que extendens a dicta porta ad aquam de ferm wlgariter nuncupatum tourburne ex parte occidentali eiusdem vici inter ortum beati laurencij ex parte boreali ex parte vna 7 dictam aquam ex parte australi ex altera vna cum particata terre que iacet ex parte occidentali eiusdem orti……

-----------------------------------------------------------
Register of Dunfermline: Charter 370, page 253

This mentions a bridge called the Girth Bow. Sheila Pitcairn in A History of Pittencrieff Glen/Park 9.6Mb (page 5) places it near to St Catherine’s Yard or Garden and suggests it connected the abbey with the royal burgh on the other side of the Tower Burn (see also p.16 for a reference from Mackie in The “Journal” Guide to Dunfermline who says that the Gyrthbow was probably the original crossing made by the Abbots and Monks as they passed between the Monastery and the pleasant fields and gardens of Pitencrieff. It would have been replaced by later bridges, one of which was the “Double Arched Bridge.”)

---------------------------------------------
Carta de communia Ville de Dunfermlin
Register of Dunfermline: Charter 596, page 415.

This charter refers to the via regia to Perth, north-east of the town of Dunfermline. A translation is given in A history of the town and parish of Dunfermline, John Fernie, page 193ff, as follows:

"Be it known to you that we after serious and attentive deliberation in our chapter on what regards the interest of our monastery have given granted and by this present charter confirmed to the community of our borough of Dunfermylyne and the burgesses thereof as a common that part of our moor extending in length from the boundaries of Waltirselis to the straight marches of Beedgall reserving to ourselves our peatmoss of Beedgall and from the high way to Perth and the boundaries of Greenauch to the straight marches of Tulch in breadth together with the peat moss in said moor And likewise that piece of land extending from the high way to Perth to Moncor bank and situate within the two ditches (duo sycheta) running in a line from Moncor till they reach the high way to Perth the said piece of land being of equal breadth with that of Moncor opposite thereto."
The same boundaries are given in a confirmation charter of James VI in 1588 (see Burgh Records of Dunfermline, xlviii).

Interpretation
Map of area north of Dunfermline.  Based on 1913 OS  map with thanksThe area in question lies about one to one and a half miles to the north-east of the town centre, around the Townhill area. Fernie's rendering of the placenames varies slightly from the Register, particularly his Greenauch which is Creuoyn in the Register. It has survived in Garvock Hill. Tulch is Touch and Townhill was formerly known as Moncur. Beedgall and Waltirselis are lost though in the same general area. It is likely that Moncur bank (ripam de moncor) is a reference to the shores of Moncur Loch (Town Loch).

Despite these clues it is hard to place the boundaries of the Common. However, the course of the Perth road is known from later maps such as Adair (1775) and the charter references confirm that it had the same course in the middle ages.


Inverkeithing
Quedam perambulacio in abbatem R 7 convent de Dunfermlin 7 G de mubray de quedam particula terre apud Inverkethin

Register of Dunfermline: Charter 592, page 411

Map of Perth road north of Inverkeithing.  Based on 1913 OS  map with thanksThis was a perambulation between Dunfermline and G de Mubray on a certain plot of land near Inverkeithing. It reads:
"Towards the east as it extends northwards next to the well called Kellohouis Well on its eastern side and so towards the north side as far as plukylaw on the east side and so by a path with stones placed between and below white meadows towards the south keeping close to the foot of the said white meadows as far as a green road towards the eastern part that the road goes towards the north next to the well called the Hasocwel on the east side and so as far as the black hill on the west side of Carnihole according to the stones fixed there and signed with a cross and so to the sike of the marsh called the Croslech next to the marsh called the Crosmire which exits towards the west and so eastwards of Threpeland and the said marsh as stones signed with a cross have been fixed there, and so north to the Croslech next to the said marsh And so to the marsh called the lord’s marsh towards the east and so from the eastern side of the lord’s marsh to the via regia which extends from the town of Perth to Inverkeithing, and it is understood that the dry and arid lands as far as the sike called the Croslech will remain with the abbot and convent of Dunfermline and the land of the marsh with the lord G de mubray.."

….versus orientem que se extendit versus boriam iuxta fontem qui vocatur Kellohouis Well proxime ex parte orientali 7 ita versus partem borialem vsque plukylaw ex parte orientali 7 sic per semitam lapidibus interfixam subtus album pratres versus austrum proxime adherente ad pedem dicti albi patres vsque ad viridem viam versus orientalem partem que via se extendit versus boriam iuxta fontem que vocatur le Hasocwel ex parte orientali 7 sic usque ad collem nigrum ex parte occidentali de Carnihole secundum que lapides ibi fixi sunt 7 crucesignati 7 sic usque ad sicchetum marisium que vocatur le Croslech iuxta marisium qui vocatur le Crosmire exiens versus occidentem 7 sic versus orientem del threpeland 7 dictum marisium secundum que petras ibi fixe sunt crucesignate 7 sic versus boriam usque Croslech iuxta dictum marisium 7 sic ad marisium que vocatur marisius domini versus oriente 7 sic vsque ad viam regiam ex orientali parte marisium domini que se extendit de villa de perth versus Inverkethyn 7 est sciendum que terra sicca 7 arida vsque ad scichetum que vocatur le Croslech remanebit abbati 7 conuentui de Dunfermlin 7 terra marisio remanebit domino G de mubray

Interpretation
All the placenames have disappeared. However, given the directness of the line, the placename Crossgates, and the orientation of the main street in Inverkeithing it is very likely that the via regia from Perth to Inverkeithing is identical to or close to the pre-turnpike road that runs parallel to the B981 - see map by Sharp, Greenwood and Fowler 1828). The B981 was the old turnpike, marked on early OS maps as the Great North Road. The road in question here was joined at Kelty by the medieval road from Dunfermline and continued to Kinross.


Gellat
Carta Dauid Regis de portu de Gellald
Charter of King David of the port of Gellald

Register of Dunfermline: Charter 391, page 270. Dated 1364

In this charter of David II, the abbey was given the right of a port on the shores of the Forth, south of Dunfermline. Henderson, in his Annals of Dunfermline provides a translation as follows:

"David, by the Grace of God, King of Scots, to the whole upright men in the
kingdom, Greeting, - Know ye that I have given and granted to God and the
the blessed Margaret the Queen, to the Abbot and Monks of Dunfermlyn
serving God there, and to serve God there forever, for themselves, their
burgesses, and merchants, that they hold a port or harbour at Grange, of
Gellald, or at Wester Rossyth, with the consent of the owners thereof, for
all sorts of goods and merchandise, as well as wool, hides, and skins; and
at the said harbour by the merchants of the same, for carrying, importing,
exporting, and weighing, freely, lawfully, as they may see most expedient
for themselves - reserving to ourselves always the Great Customs," &c."

From Annals of Dunfermline, Henderson, page 139

Map of area south of  Dunfermline.  Based on 1913 OS  map with thanksInterpretation
It is not quite clear where the Grange of Gellald was. There is a "Grange" and "Grange Mount" just south of the town (NT0985), and there are Gellald (now Gellat) placenames about a kilometre or so to the south again. This does not matter too much as there is general agreement among those who have written about Dunfermline that the port would have been somewhere near Limekilns, perhaps Bruce Haven. A road would have run from the shore to the grange and presumably the abbey and town to carry all the merchandise mentioned in the charter. Ainslie's map of 1775 shows a road close to this line, passing Wester Gellat and Grange, which may be the road presumed to have existed in the middle ages.

Peter Chalmers in his History of Dunfermline has interesting comments about Gellald, viz:
"There is frequent mention made in the Register of the Schire of Gellald or Gelland, as at pp 3, 5 &c., the gift of King Edgar, and of the Port at the Grange thereof, or at Wester Rosyth, (Register p 270), the gift of King David II. It is not improbable that the district, so named, may have been the southern part of the parish of Dunfermline, where were the two properties of East and West Gellet, and where is the harbour now named Brucehaven, near the Old Church, at the west end of the ancient parish of Rosyth. It is mentioned, too, as adjoining to Pitliver, in the south east part of the parish, and separated by a stream from the land of Abercromby (Register p 125). It may even have extended to the eastern part of Torryburn Parish, where there was a farm, and still is a toll, named Gellanderston."
Peter Chalmers, History of Dunfermline, Vol.1, page 209.


Pitfirrane

Contractas inter abbatem et conuentum monasterii de Dunfermlyn et dauid Haket de perambulacione terrarum de petfurane
Contract between the abbot and convent of the monastery of Dunfermline and David Haket on the perambulation of the lands of Petfurane

Register of Dunfermline: Charter 486, page 285. Dated 1437

Map of Pitfirrane area.  Based on 1913 OS  map with thanksThis charter refers to an adjustment between the two parties of the lands owned by each in the Petfurane area. It refers to “gates” in a couple of places and from the context these seem to have been strips of land giving access to different parts of a runrig system.

The references are:
We haue deliviret to ye said Abbot and convent als mekil land liand on the south hauf yer oxgang safand a gate liang betuix of fourty fute brede ye qwhilk land to yam deliverit is of quantite tua acris thre rude and fyften fall in ye hale. Alsua we decret and ordainis yt ye gate liand betuix ye said Dauidis orchard and his westir oxgang extendand fra ye chemy of the said Abbot and convent to ye gate liand be north ye herber hill be comon to baith ye partes, and yat it be threttie fut brad sanfand ye yhate betuix ye bern and ye biir of ye said Dauid ye qwhilk sa remain of ye samyn quantitie yat it is now of ye qwhilk threttie fute yar sel be ten fute of ye rynryg of ye Abbot and ye convent, and twentie fute of ye rynrig of ye said Dauid fd. it pas ye bern and ye biir northwards to ye gate extendand to ye herber hill.

These refer to:
1) On the south side of the abbey’s oxgang, a gate forty feet wide, between it and a parcel of land in the transaction;
2) The gate lying between the said David’s orchard and his wester oxgang should now extend from the abbey’s main dwelling to the gate lying north of herber hill. Between this dwelling and David’s barn and byre it was to be held in common and be 30 feet broad. From the barn and byre to the hill it was also to be 30 foot broad, 10 foot of which was to belong to the abbey's runrig and 20 foot to David's runrig.

For original text see here
Also Annals of Dunfermline, Ebenezer Henderson, 1879, p. 152/3


Dunduff

Perambulacio inter terras abbatis de Dunfermelyn 7 terram Dauid hostiarij scilicet Dunduf
Perambulation between the lands of the abbot of Dunfermeline and the lands of David the Doorward, namely Dunduf

Register of Dunfermline: Charter 196, page 111. Dated 1231

Map of area near  Dunduff.  Based on 1913 OS  map with thanks
...beginning at the same divisions from the east of the hill called Torduff and descending from that summit northwards to a syke and so westwards as far as a marsh and so by a valley to a certain ford thence to the east of Cragfode and so by the middle of the marsh towards the south as far as the bounds of Lusk Gocelin...
..incipientes easdem diuisas ab oriente montis qui dicitur torduf descendendo per sumitatem illius versus aquilonem ïn siketum 7 sic versus occidentem usque ad marisium 7 sic per uallem ad quoddam uadum 7 inde ad orientalem de cragfode 7 sic per medium marisij versus australis usque ad diuisas de lusk Gocelin..

Interpretation
It can be seen from the map that there is a fairly close fit with the charter. Torduff is probably the hill to the south of Dunduff with a stream to the north of it. Cragfode is likely to be West Hill with the ford somewhere in the vicinity. Ford can sometimes mean "way" but whichever meaning is intended, a path is entailed. The 6" map (Fifeshire Sheet 35) shows some footpaths in the area, one of which runs north south by West Hill, and which would fit the wording quite well.


Kinross
Adthangy
Register of Dunfermline: Charter 232, page 148/149. Dated 1319

This charter refers to a via regia near Kinross which from the context is likely to be the road to Perth. An old bridge is also mentioned.

The extract reads:
From the southern part of the Hill of Ardeno as an old bridge was at one time (where there used to be) and so ascending by a marsh towards the north and west by a syke which extends alongside Le Aly from the south side of Inchehoche and so from that syke which is called Ury and as an old course of that syke runs below le Aly and so ascending to an ancient via regia and by this northwards towards the water of Northchuy (North Quiech) and so by the ancient course of the previously mentioned water descending towards the east as is made plain by bounds made by the foresaid perambulators as far as the aforementioned Loch Leven. Also they said likewise that the land of Autangy would have common pasture in the moor of Mauchchuy (Mawhill) and entry and exit to the said pasture, namely a loaning by the north side of the Aly…

.....ab australi parte montis de Ardeno sicut vnus vetus pons fuit quondam 7 sicut ascendendo per vnum maristum versus boream 7 occidentem per vnum Sychetum se extendentem apud Le Aly ex parte australi de Inchehoche 7 sic ab illo sycheto que vocatur Vry et sicut antiquus cursus illius Syncheti currebat infra le Aly 7 sic ascendendo ad antiquam viam Regiam 7 sic per viam Regiam versus aquilonem usque ad aquam de Northchuy 7 sic per antiquus cursus aquae prenotiate descendendo versus orientem sicut patet per metas factas per perambulatores prescriptos vsque in lacum de Leuyn ante dictum. Item idem dixerunt que terra de Autangy heret communam pasture in mora de mauchchuy 7 ad dictam pasturam exitum 7 introitum scilicet Lonyng per latus aquilonale de le Aly......

Interpretation
Map of Kinross area. Based on 1913 half  inch OS map, with thanks.
Adthangy is very likely to be present day Lethangie which lies between Kinross and Milnathort. It fits the wording of the charter and on one early map (Gordon, Kinross-shire) is named Lathangie. A map on Scotland Places shows the modern boundary of Lethangie farm.

Only the North Quiech and the Ury Burn can be identified with any certainty. However, working backwards from the end of the charter, one would follow the North Quiech upstream to reach the via regia and then follow this southwards to another burn though it is hard to tell if it is the Ury or the Aly. Beyond this point, the charter is unclear. Despite this, it is likely enough that the via regia ran through the town of Kinross and followed the line of the present road which ultimately leads to Perth (a Melrose charter mentions that Robert I (Liber Melros, V.2, p.358) gave them a toft in Kinross on the side of the main road leading to Perth). It is not clear where the old bridge was and if it was associated with the via regia.

Mauchchuy is very likely to be Mawhill (cf. Barrow, Scotland & Its Neighbours p.106). As the charter says that the loaning was on the north side of the Aly it could be that the Aly is what is now known as the Ury Burn, or part of it, as this would give a direct route towards Mawhill, .


Markinch (Goatmilk and Auchmuty)
Littera perambulacionis terrarum de Gaytmilk schire de Admulty
Register of Dunfermline: Charter 458, page 355. Dated 1466

This record of the perambulation of the bounds between Gaitmilk and Admulty mentions an ancient bridge over the Leven:
"..viz, beginning at the east side of the lands of Admulty towards the south at the place colloquially called Gochry Den, and so ascending as stones are sited and located near the arable lands and ditches of Admulty as far as three large stones located by the marches of the same lands in the west. And from there heading north and descending as stones are placed with ditches as far as the end and place of an ancient bridge over the water of Leven and as far as the middle of the same water…"
….Viz. jncipiendo ad orientalem partem terrarum de Admulty versus austrum ad locum wlgariter dictum le gochry den Et sic ascendendo sicut lapides sunt sitj et locatj propre terram arabilem et foueas de Admulty vsque ad tres magnos lapides locatos per marchia earundem terrarum in occidens Et de hinc vergendo versus boream et descendendo sicut lapides siti cum fouea vsque ad finem et locum antiquj pontis super aquam de levin et vsque ad medietatem eiusdem aque...

Interpretation

Map of area near  Markinch.  Based on 1913 OS  map with thanks
The new town of Glenrothes covers most of the area of this map. The town centre is just north of Auchmuty. Parish boundaries in green; farm boundary purple.

Goatmilk is south of Leslie and sw of Glenrothes. Admulty, now Auchmuty, is Gaelic for “ford of the wedders” and lies to the east of this. Using the parish boundary and the boundary of Auchmuty farm (6" map marked to show farm boundaries - Fife XXVII NE -ScotlandsPlaces website) there is quite a strong possibility that the perambulation started east of Auchmuty then went south to reach both boundaries. Following these to the west it is then said to have turned north to run to the Leven, just as the two boundaries do. The placename Gochrie Den has disappeared, as have the stones. Given that the charter dates from 1466, the "ancient bridge" may date from the early middle ages, 300 or so years before rather than an earlier period - bridges can decay quite considerably over 300 years and so appear "ancient". It is not at all clear what route it might have been on. The nearby Cow Bridge is much later.


Largo area

Overview and interpretation
The following charters for the Largo area refer to some roads, including a road to St Andrews, and a bridge. While the charters have elements in common, they are nevertheless very difficult to interpret. The easiest approach is probably to use the parish boundary as shown on the map where lands to the west and north of this would be the Earl of Fife's (Largo parish) and lands to the east (Newburn parish) would belong to Dunfermline, with the assumption that the charters would refer to this, or sections of it.

Map of area near Largo Law.  Based on 1913 OS  map with thanksWith the first document, the road from Nythbren (Newburn) to Balmani (Balmain) is likely to have taken a fairly direct route over the north side of Largo Law. The Peth could indicate a water-course or steep path up a hill - see DSL, or possibly be the Pictish pit indicating a portion or piece of land. The location of the Queen's Bridge is hard to tell from the wording although one would expect it to be on the St Andrews road.

The second document has a road from the smithy of Nythbren to Balbard. This is likely to have been very direct, and probably sharing part of its course with the Balmain road.

The third document mentions the Nythbren to Balmani road.

As to the final document and the reference to the road to St Andrews, the directness of the line suggests the same or similar line shown by the present day A915 from the coast at Largo to St Andrews.

-------------------------------------

Mete de Melgum
Register of Dunfermline: Charter 334, page 223,

Evidence of the Abbot of Dunfermline on the bounds and divisions of the mount of Melgum. This says: "Beginning near the Peth (see above note) of the same hill and so descending by a road that comes from the smithy of Nythbren and goes towards Balmani as far as the head of a certain well and so descending by the stream that comes from the same well as far as the Queen’s bridge and so eastwards by a certain syke from the foresaid bridge as far as a stone situated in the northern part of Melgom and so by that stone as far as another stone called the Harstane which lies at the outer boundary of Balbard and so ascending by the same bounds as a furrow has been drawn where it is to be ploughed."

Euidencia Abbatis de Dunfermlyn super metis et diuisis montem de melgum. Incipindo apud le Pethe eiuisdem montem 7 sic descendendo per via que venit de fabrica de Nythbren (near Upper Largo) et tendit versus Balmani (see Register of the Great Seal) vsque ad capud cuiusdam fontem 7 sic descende deinde per riuulum eiusdem fontem vsque ad pontem Regine et sic versus oriente per quedam Sichetum a predicto ponte usque ad lapidem que iacet in aquilonali parte de melgom 7 sic de illo lapide usque ad lapidem qui vocatur le Harstane qui iacet ad finem mete de Balbard 7 sic ascendendo per eandem metas sicut sulcus aratri se habet in arando

=====================================================================
Carta perambulacionis de melgow
Charter of the Perambulation of Melgow (Melgum)
Register of Dunfermline: Charter 590, Page 409. Dated 1306

This recorded a perambulation of the lands of Melgum (in Largo parish), held by the Earl of Fife, and those of Newburn held by Dunfermline. That part which mentions boundaries reads:

...Which judges said that the ownership of the fields which are Melgum are the lord and count of Fife’s…..Dunfermline having a common (for the supply of food) in the said field below the underwritten bounds….and the religious men of the abbot and convent of Dunfermline next to the foot of the southern parts of the said mount of knock ascending from the said stones to the well called…..to the stone called crawstane and so from that stone north as far as….the lands of merolri and from….towards the north as far as a certain R….which is called le…to the north as far as…..from the smithy of Nithbren towards Balbard by a road……from peth and thence westwards as far the foresaid fosse of Balbard. And that the lord Count of Fife….towards Balbard viz. beginning at the above mentioned…..stones to the foot of the southern side of the said mountain. And from thence ascending towards…..as far as Le Craggegys…as far as the hill called Le Bolhill and hence ascending by a certain syke to the well called Le Crickwell…..towards the east by a certain fosse called le Cragmedu as far as le Northlandis and so by the said…..Northlandis as far as the stream called Le Corseburne and from there towards the north as far as a certain….of R……from there by the arable land of Balbard to the foresaid fosse of Balbard…….

Qui jurati dicunt que proprietas campi qui melgum est domini comite de ffyf ….. Dunfermlin haberunt commune in dicto campo pascendo infra metas 7 diuisas subscriptas…….. et Religiosorum virorum Abbatis 7 Conuentas de Dunfermlin iacentes ad pedes partis australis dicti montis de knock assendendo de dictis lapidibus vsque ad fontem qui vocatur ………ad lapidem qui vocatur le crawstane 7 sic de illo lapide versus boream vsque ad …….terras de merolri 7 de….. versus boream vsque ad quandam R….. que vocatur le ……ad boream vsque ad …….de fabrica de Nithbren versus Balbard per viam …….de peth deinde versus occidentem vsque ad fossam predictam de Balbard. Et que dominus Comes de fif ………versus Balbard videlicit incipiendo ad superdictos……. stanes ad pedem australis partis dicti montis. Hinc inde ascendendo versus….. vsque Le Craggegys….. vsque ad collis qui vocatur Le Bolhill de hinc ascendendo per quendam sichetum vsque ad fontem que vocatur Le Crikwell …..versus orientem per quandam fossam que vocatur le Cragmedu usque le Northlandis 7 sic per dictam ………..Northlandis vsque ad Riuulum que vocatur Le Corsburne deinde versus boream vsque ad quedam…… del R …..deinde per terram arabilem de Balbard vsque ad predictam fossam de Balbard

See POMS for full details - Document 4/37/11

=================================================
Mete de Knoklargauch
Boundaries of Knoklargauch

Register of Dunfermline: Charter 335, page 223/224

Largo Law seen from Leven - click for larger image
Largo Law seen from Leven - click for larger image

This charter also mentions the track from Nithbren to Balmani, viz:
Bounds of the hill of Knoklargauch (Largo Law) between the count of Fife and the Abbot of Dunfermline beginning at two stones in the southern part of the said mount and ascending to the well called Howwell and so northwards to the stone called Wadestan and so to the place called Knokmadyr and so descending to the path of Melgom which leads from the smithy of Nithbren and by that path to near Balmani

Mete monte de Knoklargauch inter comitem de fyf et Abbatem de Dunfermlyn incipiunt ad duos lapides in australi parte montem predicti ascendendo ad fontem qui vocatur howwell et sic uersus boream vsque ad lapidem qui vocatur Wadestan et sic ad locum que vocatur Knokmadyr et sic descendendo ad semitam de melgom que semita tendens de fabrica de Nithbren tendit se et per illam itur apud Balmani

===================================================
De Balbard
Register of Dunfermline: Charter 314, Page 213.

In this charter dealing with the lands of Balbard, there is a mention of a road to St Andrews.

Thirteen acres adjacent to Balbard lay :
towards the east as a syke on the south side descends from a petary as far as furrows drawn transversely to the divisons made to another syke towards the north where a stone lies to show this, and a dwelling in upper Nithbren near the great road on the west that goes towards St Andrews, along with a toft and croft of one acre and common pasture.....

.......tresdecim acras mesuratas dicte terre proximiores versus orientem sicut sichetum in parte australi descendit a peteria vfque ad sulcos aratas que in transuerso ad diuisas faciendas ad aliud sichetum versus aquilonem ubi lapis iacet deducuntur 7 vnam domum in superiori nibren proximam magne vie que vadit versus Sanctum Andream versus occidentem cum tofto 7 crofto unius acre 7 cum comuni pastura

See POMS for full details - Document 2/71/13


Bendochty, Coupar Angus
Controversia inter Bennauchtin 7 Cupre
Register of Dunfermline: Charter 217, pages 133-136

This was a disagreement between Dunfermline and Coupar Angus abbeys on access to the lands of Bennauchtin (Bendochty). It is dealt with under miscmedperth/Little Keithick- see here


Airthry, near Stirling
De Controversia Inter Login 7 Atherai
Register of Dunfermline: Charter 216, page 131. Dated 1220

This was a disagreement between Dunfermline and the convent of North Berwick over the tithes of Airthry and Cornton. The document mentions a causeway that ran from the bridge at Stirling (an earlier bridge than the present day "old bridge") up to Airthry. It is dealt with under miscmedstirling/Stirling - the Lang Causey - see here.
Stirling
De escambio terre de Striuelin
On an exchange of land in Stirling
Register of Dunfermline: Charter 72, page 39.

This charter relates to King William compensating the abbey for encroaching on some of their land when making a park to the south-west of the castle. It mentions a magna strata leading south from Stirling to Cuiltedouenald (possibly in St Ninians). Another charter mentions a via regia in the town itself. Both are dealt with under Stirlingshire.


Airntully
Pro communi pastura habenda in mora de Erbentoly terre nostre de Incheturfy
To have common pasture in the moor of Erbentoly in our lands of Incheturfy
Register of Dunfermline: Charter 360, page 246. Robert I (r.1306 to 1329).

This was a charter of Robert I allowing common pasture and the collection of cartloads of turf from near Airntully, about 8 miles north of Perth. It is dealt with under Perthshire.


Colinton
Concordia inter Thomam de Lastalric 7 magistram Ricardum personam de Halis
Agreement between Thomas of Restalrig and Master Richard, parson of Hailes

Register of Dunfermline: Charter 218, page 135, dated 1226

This is dealt with under MidLothian. It was an agreement settling a dispute about the mill belonging to Thomas and associated land, and access to the mill. It refers to a great road leading towards the mill which may be an early road leading to Lanark.
Edinburgh
Carta de terris nostris in Edinburgo propre castellum assedatur Alexander Ra 7 Thome bordy
Charter of our lands in Edinburgh near the castle leased to Alexander Ra and Thomas Bordy

Register of Dunfermline: Charter 473, page 368. Dated 1468

This charter and no.474 are dealt with under MidLothian. Both refer to the high street.


Musselburgh
Carta de septem acris datum Simon Stury
Charter of 7 acres given to Simon Stury
Register of Dunfermline: Charter 235, page 150. Dated 1340

This charter is dealt with under Mid Lothian. It refers to a road leading from Musselburgh to Niddrie.
Smeaton
Nicholaus filius Gilliberti de Smithetun
Register of Dunfermline: Charter 180, page 102.

This is dealt with under East Lothian. It refers to a couple of roads near Inveresk, including one between Haddington and Newbattle.


Perth
The following charters mention streets in Perth as well as the bridge and the south bryg. The Atlas of Scottish History has plans of Perth at various stages of its development (pages 480, 481).

Register of Dunfermline: Charter 305, page 193
This charter refers to a toft in the south street (vico australi) in Perth.

Register of Dunfermline: Charter 466, page 365. Dated 1444
This mentions the chapel of Saint Mary near the bridge of Perth

Register of Dunfermline: Charter 472, page 368,
This charter mentions the “pavement (pauimentum) or via regia” in Perth leading from the chapel of St Leonard. The south bryg is also mentioned.


Berwick-on-Tweed
Carta Dauit de Kymbirchame

Charter 375, page 259
This charter refers to the Soutergate in Berwick.
Ferries
There are numerous mentions of Queensferry. See index under the following terms:
Queensferry (passagio regine); Northferry; Southferry; North Queensferry; boat (batellum); Portincraig (Tay).

Details of the history of Queensferry and the connections Queen Margaret and the Abbey had with the ferry can be found in History of Dunfermline from the Earliest Records etc, A. Mercer, page 224ff. It is highly likely that a ferry existed here long before the middle ages.


Priory of the Isle of May

Garvald & Bara (E. Lothian)
Whittinghame (E. Lothian)

Location of the Isle of May. Map based on 1/4 inch OS map, sheet 3, 1923. With thanks to Ordnance Survey.

Overview
The traditional account of this priory is that it was established by David I in 1153 and was settled by Benedictine monks from Reading Abbey. In 1269 when Alexander III became concerned that the priory could be used for espionage by the English it was taken over by St Andrews Cathedral for a sum of 700 marks and then granted to St Andrews Priory which was associated with the cathedral and was an Augustinian foundation.

Easson (Medieval Religious Houses. p.53) revisits this account and points out difficulties in the dating evidence and in the history of the priory. In any event all connections with Reading had been severed by 1318 and it had been relocated to Pittenweem. Although there is a separate publication of Isle of May charters, these are included also in the St Andrew's Register as the priory on the Isle of May had been incorporated in the St Andrews Cathedral Priory.

Four charters which mention roads are of interest. All are in East Lothian: two in Garvald & Bara and two in Whittinghame parish. The Garvald & Bara charters mention a Monkesgate but it is not at all clear who the monks were or where it ran. The Whittinghame charters are for land near Penshiel, where Melrose also had land. A couple of local tracks are mentioned as well as "Richard's Road" (Ricardisrode) which is mentioned in a Melrose charter and had the line of the present day minor road leading to Longformacus.

Records of the Priory of the Isle of May, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 1868
Liber Cartarum Prioratus Sancti Andree in Scotia, Bannatyne Club, 1841

Garvald & Bara
These are two charters relating to land in Bara and are dealt with under East Lothian. A reference is made to a Monkesgate but it is not clear who the monks were or what the purpose of the road was.
Isle of May, Charters 33 & 34. See also St Andrews Priory, page 388/389

Whittinghame
These are two charters relating to lands near Penshield and Mayshield and are dealt with under East Lothian. "Ricardisrode" is mentioned as well as a couple of local tracks.
Isle of May, Charters 21 & 24. See also St Andrews Priory, page 379 & 381


St Andrews Cathedral Priory

Portmoak Largo (Lundin) Dairsie Bridge of Spey

St Andrews

Logie (Kedlock) Granges Easter Fowlis (Angus)
Crail Forgan (Friarton) Berwick Kirkden (Angus)
Markinch Leuchars (bridge over Mottray) Perth Bourtie (Aberdeenshire)

 

Overview
Remains of St Andrews  CathedralThere was a long established Culdee presence at St Andrews with an abbey and bishops but Alexander I wished to introduce an Anglo-Norman influence which he did by appointing Robert, Prior of the Augustinian priory of Scone, as Bishop. In 1140 Robert brought a number of canons with him and installed them in the Priory where they worked alongside the earlier Culdee community. Within a few short years, the Culdees were offered the choice to become Augustinian canons with those who refused being removed and losing their rights. The canons formed the Cathedral Chapter, and the Prior as head of the Chapter took precedence over all the abbots in Scotland. Surviving charters have been printed in the Liber Cartarum Prioratus Sancti Andree in Scotia (St A. Lib.) and contain several references to roads and related topics.

A road in Portmoak parish came from Inverkeithing and passed to the east of Loch Leven where at least one hospital/hostel had been established for the reception of pilgrims travelling to Scotlandwell. It is thought that the route would have continued past Leslie and Markinch to Kennoway to join with another pilgrim route to St Andrews. There was a causeway in Markinch but it may just have been to cross marshy ground, although an old track runs to the village of Star by Cuinan Hill - Star is gaelic for a crossing and must refer to Star Moss just north of here.

There was a road near Lundin Tower in Largo parish but it is hard to tell if it was a main road or just local. North of Cupar a via regia ran up to the Tay past Kedlock and is picked up again to the north in a Balmerino charter for Kinner in Kilmany parish.

In Forgan parish a road is said to have ran from Inverdovat towards St Andrews and a road led to the church of Forgan. Several charters for St Andrews mention roads and a bridge (the Stermolind bridge). Outwith Fife, there were charters for Easter Fowlis near Dundee, Kirkden near Letham, and Bourtie near Inverury.

Liber Cartarum Prioratus Sancti Andree in Scotia, Bannatyne Club, 1841
Early Scottish Charters, A C Lawrie, 1905
Placenames of Fife, Simon Taylor with Gilbert Markus

Further details of charters pre-1314 can be found on the People of Medieval Scotland website, see St Andrews charters. Amanda Beam, John Bradley, Dauvit Broun, John Reuben Davies, Matthew Hammond, Michele Pasin (with others), The People of Medieval Scotland, 1093–1314 (Glasgow and London, 2012) www.poms.ac.uk.


Portmoak

Map of Portmoak area
Places relevant to the charters. The location of the Likarstane and the Rock of the Hibernians is after Taylor (q.v.). Map based on 1913 half-inch OS map, sheet 23. With thanks.

Several charters relating to this parish are of interest. They appear in the St Andrews Liber because although the land grants were first made to the Culdees who were based at St Serf's Isle and Portmoak, the lands had passed from them to the priory of St Andrews.

One charter (page 114, Lawrie charter V, pps. 5 & 231) dating from around 1040 is by King Macbeth and his Queen, Gruoch, of lands in Kirkness. The present day farm of Kirkness lies about one mile south-east of Loch Leven.

The relevant part of the charter reads: "for these are the bounds and marches of Kyrkenes and the small village called pethmokanne: from the place Moneloccodhan as far as the river called Leuine, and this in breadth; also from the public road (publica strata) which leads to near hinhirkethy as far as the rock of the Hibernians, and so in length...."
A detailed account of this charter is given by Simon Taylor (The Rock of the Irishmen: an early place-name tale from Fife and Kinross, p.497-514 in West Over Sea: Studies in Scandinavian Sea-borne Expansion and Settlement, edited by Beverley Ballin Smith, Simon Taylor, Gareth Williams, BRILL, 2007).

While the "length and breadth" wording of the charter is difficult for us to understand, it is easier if we assume that Moneloccodhan is part of the Water of Lochty and forms the southern boundary, with the Leven being the northern boundary - this would be the breadth. The east and west boundaries would then be the road and the rock of the Hibernians - the length. Taylor suggests that the rock is a standing stone in Kirkness Woods; in fact a parish/county boundary runs north-south through these woods.

St Serf's Island
St Serf's Island

Another charter (St A.Lib. page 1) deals with the boundaries of Kirkness on its western and southern sides, which separate it from Balingry. Again Simon Taylor has dealt with this charter at length and provides a translation (see benarty.org.uk for relevant extracts from Placenames of Fife, mainly pps 1-3). The charter establishes a reference point, this being a burn (eventually the Water
The Water of Lochty in Balingry crossed by the modern road. This is the likeliest location of the stony ford of Navitie.

of Lochty) having its source on Benarty and running east to the stony ford of Navitie. The boundary starts here and runs north by a road, past a pile of stones called the Lykyrstyne (Likarstane), towards Findatie; this is the western boundary of Kirkness. The boundary to the south is straightforwardly the Water of Lochty. Taylor makes a convincing case for the Likarstane having been located on a parish/county boundary about 400 metres west of West Mains of Kirkness as shown on an old estate plan. He notes that Lawrie had mistakenly suggested the Likarstane to be the same as the rock of the Hibernians. Likarstane has been thought to indicate a resting place for a coffin being taken to church for burial - see DSL.

 

The well at Scotlandwell
Three charters (St A. Lib. pages 43, 146 and 176) refer to hospitals next to bridges of Porthmooch and of Lochlevyn. There is some uncertainty as to whether these are two separate hospitals or one and the same, particularly because of the establishment at Scotlandwell which may be identical to one of them (see Mark Hall, Liminality and Loss, page 396 in West over Sea; D E Easson, Medieval Religious Houses (Scotland); Simon Taylor, The Rock of the Irishmen op.cit).

Interpretation
All these charters seem to be related to the road coming from Inverkeithing. The first charter, which mentions the road explicitly, has it run from Inverkeithing and has it as a boundary north of the Lochty and running up towards the Leven. The second charter ties this down more closely from the ford at Navitie and running north by the Likarstane. The final three charters, whether there is one bridge or two, would take the road across the Leven to Scotlandwell and beyond.


Possible line of road. Other roads in the area are shown. Based on quarter-inch OS map, sheet 3, 1923. With thanks.

It is unlikely that we can recover the route taken from Inverkeithing, other than to assume it would have ran fairly directly. Early maps show several routes heading north from Inverkeithing but as they do not show any through route to the Portmoak area we cannot use that as a guide. However, as other charters show, the Kinross route from Inverkeithing ran through Crossgates and up towards Kelty at this time. There is every chance that the Portmoak route was the same to just north of Crossgates where it would have branched off towards the Ballingry area of the charter, and keeping east of Loch Ore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Gullet runs for 4 miles. By lowering the water level in Loch Leven it created some 1100 acres of new land. The view is from the New Gullet Bridge - the nearby Old Gullet Bridge crossed the old course of the Leven.

The second charter gives us a good idea of the course between the Lochty at the ford of Navitie and Scotlandwell. It is very likely that once the low lying ground near the loch was reached the going would have been difficult. At this time the surface of Loch Leven was higher - in 1828 a scheme was started to lower the level of the Loch by the straightening of the River Leven as it emerges from the loch along with measures to provide a regular flow of water for the mills along the course of the river (NMRS record). The change in the shoreline can be seen from early maps with Portmoak and Lochend being closer to the water and the Leven having a different course. The better drainage would have helped make the ground here less marshy.

The marshy nature of the ground is confirmed by an item for 1642 in the Register of the Privy Council of Scotland (Register of the Privy Council, Second Series, vol. VII, 1638-1642, page 303 - may show as page 380 on Internet Archive. Publ. 1906). This mentions a bridge on the old course of the Leven and the extremely poor condition of the road to Scotlandswell. The route (between Edinburgh and Perth and elsewhere) was impassable "be reason of a ruinous bridge at the east end of Lochlevin called the Gullats, and in regarde of manie deepe ditches and sinkeing myres betuix the said bridge and the toun of Scotlandwell, commonlie called the caises of Scotlandwel, quhairthrow diverse of his Majesties subjects have perished, manie have beene in hazard of thair lyffes, and all are hindred in thair lawful affaires that way.." The Privy Council recommended a collection towards the upkeep of the bridge and causeway, and authorised tolls for the space of nine years.

Whether the last of the charters are referring to one or two bridges, the Leven would have to have been crossed. As suggested by Taylor this was probably at the above "ruinous bridge" at the Gullat or a forerunner of it at, or close to, the Old Gullet bridge.

The Causeway approaching Scotlandwell
The Causeway approaching Scotlandwell - it still retains its name. Bishop Hill is in the background. At one time this would have been little better than a swamp.

It is interesting to see the mention of the causeway and one wonders if this is the reason for the use of the term strata for the highway here, i.e that attempts were made as early as the middle ages to form a road across marshy ground by piling materials along its course. The alternative of there being a Roman road here is unlikely - there is an antiquarian tradition of a camp near Loch Ore a few miles to the south but this has never been confirmed.

As to its final destination, while this was a route to Perth in 1642, presumably by Glenfarg and the Path of Dron, it is not clear if this applied in the middle ages as well. We know from a Melrose charter that a route to Perth led through Kinross on the other side of the loch but it is not impossible that this did the same. It would certainly allow access to places north of the Lomond Hills and the whole area of Portmoak and Scotlandwell would itself have been a destination for pilgrims. There is however a possibility that the route continued directly to the east through the Leslie, Markinch and Kennoway areas to St Andrews as suggested by Peter Yeoman (Pilgimage in Medieval Scotland, Batsford/Historic Scotland, 1999, pps.57 - 59).


St Andrews
Carta Arnaldi episcopi de terra que est a uico inter burgum et nouum hospitale (page 127)
A charter of Arnald, bishop of St Andrews, gave St Andrews Priory some land which lay "from the street between the burgh and new hospital as far as the stermolind bridge and from there as the Kinness Burn falls into the sea. And by the road which goes from the burgh to the church and so to the sea..."

Various charters confirm this gift and mention the same boundaries.

totam terram que est a uico que est inter burgum et nouum hospitale usque ad pontem stermolind et inde sicut fluuius kines cadit in mare. Et per uiam quae itur a burgo ad ecclesiam iterum usque in mare.....

Interpretation
Map (from History of St Andrews, Charles Rogers, p.68)
The charter appears to refer to an area south of the Priory and Cathedral and within the Abbey Wall. The Stermolind was originally a ford at a mill on the Kinness Burn, then a bridge and later renamed Shore Bridge (cf. Handbook to St. Andrews, D. Hay Fleming, Page 106). The road to the shore can be seen on the map.

The likeliest destination for the route using this early ford and bridge would be Anstruther and Crail, as suggested by Barrow, for example (Scotland & its Neighbours in the Middle Ages, pps 207 & 215)

For further details see POMS

Other charters
A few charters refer to a place in St Andrews (Kilrymont) called Turdaphe e.g. page 234
......Also the land outwith the burgh in the north street near the crossroads and near turdaphe…
....... Terram eciam extra burgum in uico North apud furcas et apud turdaphe...

Various charters (see index of St. Andrews Liber) refer to the north and south streets and one or two other streets in the town.

Several charters mention the hospital in St Andrews "for the sustenance of the poor and of pilgrims" (e.g. p.148, 150 ) The hospital was located near the cathedral and was known as St Leonard’s.


Crail

Carta comitisse Ade de terra in karal
St Andrews Liber, page 208

Countess Ada gave St Andrews priory some land in Crail defined as:
..... that land in Crail which Radulfus of Aluerbas inhabited above the road and below the other road which is next to the toft of the abbot of Dunfermline and below the old fosse and stream and that land below the road from the toft of Radulfus of Morpath as far as the sea…….
.illam terram in charel quam radulf de aluerbas inhabitauit desuper uiam infra aliam uiam que est iuxta toftum abbatis de Dunfermelin et infra ueterem fossam et riuulum et illam terram subtus uiam a tofto Radulfus de morpath usque in mare ….

This land is also mentioned on page 210 and 234 of the St Andrews Liber.

Interpretation
Although it would be difficult to identify this piece of land today, there is no particular need to do so as the layout of Crail is easily seen on the 25" maps (Fifeshire, 023.02 & 016.14) where it has not changed much from the middle ages.


Markinch

Map, north-east of Markinch showing Causeway, Cuinan Hill and Star
Based on the 1926 one-inch map for Dundee & St Andrews. With thanks to Ordnance Survey.

A charter of William of Vallence dating from 1284 refers to land which he gave to St Andrews Priory (St Andrews Liber, page 420). As part of the boundary there was a causey (calcetum) which from the context was in the centre of Markinch near the cemetery. Simon Taylor has translated the charter (Knowing Your Place: A Placename Walk on Markinch. Markinch Heritage Group, Dr Simon Taylor. Pdf leaflet (4.14 Mb) as well as providing interesting information about placenames in the locality. See pps.6 & 7.)

Interpretation
The causeway is likely to have been over some marshy ground in Markinch itself.

See also Rural Walk leaflet, and Brae Loans Project (Markinch Heritage Group) on an old track across Cuinan Hill and Star. The old track may be part of an early pilgrim route to St Andrews (see Pilgrymgath below) and the word "star" is Gaelic for a "crossing" thought to relate to the marshy ground north of Star.

For other charters relating to Markinch parish see here


Largo (Lundin)
Two charters record a donation of 20 acres of land by Walter of Lundin to St Andrews Priory. The land was next to his lake of Lundin on the north side along with a toft which Gillemuir had, namely, from the house of the smith to the road and with common pasture.

....viginti acras terre iuxta lacum suum de Lundin a parte aquilonali cum una tofta quam Gillemur tenuit scilicet a domo fabri usque ad uiam et cum communi pastura....

St Andrews Liber, pps 231 & 263
POMS Document 3/369/2 (St A. Lib., 263-4)

Old lake bed at Lundin. Click for larger image.
Old lake bed at Lundin. The tower is just to the left. Click for larger image.

Interpretation
Lundin is in Largo parish, a couple of miles north east of the town of Leven, where the remains of a tower dating back to the middle ages can be seen. Old maps do not show any loch in the area but there is an old lake bed just west of the tower. It is not very large, perhaps 200 metres or so in diameter but large enough to be called a lake.

Based on the 1926 one-inch map for Dundee & St Andrews. With thanks to Ordnance Survey.

The likeliest reading of the charter is that the land was south of this lake with a road trending from east to west but without more information it is hard to say where the road originated and what its destination was. It could have been a main road or one of a number of roads leading to different parts of the estate.


LOGIE (Kedlock)

Based on 1914 half-inch OS map, sheet 24. With thanks to Ordnance Survey.

Carta Simonis filii Simonis de Kyner de terra in kathlac
Charter of Simon, son of Simon of Kinner of lands in Kedlock
St Andrews Liber, Page 292

This is a gift of "5 bovates of land (bovate = 15 acres approx.) and 4 acres in the territory of Kedlock, namely 2 bovates and 4 acres which begin from the acre of the brothers of St Lazarus, and extend as far as a sike on the south side and from there to the land which was a certain Reginald's towards the west side as far as the bounds of the land of Matthew, one time (late) brother of John of Kinner and so northwards as far as a certain path which lies next to the mountain called Adkar with a toft adjacent to the same land. And 3 other bovates which begin on the north side of the same ville and reach as far as the moor in length. And in width from the west part of the moor as far as the eastern part of the same moor in circumference..."

quinque bouatas terre et quatuor acras in territorio de kathlac. Scilicet duas bouatas et quatuor acras que incipiunt ab acra fratrum sancti lazari, et se extendunt usque ad unum siket, ex parte australi inde se extendunt ad terram que fuit quondam Reginaldi versus partem occidentalem usque ad metas terre mathi quondam fratris Johanis de kyner et sic versus aquilonem usque ad quamdam semitam que iacet iuxta montem que uocatur adkar cum tofto ad eandem terram adiacente. Et tres alias bouatas que incipiunt ex parte boreali eiusdem uille, et se extendunt usque ad moram in longitudine. Et in latitudine ab occidentali parte more usque ad orientalem parte eiusdem more per circuitum….

Further Information
POMS

Interpretation
Kathlac is now Kedlock, three miles north of Cupar. One wonders if the second part of the charter referring to the northern part of Kedlock means that the first part is referring to south of Kedlock. If so, the parish boundary may hold a clue here if we start near Craigsanquhar as it runs south to a sike or burn (Moonzie Burn) which would then run along the south side of the land. As it approaches Reginald's land (see next charter), the boundary of which, following Taylor, would be the road, it would turn north to the path next to Adkar. This would identify the hill called Adkar either as Myrecairnie Hill or Kedlock Hill, as suggested by Taylor. It is likely to have been for local access only.

-----------------------
Charter 39 of the Balmerino cartulary is for certain lands in the territory of Cathloc (Kedlock). G W S Barrow discovered a fuller version, a transcript of which is available on the Syllabus of Scottish Cartularies, Balmerino, page 27. It is a very useful charter because it mentions a via regia when detailing the boundaries of the territory.

A translation is given by Simon Taylor (Place Names of Fife, vol.4, page 555) where he identifies the via regia as the road leading north from Cupar past Foodieash and Kilmany to the ferry at Woodhaven. It must have intersected another via regia which was mentioned in a Balmerino charter for Gauldry which led to the ferry of Portincrag. There is a strong likelihood that it is the same via regia as the one in Kilmany parish, north of Kinnear - see here.


Forgan - Friarton

Two charters deal with some land in Forgan parish, near to Friarton and Cowbackie and mention roads.

Map based on 1914 half-inch OS map, sheet 24. With thank to Ordnance Survey.

Carta Ricardi de Lasceles de tribus acris terre de Frereton (St A. Lib., Page 274)

A charter of Richard Lascelles granted St Andrews Priory three acres of land in Friarton, namely:
.......three acres of land with appurtenances, from the east side of the land of Friarton and on the north side of the road which leads from Friarton to the church of Forgrund, by the divisions of the causeway on the one hand, the syke on the other, and heaps of stones next to the road from Inverdovat towards St Andrews on the third hand.....

.......tres acras terre cum pertinenciis ex parte orientali terre de freretone et ex parte aquilonali uie que tendit de freretone ad ecclesiam de forgrund per diuisas calceti ex una parte, et sicketti ex altera, et congeriei lapidum iuxta uiam de Inuerdoueth uersus sanctam andream ex tercia.......

Interpretation
If we assume the "east side of the land of Friarton" was close to Easter Friarton then it is likely that the road to Forgan church had much the same line as the present day road; the "syke" would have been the burn which forms the parish boundary here. The course of the road from Inverdovat is uncertain: it may have crossed Roseberry Hill, passed Easter Friarton and taken a fairly direct line to St Andrews through Leuchars and across the forerunner of the Inner Bridge over the Mottray (see ), but slight deviations from this line could have been possible. Early maps (NLS) are unhelpful: there is a track that crossed Roseberry Hill but its age is uncertain and Ainslie in 1775 shows a straight road from Myreside towards Leuchars but again its age is uncertain. They may have the same line as the road of the charter but are not necessarily identical to it. The causeway is difficult; perhaps it was just to help cross marshy ground locally rather than be a part of a long distance route.

=======================
Carta Alani de Lasceles de II acris terre in parochia de Adhenauthen (see notes page 7) (St A. Lib., Page 274/275)

Another charter, by Alan Lascelles, gave St Andrews two acres of arable land, and an acre of meadow in the parish of Naughton (which at that time included much of Forgan). Campbell (Balmerino & Its Abbey: A Parochial History, James Campbell, 1868, page 21) translates this as:
...........two acres of arable land which are near to the vill of Culbakin (Cowbakie) extending northwards from the road which leads from Alan's own vill to Culbakin with one acre of meadow land measured westwards from Culbakin between the said two acres and the land of Malcrether belonging to the canons of the said Priory...

duas acras terre arabilis de terra mea in parochia de adhenauthen, videlicet, illas duas acras que propinquiores sunt uille de culbakin pertendentes se a uia qua itur de uilla ipius alani usque ad culbakin (Cowbackie) uersus aquilonem cum una acra prati mensurata a terra de culbakin uersus occidentem inter dictas duas acras et terram predicto canonicorum de malcrether.....

Interpretation
Without knowing where Alan resided it is difficult to say much about this road other than it would have ran west or north west from Cowbackie (now Vicarsford) or the western boundary of Cowbackie to his residence.

SPNS Notes-http://www.spns.org.uk/oldnotes5.html (Autumn 2006 The Place-Names of Fife, Simon Taylor)
• Balmerino & Its Abbey: A Parochial History, James Campbell, 1868


Leuchars - Bridge Over Mottray Water
Two charters (St Andrews Liber, pages 275, 341) dating from the early 1200's mention a bridge over the Modrith, near Seggin.

Interpretation
This would have been the Inner Bridge or a forerunner of this over the Motray Water just north of Guard Bridge. The present day Inner Bridge is probably 18th century but the NMRS record says that the "inner brig" was repaired in 1598. It is shown on a map by Gordon/Pont dating from much the same time.


Dairsie

In an agreement between Hugh, Bishop of St Andrews and Earl Duncan, concerning a mill in Dairsie, mention is made of allowing reasonable access to the mill.
St Andrews Liber Page 353
POMS
- this gives a full translation

Interpretation
This is very localised.

---------------------------------------------------

In a document Master Lawrence, archdeacon of St Andrews states that he has received some land from the Priory "which lies on the south side of the road which goes from St Andrews to near Dairsie, namely, the land which is between.....which is divided between them and the common...St Andrews assigned and to the summits of the mountains and the river which flows from the south side of the said road...."
ex australi parte vie que itur a sancto andree apud deruesyn scilicit terram que est ínter..... quod est diuisa inter eos et communem..... sancti andree assignatam et supercilium montis et riuulum qui fluit ex australi parte predicte vie.....

• St Andrews Liber Page 27
• POMS - this gives full details with a translation

Interpretation
This appears to be the medieval road between Cupar and St Andrews that ran through Dairsie and Strathkinness.

See also Dairsie Bridge below


Granges

Although we have no specific information about routes used by the granges it is likely that Strathkinness would have used the Cupar-Dairsie-St Andrews route or the Bishop's Road, with Balone and Drumcarro joining this. A track probably led directly from New Grange to St Andrews and Kenly is likely to have used the road from Crail. Friarton may have used the road from Inverdovat. Destinations other than St Andrews would have been possible, especially for markets. Based on quarter-inch OS map, sheet 3, 1923. With thanks.

St Andrews Cathedral Priory had granges at the following places:

1. Kellakin, now Kenly - 5 miles SE of St Andrews.
2. Balochen, now Balone- 2 miles WSW of St Andrews.
3. Strathkinness - 4 miles W of St Andrews.
4. Drumcare, now Drumcarro - five miles SW of St Andrews.
5. Adnachten, now Naughton (Friarton) - two miles SSE of Newport on Tay.
6. Grangia Nova, now New Grange - one mile S of St Andrews.

St Andrews Liber - Index
Derek Hall, Scottish Monastic Landscapes, Tempus 2006


Berwick on Tweed

Two charters for Berwick on Tweed refer to the uia pontis (bridge street or briggate) (page 387) and the Briggegate (page 391).

A charter of Robert de Bernham (page 272) refers to some land near the Tweed on the west side of that street which leads to the east.


Perth

A charter in the St Andrews Liber (page 142) mentions a toft in North Street near the castle

.....uico de north apud castellan....


Bridge of Spey

A very early bridge spanned the River Spey near Boat of Brig in the North-East of Scotland. There was an associated hostel/hospital for poor travellers, possibly pilgrims. When the bridge decayed around the time of the Reformation it was replaced by a ferry, hence the "Boat of Brig". The charter in question (St. Andrews Liber, page 326) was an agreement between St Andrews Priory, the bishop of Moray and Lady Muriel of Rothes that St Andrews would quitclaim their rights in the church of Rothes to the hospital, and would receive 3 marks each year in return. For further details see here and POMS.


Easter Fowlis

Charters of William Maule and Roger Mortimer
These are dealt with under Angus. They refer to a grant of the church and some land in Easter Fowlis, 6 miles west of Dundee.



Kirkden

Ordinacio Walteri episcopi de Edwy
This is dealt with under Angus. It refers to the re-siting of the glebe of the church of Idvies (later Kirkden) and mentions a ford over the Vinny Water at a rock called Craignacre.


Bourtie

Two charters refer to a gift of the church of Bowird (Bourtie, between Inverurie and Old Meldrum) and some land in which a road towards the north is mentioned. They are dealt with under Aberdeenshire.


OTHER SOURCES

Guardbridge
Dairsie Bridge

Markinch (Cameron)

Ceres (Pilgrymgath)

Two of these references are for bridges, viz. Guardbridge replacing a dangerous river crossing to the west of St Andrews and Dairsie Bridge that was on an early route from Cupar to St Andrews.

The charter for the lands of Cameron in Markinch parish refers to a highway going to Kirkcaldy but it is not immediately clear what route it had. There is an old road in the near vicinity but it is not certain that it is the same road - this is Queen Mary's road said to have been used by her to travel between Wemyss Castle and Falkland. There is an old bridge on the route.

In Ceres parish, two roads are of interest. One is the Pilgrimsgath which probably came up from Kennoway; although it is not clear how it continued to St Andrews. The other is the Waterless Road or Bishop's Road that can be traced on fairly recent maps between Kennoway and Ceres. An old bridge there continues its route on the old line by St Andrews Wells, Upper Magus, and Magus Moor where Archbishop Sharp was attacked and killed by a party of Covenanters in 1679.

Guardbridge
Built in the early to mid-1400s by Bishop Henry Wardlaw and repaired several times, notably by Archbishop Beaton. It crosses the river Eden just over 3 miles west of St Andrews and would have served those travelling to St Andrews from Cupar and from the Tay. It was superseded by a new bridge in 1938. (NMRS record)

As Simon Taylor notes, there was no previously existing bridge - PNF, v. 3, p. 45. People did ford the Eden but it was extremely dangerous.

 

 

 


Dairsie Bridge
Dairsie Bridge
A bridge is noted here in 1496 when James IV passed over it. It was probably rebuilt or replaced by Archbishop Beaton whose episcopate ran from 1522 to 1538, as he has an armorial panel on the current bridge. It crosses the Eden and is on the early (medieval) route betwen Cupar and St Andrews.


Markinch - Cameron

Memorials of the family of Wemyss of Wemyss (1888). Sir William Fraser
Vol 2, No 2, Page 4 c.1290. Abstract page v.


Charter by John of Anesley, knight, to John of Wemyss and Amabilla his spouse, daughter of the granter, granting to them his whole land of Over Cambrun, with the common of Nether Cambrun, with pertinents, liberties, and easements, by the following marches, viz.:
As Gamlisburn descends into the water of Leven, and by Gamlisburn ascending to the lands of Robert Galle, and as far as the Scortbutis, and so from the land of Robert Galle towards the east as far as the field called Langebrekes, and from Langebrekes ascending to the highway going towards Kyrcaldin, and from that highway descending between the land of Fergus and the land called Spiteland as far as the Keldeney, and so ascending from the Keldeney as far as the Harlawe, which is in the marches between Michael of Wemes and Cambrun (from Abstract)

Note: The translation has been amended to take account of the following points:
- Fraser notes an uncertainty in the original Latin text "et de Langbrekes ascendendo usque ad aliam (altam?) uiam tendentem versus Kyrcaldin; et ab illa alta via... It makes much more sense if it is rendered as "and from Langebrekes ascending to the highway going towards Kyrcaldin, and from that highway..." rather than "ascending to another highway"
- Spiceland in the original but should be Spiteland as noted by Taylor (PNF, 1, 580)
- Keldeney in the original charter is "le Keldeney" and Harlawe is "le Harlawe".

Parish boundary , c. 1775, in green. Based on half-inch OS map sheet 24, 1914. With thanks to Ordnance Survey.

Interpretation
The map shows the parish boundaries as they were in the late 1700's (Ainslie) and the locations of Cameron, Spittal (see Ainslie), and Harelaw. Note the two unnamed burns near Cameron, one of which may be Gamlisburn. Maw is noted, as Taylor says that a Henry Gall held it in 1421, which is just 130 years after the time of the charter.

There is quite a good fit (though speculative) if we start at the easternmost of the unidentified streams, where by following it one would reach Maw. At this point the charter is ambiguous: it can be read as heading east from the land of Robert Galle to Langebrekes or read as keeping the land of Robert Galle behind one, towards the east i.e. heading west to Langbrekes. To head eastwards at this point is awkward as it does not fit well with the location of Spitel.

Continuing west one would reach the highway then descend (which has a strong implication of heading south) between the land of Fergus and Spiteland to the Keldeney, then across to the Harlawe.

While much of this is speculative, there are nevertheless good fits here and there. As to the location of the road, it is certainly not a coastal route and any precursor of the A915 seems too far south. The mention of Spiteland must place it somewhere near the confluence of the Lochty and the Ore.

Interestingly there is an old bridge (NMRS record) nearby, on what is known as Queen Mary's Road (Heritage Paths) which she is said to have used between the coast and Falkland in the mid to late 1500's. It was also used c. 1800 to take iron ore from Balgonie to the coast for transport to the Carron Iron Works; this was in response to complaints about damage to the main road (The Roads of Fife. Owen Silver, John Donald, p.130 & 174).

It is not clear if this is our road; it would need a branch to Kirkcaldy though this is not impossible. Another route could have been Kirkcaldy to Kennoway and onwards to St Andrews, about a mile north of, and parallel to the A 915, but this does not fit the implication that the highway was north of the Spitelands. A final possibility, which seems too far west, is a route from Kirkcaldy north through the Markinch gap (though such probably existed).

POMS
Placenames of Fife, Simon Taylor with Gilbert Markus - Over Cameron Vol.2, 418-19. On other lands in this charter, see Vol.1, 579-80
Note. A spittal would have been used by pilgrims.


Ceres - Pilgrimgath

A charter from the early to mid 1300's for part of the lands of Gaskerduf in Ceres parish has a reference to the Pilgrimgath, a route used by pilgrims travelling to St Andrews. A translation of the charter is available online at the St Andrews University Library, viz. ms37490 Collairnie Charters - charter 1. See also Placenames of Fife, v. 2, p. 56 - 57 and POMS.

Interpretation

Based on the 1926 one-inch map for Dundee & St Andrews. With thanks to Ordnance Survey.

Unusually for a charter of this date, many of the placenames are easily identified, as shown on the map.

The Coalpots would have been near Teasses where the 6" map series shows quarries and "old coal pits" and where an old track leads westwards. Just south of Gaskerdo there is some high ground which would be a prominent position for a cross with the parish boundary a short distance beyond and Prates about one mile to the south. The parish boundary follows a burn northwards past Kames and joins the Glassy How Burn both of which fit the description of the Fedynath and the water of Hothirstrothir. From this one would expect the road to intersect the parish boundary just south of Kame.

For its continuation southwards, it may be significant that a parish boundary follows the road past Prates for three quarters of a mile. From here it is less than three miles to Kennoway, with the present day road aligning again with parish boundaries for a further half mile. From Kennoway, a route along the coast would be easily reached as well as one from Scotlandwell, another destination for pilgrims, through Markinch, as suggested by Peter Yeoman in Pilgrimage in Medieval Scotland (Batsford/Historic Scotland, 1999, pps.57 - 59).

At its northern end, near Teasses, the route is now lost. One could conjecture it ran up to Ceres or continued in an easterly direction but additional information would be needed to track the route accurately.

The "Waterless Road" near Struthers looking in the direction of Ceres.

The Pilgrymgath has to be distinguished from the old road running south-west from Ceres. Known as the Waterless Road as it follows drier ground along a ridge, it lines up with the old bridge in Ceres which dates from the 17th century. The road in fact can be followed on old maps as far as Kennoway (NLS), seven miles to the south.

From Ceres to St Andrews, the road became known as the Bishop's Road, probably because it was used by them. When travelling along it, Archbishop Sharp was killed in 1679 by a party of Covenanters. Ainslie shows it to Pitscottie then passing St Andrews Wells, Upper Magus, Magus Moor and running directly to Carron. It is also shown on Roy.

Owen Silver, The Roads of Fife, John Donald, 1987, pps. 68, 170
Heritage Paths site
Placenames of Fife, Simon Taylor with Gilbert Markus, Vol. 3, p. 451.


 

Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

theoscommercestore.com