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The rock of the irishmen: An early place-name tale from Fife and Kinross

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Chapter Summary

The Rock of the Irishmen must have lain on the eastern march of the lands of Kirkness, which runs through Kirkness Woods. This is a well-established boundary, being not only that between Kirkness and Balbedie, but also between the parishes of Portmoak and Kinglassie (formerly Ballingry detached), and, from 1685, when Portmoak became part of Kinross-shire, between Kinross-shire and Fife. The name Kirkness appears to be at least as old as the mid eleventh century, which makes it by far the earliest Germanic place-name recorded in Fife. Early forms are predominantly Kyrkenes. The name means 'church-promontory' or 'church-ness', the eponymous kirk being that of St Serf 's on nearby St Serf 's Island.

Keywords: Fife; Kinross-shire; Kirkness; Rock of the Irishmen; St Serf's Island



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