Lathallan House

Feudal Barony of Lathallan

/ləˈθalən/

Meaning of the Word: Lathallan

G leth + ? G àilean or ? G àlainn or ? G eilean or en *Allan

1. ‘Half green or ‘hill-side-green’; 2. ‘fine half or fine hill-side’; 3. ‘half island, (raised) land in or beside water’; 4. ‘half of lands called Allan’. For more on the possibility that it contains G eilean, in a sense similar to the range of meanings of G innis, and its Scots derivative inch, see Allan SSL, below. If this is the meaning, then the eponymous eilean must be land in or on one of the several tributaries of the Den Burn (which becomes the Cocklemill Burn), or their associated wetlands.

The basic meaning of leth is ‘half’, and given the fact that the lands of Lathallan are divided between two lordships (and parishes) from an early date, it is quite possible that leth is used to describe this somewhat unusual state of affairs. However, its secondary meaning of ‘side, hill-side’ would also apply to the lie of these extensive lands on a broad and relatively even slope.

In the light of the 1431, 1635 and 1784 forms, it would appear that there was another manifestation of this name with a different generic, that of G àth ‘ford’. This would thus furnish another example of generic-element variation (for more on which see Taylor 1997). If this is indeed the case, then the eponymous ford must be over the Den Burn, which forms the eastern limit of the lands of Lathallan (see also this discussion, below).

History of the Lands of Lathallan

The lands of Lathallan seem to have lain in two parishes, Kilconquhar and Newburn, from an early date, with Dunfermline Abbey holding the lands of Wester Lathallan as the northern part of its shire of Newburn, while the eastern part of Lathallan probably formed part of the earl of Fife’s lands of Riresshire, Kilconquhar. Following the dismembering of the comital lands by James I in the 1420s, this eastern part of Lathallan was granted to the Spence family in 1431 (RMS ii no. 187).

On Blaeu (Gordon) Fife, E. Lathallan probably refers to OS Pathf. Lathallan Home Farm, Kilconquhar, earlier Lathallan House, which as the chief place of the eastern or Kilconquhar part of the lands of Lathallan. The name Lathallan appears twice on Roy (1753), but neither of these can represent Wester Lathallan, as Roy also shows W. Lathallan. One of his occurrences of Lathallan without an affix (the more northerly one) clearly represents Lathallan Home Farm.

Lathallan, Muiravonside STL (NS95 77) was named after Lathallan, Fife by a member of the Spence family in the mid-nineteenth century.

Records on the Lands of Lathallan:

  • (William of) Lathanland c.1300 Dunf. Reg. no. 325 [probably for Lathauland; see PNF 5, App. 1; Newburn]
  • (lands of) Achaland 1380 x 1396 RMS ii no. 187 [confirmed 1431; presumably a transcription error for Athaland; to William Spence (de Spensa), burgess of Perth, and spouse Isabel Campbell; Kilconquhar]
  • (lands of) Lathalland 1490 RMS ii no. 1930 [to John Spence (Spens) of Lathallan (Lathalland); Kilconquhar]
  • Lathelland 1516 Fife Ct. Bk. 58 [John Spence (Spens) of Lathallan; Kilconquhar]
  • Lathelland 1516 Fife Ct. Bk. 59
  • (Spence of) Lethalland 1517 Fife Ct. Bk. 74
  • Lathalland 1522 RMS iii no. 229 [confirming a charter of 1517 by which John Spence of Lathallan (Lathalland) sells to the Friars Preachers of St Andrews an annual rent of 12 merks from his lands of Lathallan; Kilconquhar]
  • Lethalland 1536 Dunf. Reg. Ct. Bk. 130 [John Dempsterston in Lathallan; Newburn]
  • Lathalan 1545 x 1555 N. Berwick Cart. p. xxiii [‘set to Maister Alexander Wod (Wood), the teynd chaiwis (teind sheaves) of Lathalan, for the sowme of viij merkis’; probably Kilconquhar]
  • (Alexander Spence of) Lathalland 1548 Retours (Fife) no. 8 [also appears amongst Spence family lands in Retours (Fife) nos. 166 (1606), 519 (see below), 926 (1662, Nathaniel Spence); Kilconquhar]
  • Lathalland 1548 Retours (Fife) no. 8 [James Spence (Spens), three quarters of the lands of Lathallan]
  • Lathallan c.1560 s Purves 154 [£4]
  • Lathalllane c.1560 s Assumption, 24 [rental of Dunfermline Abbey; Newburn]
  • Lathalland c.1560 s Assumption, 28
  • Lathalland 1561 Dunf. Reg. p. 428 [in Newburnshire (Newburneschire); Newburn]
  • Lathalland 1596 Retours (Fife) no. 1527 [Arthur Spence (Spens); Kilconquhar]
  • terris de Lathallane ab antiquo nuncupatis Athallane 1635 Retours (Fife) no. 519 [Thomas Spence, ‘in lands of Lathallan anciently called Athallane’; Kilconquhar]
  • Lathalland 1647 Retours (Fife) no. 720 [in barony of Newburnshire (Newbirnshyre) and the regality of Dunfermline; Newburn]
  • Lathalland 1647 Retours (Fife) no. 720 [Walter Fairfoul (Fairfull) of Lathallan (Lathalland) … the lands of Lathallan in barony of Newburnshire (Newbirnshyre) and the regality of Dunfermline; Newburn]
  • E. Lathallon 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife [probably = OS Pathf. Lathallan Home Farm, Kilconquhar]
  • W. Lathallon 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife [= OS Pathf. Wester Lathallan, Newburn]
  • Lathallan 1753 Roy sheet 18, 1 [shown twice; also Lathallan dean]
  • W. Lathallan 1753 Roy sheet 18, 1 [= OS Pathf. Wester Lathallan, Newburn]
  • Lathellan 1775 Ainslie/Fife [‘Spence Esq.’; shown in Kilconquhar; = OS Pathf. Lathallan Home Farm, Kilconquhar]
  • W. Lathellan 1775 Ainslie/Fife [shown in Newburn]
  • Lathalland 1784 Sasines no. 992 [Lathalland ‘formerly called’ Aithalland]
  • Lathallan 1828 SGF [in Kilconquhar = OS Pathf. Lathallan Home Farm, Kilconquhar]
  • W. Lathallan 1828 SGF [Newburn]
  • Lathallan Ho. 1855 OS 6 inch 1st edn [= OS Pathf. Lathallan Home Farm]
  • West Lathallan 1855 OS 6 inch 1st edn [= OS Pathf. Wester Lathallan, Newburn]

 

Source: This place-name appeared in printed volume 3 of the Fife Place-name Data Project.