Attribution: unknown (The ruin of Free Church in Jamestown)

Place Names of Fodderty Parish (Strathpeffer)

Fodderty – Ecclesia de Fotherdino 1238,
Fotherdyn 1275,
Fothirdy 1350,
Fothartye 1548,
Fedderdy 1561;
G. Fodhraitidh (close ‘o’).

The spellings of 1350 and 1548 still represent the common English pronunciation. Fodder or fother, as a prefix, is well known on Pictish ground. Fodderty itself is the most northerly instance; in Inverness-shire is Fodderletter (Tomintoul); in Aberdeenshire, Fetterangus, Fetternear, and Fedderat (Fedreth 1205, Feddereth 1265); in Kincardine, Fetteresso (Fodresach, Pict. Chron.), and Fordun, which in St Berchan’s Prophecy is Fothardun; also Fettercairn (Fotherkern, Pict. Chron.); and in Perthshire, Forteviot, the Fothuirtabaicht of the Pictish Chronicle. As a suffix it appears in the Annals of Ulster, under date 680- A.D., “obsessio Duin Foithir”, and again, 694, “obsession Duin Foter” – siege of Dunottar. The change to ‘Fetter’, seen in the Aberdeen and Kincardine names, is curious, but mostly late, and perhaps a matter of umlaut in Scots dialect.

Fodder, early Foter and Fother (in modern Gaelic ‘for’ with close ‘o’), is best regarded as a comparative of ‘fo’, under, and may be compared with ‘uachdar’, upper, from the root seen in ‘uasal’, high. The strong accent on Fodder, G. For, may have helped to obscure the second part of the compound. The ending -ty(n) is not uncommon on Pictish ground, and is always troublesome; cf. Cromarty, Navity, Auchtermuchty, Buchanty. It is, however, probably safe to say that the meaning of Fodderty must be something like ‘Lower place’, in contrast to Achterneed.

The modern parish of Fodderty includes the ancient parish of Kinnettes
Kenneythes 1256,
Kennetis 1561,
Kynattas 1574;
Gael. Cinn-it’ais, ‘t’ soft. 

The name is now applied to the farm on the high ground to the west of the Spa. ‘Cinn’ is the locative case of ‘ceann’, head. The ending, ‘ais’ is seen in Allt-ais (Altas), Fearn-ais (Farness), Forres, Durrais (Dores), Dallas, Geddes, being practically a local suffix. The middle part -it- is obscure, but may possibly be referred to Welsh ‘yd’, corn; O.I. ith; giving a meaning ‘ place of corn’; Kinnettes, head of the corn-land.

Wethirnyde 1476,
Ouctirnede 1479;
F. Uachdar-nìad, the high ground rising up from the plain of Fodderty, Uachdar means ‘upland’; nìad can hardly be explained from any Gaelic or Irish source, but it would very well represent Welsh ‘nant’, valley; cf. Welsh cant, Gael. ceud, W. dant, G. deud. Achterneed would thus mean, ‘The land above the valley’. Above Achterneed is a cup-marked stone called a’ chlach phollach, the stone full of holes.

Strathpeffer – G. Srath-pheofhair, ‘Strath of the Peffer’. Peffer occurs as a burn name in Inverpeffray (Crieff), and there are two Peffer burns in Athelstaneford (Haddington), also a Peffer Mill at Duddingston. The initial ‘p’ indicates a non-Gaelic origin. Dr Skene, misled by the resemblance of Inchaffray (Insula Missarum, Mass Isle), has referred to Inverpeffray and Strathpeffer to Ir. ‘aifrend’, a mass, which is quite out of the question. The various Peffer streams are more likely to be connected with the root seen in Welsh ‘pefr’, beautiful, fair; ‘pefrin’, radiant; ‘pefru’, to radiate.

Knockfarrel – G. Cnoc-farralaidh; ‘far’ in composition denotes ‘projecting’ or ‘high’ e.g. ‘far-bhonn’, fore-sole; Ir. ‘for-dorus’, porch; G. ‘far-dorus’, lintel; ‘for-all’, high cliff. In farralaidh, a of ‘farr’ is indefinite in quality, indicating that it has been affected by a succeeding slender vowel, which has become broadened in its turn. This gives an original far-eileach, in locative far-eiligh, ‘high’ or ‘projecting stone-house’, or ‘stone-place’, with reference to the important vitrified fort which crowns the hill. For ‘eileach’ in this sense, cf. na h-Eileachan Naomha or Garvelloch Isles, Jura; also the great Irish Ailech. Cf. also Farrlaraidh, Rogart, from far-laraigh, old locative of làrach; ‘projecting site’.

Castle Leod
Contaneloid 1507,
Kandinloid 1534,
Cultenloid 1547,
Cwltelloid and Cultaloid 1556,
Cultalode 1575,
Cultelloud, 1609,
Culterloud 1618.

From these old forms it appears that Castle Leod is a corruption, facilitated doubtless by the presence of the ‘castle’ which bears date 1616. Contaneloid and Kandinloid represent ‘Ceann an leothaid’, Head of the sloping hillside; the other forms point to ‘Cùl da leothad’, At the back of two slopes, to wit, the slope of Achterneed and that immediately to the west of the castle.

Ardovale 1479,
Le Tympane de Ardovale 1487,
Ardwaill with its mill called Tympane Myln* 1586,
half davach of Ardauell 1655;
G. Aird a’bhail’, Height of the town or farm-stead.

*The site of the old mill is still well known, a little to the west of the present railway station, and just behind the stables. In 1681 it is mentioned as “Tympane mill, near Clach an Tiompan”, the stone in the grounds of Nutwood near the public road, inscribed with an eagle and “horse-shoe” ornament. There seems now to be a tendency to the absurd corruption ‘Muileann tiunndain’ and ‘Clach an tiunndain’-‘turning mill’ and ‘stone of the turning’, a corruption arising from ‘tiompan’ not being understood in this connection. ‘Tiompan’ has two quite distinct meanings – (1) a musical instrument; (2) a rounded, one-sided knoll. In this sense it is common in place-names, and may be compared in point of derivation with English ‘tump’, Greek ‘tumbos’, Lat. ‘tumeo’, Gael. ‘tulach’, Welsh ‘tymp’, a mound. In this particular case the ‘tiompan’ is the knoll on which the house of Nutwood stands, and which is exaqctly all that an orthodox ‘tiompan’ should be. I have been told that ‘tiompan’ is used in a third sense – viz. a narrow gully, or even the nozzle of a bellows; and in support of this was quoted the proverb: “Tha a’ ghaoth cho fuar’s ged a bhiodh I tighinn a tiompan” – The wind is as cold as if it were blowing out of a bellows’ mouth.

Kynellane 1469;
G. Cinn-eilein, Island-head, from the small artificial island in Loch Kinnellan, “resting upon logs of oak, on which the family of Seaforth had at one period a house of strength” – New Stat. Acc.

Elodil 1476,
Ulladall 1479;
G. Ulladal is Norse, and probably means Ulli’s dale.
Cnoc Ulladail is the hill above Castle Leod. Cf. Ulladale in Logie Easter, Ullapool, etc.

Park – Park 1476,
le Park 1479;
G. a’ Phàirc.

The battle of Park, Blàr na Pàirce, between the Mackenzies and the Macdonalds, took place about 1490.

Dalcarty and Davachcarty 1541;
G. Do’ach-gartaidh: dabhach of the corn-enclosure.

Dalfcarne 1479;
G. Do’ach a’ chàirn, davach of the cairn.

Dalfpoldach 1479,
Dauchauchpollo 1526;
G. Do’ach a’ phollain, Davach of the pool.

Dalfmalawage 1479,
Dalmalook 1584;
G. Do’ach Mo-luaig, St. Moluag’s davoch.

These three were included in the farm of Brae, 1777. On the moor to the west of the Heights of Dochcarty, G. Brèigh Doch-gartaidh, are five stone slabs, heavy, broad, and pointed, marking an oval of about ten to twelve feet axis. The are called Na Clachan Gòrach, the silly stones, and are evidently part of what was once the central chamber of a large round cairn, now almost quite removed. The may be compared with the chambered cairn near Acharn, Alness.

Inchevaynel, Enchewany 1554,
Inchvandie 1584;
G. I’s-mheannaidh, probably from meann, a kid.

These inshes were places frequented by cattle.

Blarninich – G. Blàr an aonaich, Plain of the meeting, or, of the moor. It is near the church of Fodderty.

Inchrory – Chapel of the Virgin Mary of Inchrory 1349,
Inchrory 1583,
Inchrorie 1609. G. I’s Ruaraidh.

On the right bank of the Peffery, immediately opposite the old burying-ground of Fodderty. Here stood the chapel of Inchrory. To the north of the burying-ground was ‘Croit an Teampuil’, Temple Croft, where stone coffins have been found (O.S.A.). “Rory’s Mead”.

Dochnaclear – Dauachnacleir with the mill 1533,
Davachnacleir 1533;
G. Do’ach nan cliar, davach of the “cliar”; cliar here has probably its old meaning of clergy; in modern Gaelic it means poet or hero. The place is above the farm of Fodderty.

Keppoch – G. a’cheapaich, the tillage plot. Common.

Bottacks – G. na botagan (close ‘o’); botag in place-names means a sun-dried crack, or narrow channel.

Creag an Fhithich – Raven’s Rock.

Rogie – le Rew 1476,
Rewgy cum le Ess (with the waterfall) 1472,
Rewy 1527,
Rowe, Rowy 1575,
Rowy 1614;
G Roagaidh, name of burn and district;

?Norse rok-á, splashing, foaming river; cf. Loch Roag, Lewis. Doubtful; cf. Errogie, Inverness.

Strathrannoch – Foreste de Rannach 1479,
Strathrannoch 1542;
strath of bracken. Cf. Rannoch and Loch Rannoch in Perthshire.

Allt a’choire ranaich – Burn of the bracken corry, in Strathrannoch.

Lùb a’ chlaiginn – Skull bend;
‘claigeann’ is common in place-names, and is usually applied to a bare rounded knoll. When applied to a farm or field, it is said to mean the best arable land (New Guide to Islay, p. 42).

Allt coir a’ chùndrain – I have failed to verify this name.

Meall a’ghrianain – Hill of the sunny knoll.

Beinn a’ Chaisteil – Castle Hill; cf. Beinn a’ Chaisteil, at the head of Glen Rosa, Arran.

Càrn nan aighean – Hinds’ cairn.

An leathad cartach – ‘ Cartach’ may come from ‘cairt’, bark of a tree, but in this particular connection it is, I think, more likely to come from ‘cairt’, cleanse or scour; whence ‘cairteadh’, muck. Thus the ‘leathad cartach’ would mean the ‘scoury’ hillside, i.e., liable to be scoured by water. “Cairt” scour, is seen also in Glen Docharty, and Glendochart; cf. the rivers Cart.

Allt an eilein ghuirm – Burn of the green island; Meall nan sac, hill of burdens or loads.

Inchbae – G. I’s beith, Birch-haugh.

Allt na Bana-Mhorair – Lady’s burn.

Gleann sgathaich – doubtful; ‘sgathach’ means lopped branches, brushwood, from ‘sgath’, lop. The ‘a’ is short, otherwise we may think of a derivative from ‘sgàth’, fear – ‘uncanny place’.

Ben Wyvis – G. Beinn Uais (but prosthetic ‘f’ seen in Cabar Fuais); High Hill; ‘uais’, from the root seen in ‘uas-al’, high, noble; Gaulish ux-ellos; Gaulish ‘x’ becomes ‘s’ in Gaelic, but in Welsh it becomes ‘ch’. Thus ‘ux-ellos’ gives in Welsh ‘uch-el’, high, whence Ochil, Oykel,

Achilty. The height of Wyvis is perhaps best appreciated from the higher parts of Inverness and neighbourhood.

Bealach Collaidh – An ancient drove road to the west of Wyvis; hazel-gap or pass; an extension of ‘coll’, the old form of ‘call’, hazel, representing a primitive Coslacum. The forest of Colly, in Kincarine, appears in 1375, modern Cowie; cf. Kilcoy, and Duncow in Dumfriesshire.

Place Names of Fodderty Parish

This extract was taken, with the permission of the Trustees, from Prof. W.J. Watson’s – ‘Place Names of Ross and Cromarty’. The most recent edition of this work was published by HIGHLAND HERITAGE BOOKS Tir nan Oran, 8 Culcairn Road, Evanton IV16 9YT


Place Names of Ross and Cromarty

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