/ˈwʌrmɪstən/ or /ˈwʌrməstən/
pn Winemer + Sc toun
History of the Lands of Wormiston
Winemer was given the land by King William c.1180 (RRS ii no. 196). Here is similar evidence to that of Otterston DGY (PNF 1), near the royal burgh of Inverkeithing, of northern English settlement around an early royal burgh, namely Crail. In the second half of the twelfth century mention is made of various Northumbrians holding land in CRA, such as Ralph of Morpeth (Morpath) and Ralph of Allerwash (Aluerbas), who appear in a charter of Ada de Warenne witnessed by Winemer himself (St A. Lib. 208).
The grant of King William to Winemer and his heirs describes the estate (RRS ii no. 196). Barrow indicates that the description has been ‘inflated’ at a later date, but that it is probably based on a genuine grant. Several of the place-names certainly have forms which indicate a much more recent date than the twelfth century (see for example the discussion under Pittowie # CRA, above). It includes ‘all the land which lies between the nearer well of Balcomie and the gate of the nuns of Haddington towards the west and north by its marches as they extend as far as the upcast of the plough of the lands of Nakedfield, and as they extend to the arable lands of Pittowie from the west, and so going down between the said lands of Pittowie and the east part of Gathercold, Crail Parish, as far as the bog lying between Pittowie and the limit of *Torbrecks, Crail Parish, and so extending from that bog as far as the east part of Stewartflat which is called *Doo Green, and so extending between the said lands of the Stewartflat and the said lands of Balcomie as far as the said nearer well of Balcomie beside the sea, with common pasture in the commonty of Crail, with sufficient turfs and peats etc.’ All this was for a rental of 2 pence at Pentecost ‘in the name of blench ferme’ (nomine albe firme), a type of tenure where a rental or service was paid or rendered to a superior only when requested.
Winemer (Winemerus) witnessed a charter of William de Hay anent Pitmilly KBS in 1172 (St A. Lib. 313), and (as Winemer) a charter of Ada de Warenne before 1178 (St A. Lib. 208). He took part in a perambulation of lands locally in 1205 (RRS ii no. 469). His son, John, witnesses two Fife charters from approximately the 1220s (St A. Lib. 269, 272). Various charters relating to Wormiston are discussed and listed in Hist. MSS. Comm. 5, 623–4, including RRS ii no. 196. Apart from this last, they date from c.1300 onwards, the earliest relating to the lands of *Torbrecks, Crail Parish (q.v.). They are not listed here because the editor has standardised all occurrences of the name to Wolmerstoun. They do, however, give much information about the lands and feudal superiors of Wormiston in the fourteenth century: for example reference is made to an indenture of 1326 ‘betwixt Thomas Hay of Balcomie and Laurence of Wolmerstoun, for the decision of the way betwixt Balcomie and Wolmerstoun’ (no. 7, p. 624). In the same year a contract was made between the same two men anent the lands of Stewartflat (no. 8, p. 624), for which see previous paragraph.
The above NGR is for modern Wormiston, but the site marked simply as Wormistone on OS 6 inch (1855) and which is now Wormiston House, is probably the old centre of the estate, at NO610095. The 1855 map shows modern Wormiston as Wormistone Mains.
OS Pathf. also shows Wormistone Hind, a coastal feature.
Records on the Lands of Wormiston:
- (Laurence of) Wenmerstona 1309 RRS v no. 12 [confirms to Laurence the constabulary of Crail]
- Laurencio de Wynnerstoun c.1319 x 1332 Dryb. Lib. no. 302 [w.]
- Laurencio de Wynmerston 1328 x 1332 Dryb. Lib. no. 303 [w.]
- (Laurence of) Wilmerston 1328 ER i, 112 [£9 5 s. 8 d. from the constabulary of Crail (Karal)]
- (Laurence of) Wylmerystona 1358 RRS vi no. 206 [o.c.; w. to a charter of 1351 x 1354]
- (Laurence of) Willmerstoun 1369 Campbell 1899, 209–10 [the ground of Laurence of Wormiston lying east of Balmerino Abbey land in burgh of Crail]
- Wolmanstoun 1390 x 1406 RMS i app. 2 no. 1734 B [17th c. index; one of various lands throughout Fife to John (of) Wemyss]
- Wolmestoun 1390 x 1406 RMS i app. 2 no. 1742 B [17th c. index; one of various lands throughout Fife to John (of) Wemys]
- Wilmerstoune 1515 Fife Ct. Bk. 14 [David Spence of Wormiston]
- Wilmerstoun 1517 Crail Register no. 28 [David Spence of Wormiston]
- Wolmerstoun 1517 Fife Ct. Bk. 397 [17th c. copy; Taxt roll of Fife]
- Wormestoun 1527 RMS iii no. 426
- Wildmanstoun 1538 RMS iii no. 1905
- Wilmerstoun 1558 x 1564 RMS iv no. 1538
- Wilmestoun c.1560 s Purves 153 [£3]
- Wilmerstoun c.1560 s Assumption, 177 [rental to Haddington Priory]
- Wolmerstoun 1571 RMS iv no. 1978 [Patrick Lord Lindsay of Byres]
- Wormestoun 1594 RMS vi no. 100 [‘Wormestoun, Braidlayis et Kingiscarne’]
- baronia de Wormestoun 1608 Retours (Fife) no. 194
- Wormiston 1642 Gordon MS Fife [also Wormiston cotton]
- Woormiston 1654 Blaeu (Pont) East Fife
- Wormistoun 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife [also Wormistoun Cottoun]
- Wormeston 1666 Lamont’s Diary 185 [the laird, surnamed Lindsay]
- Wormiston 1753 Roy sheet 19, 5
- Wormiston 1775 Ainslie/Fife [‘Lindesay Esqr.’]
- Wormiston 1790s OSA, 171
- Wormistone 1855 OS 6 inch 1st edn
Source: This place-name appeared in printed volume 3 in the Fife Place-name Data Project.