In 1124, David I fitz Malcolm united Alba (the north), Cumbria, and Lothian as one nation under a single set of laws called the Law of the Brets and Scots, which remained in force until 1305.
SCOTLAND IN THE 12TH CENTURY
Think of this as a panoramic picture taken with time-lapse photography of the geographic, political, and ecclesiastical divisions into which Scotland was divided throughout the 12th century, or more accurately, from the late 11th century through the end of the reign of William the Lyon. The purpose here is not so much a detailed verbal map of the Scottish landscape as it is an almost motion picture illustrating the changing society over a little more than a century.
Interesting historical fact: Though responsible for the greatest upsurge, David I was not the first king of Alba or of the Brets and Scots to import Norman knights. No, that was Macbeth mac Findlaech, king of Moray and king of Alba, scion of the line of Oengus I mac Fergus.
What I refer to as provinces below are entities constituting multiple districts, either those into which the kingdoms that became Scotland were divided or else how they came into Scotland grouped together. In this case, geography is more important than politics, so, for example, the mainland provinces of Garmoran, Lorn, and Argyll are restricted to their mainland territories while the South (or Western) Isles, also known as the Hebrides, are listed separately.
I have consulted nearly 450 sources to put this together, but I’m not listing them because this is a blog post and a pretty damn long one already. While doing this, I learned of several provinces of which I had no knowledge before.
The provinces are designated by whatever title under which they first appear in the historical record or under which they were absorbed into the kingdom. Therefore, we have mormaerdoms, earldoms, several lordships, one jarldom, one principality, and a couple I have just designated simply “province”. Most have the title before them under which they first appeared.
Thanages refer to an area controlled by a thane in English, formerly called a toiseach when the kingdom of Alba was officially Gaelic-speaking. There is widespread disagreement among historians about whether a thane was an independent official in his own right or merely at the service of the king.
Schires originally referred to small subdivisions of a larger entity, one I am calling a province, not the larger counties which later appended the suffix “-shire” to their name. The word is actually the same, but I have used an older spelling to help differentiate them. Most of the sources I’ve looked agree that “schire” was equal to the territory controlled by a thane. Like the thanages, some of these were tiny (one was six square miles) and others quite huge (the Schire of Coldingham most of all).
Lordship here is one of three types. First, the previously mentioned provinces or “provincial lordships”. Second, those to which some extend that definition that are larger grants in the south such as Annandale and Teviotdale, but not me, at least not here. To me, these are local lordships even if they do cover a larger area; they are themselves a subdivision of a larger entity, and I rank them with such entities as the “Lordship of Bothwell”. Third, some of the native lordships that still existed in the 12th century alongside the influx of Flemings, Bretons, Normans, and Anglo-Saxons.
See can either refer to a diocese, the office of bishop, or the seat of a diocese. Here, I have only used it in the last sense.
Abthanery refers to the non-termon land of a Celtic or Culdee abbey, all its lands owned by grant or gift not directly related to quarters or worship space. With the one exception of a citation of two such entities in Anglo-Saxon England in one late 19th century work, such “abthaneries” exist nowhere except in Scotland. Usually the lands were only so designated once the attached abbey or no longer existed, but that was not always the case. Those I have so designated here are restricted to those specifically referred to as such in charters or records of contemporary sources.
Abden, in truth merely another form of the word “abthanery”, refer here to lands which would otherwise qualify as “abthaneries” if they had been called thus contemporaneously. Some, in fact, still operated during the period in question, and a few even until the Reformation.
Barony here strictly means one identified as being such in the period concerned.
Abbey, Priory, and Preceptory here designate houses founded in the 12th century or later of orders imported from the Continent.
Royal Burgh and Burgh were given special charters from the crown or a local magnate such as a lord, an abbot, or a bishop granting them privileges above those of most towns. In the case of a royal burgh, that meant it had permision to engage in foreign trade.
Some smaller units have no such title designation. These include territories in the south (meaning south of the Firths) for which such information doesn’t exist or isn’t available and a large number in the Highlands, a large number of which were held mostly by the sword, some even maintained thus until the Rising of ’45. The same goes for islands.
Regarding the names, where possible I have included the Gaelic and/or Norse original.
JARLDOM OF THE NORTH ISLES
Called Nororeyjar in Norse, this territory was ruled by the Norse Jarl of Orkney theoretically on behalf of the King of Norway. It took in both the Orkney Islands and the Shetland Islands to the north, as well as the former mormaerdom of Caitt, which included not only the area of the county of Caithness-shire but also that of Sutherlandshire. After the North Isles came into Scottish possession, the two archipelagoes became two separate provinces, even if the Earl of Orkney was usually also Lord of Shetland. In 1196, William the Lyon asserted Scottish sovereignty over the mainland territories, slicing off Strathnaver, Assynt, and (East) Sutherland, allowing the Jarl of Orkney to continue holding what is now Caithness as a mormaerdom of the Scottish crown. In 1236, the Jarldom was granted to Magnus mac Gille Brighte, Mormaer of Angus,and his heirs as a fief of Norway. The territory remained in Scottish hands as a fief of Norway until 1472.
LORDSHIP OF SHETLAND
Called Sealtainn in modern Gaelic, Innes Catt in early Irish, and Hjaltland in Norse. The first Viking raiders, and later colonists, may have reached Shetland as early as the late 6th century. This may have been the cause of a mass migration to the northern Scottish mainland, where the Catti and the kingdom of Caitt are reported in Irish, Pictish, and British sources from the Early Middle Ages, resulting in “Caithness”.
Unst (Omstr in Norse) is the northernmost of the Shetland Isles.
Yell (Yala in Norse), southeast of Unst, has traditionally been divided into North, Mid, and South districts
Fetlar (Faetilar in Norse), due east of Yell and south of Unst, has been divided into East Isle and West Isle by Funzie Girt (or Finnigart’s Dike) since the Mesolithic period.
Mainland (Megenland in Norse), home to BBC Scotland’s DI Jimmy Perez (of the superb and aptly-named series, Shetland), is divided into Southern, Central, Western, and Northern districts
Muckle Roe (Raudoy Mikla in Norse) sits in the head of St. Magnus Bay off the western coast of the isle of Mainland between Roe Sound and Swarbucks Minn.
Papa Stour (Papay Stora in Norse) sits off the northwest coast of the parish of Sandness and Walls on the isle of Mainland.
Vaila (Valey in Norse) sits off the southern coast of the parish of Sandness and Walls, separated from the isle of Mainland by Vaila Sound.
Foula (Fuglaey in Norse, Fuglaigh in Gaelic) is the most remote island of the archipelago, some 20 miles due west of of the isle of Mainland. It is notable for having remained on the Julian calendar when the rest of the United Kingdom switched to the Gregorian in 1752, and still uses it as its official calendar.
Scalloway (Schaldewage in Norse) Islands are a sub-archipelago off the west coast of Mainland south of the town Scalloway. Currently the only three inhabited are East Burra (Barrey in Norse), West Burra, and Trondra.
Out Skerries (Austr Sekr in Norse) are a sub-archipelago due east of Luma Ness on the isle of Mainland with two inhabited islands, Housay (Husey in Norse) or West Isle to the locals, and Burray (Borgarey in Norse).
Whalsay (Hvalsoy in Norse) lies off the east coast of the Lunning section of Mainland, separated by the island of Linga, with Lunning Sound to the west of Linga and Linga Sound to the east of it.
Bressay (Breidoy in Norse) lies off the east coast of Mainland across Bressay Sound from the parish of Lerwick.
Fair Isle (Fridarey in Norse, Fara in Gaelic) is the most remote inhabited island in the United Kingdom, lying halfway between Shetland and Orkney.
Currently uninhabited islands in the archipelago with populations in the past include: Mousa, Noss (Nos in Norse), St. Ninian’s Isle, Hildasal (Hildasey in Norse), Linga (same in Norse), Oxna (Yxnoy in Norse), Papa (Papey in Norse), South Havra (Hafrey in Norse)
EARLDOM OF ORKNEY
Called Arcaidh in modern Gaelic, Innes Orci in early Irish, and Orkneyjar in Norse. During the Bronze Age, Orkey was the center of civilization in the north, as recent archaeological finds make clear. The king of the Orcades was one of those who formally submitted to Claudius in 43 CE. It later became part of the kingdom and later mormaerdom of Caitt before being conquered by the Norse and made the seat of the jarldom of Orkney. The Jarldom of Orkney was later held as a fiefdom of Norway by the mormaers of Angus, then the mormaers of Strathearn who also inherited Angus, whose titles later passed by marriage to the Umfravilles, who passed Orkney and Caithness to the Sinclairs and Angus to the Douglases, through whom it passed to the Hamiltons. It became part of the kingdom of Scots in 1472, bringing Shetland along with it.
The archipelago is separated from Caithness on mainland Scotland by Pentland Firth.
Mainland (Mor-thir in Gaelic, Megenland and Hrossey in Norse), also called Pomona, is divided into East Mainland and West Mainland districts. Seventy-five percent of Orkney’s population lives here.
See of Birsay (Birgisherad in Norse) in northwest mainland was the original capital of Norse ruled Orkney and see of the Diocese of Orkney, which included both Orkney and Shetland, from 1065 until the late 12th century.
See of Kirkwall (Kirkjuvagr in Norse) stands at the head of Kirkwall Bay off the northern coast of southwest Mainland. It has been the capital of Orkney since the late 12th century and was also home to the see of the Diocese of Orkney. The Cathedral of St. Magnus was begun in 1137 and continued for three centuries that included many additions.
The rest of the islands in the archipelago divide into two groups:
North Ronaldsay (Rinansey in Norse) is the noreasternmost in the sub-archipelago.
Sanday (Sandoy in Norse) lies south of North Ronaldsay across North Ronaldsay Firth, spreading southwesterly.
Papa Westray (Papey Meiri in Norse) sits west and slightly north of Sanday across the North Sound.
Westray (Vestrey in Norse) is a much larger island due south of Papa Westray
Eday (Eidoy in Norse) lies southwest of the tip of Sanday and southeast of the tip of Westray, east of Westray Firth.
Stronsay (Strjonsey in Norse) lies due south of Sanday and southeast of Eday.
Papa Stronsay (Papey Mini or Papey In Litla in Norse) is off the north coast of Stronsay.
Auskerry (Austrsker in Norse) sits due south of Stronsay.
Shapinsay (Hjalpandisey in Norse) lies south and west of Stronsay across Stronsay Firth, due south of Eday.
Gairsay (Gareksey in Norse) sits northwest of Shapinsay off the eastern coast of Mainland.
Viera (Vigr in Norse) is due north of Gairsay, south of the island of Rousay across Viera Sound.
Egilsay (Eaglais in Gaelic, Egilsey in Norse) lies off the east coast of the island of Rousay across Rousay Sound.
Rousay (Hrolfsey in Norse) sits northeast of the parish of Evie on the isle of Mainland.
Hoy (Haoy in Norse) lies off the southwest coast of the isle of Mainland.
Graemsey (Grimsey in Norse) sits between Hoy and the Mainland parish of Stromness.
Flotta (Flottey in Norse) is east of the southeast coast of Hoy.
South Walls (Vagaland in Norse) is across Long Hope sound from the southern coast of Hoy.
South Ronaldsay (Rinansey in Norse) lies east of Hoy, Fotta, and South Walls.
Burray (Borgarey in Norse) sits north of South Ronaldsay off the southeast coast of the isle of Mainland.
Glims Holm (Glums Holm in Norse) lies just north of Burray.
Lamb Holm, no longer inhabited but home during the Second World War to a group of Italian POWs who built the chapel that is now the island’s sole attraction.
MORMAERDOM OF CAITHNESS
Called Gallaibh in Gaelic and Katanes in Norse, Caithness was one of the first mormaerdoms established in the kingdom of Alba. Like the old kingdom of Caitt which receded it, it originally took in not only Caithness but Strathnaver and Sutherland, basically everything south to the River Oykel, to the border of Fortriu, or Moray (and later of Ross). Its Gaelic name (“land of the foreigners”) derives from the province’s possession by the Jarls of Orkney as a fief of the kings of Scots since the time of Sigurd the Stout Hlodvirsson (Jarl of Orkney 991-1014) as Mormaers of Caithness until 1334, when the title to the Scottish fief became Earl. It is separated from Sutherland by a range of mountains and hills. Caithness has for centuries been home to and the possession of the Clan Sinclair, whose chiefs have been Earls of Caithness since 1455.
Being under Norse rule for so much of its early existence as unit, Caithness never developed the same network of thanages, schires, etc., that grew up inthe rest of what is now Scotland; it did, however, have parishes.
Reay (Rath in Gaelic) is south of the North Sea, west of Thurso and Halkirk, north of Halkirk and Kildonan, and east of Farr in Sutherland.
Thurso (Thorsa in Norse and Theorsa in Gaelic) lies south of the North Sea, west of Olrig and Bower, north of Halkirk, and east of Reay.
Olrig (Olrick in Norse) lies south of Dunnet Bay, west of Dunnet parish, north of Bower, and east of Thurso.
Dunnet (Dunaid in Gaelic) lies south of Pentland Firth, west of Canisbay, north of Bower and Olrig, and east of Dunnet Bay.
Canisbay (Canaispidh in Gaelic) lies south of Pentland Firth, west of the North Sea, north of Wick and Bower, and east of Dunnet.
Wick (Vik in Norse and Uige in Gaelic) lies south of Bower and Canisbay, west of Moray Firth, north of Latherton, and east of Latherton, Watten, and Bower.
Clyth is a district in the northwest corner of the parish of Latherton that was home to Clan Gunn before they moved west and south across the Morven Hills into Sutherland.
Latheron (Latharan in Gaelic) lies south of Watten, Wick, and Halkirk, north and west of the North Sea, and east of of Caithness.
Halkirk (Hacraig in Gaelic) lies north of Latherton, east of Caithness, south of Reay and Thurso, and west of Bower, Watten, and Latherton.
See of Halkirk (Hacraigin Gaelic) was the seat of the Diocese of Caithness, which covered Caithness, Durness, Strathnaver, Assynt, and Sutherland, from its establishment through the early 13th century. At that time, farmers revolting against the tithe burned down the cathedral, so the bishop moved the see to Dornoch.
Watten (Bhatan in Gaelic) lies north of Latherton, east of Halkirk, south of Bower, and west of Wick.
Bower (Bagair in Gaelic) lies north of Watten, east of Halkirk and Thurso, south of Olrig and Dunnet, and west of Canisbay and Wick.
LORDSHIP OF STRATHNAVER
Called Srath Nabhair in Gaelic, also known as Mackay’s Country (Duthich Mhic Aodh), this area ruled by Clan Mackay remained completely separate of Sutherland until 1601, when it was joined to it in the county of Sutherlandshire. Even then it did not become part of the estate of the Earls of Sutherland until 1729. So, although its lord, Chief of Clan Aodh or Mhic Aodh, did not hold a title which would rank it as a province, Strathnaver was a province in all but name. The western boundary was the border with Caithness, the western limits of Strathhalladale, and the eastern boundary was the River Borgie, whose mouth is at Torrisdale Bay. It was separated from Sutherland by the forests of Dirriechatt (Doire Cait) and the sea is to the north.
Strathhalladale (Srath Healadail in Gaelic) borders Caithness to the east and centers on River Halladale with Strathy to the west.
Strathy (Srathaidh in Gaelic) is the middle district of the province between Strathhalladle on the east and Strathnaver on the west.
Strathnaver (Srath Nabhair in Gaelic) proper is the western eponymous district of the province between Strathy on the east and Durness at River Borgie on the west and includes Loch Naver.
Dirrie-chat (Doire Cait in Gaelic) is the southern forest district forming the southern boundary of the other three districts and separating them from Sutherland, sharing the same eastern and western boundaries as the province.
PROVINCE OF DURNESS
Called Diuranais in Gaelic and Dyrnes in Norse, this province in the northwestern corner of Scotland belonged wholly to the Church and was therefore separate from any secular province. It lay between River Borgie and Strathnaver in the east and Kyle Sku in the west.
Durness (Diurnais in Gaelic, Dyrnes in Norse) proper, the district of Durness, lies between the Kyle of Durness and Loch Eriboll. It includes a section called Strathmore.
Cape Wrath (An Parbh in Gaelic and Hvarf in Norse), between Loch Eriboll and Loch Inchard was once home to a large community of crofters, but since the Highland Clearances all that is left are shepherds and their sheep.
Brae-chat (Brae Caitt in Gaelic) lies between Loch Inchard and Loch Laxford, extending into the interior at least as far as the north side of Loch Shin.
Edderachylis (Eadar Da Chaolas in Gaelic) lies on the peninsula between Loch Laxford and Kylesku, extending into the interior at least as far as the south side of Loch Shin. It is separated from Sutherland by Dirie Menach.
LORDSHIP OF ASSYNT
Called Assain in Gaelic, this province was originally carved out of greater Sutherland for the MacNichols, but 1343 finds David II granting a charter to Torquil MacLeod of Lewis for the district. While not truly a province, it was nonetheless free of any suzerainty from outside, save for the chiefs of Clan MacLeod, and its chieftains held it until 1757. The Minch lies to the west, Loch Assynt to the south, Kyle Sku to the north, and East Sutherland to the east.
EARLDOM OF SUTHERLAND
Called Cataibh in Gaelic and Sudrland in Norse, this province was the southern part of Caithness of which William, son of Freskin de Moravia (ancestor of both Clans Murray and Sutherland), was made Earl about 1210. The chiefs of Clan Sutherland were the first Earls of Sutherland and remained so for more than five hundred years.
Though Sutherland now usually means the entire area of the former county of Sutherlandshire, for the largest part of its existence, the province of Sutherland was confined to about one-third of its later size, with Strathnaver and Durness occupying its north and northwest and Assynt taking up its west, leaving the southeastern third to the Earl of Sutherland. This region of the greater whole is sometimes now referred to as East Sutherland. Naturally, this district is historically associated with Clan Sutherland. Separated from Strathnaver by Dirrie-chat from Caithness by River Helmsdale (aka River Ulley), its prominent water features include Loch Shin, Loch Choire, Loch a’ Bhealaich, and Loch Truderscaig.
When its parishes were organized they largely followed the same lines as existing districts, though that was not always the case. The districts of the same name, however, restricted to the coast or to the immediate vicinity of the town or village for which they were named. In addition to those, a number of others were based on straths and glens.
Abthanery of Old Dornoch (Dornoch in Gaelic) was the land of the old abbey of Dornoch founded by St. Finnbarr, which later became the seat of the Diocese of Caithness.
Dornoch (Dornoch in Gaelic) probably included the whole Dornoch Peninsula north of the firth that was not part of the abthanery of Old Dornoch.
See of Dornoch (Dornoch in Gaelic), in the town of Dornoch, was the site to which the see of the Diocese of Caithness was moved after Halkirk was burned in the early 13th century.
Helmsdale (Srath Bun Ilidh in Gaelic) centered on the coastal village of that name in the parish of Kildonan at the mouth of River Ullie/Helmsdale and its surrounding area.
Loth (Loth in Gaelic) took up the parish of Loth that was not part of Strathhelmsdale.
Brora (Brura in Gaelic) centered on the coastal village of that name in the parish of Clyne at the mouth of River Brora.
Culmailie (Cuil Mhailidh in Gaelic) was coextensive with the parish of Golspie.
Rogart (Raoghard in Gaelic) was coextensive with the parish of that name.
Creich (Craoich in Gaelic) was coextensive with the parish of that name.
Lairg (An Luirg in Gaelic) was coextensive with the parish of the name at the southern end of Loch Shin.
Strath h-Uillie (Srath h-Illidh in Gaelic) lay in the valley of the River Ullie, below the confluence of River Helmsdale and River Free.
Strathfree (Srath Frithe in Gaelic) was in the valley of the River Free.
Glenloth (Gleann Loth in Gaelic) was in the valley of Loth Burn.
Glensletdale was in the valley of the Sletdale Burn.
Strathfleet (Srath Fleoid in Gaelic) was in the valley of the River Fleet.
Strathbrora (Srath Brura in Gaelic) lay in the valley of River Brora above its confluence with Black Water.
Glendunrobin (Gleann Dun Robain in Gaelic) lay in the valley of Golspie Burn above Golspie.
Strathtirry lay in the valley of River Tirry north of and parallel to Loch Shin.
Strath na Seigla (Srath na Sigla in Gaelic) lay in the valley of Albainn na Seigla above its confluence with River Skinsdale.
Glenskinsdale lay in the valley of the River Skinsdale above its confluence with Albainn na Seigla.
Glenmuic (Gleann Muice in Gaelic) lay in the valley of the Ammainn Glen na Muic above its confluence with River Cassley.
Glencassley (Gleann Carsla in Gaelic) lay along the valley of River Cassley above its confluence with River Oykel.
Strath an Loin (Srath na Loin in Gaelic) lay along the Allt a Carr, which empties into the west side of Loch Shin.
Glenfiag (Glenn Fiag in Faelic) lay in the valley between Loch Fiodhaig and Loch Shin along River Fiag.
Strathvagastie (Srath Bhagastaidh in Gaelic) lay in the valley of the Allt a Chraisg, which empties into the eastern end of Loch Naver.
MORMAERDOM OF ROSS
Called Rois in Gaelic, this province was one of the ancient mormaerdoms of the kingdom of Scots. In 1147, it was carved out of the former province of Moray by David I for Malcolm mac Heth as Mormaer after the death of William fitz Duncan. This initial grant covered just the districts of Ard Ross, Easter Ross, Mid Ross, Wester Ross, and the Black Isle, a very limited area compared to its later extent. After Fitz Duncan’s death in 1168, Ross reverted to the Crown. In 1223, Fearchar mac in t-Sagairt O’Beolain, coarb of St. Maelrubha and Abbot of Applecross, was made Earl of Ross, and the province greatly expanded after the Treaty of Largs in 1226. The province lies north of Rivers Farrar and Beauly, south of River Oykel, east of the sea, and northwest of Moray.
The original province of Ross included:
Easter Ross (Ros an Ear or Taobh Sear Rois in Gaelic), or Mahar Ross (Machair Rois), has some of the richest farmland in Scotland, filling the eastern part of Fearn Peninsula between Dornoch Firth and Cromarty Firth. This district extends from Tarbet Ness on the tip of the peninsula west to the River Averon (aka River Alness).
Royal Burgh of Tain (Baile Dhubhthaich in Gaelic), granted its charter in 1066 by Malcolm III, is the oldest royal burgh in Scotland.
Ard Ross (Aird Rois in Gaelic) is an upland district taking up western Fearn Peninsula and somewhat more to the west whose center is ten miles northeast of the town Alness.
Abden of Kilmuir (Cill Mhoir in Gaelic) was likely coextensive with the former Kilmuir Easter parish on the north shore Cromarty Firth in the eastern Fearn Peninsula.
Ferindonald (Fearann Dhomhnaill in Gaelic), also known as Mid Ross (Ros Meadhanach), lies between River Averon and Clyne Burn (Allt na Lathaid in Gaelic). This district is most famous as the home of Clan Munro.
Thanage of Dingwall (Inbhir Pheofharain in Gaelic) lies in the southwest corner of the Fearn Peninsula just south of Ferindonald and west and north of Strathpeffer.
Thanage of Cromarty (Cromba in Gaelic) occupied the tip of Ardmeanach, probably coextensive with the parish of that name.
Ardmeanach (An Aird Mheadhanach) or Black Isle (Eilean Dubh in Gaelic) is the peninsula between Moray Firth and Cromarty Firth, east of River Conan and north of Beauly Firth. Clan Urquhart is most closely associated with the Black Isle.
Mulbuie Moor, better known as Mulbuie Common, was a commonly-held district of farmland, nearly 7000+ acres spreading out over the center of Black Isle, with a small ridge through it. It was later divided into small crofts, then the big landowners divided it among themselves.
Ferintosh (Sgire na Toiseachd in Gaelic, older form Fearann na Toiseachd) is a small district in the northwestern corner of Ardmeanach 2 1/4 miles from Dingwall, primarily of note because it was a remote detached part of the Thanedom of Calder and the county of Nairnshire.
Abden of Rosemarkie (Ros Maircnidh in Gaelic) at the head of Rosemarkie Bay in southeast Ardmenach across from Fort George was the site of an abbey founded by St. Boniface.
See of Rosemarkie (Ros Maircnidh in Gaelic) was the seat of the Diocese of Ross from its founding by David I in 1124 until the mid-13th century, when it moved to Fortrose nearby. The Diocese of Ross included most of the parishes in Ross (the counties of Ross-shire and Cromartyshire and part of the county of Inverness-shire), including North Argyll.
See of Fortrose (A’ Chananaich in Gaelic) became the seat of the Diocese of Ross in the mid-13th century. The Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Boniface was dedicated here in 1304.
Wester Ross (Ros an Iar or Taobh Siar Rois in Gaelic) in its original form, covered the flatlands from Mountgerald in the east to Contin in the west, between Rivers Conon and Orrin in the south and the Heights of Brae in the north.
Strathpeffer (Srath Pheofhair in Gaelic) is a tiny district inside the bounds of Wester Ross along the River Peffer.
The later expanded province of Ross included:
Strathoykel (Srath Oiceall in Gaelic) is the district bordering Sutherland hosting Oykel River, which confluences with River Cassley to become the Kyle of Sutherland which opens into Dornoch Firth.
Strathcarron (Srath Carrann in Gaelic) lies north of Lochalsh and east of Torridon, hosting River Carron just before it opens into Dornoch Firth.
Glenalladale (Gleann Athaladail in Gaelic) lies west of Strath Carron along River Alladale, which joins Abhainn a’ Glinn Mhoir to become River Carron.
Glenmore (Gleann Mor in Gaelic) lies west of Glen Alladale along Abhainn a’ Glinn Mhoir, which joins River Alladale to become River Carron.
Glencalvie (Gleann Chailbhidh in Gaelic) is a narrow north to south valley hosting the Water of Glencalvie which flows into River Carron.
Glendiebidale (Gleann Diobadail in Gaelic) at head of Glen Calvie hosts River Diebidale, which joins Abhainn Coire a’ Mhalagain to become the Water of Glen Calvie.
Strathdirrie (prob. Srath Doire in Gaelic) lies south of Dirrie More and east of Fannich Forest, southwest of Glen Alladale, Glen More, Glen Calvie, and Glen Diebidale, hosting Loch Glascarnoch and River Glascarnoch, which flows into Black Water.
Strathvaich (Srath a Bhathaich in Gaelic) is a narrow valley east of Strath Dirrie hosting Loch Vaich and Black Water, which meets River Glascarnoch at the mouth of the strath.
Strathrannoch (Srath Raineach in Gaelic) is the narrow valley to the east of Strathvaich through which Rannoch Burn flows to meet Black Water.
Strathgarve (Srath Ghairbh in Gaelic) lies east of Lochbroom, centered about the eponymous valley, and north of the district of Strathbran. Black Water flows into and out of Loch Garve and Loch na Croic here then into River Conon. After the downfall of the Lordship of the Isles, it was removed from the Earldom of Ross and granted to the Mackenzies.
Strathbran (Srath Breamhainn in Gaelic) lies east of the district of Lochbroom between those of Strathgarve and Strathconon. This is the valley of the River Conon. The Mathesons are or were its oldest inhabitants. After the downfall of the Lordship of the Isles, it was removed from the Earldom of Ross and granted to the Mackenzies.
Strathconon (Srath Chonainn in Gaelic) lies twelve miles west of the town of Dingwall at the head of Cromarty Firth, south of Strathbran. This is the valley of Loch Meig and River Meig, which flows into River Conon. After the downfall of the Lordship of the Isles, it was removed from the Earldom of Ross and granted to the Mackenzies.
Glenorrin (Gleann Oirrinn in Gaelic) runs west to east between the district of Strath Conon in Ross and the district of Glen Strathfarrar in Moray, hosting River Orrin, hosting Loch Orrin and River Orrin, which flows into River Conon.
PROVINCE OF NORTH ARGYLL
Called Tuath Earr a’ Gaidheal in Gaelic, North Argyll was the name for the mainland territories of the Sheriffdom of Skye, which also included the islands of Skye, Lewis, Eigg, and Rhum, the entirety of which was later absorbed into the Earldom of Ross. The name North Argyll was used well into the 15th century.
Coigach (An Choigeach in Gaelic) occupies the peninsula south of Assynt, between Loch Enard on the north and the mouth of Loch Broom to the south, and a line north from the village of Ullapool on the east.
Lochbroom (Loch Bhraoin in Gaelic) lies south of Assynt and west of Coigach and the Minch, with Dundonnell and Gruinard to the south, and Strathgarve to the east.
Dundonnell (Achadh Da Dhomhnaill in Gaelic) sits between Lochbroom and Gruinard about Little Loch Broom.
Gruinard (Gruinaird or Ghruinneard in Gaelic) lies Gruinard River on the north and Loch Maree and the district of Gairloch on the south, its western end being the Rubha Mor peninsula between Gruinard Bay and Loch Ewe , its eastern end the district of Strathbraan.
Gairloch (Gearrloch in Gaelic) lies on the seacoast southwest of Loch Maree and the district of Gruinard, east of Loch Torridon and north of the district of Torridon with the boundary being Rivers Torridon and River Guirrone (A’ Gharibhe).
Abthanery of Applecross (A’ Chomraich in Gaelic) is on a peninsula of the western seaboard between Loch Torriden and Loch Carron. It is famed as the home of the abbey of St. Maelrubha, with the district being abbey lands, or an appin. The O’Beolain coarb abbots eventually became the Gillanders Earls of Ross, who eventually took Ross as their surname. Unlike most of the other early abbeys in Scotland which were part of the Muintir Cholmcille based in Iona, Applecross, like Lismore and Appin of Lorn, belonged to Muintir Comghaill based in Bangor.
Torridon (Toirbheartan in Gaelic) lies south of Gairloch, west of Applecross, and north of the district of Lochalsh.
Strathcarron (Srath Carrann in Gaelic) lies west of Applecross and southwest of Torridon, centered on the lower western River Carron in Ross which rises in Glen Carron before entering Loch Scavan, after which it empties into Loch Carron
Kishorn (Ciseorn in Gaelic) lies south of the district of Torridon between Loch Kishorn and Loch Carron.
Lochalsh (Loch Aillse in Gaelic) lies on a peninsula between Loch Carron and Loch Alsh
Kintail (Cinn Taile in Gaelic) is bound by Glen Shiel to the south, Strath Croe and Gleann Gaorsaic to the north, An Caorann Mor to the east, and the heads of Loch Cluanie and Loch Duich to the west, as well as including the peninsula between the latter two. Kintail is famous as the home and base of Clan Mackenzie.
Glenshiel (Gleann Seile in Gaelic) occupies the northern third of the peninsula between Loch Duich to the north and a ridge of hills dividing it from Glenelg to the south, which belongs to the province of Garmoran, with Kintail to the east.
LORDSHIP OF GARMORAN
Called A’ Gharbh Mhorbhairne in Gaelic, this province was once part of the Norse Kingdom of the Isles. Skene claims that Garmoran existed as a mormaerdom of the kingdom of Scots prior to Clan Ruari coming into possession of it after 1210. However, to have been a mormaerdom it would have had to have been part of the Kingdom of Scots, not the Kingdom of the Isles, which it was not until the territories of the latter were yielded to the sovereignty of Scotland in the Treaty of Perth in 1266, with Clan Ruari already Lords of Garmoran. The province later fell to Clan Ranald (MacDonalds of Clanranald).
Besides the mainland districts listed here, the lordship included the Small Isles (Rum, Canna, Eigg, Muck). The whole province is now usually considered part of Argyll.
Glenelg (Gleann Ealg in Gaelic) lies south of Glenshiel, divided by a ridge of hills, on the same peninsula and north of Loch Cluanie, with Kintail to the east.
Knoydart (Cnoideart in Gaelic) occupies the peninsula between Loch Hourn on the north and Loch Nevis on the south.
Morar (Morar in Gaelic) surrounds Loch Morar on the peninsula between Loch Nevis and Loch nan Uamh.
Arisaig (Arasaig in Gaelic) occupies a peninsula of the same name off the southwest corner of Morar peninsula.
Ardnish (Ardnais in Gaelic) lies south of Arisaig in the tiny peninsula between Loch nan Uamh and Loch Ailfort off the southern edge of Morar peninsula. In the Second World War, it was cleared to become the training ground for Royal Marine Commandos.
Moidart (Muideart in Gaelic) lies east of Loch Ailort, north and west of River Shiel and Loch Shiel, and south of Morar.
Ardnamurchan (Aird nam Murchan in Gaelic) lies at the western end of a peninsula of the same name Loch Shiel and Loch Sunart, with the district of Sunart to the east. The district was once home to a branch of Clan Donald known as the MacIans, which is now extinct.
Sunart (Suaineart in Gaelic) lies east of Ardnamurchan on the peninsula between Loch Shiel and Loch Sunart and west of Ardgour.
Ardgour (Aird Ghobhnar in Gaelic) lies east of Sunart, south and west of Loch Eil, and north of Kingairloch, separated by Glen Tarbet. This was the home of the MacMasters before Clan Gillean displaced them.
Kingairloch (Ceann a’ Gheàrrloch in Gaelic) lies south of Glen Tarbet and Ardgour, west of Loch Linnhe, north of the Sound of Mull, once home to the Macleans of Kingairloch.
Morvern (A’ Mhorbhairne in Gaelic), formerly known as Kinelvadon (Cineal Bhaodain in Gaelic), lies south of Loch Sunart and Glen Tarbet, northwest of Loch Linnhe, and east and northeast of the Sound of Mull. The Cineal Bhaodain were a kindred of the Dal Riata. Clan Innes held the district until 1358, when the Lord of the Isles gave it to Clan Gillean.
LORDSHIP OF LORN
The original province of Lorne originally included all the districts listed here. In this definition, Lorn is divided into three parts: Upper Lorn (Braigh Latharna) is north of Loch Etive; Mid Lorn (Meadhan Lhatharna) is south of Loch Etive to Nether Lorn; Nether Lorn (Latharna Iochdarach) lies south of a line between Loch Avich in the east and Loch Melfort in the west to the Craignish Peninsula.
The province is named for the Cenel Loairn who once ruled Dal Riata alternately with the Cenel nGabhrain. As a lordship, it was created out of Argyll for the Clan Dughall by David II, but it had already called by that name since the days of the Dal Riata because it was the seat of power of Cenel Laoirn before it merged with the royal dynasty of Fortriu. The province is most identified with Clan Dougall, though they have not held it for centuries.
Lismore (Lios Mor in Gaelic) lying at the mouth of Loch Linnhe, was home to the see of the Diocese of Argyll. In the early days of Christianity in Scotland, this island was home to a hermitage of St. Moluag that developed into an abbey. Unlike most of the other early abbeys in Scotland which were part of the Muintir Cholmcille based in Iona, Lismore, and its mainland gleve land, Appin of Lorn, belonged to Muintir Comghaill based in Bangor.
See of Lismore (Lios Mor in Gaelic) was the seat of the Diocese of Argyll erected by the Pope Innocent III under William the Lyon. The Cathedral of St. Moluag was built in the 14th century. The Diocese of Argyll covered Argyll, Lorn, and Garmoran, or the mainland part of the county of Argyllshire.
Glencoe (Gleann Comhan in Gaelic) is on the northern outskirts of Appin, a narrow district running from west to east along the south side of Loch Leven. The MacIains of Glencoe held it for centuries and were the victims of the infamous massacre of 1692.
Duror (Durar in Gaelic) lies south of Loch Leven, east of River Laroch, and north of the southern bounds of Glen Duror with Loch Linnhe to the west. It is often counted as part of Appin (its full name in Gaelic is Durar na h-Apann), though several medieval charters clearly distinguish the two.
Appin (An Apainn in Gaelic), more properly Appin of Lismore, was the land of the abbey of St. Moluag on the nearby Isle of Lismore in Loch Linnhe, which originally probably included Duror. Also known as the Appin of Lorn and the Appin of Lismore, it is bound by Loch Linnhe on the west, Glen Duror on the north, Loch Creran on the south, and including Glen Creran on the east. Its fame comes from having long been the domain of the Stewarts of Appin, who were once the Stewarts of Lorn.
Benderloch (Meadarloch in Gaelic, older name Beinn eadar da loch) lies between Loch Creran, River Ure, and River Creran on the northwest and west and Loch and Glen Etive on the east. Important sections include Glen Ure, Glen Duff (Gleann Dubh), and Gleann Creran.
Ardchattan (Aird Chatain in Gaelic) occupied the headland of Ardchattan, separated from the rest of Benderloch by Glen Salach. It was the site of a daugher house of Iona and later became home to the Valliscaulian Priory of Ardchattan in 1230.
Glen Etive Hills are those east of Loch and Glen Etive which divide them from Glen Strae and contain within a number of glens that became home to clans and their followers. The central geographic feature is Glen Etive.
Glenetive (Gleann Eite in Gaelic) is the valley through which River Etive runs from the head of Glen Coe south and southwest thorugh the Glen Etive Hills to empty into Loch Etive.
Glenoe (poss. Gleann Notha in Gaelic) lies north of Ben Cruachan along the River Noe which empties into Loch Etive. The Clan Macintyre made its home there as early as the 13th century as foresters to the MacDougalls and managed to keep that post for the Stewarts and Campbells.
Glenliever (Gleann Libhir in Gaelic) lies north of Glen Noe, and as Glen Liever is readily accessible only from Loch Etive, most of its settlement was concentrated at Inverliver (Inbhir Libhir) on the loch.
Glenkinglass (Gleann Chonghlais in Gaelic) is a long crooked glen whose river flows east from its source in the Glen Etive Hills, makes a sharp southward turn on reaching the valley floor, then turns west to flow into Loch Etive at Ardmaddy.
Lorne (Latharna in Gaelic and Laoirn in Old Irish) the district lies west of Lusrugan Burn, Loch Nell, and River Nell, north of Loch Melford, and east of Loch Linnhe. Use of the term district of Lorne often includes those of Muckrain, Kilmelford, and Craignish.
Muckairn (Mucarna in Gaelic) lay west of Lorne district at Lusrugan Burn, east of River and Loch Awe, north of Loch Avich, and west of Loch Linnhe.
Kilmeford (Cill Mheallaird in Gaelic) was south of Loch Avich and Loch Melford, east of Loch Awe, north of Craignish and Ardskeodenish, and west of Loch Linnhe.
Craignish (Creiginis in Gaelic) is west of River Barbreck and south of Staing Mor to include all of Craignish Peninsula.
LORDSHIP OF ARGYLL
Called Earr a’ Gaidheal in Gaelic, the province of Argyll was the heart of the old kingdom of (eastern) Dal Riata. The name Earr a’ Gaidheal means seacoast, or border, of the Gaels.
The province first appears in records under this name when Somerled mac Gillebride is called king of Argyll in Irish annals, though to the Hebridean Norse he was lord of Argyll while to the Scots he was mormaer of Argyll. At its greatest extent in this definition, Argyll took in the coastal districts from the Mull of Kintyre in the south to Coigeach and Lochbroom in the north.
Argyll also gave its name to a hereditary sheriffdom and a county, both of which had borders flucuating throughout time and very different from each other. The province of Argyll is, naturally, associated with Clan Campbell, whose chiefs have been Dukes of Argyll for centuries. What I mean by Argyll in this case is everything east of Loch Eil, Loch Linnhe, and the Firth of Lorne, east of Rannoch, Breadalbane, Loch Long, and the Firth of Clyde, and south of Loch Leven and Lochaber.
Districts in (mainland) Argyll include:
Ardskeodenish was the old name, no longer used, for the district south of Kilmelford and southwest of Loch Awe to the Crinan Canal (formerly the Isthmus of Crinan). This district has long been considered part of Argyll district.
Argyll (Earr a’ Gaidheal in Gaelic) district is the core possession of Clan Campbell as Lords, Earls, Marquises, and Dukes of Argyll, originally called the district of Lochawe. The district of Argyll lies between Loch Awe and Loch Fyne, bound on the north by Glenstrae and Glenorchy and on the south by the district of Ardskeodenish. This area is sometimes also called Mid Argyll (Meadhan Eairr a’ Gaidheal), especially in the larger context of the county of Argyllshire.
MacGregor’s Country (Duthaich Mhic Ghriogair in Gaelic) is my own neologism, a collective term for the three sections in northeast Argyll held by Clan Gregor, three adjacent rivers and their valleys: Glen Strae, Glen Orchy, and Glen Lyon. Its boundaries are Rannoch Moor on the north, Drumalban on the east, Argyll district and Ardkinglas on the south, and the Glen Etive Hills to the west.
Glenstrae (Gleann Sreith) centers on River Strae running northeast to southwest and emptying into the north end of Loch Awe. It was one of the original strongholds of Clan Gregor, who built the original Kilchurn Castle.
Glenorchy (Gleann Urchaidh) the next glen southeast, separated from it by the mountains Beinn Donachain and Beinn Mhic Mhonaidh, is widely held to be the original home of Clan Gregor, or at least home of the tribe when it became Clan Gregor. Its head touches the eastern border of Breadalbane and its mouths opens into Campbell-held Loch Awe.
Glenlochy (Gleann Lochaidh) lies to the southeast of Glen Orchy, separated from it by Beinn Udfaidh and Beinn na Sroine. Flowing from its source, Lochan na Bi, River Lochy confluences with River Orchy some distance before the latter empties into Loch Awe.
Ardkinglas (Aird Chonghlais in Gaelic) occupies 12,000 acres between Cowall in the south and Glen Lyon in the north.
Cowall (Comghall in Gaelic) occupies the peninsula between Loch Fyne to the west and Loch Long and the Firth of Clyde to the east, southwest of Long Goil. Its name derives from the Cineal Comghaill of the Dal Riata. Cowall is most associated with Clan Lamont, but also with Clan Ewen.
Abden of Kilmun (Cill Mhunna in Gaelic) were the lands between Loch Eck and Loch Long on the Cowall Peninsula belonging to the abbey of St. Mund.
Knapdale (Cnapadal in Gaelic) lies between the district of Ardskeodenish, separated at the Crinan Canal (formerly the Isthmus of Crinan), and the Isthmus of Tarbet, on the other side of which lies the district of Kintyre. Historically, the district is identified with Clan MacMillan.
Kintyre (Cinn Tire in Gaelic) lies south of Knapdale, separated by the Isthmus of Tarbet, occupying the peninsula south to include the Mull of Kintyre. The district is most associated historically with Somerled mac Fergusa, Clan Donald, its later branch Clan Alister, and the main branch of Clan Eacharn.
Abbey of Saddell (Saghadal in Gaelic) on the east shore of mid-Kintyre was a Cistercian house founded by Ranald mac Somerled, King of the Isles and Kintyre.
LORDSHIP OF THE (SOUTH) ISLES
Called Sudreyjar (South Isles) in Norse, Innes Gall (Foreigners’ Isles) in Old Irish, and Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Western Isles) in Gaelic, the Hebrides became a political entity in 900 when Ketil Flatnose was sent there by the Jarl of Orkney to put down a rebellion. Ketil decide the best way to do that was to kick ass and become king. For the next 250 years, the entire Hebrides was archipelago ruled by Norse kings. Though sometimes held by the same person, the titles were separate; King of the South Isles, which included the mainland territory from the Mull of Kintrye to the district of Coigeach; King of Mann; King of the Rhinns (of Galloway); and (sometimes) King of Dublin.
In 1156, Somerled mac Gillebride, lord of Kintyre, rose up and in two years had the entire realm in his hands. After his death in 1164, Godfrey Olafsson regained the Isle of Man and the Outer Hebrides plus the Isle of Skye. The remainder was split three ways among the sons of Somerled, with Argyll, except for Kintyre, going to Clan MacDougall, Garmoran going to Clan Ruari, and Kintyre, Islay, and the remaining Inner Hebrides going to Clan Donald. Somerled’s son Ranald held Kintyre, Islay, and the other southern Hebrides with the title King of the Isles and Kintyre, Dougall held mainland Argyll and the middle Hebrides with the title King of Argyll and the Isles, and Angus held Arran and Bute.
After the brothers died, no one from Clan Somhairle held the title of king and they must have fallen back under the rule of the Isle of Mann, because the annals record that they gained independence from the King of Mann and the North Isles (here meaning the Outer Hebrides rather than Orkney and Shetland) in 1227, though not from the King of Norway.
All the Isles were annexed to the Scottish crown in 1266, and the big lordships reduced. In 1292, North Argyll, Skye, and the Outer Isles were given to the Earl of Ross as Sheriff of Skye. After being rewarded for service to Robert the Bruce and courted by Edward I Balliol, the chiefs of Clan Donald of Islay established what became known as the Lordship of the Isles, lasting from 1336 to 1493.
At its height, the Lordship of the Isles included all the South Isles and the Isle of Mann (briefly) as well as the mainland provinces of the Earldom of Ross, Argyll, Lorn, Garmoran, and North Argyll in Scotland and the Glens of Antrim in Ireland.
(na h-Eileanan a-Muigh in Gaelic)
North Rona (Ronaigh in Gaelic) is the most remote of the British Isles and the closest neighbor to the Faroe Islands. It has been unihnabited since 1854.
Lewis (Ljodhus in Norse and Leodhas in Gaelic), also called Lewis and Harris (Ljodhus ok Herad in Norse and Leodhas is na Hearadh), is the largest island of the Outer Hebrides and the third largest island in the British Isles. The latter name, “Lewis and Harris”, may be more common now, but historically that was not the case. It is divided into two districts by Loch Seaforth on the east and Loch Resort on the west, the larger district of Lewis in the north and the smaller Harris in the south. Both districts were home to separate branches of Clan Leod, the MacLeods of Dunvegan and Harris being the senior and the MacLeods of Lewis and Raasay being the junior.
Great Bernera (Bjarnar Oy in Norse and Bearnaraigh Mor in Gaelic) is a small island of the northwest coast of the Isle of Lewis.
Scalpay (Skalproy in Norse and Sgalpaigh in Gaelic) is just offshore from the Isle of Lewis near the middle of the eastern coast. It is also called Scalpay of Harris to distinguish it from Scalpay of Skye.
Taransay (Taransey in Norse and Tarasaigh in Gaelic) sits off the western coast of the Isle of Lewis near the northern corner of the district of Harris. It was inhabited until the 1940s, reinhabited, and abandoned since 1974.
The next four islands have often been considered one unit under the names Uist, and some authors have even written as if Uist were one island.
North Uist (Uibhist a Tuath in Gaelic) lies south of the Isle of Lewis. It was part of the Lordship of Garmoran until the Clan Ruari died out, then it passed to Clan Donald of Sleat.
Benbecula (Beinn nam Fadhl in Gaelic) lies just south of North Uist. It was also part of the Clan Ruari lands, then became home to the MacDonalds of Benebecula, a branch of Clan Ranald, the MacDonalds of Garmoran.
South Uist (Uibhist a Deas in Gaelic) is immediately south of Benbecula. It is another possession of Clan Ruari inherited by Clan Ranald.
Barra (Barraigh in Gaelic) lies south of South Uist. Another possession of Clan Ruari, it passed to the Lord of the Isles after the chief line of the MacRuaris died out. In the early 15th century, the Lord of the Isles granted it to Clan Neil.
Vatersay (Bhatarsaigh in Gaelic) is the southernmost of the Outer Isles, just off the southern coast of Barra.
St. Kilda (Hiort in Gaelic) is an isolated archipelago 64 due west of North Uist. It’s largest island, Hirta (also Hiort), is the only member of the group ever permanently inhabited. In 1930, the inhabitants were removed to Morvern at their own request, and the archipelago has been deserted since.
(na h-Eileanan a-Staigh in Gaelic)
Skye (Sgitheanach in Gaelic and Skid in Norse), the largest of the Inner Hebrides, lies off the coast of “North Argyll” from Gairloch to Morar. Legend has it that the name derives from the Irish battle goddess Scathach who among other feats trained Cuchulain in the art of battle.
The island is divided into several districts mostly based on its several peninsulas. Trotternish (Trondairnis) held by the MacLeods of Harris then the MacDonalds of Sleat, is in the northwest; Waternish (Bhatairnis) lies to its west, held by the MacLeods of Lewis; Diurnish (Diuirinis), with Dunvegan, seat of the MacLeods of Harris, is the westermost of the northern peninsulas; Minginish (Minginis) is the on the south-central side; Strathaird (Srath na h-Airde), once home to Clan Fingon (Mackinnons), points directly south; Sleat (Sleibhte in Gaelic, Slettr in Norse) to its south is home to Clan Uisdean (or the MacDonalds of Sleat); Strath Swordale (Srath Shuardail), also held once by the Macknnons, lies to the north of Sleat separated by a narrow isthmus; Red Cuillin (Beanntan Dearga), named for the hills that occupy most of it, sits to the northwest of Strath; and Black Cuillin (An Cuiltheann) lies west of Glen Sligachan across from Red Cuillin, east of Minginish, north of Strathaird, and south of the rolling moors that occupy the center of the island.
See of Snizort (Sniothasort in Gaelic) was a seat of the Diocese of Mann and the Isles, and for a time after 1458, the seat of the Diocese of the Isles for the Scottish Church. Its seat, the Cathedral of St. Columba, stood in the district of Snizort on Skye until the Reformation. The parish forms the southern part of the district of Trotternish.
Raasay (Ratharsair in Gaelic, Hrossey in Norse) sits east of Skye across the Sound of Raasay and west of Applecross across the Sound of Applecross. Rumm lies just to the north and Scalpay of Skye lies just to the south. It is traditionally the home (along with Knapdale) of Clan Sweeney, before it left for Ireland during the Second War of Independence to become gallowglasses for the O’Donnells of Tir Connaill.
South Rona (Ronaigh in Gaelic) lies just north of Raasay. It belonged to the Laird of Raasay, and during the 16th century was a refuge for pirates, much like Connemara in Ireland.
Scalpay (Sgalpaigh in Gaelic), also known as Scalpay of Skye, sits southeast of South Rona off the eastern coast of Skye.
Small Islands (Eileanan Tarsainn in Gaelic) were part of the inheritance of Ragnald mac Somerled in 1164, part of the Lordship of Garmoran. The group lies south of Skye, west of Morar and Arisaig, and north of Ardnamurchan, Tiree, and Coll. Rum (same in Gaelic) is the largest and is associated with St. Beccan; Eigg (Eige), the next largest, lies southeast of Rum and was once home to a abbey founded by St. Donnan; Canna (Canaigh), northeast of Rum, belonged to Iona in the early Christian era; Sanday (Sandaigh) is a tidal island attached to Canna at low tide; and Muck (Muc), southwest of Eigg, was also owned by Iona and had a hermit living on it. The rest have never been inhabited.
Coll (Colla in Gaelic) lies south of Rum and west of Mull across the Passage of Coll. It was long held by a branch of the Macleans whose main antagonists were their cousins, the Macleans of Duart.
Tiree (Tiriodh in Gaelic) sits southwest of Coll. west of Mull across the Passage of Tiree. It was home to another small branch of Macleans.
Mull (Muile in Gaelic) lies across the Sound of Mull from Morvern and across the Firth of Lorne from Lorne. Its sections included the Ross of Mull (An Ros Mhuileach), Brolass (Brolas), Airdmeanach (An Aird Mheadhanach), Torosay (Torr Raseach), Garmony (poss. Garbh Mhoniadh), Aros (Arois), Mornish, Quinish, Mishnish, Duart (Dhubhairt), and Lochbuie (Loch Buiadh). It was home to both Clan Maclean of Duart and its offshoots and Clan Maclaine of Lochbuie and its.
Ulva (Ulbha in Gaelic) is a small island off the western tip of the Ross of Mull. It is best known for being home to Clan MacQuarrie.
Iona (I Chaluim Chille in Gaelic) was in its heyday the most important place in the Hebrides, maybe even in the British Isles. After Columba (Colmcille) established his abbey there, it became the most prestigious center of Christianity in the British Isles and its abbot the primate of Ireland, Scotland, and northern England (and perhaps more), much more so than either Armagh or Cashel.
When the primacy of the Irish church was split between Derry in Ireland and Dunkeld in Scotland, the abbey declined, then it closed in the middle of the 9th century.
Abbey of Iona (I Chaluim Chille in Gaelic) was established in 1203 by Ranald mac Somerled, King of the Isles and Kintyre, with a house of Benedictine monks. It closed during the Reformation. The abbey now houses Iona Community, founded in 1938.
The abbey became the see of the Diocese of the Isles when it was moved here from Snizort on the Isle of Skye. The seat was known as the Cathedral of St. Mary.
Priory of Iona (I Chaluim Chille in Gaelic) was established in 1203 by Ranald, King of the Isles, with his sister Bethoc as prioress over a chapter of Augustinian nuns.
Jura (Diura in Gaelic) is a long narrow island pointing northeast-southwest almost bisected in the middle by Loch Tarbet coming in on its west side. It lies across the Sound of Jura from mainland Knapdale. Loch Tarbet divided the island conveniently into two districts, the northern held by the Macleans of Duart and the southern by Clan Donald of Dunnveg (Islay and Kintyre).
Colonsay (Colbhasa in Gaelic) lies west of Jura across the Sound of Jura and is best known for being home to Clan Macfie.
Oronsay (Orasaigh in Gaelic), also held by the Macfies, then the MacDonalds of Dunnyveg, lies just south of Colonsay. Its names comes from St. Oran, who established a satellite abbey of Iona here the same year Columba established Iona.
Islay (Ile in Gaelic) sits south of Colonsay and Oronsay across the Passage of Oronsay and was long the chief seat of Clan Donald of Dunnyveg, also known as Clan Ian More and Clan Donald of Islay, Kintyre, and the Glens of Antrim (before those in Ulster became their own clan). It was home to the ancestors of the clan before the Lordship of the Isles, it was the seat of the Lordship of the Isles, and later of Clan Ian Mor until it went to the Campbells in 1610.
Gigha (Giogha in Gaelic) lies of the western coast of Kintyre, separated from it by Gigha Sound and from Islay by the Passage of Jura. It was the original home of Clan Neill of Gigha, no relation to the MacNeils of Barra.
Islands of the Clyde
Arran (Arainn in Gaelic) lies off the east coast of Kintyre and is divided into the districts of Brodick, Lamlash, Southend, Shirkin, and Loch Ranza. After 1266, Arran was annexed to the Crown and eventually passed to the head of the House of Hamilton in the 15th century.
Bute (Bhoid in Gaelic), also called Eileann a’ Mhoide, or “Island where the Court of Justice sits”, lies south of Cowall directly below Loch Riddon between the two Kyles of Bute. The island came to the House of Stewart at the beginning of the 12th century during a period of dispute among Clan Somhairle.
Great Cumbrae (Cumaradh Mor in Gaelic) lies south of Bute and west of the coast of the district of Cunningham parallel to Largs. It is associated with St. Mirin, companion of St. Patrick who founded the abbey of Paisley, and two martyrs, Sts. Maura and Britta.
Holy Isle (An t-Eilean Ard in Gaelic) or Molaise’s Island (Eilean MoLaise in Gaelic) gets its second name from having been home and later abbey of St. Molaise.
Isle of Mann
The Isle of Mann was an integral part of the Kingdom of the (South) Isles, and went with it when it became a Scottish possession after the Treaty of Perth in 1266, where it remained until 1346 when subterfuge between David II of Scots and Edward III of England saw it fall to the latter.
See of Peel (Purt ny h-Inshey in Manx) was the first seat of the Diocese of Mann and the Isles, or Diocese of Sodor. But it appears from contradiction in the records that more than one diocese operated simultaneously in the early centuries. There were this see, the See of Peel; the See of Iona; and the See of Snizort on Skye. Or it could be the case that these were different seats for the same see. The church seat was the Cathedral of St. German.
The Isle of Mann was split from the rest of the diocese and attached directly to the Church of England in the year 1458. The rest became the Diocese of the Isles of the Scottish Church.
MORMAERDOM OF MORAY
Called Moireabh in Gaelic, Moray is the “newer” name for Fortriu, home to the Verturiones of late Roman times, a realm dominating all the Picts of the north until 848. Though to the crown its rulers were Mormaers, they often claimed the title King, even challenging the monarch in the east for supremacy. As rulers of Moray, they held everything north of Argyll to Caithness and east to include the offspring of the kingdom of Ce. The districts of the western seaboard fell to the Norse and became part of the Kingdom of the (South) Isles after the 9th century. Greater Moray was broken up by David I in 1130.
Afterwards, the Laich of Moray, roughly the county of Morayshire (also known as Elginshire, or Elginshire and Foress-shire), was held directly by the Crown. The remainder was given to William fitz Duncan as Mormaer, and he held it until 1147. When Robert I made Thomas Randolph the Earl of Moray, he gave him all its old territory including the Laich, minus Ross and the coastal territories. In the aftermath of the turbulent period which saw the Lord of the Isles become Earl of Ross, Moray as such was restricted to the Laich permanently.
The latest (fifth) creation of the Earldom of Moray was in 1562, and the Stuart descendants still hold the title. However, the family most associated with the province of Moray due to the fact they adopted its name is Clan Murray, though they have long since been in Atholl.
Stratherrick (Srath Fharragaig in Gaelic) runs parallel to Loch Ness on its east side, separated from it by a narrow ridge. The district ultimately became one of the possessions of Clan Fraser of The Aird.
Strathdearn (Srath Eireann in Gaelic), formerly Strathearn, is the valley through which the River Findhorn (Abhainn Eireann in Gaelic) flows toward Moray Firth. It was home to the Mackintosh wing of Clan Chattan and a branch of Clan Bean.
Royal Burgh of Forres (Farrais in Gaelic) was granted its charter around 1140 by David I.
Abbey of Kinloss (Cinn Lois in Gaelic) was a Cisterican house established by David I in 1150, founded by monks from the Abbey of Melrose.
Strathnairn (Srath Narann in Gaelic) lies to the west of Strath Dearn along the valley of River Nairn, which flows into the Moray Firth. It was home to Clan Bean, Clan Dhu, Clan Ay (a branch of Clan Shaw), and a branch of the Mackintoshes.
Royal Burgh of Invernairn (Inbhir Narann in Gaelic; now just Nairn) was chartered by William the Lyon.
Culloden Moor (Cuil Lodair in Gaelic) is east of Inverness and west of River Nairn in the lower Strath Nairn.
Thanage of Calder (Caladar in Gaelic), also Cawdor, lay east of River Nairn in Strath Nairn five miles southwest of the town of Nairn.
Royal Burgh of Inverness (Inbhir Nis in Gaelic) was chartered by David I. It took in a substantial amount of land surrounding the royal burgh of Inverness, fitting for the capital of the Western Highlands.
Thanage of Kinmylies (Ceann a’ Mhilidh in Gaelic) lay just west of the canal that forms the western border of Inverness.
Thanage of Essich (Easaich in Gaelic) lay four miles south of Inverness, on the east side of River Ness.
Thanage of Moyness (Muighnis in Gaelic) lay two miles southeast of the village of Auldearn, which is seven and a half miles southeast of the town of Nairn.
Thanage of Brodie (Brothach in Gaelic) lay just over three miles northeast of Auldearn, centered on Brodie Castle, which still stands.
Thanage of Dyke (Dig in Gaelic) lay just a little over a mile northeast of Brodie.
Thanage of Moray (Moireabh in Gaelic) lay between River Lossie and Lethen Burn north of River Lossie in the parishes of Spynie and Alves.
Thanage of Elgin (Eilginn in Gaelic) lay sixteen miles east and slighty north of Dyke; this, of course, was separate from the royal burgh, which has probably now absorbed it.
Royal Burgh of Elgin (Eilginn in Gaelic) was chartered by David I.
See of Elgin (Eilginn in Gaelic) was the seat of the Diocese of Moray after 1216, after being at Spynie for ten years. The diocese was established under Alexander I in 1115. Prior to its previous permanent location at Spynie, the see had alternated between Spynie, Birnie, and Kinnedar. The Diocese of Moray covered the province of Moray (the counties of Nairnshire, Foress-shire, and Elginshire, with part of Inverness-shire) plus the district of Strathbogie. The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity was built in the early 13th century.
Priory of Urquhart (Urchard in Gaelic) was a daughter house of the Abbey of Dunfermline established in 1136 by David I.
Thanage of Kilmalemnock (Cill Mo Charmaig in Gaelic) lay about the ruins of a church dedicated to St. Andrew just south of the hamlet of Kirkhill astride River Lossie, which is just under three miles east of Elgin, and may have included the hamlet as well, coextensive with the parish of St. Andrews.
The Aird (An Aird in Gaelic) lies south of Beauly Basin between River Ness to the east and River Beauly to the west. It is traditionally the home base of Clan Fraser, who branched out to hold Strath Farrar (Srath Farair) and Strath Errick (Srath Fhairgeag), the latter east of Loch Ness. However, it was originally created for John Bisset, who later fled to Antrim where he became known as Iain mac Eoin nan Gleann, patriarch of the MacKweons of the Glens of Antrim who married the heiress of the MacDonlevys, the descendants of the western branch of the Dal Riata dynasty.
Strathglass (Srath Ghlais in Gaelic), formerly known as Crom Ghleann, runs across Moray’s northwest border with Ross. Long home to Clan Chisholm, the district covers Strath Glass, Glen Strathfarrar (Gleann Srath Farair), Glen Cannich (Gleann Chanaich), Glen Grivie (Gleann Ghriobhaidh), and Glen Affric (Gleann Afraic).
Urquhart (Urchadan in Gaelic) runs along the west side of Loch Ness and the Great Glen, centering on Glen Urquhart (Gleann Urchadain) which hosts River Enrick to its mouth on Loch Ness, near which is a point of land on the edge upon which sits Urquhart Castle.
Glenmoriston (Gleann Moireasdan in Gaelic) south of Urquhart along the River Moristion, spreading out from the western shore of Loch Ness to the mountains in the west. The district belonged to a cadet branch of Clan Grant, and included Glen Doe (Gleann Dotha) besides Glen Moriston.
Glengarry (Gleann Garadh in Gaelic) lies south of Glenmoriston and upper Glen Affric, east of Glenshiel, Glenelg, Moidart, and Knoydart, north of Lochaber, and west of Glenmore. Long home to Clan Donald of Glengarry, the district included Glen Garry, Glen Kingie (Gleann Cingidh), Glen Cluanie (Gleann Cluanaidh), and Glen Loyne (Gleann Loinn). The district is sometimes counted as part of Lochaber.
Glenmore (Gleann Mor in Gaelic), also known as Glenalbyn (Gleann Albainn) and more fully as the Great Glen of Albainn (Gleann Mor na h-Albainn) is the great divide of the Highlands between the Grampian Mountains and the Northwest Highlands. It runs from Inverness on Moray Firth southwest to the head of Loch Linnhe. From north to south it hosts include River Ness, Loch Ness, River Oich, Loch Oich, Loch Lochy, River Lochy, and Loch Linnhe. Not so much of a district, per se, but a geographic feature that deserves special mention.
Lochaber (Loch Abar in Gaelic), historically occupies roughly 1200 sq. miles north of Loch and River Leven (i.e. of Argyll) and Rannoch, east of Garmoran (as defined here), south of Glengarry and the Monadhliadh Mountains, and west of Badenoch. One of its earliest mentions in history is when it was given to William Comyn by Alexander II as as part of Badenoch; his grandson was first to also use the title Lord of Lochaber.
The dominant clan in Lochaber was Clan Cameron, holding an area coextensive with the parish of Kilmallie (Cill Mhailidh), their chief sections being Lochiel (Loch Iall), Locharkaig (Loch Airceig), Erracht (An t-Eireachd), Strone (An t-Sron), Letterfinlay (Leitir Fhionnlaigh), Glen Nevis (Gleann Muice), and Mamore (An Mam Mor). The major power in the other parish of Lochaber, Kilmonivaig (Cill Mo Naomhaig), the MacDonalds of Keppoch (Clan Ranald of Lochaber), occupied Glen Roy (Gleann Ruaidh) and Glen Spean (Gleann Spithean). Other important sections were Glen Pean (Gleann Peathain) and Glen Dessary (Gleann Deasairidh).
Rannoch (Raineach in Gaelic) is about 448 sq. miles with Lochaber to the northeast, Badenoch to the north, Blair Atholl to the east, and Breadalbane to the south. Its northern section is dominated by the Grampians and its western section (from the head of Glen Coe to the west end of Loch Rannoch) by the desolate Rannoch Moor (Mointeach Raineach). The Braes of Rannoch (Braigh Raithneach) lie at the western end of Loch Rannoch and Kinloch Rannoch (Ceann Loch Raineach) at its eastern head, with the district of Foss to the east of that. The northern shore of Loch Rannoch is An Slios Min and the southern shore is An Slios Garbh, which contains the Black Wood of Rannoch (An Giuthsach).
Rannoch Moor has Loch Ba, Loch Laidon, and Loch Eigheach; eastern Rannoch centers around Loch Rannoch. Rannoch became a refuge to MacGregors, Fletchers, MacIvers, etc., pushed out of their lands in Argyll by the Campbells. After losing Glenstrae in the 16th century, the chiefs relocated to Rannoch, where they and their kin became known as Clann a’ Cheo, or Children of the Mist. The MacGregors did not go gently into that good night.
Badenoch (Baidenach in Gaelic) lies south of the Monadhliath Mountains, west of the Cairngorms and Braemar, north of Atholl and the Mounth, and east of Lochaber. The first mention of Badenoch is when Alexander II made William Comyn Lord of Badenoch (which then included Lochaber) in 1229. During the Wars of Independence, the Comyns lost it to the Macphersons. Covering 540 sq. miles, the upper River Spey flows through it, and its chief lakes are Loch Laggan and Loch Ericht.
Though they were never its lords, Badenoch was the territory of the Macpherson wing of Clan Chattan. Some of its sections are: Glentruim (Gleann Truim), Glentromie (Gleann Tromaidh), Drumochter Forest, Gaich Forest, Badenoch Forest, Glenfeshie (Gleann Feisidh), and Strathmashie (Srath Mhathaisidh), and the Loch Rannoch (Loch Lagain) section of Strath Spey (Srath Spe), base of the Macphersons.
Strathspey (Srath Spe in Gaelic) is the valley through which the River Spey flows toward Moray Firth. The district of Strathspey refers to the middle valley left of the river from its from Badenoch to Grantown-on-Spey. This is the longtime home of the Clan Grant.
Schire of Alvie (Albhaidh in Gaelic) lay around Loch Alvie and its surrounding lands across River Spey from the thanage of Rothiemurchus.
Thanage of Rothiemurchus (Rata Mhurchais in Gaelic) lay on the right bank (east side) of River Spey, across from Badenoch. It was home to the Shaws of Clan Chattan.
Abernethy (Obar Neithich in Gaelic) was home to the Braes of Abernethy (Braigh Obar Neithich) and the eponymous royal burgh in the northern reaches of the district.
Thanage of Cromdale (Crombail in Gaelic) lies between the Cairngorms and River Spey on its east side from Rothiemurchus to a point north of the town of Cromdale across from Grantown-on-Spey.
Thanage of Rathenech (Rath Aonaich in Gaelic) lay in the area now called Mosstodloch on the left bank (west side here) of River Spey across from the Thanage (now village) of Fochabers, in the former parish of Dipple (now united with Essil as Speymouth), with which it may have been coextensive.
Thanage of Fochabers (Fachabair in Gaelic) lay on the right bank (east side here) of River Spey across from the Thanage of Rathenech, coextensive with the parish of that name.
Thanage of Molen was on the left bank of River Spey coextensive with the former parish of Essil, now united with the former parish of Dipple as that of Speymouth.
Speyside (Fan Spe in Gaelic) is the district of geographic Strath Spey below Grantown-on-Spey to its mouth on Moray Firth, home to distilleries of some of the finest single-malts in Scotland.
Laich of Moray (Machair Mhoireabh in Gaelic) roughly corresponds to the later county of Moray/Elginshire, bordering on the Firth of Moray, corresponding to the territory of the later Earldom of Moray.
MORMAERDOM OF BUCHAN
Called Buchainn in Gaelic, this province, though larger, was actually junior to its neighbor to the south, Marr; both grew out of the former kingdom of Ce. When first mentioned in history, it was governed by a mormaer. Its plain, which covers nearly the whole province, was the most fruitful region of Scotland after Machair Rois. Despite not sharing terrain with the Highlands more conducive to breaking a region into small districts, Buchan had quite a few, some very small.
Enzie (An Einnidh in Gaelic) lay between River Spey and the town of Cullen along the seashore, south to Strathila and Balvenie.
Royal Burgh of Invercullen (Inbhir Chuileann in Gaelic) was chartered by William the Lyon. About 1300, the people moved inland to what is now Old Cullen.
Balvenie (Baile Bhainidh in Gaelic) lay along the lower River Aven from Mortlach district to the area just above the mouth of the river, which was part of Enzie.
Abden of Mortlach (Morthlach in Gaelic), between Strathaven and Balvenie, took in what are now the parishes of Mortlach, Cabrach, and Glass and was home to an abbey of St. Moluag. After a victory against the Norse here in 1010, Malcolm II chartered the second diocese of Scotland in thankgiving. In 1139, David I moved the see to Aberdeen. While it existed, the see of Mortlach was second in precedence only to St. Andrew’s. The original church at this place shares a founder with the Abbey at Lismore, St. Moluag. The district’s best known section is Glenfiddich (Gleann Fhiodhaich), as which the district/parish is sometimes known.
Thanage of Glenlivet (Gleann Liobhait in Gaelic) centered on the basin of River Livet, taking up the southern portion of the parish on Inveravon.
Strathaven (Srath Thamhainn in Gaelic) is the narrow district along the upper River Aven, one valley over from Glen Livet.
Strathbogie (Srath Bhalgaidh in Gaelic) lies along the River Bogie, beginning at the town of Huntly, formerly named Strathbogie, some 20 miles south of Cullen. Since the time of Robert the Bruce, it was and is home to the Clan Gordon.
Strathila (Srath Ile in Gaelic) was a small district along River Isla northwest of Strathbogie, south of Boyne, west of Balvenie, and east of Strathdeveron.
Thanage of Netherdale (Srath Iochdarach in Gaelic) took up the southern portion of the parish of Marnoch.
Thanage of Aberchirder (Foggieloan in Gaelic locally) took up the northern portion of the parish of Marnoch.
Thanage of Boyne (Boinne in Gaelic) lay between Cullen and Banff south to Strathila and Strathdeveron.
Strathdeveron (Srath Dubh Eireann) was a small, narrow district running east to west just south of Boyne and north of Strathbogie.
Thanage of Mumbrie (Monadh Blaraigh in Gaelic), also called Mountblairy, was about seven and a half miles south of the town of Banff and west of River Deveron.
Thanage of Conventh (Coinmheadh in Gaelic) was coextensive with the parish of Inverkeithny southeast of the thanage of Netherdale.
Thanage of Fermartyn (Fearann Mhartainn in Gaelic) stretched from the thanage of Conventh southeast to the seacoast between Rivers Ythan and Don. It was later divided into Fyvie and Tolquhon.
Thanage of Belhelvie (Baile Bhainidh in Gaelic) was coextensive with the coastal parish of that name.
Thanage of Doune (Dun in Gaelic), also called Glendowachy (Glenquithle in modern version), lay just east of Boyne in the parish of Gamrie.
Abden of Aberdour, the site of a Columban abbey founded by St. Drostan, who is buried here, was coextensive with the later parish of New Aberdour in the county of Aberdeenshire.
Abden of Turiff (Baile Torraibh in Gaelic) was a narrow district running north to south from Boyne and Strathdeveron, west of Deer and east of Strathbogie, chiefly known as home to Clan Hay. Until the later 12th century, it was home to the abbey of St. Congan.
Abden of Old Deer (Deir in Gaelic), the land of an abbey founded by St. Drostan, took up the parish of Old Deer and was part of the Muintir Cholmcille.
Abbey of New Deer (Deir in Gaelic), a daughter house of the Cistercian Abbey of Kinloss, occupied the parish of New Deer then absorbed Old Deer.
Abden of Cloveth (Clabha in Gaelic) was coextensive with the parish of Cabrach and once home to a daughter house of the abbey of Mortlach, also founded by St. Moluag.
Garioch (Gairbheach in Gaelic) lies between Fermartyn to the northeast and east, Marr on the south, and Strathbogie on the west and northwest.
Strathdon (Srath Deathain in Gaelic) lies west of River Eicht and north of Rivers Isla and Tay, as a district covering the area of the upper River Don mostly on the north side of the same, but crossing to take in a small area south of the river.
MORMAERDOM OF MARR
Called Marr in Gaelic, this province lay between River Don in the north and the Mounth and River Avery in the south, including within it River Dee. When first mentioned, it was governed by a mormaer. The chief of Clan Erskine has been Earl of Mar since 1404. The districts given here are universally recognized but geographic rather than politico-cultural in nature. Marr as a province is senior to Buchan and was almost certainly the core of the former kingdom of Ce from which they both came.
Thanage of Aberdeen (Obar Dheathain in Gaelic) lay on the coast and included not only Old Aberdeen but the new city as well, the entire coastal region between River Dee and River Don, i.e., the parishes of Aberdeen, Old Machar, and New Machar.
Burgh of Old Aberdeen (Obar Dheathain in Gaelic), a non-royal burgh pre-existing the later royal burgh established by the Bishop of Aberdeen; it received its charter as burgh of barony in the 15th century.
See of Aberdeen (Obar Dheathain in Gaelic) was the seat of this region after moving here from Mortlach in 1132, where it had been some 120 years. In the move, the see lost its second place status. The cathedral, see, and university occupied most of Old Aberdeen. The Diocese of Aberdeen covered the provinces of Buchan (minus Strathbogie) and Marr. The Cathedral of St. Mary and St. Machar was begun in 1357 to replace the earlier Cathedral of St. Machar.
Royal Burgh of (New) Aberdeen (Obar Dheathain in Gaelic), begun by David I, was chartered by William the Lyon.
Thanage of Kintore (Ceann Torr in Gaelic), mostly south of River Don, occupied the parishes of Kintore, Kinkell, Kemnay, Dyce, and Skene.
Royal Burgh of Kintore (Ceann Torr in Gaelic) was chartered by William the Lyon in 1190.
Midmarr (Meadhan Mharr in Gaelic) lies halfway between Aberdeen and Cromar, with its center halfway between River Don and River Dee.
Thanage of O’Neill (Ui Niall in Gaelic) was roughly coextensive with the parish of Kincardine O’Neil (Cinn Chardainn) east of Aberdeen. Its chief town, also Kincardine O’Neil, was formerly called Iarchadh’s Church (Eaglais Iarach).
Howe of Alford (Athfort in Gaelic) is completely enclosed by hills and mountains and extends south of the River Don, taking in the parishes of Alford, Auchindor, Clatt, Glenbbucket, Keig, Kildrummy, Kinnethmont, Lochell-cushnie, Rhynie, Essie, Strathdon, Tullynessle, and several others.
Thanage of Birse (Braois in Gaelic), aka The Birs, roughly coextensive with the parish of Birse, lay south of River Dee and north of the Mounth between River Aven and Mearns on the east and Allt Dinnie to the west.
Thanage of Aboyne (A-Beidh in Gaelic), roughly coextensive with the parish of Aboyne, lay just east of the thanage of Birse.
Howe of Cromar (Cro Marr in Gaelic) lies in a cove north of River Dee enclosed between Tarland Burn and the district of Glen Gairn.
Glentanar (Gleann Tanar in Gaelic) lies south of River Dee and west of Birse along River Tanar.
Glenmuick (Gleann Muice in Gaelic) lies south of River Dee and west of Glen Tanar along River Muick.
Glengirnock (Gleann Goirneig in Gaelic) runs north into River Dee a few miles west of Glen Muick.
Glengelder (Gleann Ghealdair in Gaelic) hosts Gelder Burn south of the River Dee a few miles west of Glen Gelder.
Glengairn (Gleann Gharthain in Gaelic) lies west of Cromar along the river of the same name, north of River Dee.
Strathdee (Srath Dhe in Gaelic) straddles the eponymous river west of Glens Gairn and Muick to the outskirts of Braemar, roughly Gelder Burn on the south of River Dee and Feardar Burn on the north of it.
Braemar (Braigh Mharr in Gaelic), originally called Ceann-an-drochardt, is the mountainous of district of Marr beyond Gelder Burn and Feardar Burn.
Glenquioch (Gleann Chuaich in Gaelic) lies west of Braemar along Quioch Water.
Glenderry (Gleann Doire in Gaelic) lies astride Derry Burn until its confluence with Lui Water and Glen Lui.
Glenlui (Gleann Laoigh in Gaelic) lies west of Glenquoich along Lui Water.
Glendee (Gleann De in Gaelic) extends from River Dee’s confluence with Geldie Burn north to the river’s source in the Cairngorm Mountains.
Abden of Monymusk (Monadh Musga in Gaelic) covered part of the parish of that name, possibly all of it and maybe even more, and was that of a Culdee abbey founded in 1138.
MORMAERDOM OF MEARNS
Called A’ Mhaoirne in Gaelic and Magh Gheirghinn in Old Irish, Mearns had its own Mormaer at least for a time, giving it the status of province, though it is now usually considered a district of Angus. It was roughly coextensive with the former county of Kincardineshire, separated from county of Angus/Forfarshire by the River North Esk.
Thanage of Strachan (Strathaen in Gaelic) was coextensive with the parish of that name except for the northeast corner. Its western section is taken up by Glen Dye.
Schire of Gellan (Geal Ath in Gaelic) occupied the northeast corner of the parish of Stratchan east of Feugh Water, including Gellan Wood.
Thanage of Durris (Duras in Gaelic) was coextensive with the parish of that name.
Thanage of Cowie (Collaigh in Gaelic) was coextensive with the parish of Fetteresso.
Thanage of Uras was coextensive with the parish of Dunottar; now a small estate within it.
Thanage of Glenbervie (Gleann Biorbhaigh in Gaelic) was coextensive with the parish of that name.
Thanage of Arbuthnott (Obar Bhuadhnait in Gaelic) was coextensive with the parish of that name.
Thanage of Kincardine (Cinn Chardainn in Gaelic) occupied all or most of the parish of Fordun.
Thanage of Newdosk, once coextensive with the parish of that name, now occupies the west side of the parish of Fettercairn.
Thanage of Fettercairn (Fothair Chardainn in Gaelic) was coextensive with the parish of that name, except for a small area of its west side.
Thanage of Aberluthnot was coextensive with the parish of Marykirk.
Abthanery of Morfie was coextensive with the parish of St. Cyrus, formerly called Ecclescraig, and was the site of a Culdee abbey.
Howe of Mearns is that portion of Strathmore in the province.
MORMAERDOM OF ANGUS
Called Aonghas in Gaelic and Oengus in Old Irish, this province is one of the oldest known to have a mormaer. Angus was the greater part of the old kingdom of Circinn that grew out of the Roman-era confederation around the Caledonii, the remainder being Mearns, Gowrie, and Stormont. It was also the greater part of the county of Forfarshire, which, indeed, later changed its name to Angus.
Thanage of Kinnaber (Ceanneabar in Gaelic) occupied the north section of the parish of Montrose.
Royal Burgh of Montrose (Mon Rois in Gaelic) founded by David I betwee 1130 and 1140, in the parish of that name north of the River South Esk.
Thanage of Old Montrose (Alt Mon Rois in Gaelic) lay at the head of Montrose Basin within the parish of Maryton, northwest of the abden which gave its name to the parish. This is the same that later became the seat of the Earls of Montrose.
Abden of Montrose (Mon Rois in Gaelic) occupied the Nether and Outer Maryton sections of the parish of Maryton; i.e., the southeast corner of the main division of the parish.
Abthanery of Inverlunan (Inbhir Lunan in Gaelic) occupied all or part of the parish of Lunan about the mouth of River Lunan on Lunan Bay.
Thanage of Inverkeilor (Inbhir Chiolair in Gaelic) was covered most of the parish of that name.
Schire of Alyth (Allaid in Gaelic) was coextensive with the parish of Auchinglas which is now part of the parish of Inverkeilor.
Schire of Aberbrothock (Obar Bhrothaig in Gaelic), later known as Arbroath, comprehended the later parishes of Arbroath and St. Vigeans.
Abbey of Arbroath (Obar Bhrothaig in Gaelic) was a daughter house of Kelso Abbey of Tironensian monks founded in 1178 that became independent in 1197. It was located, naturally, within the Schire of Abroath/Aberbrothock.
Abthanery of Brechin (Breichin in Gaelic), based in the parish of Brechin, included lands there and possibly small sections scattered throughout eastern Angus. These lands had belonged to the abbey of Culdees at Brechin.
See of Brechin (Breichin in Gaelic) was established in 1153 for the Diocese of Brechin, also known as the Diocese of Angus, under David I, its first prelate being the Culdee abbot. The Culdees continued until 1219, when they were replaced by Augustinian Canons Regular. The Diocese of Brechin took in the parishes of Angus not belonging to the Sees of St. Andrews or Dunkeld. The Cathedral of St. Terranan built in the 12th century and still in use as a parish church.
Thanage of Menmuir (Mon Mor in Gaelic) was coextensive with the parish of that name.
Thanage of Idvies was coextensive with the parish of Kirkden.
Thanage of Tannadice (Tanachais in Gaelic) was coextensive with the parish of that name, except for the Kinalty section.
Thanage of Kinalty (Cinn Allaidh in Gaelic) occupied the Kinalty section of the parish of Tannadice.
Thanage of Aberlemno (Obar Leamhnach in Gaelic) was coextensive with the ancient parish of that name, into which the ancient parish of Auldbar has been merged.
Thanage of Forfar (Baile Fharfair in Gaelic) occupied the parish of that name.
Royal Burgh of Forfar (Baile Fharfair in Gaelic) was chartered by David I.
Abthanery of Restennet (Ros Teine in Gaelic) represents the grounds of an earlier Celtic abbey on the site of the later priory, whose tower still stands.
Priory of Restennet (Ros Teine in Gaelic) was a daughter house of the Abbey of Jedburgh built in 1153, undoubtedly in the parish of that name which was formerly the abthanery.
Thanage of Downie (Dunais in Gaelic) occupied the southeast section of the parish of Monikie, including the Downie Muir.
Thanage of Clova (Clabha in Gaelic) was coextensive with the parish of Clova, which is now the western half of the parish of Clova and Cortachy. It contains sections Glenclova and Glenprosen in its northern reaches.
Abthanery of Clova (Clabha in Gaelic) was the land of an abbey founded by St. Moluag.
Thanage of Eassie (Eas in Gaelic) was coextensive with the parish of Eassie, which is now the northeast half of the parish of Eassie and Nevay.
Thanage of Glamis (Glamhus in Gaelic), made famous by Shakespeare with his (fictional) attribution of it to the protagonist of the play Macbeth, was coextensive with the parish of that name.
Thanage of Kingaltvy occupied the eastern section of the parish of Airlie.
Abthanery of Airlie (Iarlaidh in Gaelic) took up the western section of the parish of that name.
Thanage of Kettins was coextensive with the parish of Kettins.
Abthanery of Edzell (Eigill in Gaelic) occupied most of the parish of Edzell, having been the land of the abbey founded there by St. Drostan.
Schire of Kingoldrum (Cionn Coilldruim in Gaelic) was coextensive with the parish of that name.
Schire of Dunnichen (Dun Eachainn was Gaelic) was coextensive with the parish of that name.
Abthanery of Kirkbuddo was the site of an early Celtic abbey
Schire of Arbroath (Obar Bhrothaig in Gaelic) was coextensive with the parish of that name.
Abbey of Arbroath (Obar Bhrothaig in Gaelic) was a house of the Tironensian Order founded there in 1178 in the schire of that name.
Abthanery of Kirkbuddo (Cill Buite in Gaelic) was west of Arborath in or coextensive with the parish of that name.
Thanage of Tealing was coextensive with the parish of that name.
Schire of Ruthven (Ruadhainn in Gaelic) was coextensive with the parish of that name.
Abthanery of Monifeith (Monadh Feith in Gaelic) was within or coextensive with the parish of that name. Originally it was the lands of a Culdee abbey.
Schire of Dundee (Dun Deagh in Gaelic) was coextensive with the later parish of that name.
Burgh of Dundee (Dun Deagh in Gaelic) chartered by William the Lyon for his brother David, the later Earl of Huntingdon, it was later chartered as a royal burgh by John Baliol in 1292.
The Braes of Angus (Braigh Aonghais in Gaelic) is the northern region of the province stretching across several parishes in which lie the Glens of Angus. There are many smaller, such as Glen Quich, Glen Uig, Glen Cally, Glen Danff, Glen Taitney, Glen Finlet, etc., which were too small to be considered “districts”.
Glenesk (Gleann Easg in Gaelic) is the valley of River North Esk from its confluence with the Water of Effock flowing to the east. Its tributary valleys include Glen Tennet, Glen Mark, Glen Lee, and Glen Effock.
Glenlethnot is the valley of Water of Saughs then the West Water. It was once famous for the same thing as the mountains of East Tennesee, such as Rocky Top: moonshining.
Glenclova (Gleann Chlabhaidh) hosts the upper River South Esk.
Glenprosen (Gleann Prasain) hosts Prosen Water, which is tributary to River South Esk.
Glenisla (Gleann Ile) occupies the valley of upper River Isla before it enters Stormont and Gowrie as it exits the regions of Braes.
Howe of Angus (Srath Mor in Gaelic), also known as the Howe of Glamis, is the section in Angus of the Strathmore which stretches across eastern Scotland north of the Sidlaw Hills.
Laich of Angus (Machair Aonghais in Gaelic) is the southern coastal district along the northern shore of the Firth of Tay, south of the Sidlaw Hills and east of the Carse of Gowrie.
EARLDOM OF GOWRIE
Called Gobharaidh or in Gobharain Gaelic, this district was home to Scone, the crowning place of the kings of Alba. It is widely held that the name Gowrie originally derives from the Cineal nGabhrain, who ruled Circinn by the time it became the ascendant kingdom of the Picts. Gowrie lies between Stormont and the Firth of Tay and between Angus and Strathearn. Of its territories, only Perth was west of River Tay.
Abthanery of Melginch, also Megginch, was coextensive with the parish of St. Martin’s, in which the Culdee abbey is remembered in the section called Mains of Melginch.
Thanage of Longforgan (Forgann in Gaelic) was coextensive with the former parish of that name which is now part of the parish of Fowlis Easter and Longforgan.
Abthanery of Rossie (Ros nan Cleireach or Rosaidh in Gaelic) in the parish of that name in the county of Fifeshire, now united with the parish of Inchture, was home to a Celtic abbey.
Abthanery of Scone (Scuin in Gaelic) represents the lands of the Culdee abbey, at least coextensive with the parish of that name if not greater.
Abbey of Scone (Scuin in Gaelic) was an foundation of Augustinian Canons Regular established by Alexander I in about 1120.
Thanage of Scone (Scuin in Gaelic), or Schire of Scone, probably fell within the bounds of the Abthanery of Scone.
Thanage of Coupar (Cubar in Gaelic), or Coupar Angus (Cubar Aonghais), and its district originally lay in the northeast part of Gowrie. Boundaries later shifted, thus the designation distinguishing it from the eponymous district and town in Fife.
Abbey of Coupar Angus (Cubar Aonghais in Gaelic) was a daughter house of the Abbey of Melrose established in 1164 by Malcolm IV.
Schire of Perth (Peairt in Gaelic) gets its name from a Roman fort established here in the first century named Bertha. It began life as St. Johnstowne, but the name changed when it became a royal burgh. The schire is on the west side of River Tay.
Royal Burgh of Perth (Peairt in Gaelic) was chartered by David I and given status second only to Edinburgh.
Carse of Gowrie is the flatlands along the north shore of the Firth of Tay west of the Laich of Angus.
Abthanery of Invergowrie (Inbhir Ghobharaidh in Gaelic) represents the lands of the abbey of St. Boniface here in the Carse of Gowrie on the shore of the Firth of Tay.
PROVINCE OF STORMONT
Called Stair Monadh in Gaelic, this province is often considered part of Gowrie, especially since one of its districts is Blairgowrie and no evidence has yet turned up that it ever had a mormaer, an earl, or the like, but it is in several accounts listed as equal to those which have those. The province lies north of Rivers Isla and Tay, west of River Ericht, east of River Tay, and south of the foothills of the Mounth, excepting Kinclaven, which is west of River Ray. It contains a number of lakes, most prominently Stormont Loch, Black Loch, White Loch, Fingask Loch, Ardblair Loch (now drained), Marlee Loch, Loch of Cluny, Loch of the Lowes, Butterstone Loch, Loch Benachally, Loch Ordie, and Loch of Drumellie.
Thanage of Kinclaven (Ceann Cliathain in Gaelic) lay in southern Stormont including the confluence of Rivers Isla and Tay and lands along the west bank of River Tay.
Thanage of Alyth (Allaid in Gaelic) lay between River Isla on the east, just below the point where the path of the streams breaks east, and River Ericht on the west.
Abden of Dunkeld (Dun Chaillean in Gaelic) became the seat of the Muintir Cholmcille in Alba and of the primacy thereof in 878 when it was moved there (and to Kells in Ireland) after too many attacks by Vikings. There the primacy remained until being moved to Abernethy in the 11th century, when Dunkeld was reduced to a dependency, then shuttered. The lands later went to the see in the 12th or 13th century.
See of Dunkeld (Dun Chaillean in Gaelic) was established by David I with Cormac, abbot of the Culdee house, as its first bishop in 1127 under Alexander I. The Cathedral of St. Columba was built the same year. Until 1200, the diocese took in everything west to include (mainland) Argyll. The Diocese of Dunkeld (minus Argyll) covered Atholl, Drumalbane, Stormont, parts of Angus, Fife, Fothriff, and Strathearn, and some parishes south of Forth.
Abthanery of Blairgowrie (Blar Gobharaidh in Gaelic) exists without record of the abbey that was there before, though various charters exist of the abden, or abthain, and its lands being given to various institutions and persons.
MORMAERDOM OF ATHOLL
Called Athall in modern Gaelic and Athfodhla in Old Irish (“New Ireland”), this province goes back to at least the mid-eight century, perhaps even the late 6th century. Its first explicit mention under this name, is in 739, when Oengus mac Fergus, king of Fortriu, kills Talorgan ap Drostan, king of Atholl. However, it may be the same kingdom called Aeron in some of the British poems of the later 6th and early 7th centuries. When the name appears again, it is under the rule of a mormaer. Until the time of Alexander I, the province included the lands of Breadalbane, which then became part of the royal demesne. At one time, it may have also included the lands of Stormont and Gowrie.
Atholl is about 1290 sq. miles, with Badenoch to the north, Braemar to the northeast, Angus to the east, Breadalbane to the south, and Lochaber on the west and northwest. The Grampians run through it, and Rivers Tay, Tummel, Garry, Tilt, Bruar, and Braan water it. Its principle lakes are Loch Rannoch and Loch Tummel.
Blair Atholl (Blar Athaill) has always been the capital of the province going back to its earliest times, but is in size rather small as a district, including the town, Blair Castle (home to the only legal private army in Europe), and their vicinity. It has been home to Clan Murray since 1629.
Struan (Sruthan) is another small district, several miles to the west of Blair Atholl at the confluence of River Garry and Errochty Water, and has been home to Clan Donnachaidh, the Roberstons, since the days of Robert the Bruce.
Thanage of Glentilt (Gleann Teilt in Gaelic) is a narrow district along River Tilt, whose name goes back to the days of the Picts. The river runs almost directly south from the Mounth through Blair Atholl to its confluence with River Garry just beyond.
Glenbanvie (Gleann Banvie in Gaelic) lies just west of Glentilt, with Banvie Burn running through it southeast into River Garry on the western edge of Blairgowrie.
Glenbruar (Glean Bruthair in Gaelic) runs almost directly north to south a few miles west of Glentilt and is noted for its spectacular falls and their whirlpools.
Glengarry (Gleann Gar in Gaelic) surrounds River Garry which flows west to east from its source, Loch Garry.
Glenerrochty (Gleann Eireachdaidh in Gaelic) lies about Errochty Water, which flows west to east from Loch Errochty to its confluence with River Garry.
Glenbrerachan (Gleann Bhriathrachain in Gaelic) lies about Brerachan Water, which flows from west to east through its glen, confluencing with Fernate Burn flowing down from the northwest to form River Ardle between Straloch and Tulloch.
Glenfernate (Gleann Fearnaid in Gaelic) hosts Fernate Burn, which flows southeast from the Mounth in the vicinity of Ben Gloe to its confluence with River Ardle.
Thanage of Strathardle (Srath Ardail in Gaelic) lies along the length of River Ardle to its confluence with River Shee, after which the two become River Ericht.
Abthanery of Kilmichael (Cille Mhicheil in Gaelic) lay within Strath Ardle and likely took up a good deal of it, at least the modern parish of Kirkmichael.
Glenshee (Gleann Sith in Gaelic) forms a pathway for Shee Water as it tumbles down from the Cairngorms towards its confluence with River Ardle to become River Erict. Glen Beg (Gleann Beag), Glen Talnich, and Glen Lochy. Its name (‘sith’ in Gaelic equals ‘sidhe’ in Irish) implies the valley is associated with fairies. As for human folk, Clan Thomas of Clan Chattan had its home base and gathering ground here.
Glenericht (Gleann Eireachd in Gaelic) begins where Strath Ardle and Glen Shee end, serving as River Ericht’s pathway until the latter reaches the outskirts of Blairgowrie in Stormont. The Clan Rattray had its home here for centuries.
Thanage of Dalmarnock (Dail Mhearnaig in Gaelic) lay within Strath Tay three and a half miles above Little Dunkeld.
Foss (Fasadh in Gaelic) occupies the area between Loch Tummel to the east and Kinloch Rannoch on the west, and includes the Braes of Foss. It was once part of the Appin of Dull.
Strathbraan (Srath Freamhainn in Gaelic) lies astride River Braan from Loch Freuchie to to its confluence with River Tay near Little Dunkeld.
Thanage of Fandowie lay south of River Braan, between Dullator and Trochry but north of Glen Shee.
PROVINCE OF DRUMALBANE
Called Druim Albainn in Gaelic, this region covers about 1,020 sq. miles between the Brae Lyon Mountains in the north, Strathtay on the east, Strathearn on the south, and Drumalban and the head of Glenorchy in the west. The region was not a province in the classic sense, but it was a possession under this name of the Black Douglases at the height of their power as late as the early part of the 15th century. Other usages, like for the title of a deanery of the Diocese of Dunblane, explicitly use it meaning a region, as in the Deanery of Atholl and Drumalbane, which other sources call the Deanery of Atholl and Breadalbane. And it is in that that we have our answer as to its location.
Originally, it fell within the bounds of the province of Atholl, but by the reign of Alexander I nearly all of it was part of the royal demesne. Its first appearance under its other name, Breadalbane (Braid Albainn in Gaelic), is in 1165, the first year of the reign of William the Lyon, in the account of Andrew, Bishop of Caithness describing the divisions of the kingdom. In describing the bounds of a province clearly identical to Atholl, he uses the name Breadalbane in reference to the north-south chain of mountains otherwise known as Drumalbane.
The first known use of the name Breadalbane as a territory was when Duncan Campbell, 7th Laird of Glenorchy, was made Laird of Breadalbane in 1583. It wasn’t until 1681 that John Campbell, 5th Baronet of Glenorchy, 5th Laird of Breadalbane, Baron of Glendochart, Bailiary of Discher, Toyer, and Glenlyon, and Keeper of the Forests of Mamlorn, Bendaskerlie, Finglenbeg, and Finglenmore was made Earl of Breadalbane.
Glenlyon (Gleann Liomhann in Gaelic) is the valley of River Lyon from its Loch Lyon headwaters to the western boundary of the district of Fortingall. Many displace MacGregors took refuge here after being driven from their homes in the west, and after the crown granted the district to a Campbell as a lairdship, these MacGregors were confined to the sections of Ferintosh and Roro. Glenlyon had been part of the Appin of Dull.
Discher (Deisir in Gaelic) was the local name for the north side of Loch Tay from its head in the west until Fortingall in the east.
Thanage of Fortingall (Fartairchil in Gaelic) lay astride the lower River Lyon after it takes a nearly right angle turn south then takes another to continue east. Drummond Hill separates it from Loch Tay. This thanage had been part of the Appin of Dull.
Thanage of Crannich (Crannach in Gaelic) lay between Tombreck Burn in the west and Lawers Burn in the east, from Loch Tay to the summit of Ben Lawers, and also included the Tayside districts of Achmore (near Killin) and Kinknock (Candknock, Kynknoc, now lost). This thanage had been part of the Appin of Dull.
Toyer (Tuathair in Gaelic) was the local name for the south side of Loch Tay from its head in the west to its foot in the east.
Forest of Mamlorn was a huge royal forest between the headwaters of and upper Rivers Lyon and Lochay. It was the biggest of the known royal forests in Breadalbane; the others include Bendaskerlie, Finglenbeg, and Finglenmore.
Glenlochay (Gleann Lochaidh) runs along with River Lochay from its headwaters in Lochan Chailean to its confluence with Glen/River Dochardt just above/east of Loch Tay. The district was long home to Clan Naughton.
Abthanery of Glendochart (Gleann Dochard) included the valley of River Dochardt from Crianlarich to Killin, as well as Strathfillan (Srath Chinn Fhaolain), the valley of the River Fillan from its own headwaters until it empties into Loch Dochardt. Long the home of Clan MacNab, it was one of the largest and longest-standing ecclesiatically-held districts, the chief of the MacNabs being coarb of St. Fillan and abbot of Glendochardt.
Glenfalloch (Gleann Falach in Gaelic) is an aptly named glen lying southwest of Strathfillan astride River Falloch from its headwaters to confluence with Lairg Arnan at Inverarnan.
Glenquaich (Gleann Chuaich in Gaelic) is above Loch Freuchie along River Quaich.
Appin of Dull (Dul in Gaelic) took in the thanages of Dull, Fortingall, and Crannoch, the districts of Glenlyon and Foss, and Strath Tay (Srath Tatha) at least as far as Little Dunkeld.
Thanage of Dull (Dul in Gaelic) lay within the Appin of Dull, occupied the vicinity of the confluences of the Keltney Burn with River Lyon and River Lyon with River Tay, the area now known as Strath of Appin, after the former Appin of Dull.
MORMAERDOM OF STRATHEARN
Called Srath Eireann in Gaelic and Ystrad Aeron in Brythonic, this province lay between Atholl in the north and River Tay in the east, including the area from the eastern edge of the Abden of Abernethy to the western end of Balquhidder. It is one of the provinces known to have been one of the early mormaerdoms, and may have originally been part of the kingdom of Atholl.
Abthanery of Abernethy (Obar Neithich in Gaelic) was at least coextensive with the parish of Abernethy in the county of Perthshire and probably extended much farther east. The monks of the ancient abbey were of the Muintir Brigte. The primacy of the church moved to here from Dunkeld before being removed again to St. Andrews in Fife.
Thanage of Forteviot (Fothair Tabhaicht in Gaelic) once hosted the palace of the early kings of Alba and is now centered on the parish of the same name.
Thanage of Dunning (Dunan in Gaelic) centered on the village of the same name once home to a church founded by St. Serf. The thanage covered at least the territory of the parish of the name and probably much further.
Thanage of Auchterarder (Uachdar Ardair in Gaelic) was at least coextensive with the parish of the same name north of the Ochill Hills.
Gleneagles (Gleann na h-Eaglais) is a valley cutting into the west side of the Ochill Hills, linking up with Glen Devon. It later gave its name to the barony of the Haldanes, but was already a thickly inhabited district before that. Its names derives from an ancient church here founded by St. Madoc.
Glendevon (Gleann Duibhne in Gaelic) is a valley cutting into the east side of the Ochill Hills, linking up with Glen Eagles.
Abden of Dunblane (Dun Bhlathain in Gaelic) was the land of a Muintir Cholmcille abbey established by St. Blane that later also hosted a Culdee component. The abbey eventually shut down, and the lands ended up as part of the Diocese of Dunblane, which took in all of Strathearn and parts of Menteith and Atholl. The abden covered at least the parish of the name.
See of Dunblane (Dun Bhlathain in Gaelic), established in 1140 by David I, served as the seat of the Diocese of Dunblane, also known as the Diocese of Strathearn. The latter name is most descriptive since the diocese covered almost the entirety of that province. The Cathedral of St. Blane and St. Laurence was built and a chapter of Dominican friars took over in 1233.
Strathallan (Srath Alain in Gaelic) was a large district formed by the valley of the Allan Water flowing west of the Ochill Hills south into River Teith from its headwaters south of Auchterarder.
Thanage of Methven (Meadhainnigh in Gaelic) was more or less coextensive with the parish of Methven.
Abthanery of Madderty was at least coextensive with the parish of Madderty, probably the site of a Columban house.
Priory of Inchaffray (Innis Aifrinn in Gaelic) of Augustinian Canons Regular on the site of the earlier Celtic abbey of Madderty began about 1200 as a daughter house of the Abbey of Scone.
Abden of Muthill (Maothail in Gaelic), site of a Culdee abbey founded around 1178, was coextensive with the parish of Muthill.
Nether Stormont (Stair Monadh Iochdarach in Gaelic) lies east and south of River Tay, north of Glenalmond and west of Strath Braan. Essentially it is that portion of Strathmore which lies west of River Tay, except the portion of the thanage of Kinclaven on that side of the river.
Glenalmond (Gleann Amain in Gaelic) is the valley of the River Almond. Its upper reaches are narrow, but it widens lower down.
Glenturret (Gleann Turraid in Gaelic) is the valley of Turret Water south of Glen Almond.
Glenlednock (Gleann Liadnaig in Gaelic) is the valley of River Lednock south of Glen Turret.
Thanage of Strowan (Sruthan in Gaelic) corresponds to that portion of the parish of Monzievaird and Strowan that lies south of River Earn and north of the parish of Muthill, between Glenartney and the parish of Crieff.
Glenartney (Gleann Artanaig in Gaelic) is the valley of the Artney and Ruchill Waters which flow north into River Earn in the parish of Comrie.
Abden of Achtow lay in the Balquhidder lands of Auchtoo and Auchtubh between Loch Voil and Loch Earn north of River Voil just before it takes a hard south turn. This is the house over which Laurence, progenitor of Clan Laren, a cadet branch of the House of Lennox, was abbot.
Balquhidder (Both Chuidir in Gaelic) at the western extremity of the province centers on the valley west of Loch Earn, and includes Lochearnhead, Loch Doine, Loch Voil, Glen Ogle, Glen Buckie, the Braes of Balquhidder, and Strath Yre north of Loch Lubhnaig. The head of its valley almost meets that og Glen Gyle. This district is best known as the home of Rob Roy MacGregor.
MORMAERDOM OF FIFE
Called Fiobh in Gaelic, Fife is one of the best known provinces in Scotland due to Skakespeare and his tragedy Macbeth. Its mormaer was often a member of the royal derbhine, then it became hereditary in the Clan Duff. Its territory included the parishes of Abdie, Collesie, Cupar, Ceres, Scconie, Kenneway, and those of Fife to the east.
Schire of Forgan (Forgrann in Gaelic) was coextensive the parish of that name.
Thanage of Kinneir (Cinn Iar in Gaelic) lay within the parish of Kilmany.
Schire of Rathilet (Rath Uladh in Gaelic) lay within the parish of Kilmany.
Thanage of Dairsie was coextensive with the parish of that name.
Schire of Cupar (Cubar in Gaelic) was coextensive with the parish of that name.
Schire of Kinrymont (Cenn Rigmonaid in Gaelic) took up the parish of Cameron and the western half of the parish of St. Andrews. The first name for the area was Muckross (Mucrois), which became Kinrymont (Cenn Rigmonaid) when the Culdee abbey was founded, then Kilrymont (Cill Rigmonaid) after the cenobites organized St. Mary’s.
Abbey of Kinrymont (Cenn Rigmonaid in Gaelic) was founded by St. Regulus in the mid-8th century on land given Oengus I mac Fergus, king of Fortrenn and ruler of the north. After the see moved here from Abernethy in 906, its Culdee monks became its staff. When the Augustinian priory was established in 1140, the Culdees operated jointly with the newcomers until 1246 when they got their own provostry (collegiate church), St. Mary’s of the Culdees, also known as St. Mary’s of the Rock. Members of its college were referred to as Culdees until it ended in the Scottish Reformation.
See of St. Andrews (Cill Rimhinn in Gaelic) was for a time the only see in the north after the primacy of Alba moved here from Abernethy about 906. The name of the see changed from Kinrymont to St. Andrews in about the year 1117. Initially its staff was filled by Culdees from the nearby abbey of Kinrymont, then by the Culdees and the Augustinians jointly until 1246, when the Cathedral of St. Andrew was built and fell to the Augustinians along. Always the prime see of Scotland, it became a metropolitan see in 1472 and its ordinary an archbishop.
The Diocese of St. Andrews covered Fothriff, Fife, Gowrie, Angus (between Rivers Tay, Isla, and North Esk), and Mearns (between Rivers North Esk and Dee), and what would later be the counties of Stirling (in its original version), Linlithgow, Edinburgh, Haddington, and Berwick, including parts of The Merse in the county of Roxburgh.
Priory of St. Andrew (Cill Rimhinn in Gaelic) was a house of Augustinian Canons Regular established in 1140 to provide staff for the growing needs of the cathedral. It operated the see jointly with the Culdees until 1246, when the cahtedral was built and the latter received their own provostry.
Burgh of St. Andrews (Cill Rimhinn in Gaelic) was chartered by Bishop Robert around 1140.
Schire of Gelland, now wholly absorbed into the parish of St. Andrews, became the now-extinct baronies of Wester and Easter Gellat.
Abthanery of Kinkell (Ceann na Coille in Gaelic) lay east of Kinrymont and now lies within the eastern part of the parish of St. Andrews, possibly including part of the parish of Cameron.
Schire of Crail (Caraile in Gaelic) was coextensive with the parish of Crail and Kingsbarns.
Royal Burgh of Crail was most likely chartered by Malcolm IV.
Schire of Rires was coextensive with the parishes of Kilconquhar and Elie.
Schire of Newburn was coextensive with the later parish of that name.
Schire of Blathbog was coextensive with the Blebo section of the parish of Kemback.
Schire of Kinninmonth was coextensive with the parish of that name.
Schire of Strathmiglo (Srath Mioglach in Gaelic) was coextensive with the parish of that name.
Thanage of Kellie was coextensive with the parish of Cairnbee.
Schire of Kennoway was coextensive with the parish of that name.
Schire of Scoonie was coextensive with the parish of that name
Schire of Strathleven (Srath Liobhan in Gaelic) was coextensive with the parish now called Markinch.
Schire of Kirkcaldy (Cill Celi De in Gaelic) was coextensive with the parishes of Kirkcaldy and Abbotshall.
Abden of Lindores (Linn Dubhros in Gaelic) was the lands of a Culdee establishment that later became part of those of a Tironensian abbey founded by David, Earl of Huntingdon, in either 1178 or 1191 . The lands covered the parishes of Abdie and Newburgh.
Abbey of Lindores was a Tironensian daughter house of the Abbey of Kelso founded by David, Earl of Huntingdon, in 1191. It either absorbed the remaining Culdees or else took over their abandoned lands.
EARLDOM OF FOTHRIFF
Called (possibly) Foth Ruighean in Gaelic, this province took in in the counties of Culross-shire, Kinross-shire, Clackmannanshire, the Perth parish of Muckart, and the Fife parishes of Kettle, Cults, Auchtermuchty, Markinch, Weems, and the rest to the west. Though it is ancient enough to have had a mormaer, in the earliest mention it has the Earl of Forthreve.
Abden of Kilgour (Coille Gobhar in Gaelic) was coextensive with the parish of Falkland, with its eastern portion becoming the Thanage of Falkland.
Thanage of Falkland (Falclann in Gaelic) occupied the eastern portion of the parish of that name, formerly known as the parish of Kilgour.
Schire of Gaitmilk was coextensive with the parish of Kinglassie.
Thanage of Kingskettle was coextensive with the parish of Kettle, formerly known as Lathrisk.
Abthanery of Kinghorn (Cinn Gronn in Gaelic) spread across the parishes of Kinghorn and Burntisland.
Royal Burgh of Kinghorn (Cinn Gronn in Gaelic) was chartered by William the Lyon between 1165 and 1172.
Thanage of Fordell took in part of all of the parish of Dalgety.
Thanage of Kinross (Cinn Rois in Gaelic) was coextensive with the parishes of Kinross and Orwell.
Schire of Culross (Cuileann Ros in Gaelic) was took in the parishes of Culross and Tulliallan.
Abthanery of Culross (Cuileann Ros in Gaelic) was the land of the abbey here founded by St. Serf, a daughter house of the one on St. Serf’s Inch.
Abbey of Culross (Cuileann Ros in Gaelic) was established in 1217 by Malcolm I, Earl of Fife, and founded by Benedictine monks from the Abbey of Kinloss in Moray.
Schire of Loquhar (Loch Odhar in Gaelic), or Lochore, took in the parishes of Ballingry and Auchterderran.
Abden of Lochleven (Loch Liobhan in Gaelic) included the island in Loch Leven and the abbey lands along the shore in the Schire of Bishop.
Priory of St. Serf’s Inch (Innis Serbhainn in Gaelic) was founded by David I in 1150 for the Augustinian Canons Regular from St. Andrews who absorbed the remaining Culdees at the old establishment. It later moved to Portmoak.
Schire of Bishop centered on the parish of Portmoak but included scattered detached lands.
Schire of Clackmannan (Clach Mhanainn in Gaelic) covered most of the later county of Clackmanannshire (minus the parish of Dollar).
Schire of Dollar (Dolar in Gaelic), also spelled Dolor, was coextensive with the parish of Dollar in the county of Clackmannanshire.
Schire of Dunfermline (Dun Pharlain in Gaelic) covered the later parishes of Dunfermline, Carnock, and Inverkeithing, plus Rosyth, which later merged with Inverkeithing.
Abbey of Dunfermline (Dun Pharlain in Gaelic) was founded about 1070 by monks of the Order of St. Benedict, and eventually absorbed the Culdees of the previous foundation.
Royal Burgh of Dunfermline (Dun Pharlain in Gaelic) was chartered by David I 1128 and later transferred to the authority of tha Abbot of Dunfermline. The burgh served as the capital of Scotland until 1437.
Royal Burgh of Inverkeithing (Inbhir Cheitinn in Gaelic) was charted by David I.
Schire of Wemyss (Uaimnh in Gaelic) was coextensive with the parish of Wemyss.
Priory of Inchcolm (Innis Choluim in Gaelic) was a house of Augustinian Canons Regular that became an abbey in 1235.
Priory of the Isle of May (Eilean Mhaigh in Gaelic) was a house of Benedictine monks established in 1153 by David I.
EARLDOM OF MENTEITH
Called Moneteadhaich in Gaelic, this province covered everything between River Teith in the north and River Forth in the south, from Glengyle in the west to the confluence of the two rivers in the east, the parishes of Kilmadock, Lecropt, Dunblane, Logie and part of Callender north of the Teith, and the parish of Kippen south of the Forth. The early earls also had jurisdiction in Cowall and Kintyre, according to one statute of William the Lyon. Although many claim the province was born as a mormaerdom at a time when those were first being created, the best information says that the earldom was created and first granted to Gilchrist in 1163.
EARLDOM OF LOTHIAN
Called Lodainn in Gaelic, Lothian remained under control of the Anglo-Saxon kings and earls of Bernicia and Northumbria for centuries. Roughly, this meant the counties of Stirlingshire, the Lothians, and Berwickshire. In 927, Edgar the Peaceful, King of the English, granted a territory called Lothian—consisting of eastern Stirlingshire, West and Mid Lothian, and the western portion of East Lothian—as a to Kenneth II. In 1018, Malcolm III gained the remainder of the south to River Tweed following the Battle of Carham, secured by treaty in 1020.
In 1072, Edgar the Aetheling fled to Scotland, bringing in his train one Gospatric, just deposed from the position of Earl of Northumbria. Malcolm III granted Gospatric most of the land from the Schire of Dunbar south. He and his first two successors used the title Earl of Lothian; the next four used Earl of Dunbar; the next two Earl of March; and the last two used Earl of Dunbar and March. The territory was quite substantial, including the Schire of Dunbar, Innerwick, Oldhamstocks, Cockburnspath, and The Merse. After they foreited in 1457 and it was regranted to the Duke of Albany, the Earldom of March was limited to The Merse.
Barony of Gargunnock (Garbh Cuinneag in Gaelic) lay in the south of the parish of Gargunnock from the hills of that name to River Forth in the county of Stirlingshire.
Barony of Leckie (Leacaidh in Gaelic) ran parallel with Boquhan in the west of the parish of Gargunnock in the county of Stirlingshire.
Barony of Boquhan ran parallel with Leckie in the west of the parish of Gargunnock in the county of Stirlingshire.
Barony of Meiklewood occupied the northeast corner of the parish of Gargunnock in the county of Stirlingshire.
Thanage of Stirling (Sruighlea in Gaelic) encompassed the parishes of Stirling, Logie, Airth, and Eaglais (now St. Ninian’s) in the county of Stirlingshire.
Royal Burgh of Stirling (Sruighlea in Gaelic) was chartered by David I.
Barony of Halbertshire, later called Herbertshire, took up part of the parish of Dunipace, which originally bore its name, in the county of Stirlingshire
Barony of Dunipace took up part of the parish of Halbertshire in the county of Stirlingshire, which is now known by the name of this barony.
Barony of Torwood took up part of the parish of Larbert in the county of Stirlingshire, including the royal forest of Tor Wood.
Barony of Larbert took up most of the parish of the same name in the county of Stirlingshire.
Abbey of Cambuskenneth (Camas Cinaeid or Camas Ceneil in Gaelic( was a house of Augustinian Canons Regular founded by David I in 1140 whose lands became the parish of the same name.
Abden of Falkirk ((Eglais Bhris in Gaelic) were the lands of the abbey of St. Modan in the WNW of the current parish of Falkirk in the county of Stirlingshire. The town of Falkirk once known as Ecclesbrae.
Thanage of Callander (Calasraid in Gaelic) was coextensive with the original parish of Falkirk, which included the current parish of that name (Falkirk) plus those of Denny, Bothkennar, Polmont (whose later barony was called Abbotskerse), and Muiravonside in the county of Stirlingshire. Later transformed into a barony, it was often called the Barony of Falkirk and Callander to avoid confusion with the Barony of Callander in Perthshire.
Priory of Manuel was a house of Cistercian nuns established in 1156 by Malcolm IV.
Barony of Slamannan (Sliabh Mhanainn in Gaelic) was coextensive with the original parish of that name in the county of Stirlingshire, comprising that part of the current parish south of River Avon (which presumably extended its boundary with that of the barony.
Schire of Linlithgow (Gleann Iucha in Gaelic) was more or less coextensive with the parishes of Linlithgow and Ecclesmachen in Mid Lothian, territory which later included the Barony of Binning in the eastern section of the parish of Linlithgow.
Royal Burgh of Linlithgow (Gleann Iucha in Gaelic) was chartered by David I around 1130.
Barony of Kinneil (Ceann an Fhail in Gaelic), coextensive with the parish of Borrowtounness in Mid Lothian which once shared its name, was granted to Herbert, Chamberlain of Scotland, by David I.
Barony of Carriden (Cair Eideann in Gaelic), coextensive with the parish of that name in Mid Lothian was granted by Malcolm IV to William de Vipont about 1165.
Abden of Abercorn (Obar Chuirnidh in Gaelic) was roughly equivalent to the lands of the Celtic abbey at Abercorn about 650 as a daughter house of Lindisfarne, when the region fell within the kingdom of Northumbria. St. Wilfrid established his see here in 681 as bishop to the southern Picts, but had to flee after the Battle of Dunnichen in 685.
Barony of Abercorn (Obar Chuirnidh in Gaelic), coextensive with the parish of that name in Mid Lothian, was first granted to Robert de Avenel by David I.
Barony of Aldcathie was coextensive with the former parish of that name in Mid Lothian, now the detached western section of the parish of Dalmeny.
Barony of Dalmeny (Dun Mheinidh in Gaelic) lay within the original parish of that name in Mid Lothian, which did not then include the lands of the former parish of Aldcathie.
Barony of Barnbougle lay within the original parish of Dalmeny in Mid Lothian.
Preceptory of Torphichen, coextensive with the parish of that name in Mid Lothian, was given by David I to the Knights Hospitaller for their Scottish headquarters.
Barony of Bathgate was coextensive with the parish of Bathgate in Mid Lothian.
Barony of Livingstone (Baile Leibhinn in Gaelic) was coextensive with the original parish of Livingstone in Mid Lothian, which then included the later parish of Whitburn.
Barony of Strathbrock was coextensive with the parish of Uphall in Mid Lothian.
Preceptory of Liston occupied most or all of the parish of Kirkliston in Mid Lothian, originally known as just Liston but came to be called Temple Liston.
Lordship of Calder anciently comprehended the parishes of West Calder, Mid Calder, East Calder, and Kirknewton in Mid Lothian and Cadder in the county of Lanarkshire. Calder was later divided into the Barony of Calder Comitis and the Barony of Calder Clere in Mid Lothian and the Barony of Cadder in Lanarkshire.
Abthanery of Ratho (Rathach in Gaelic) was roughly equivalent to the parish of that name. It is the only territory of in the south defined specifically as an abthanery, which fact is the sole witness to an abbey of the Celtic or Culdee variety having existed as this place. The territory later became a barony.
Lordship of Killeith was coextensive with the later parish of Currie in Mid Lothian.
Schire of Edinburgh (Dun Eideann in Gaelic) took in the current parishes of Edinburgh, Herbergare (Canongate), St. Cuthbert’s (including the parishes of Corstrophine and Liberton), Gogar (now part of Corstrophine), and Cramond in Mid Lothian.
Royal Burgh of Edinburgh (Dun Eideann in Gaelic) was chartered by David I.
Abbey of Holyrood was founded in 1128 by David I for the Augustine Canons Regular, and possessed the lands of Herbergare (now Canongate), North Leith, South Leith, and Hailes in Mid Lothian.
Burgh of Canongate was chartered by the Abbey of Holyrood in the 12th century.
Barony of Hailes, coextensive with the parish of Colinton in Mid Lothian, was given by David I to the Abbey of Dunfermline, but latter passed to the Abbey of Holyrood.
Barony of Lestalrig lay between the parishes of Duddington and Leith in Mid Lothian.
Barony of Duddington, coextensive with the parish of that name in Mid Lothian, was owned by the Abbey of Kelso, but leased out, at first to a Flemish knight named Dodin.
Schire of Musselburgh was coextensive with the later parish of Inveresk in Mid Lothian, and early on became the Barony of Musselburghshire owned by the Abbey of Holyrood.
Barony of Newton, which took up the eastern two-thirds of the parish of that name in Mid Lothian, belonged to the Abbey of Dunfermline as part of its Barony of Musselburghshire.
Barony of Wymet, now the western part of the parish of Newton in Mid Lothian, also belonged to the Abbey of Dunfermline as part of its Barony of Musselburghshire.
Lordship of Dalkeith (Dail Cheith in Gaelic), taking up much of the current parish of that name in Mid Lothian, was granted by David I to William de Graham in the 12th century.
Barony of Lasswade was coextensive with the original parish of that name in Mid Lothian, much smaller than the current parish which now includes as well the former parishes of Melville, Pentland, and Roslin. The barony was a possession of the See of St. Andrews.
Lordship of Melville was coextensive with the medieval parish of Melville in Mid Lothian, which is now extinguished. The lordship was later divided into baronies of Melville and Lugton. The latter of these was attached to the parish of Dalkeith after the dissolution of the parish of Melville, with the barony of that name adjoined to the parish of Lasswade.
Barony of Pentland occupied the northern section of the former parish of that name in Mid Lothian. With the dissolution of the parish after the Reformation, the barony merged with the parish of Lasswade.
Barony of Fulford occupied the southern section of the former parish of Pentland in Mid Lothian. With the dissolution of the parish after the Reformation, the barony merged with a portion of the parish of Penicuik to become the parish of Glencross (St. Catherine’s).
Lordship of Roslin was the first possession of the Sinclairs in Scotland, granted in 1068 by Malcolm III, which later became a feudal barony now in the southeast section of the parish of Penicuik in Mid Lothian. In the 15th century, the caput of the barony became home to the famous Rosslyn Chapel.
Barony of Penicok was coextensive with the parish of Penicuik in Mid Lothian, then including the parish of Glencorse/Glencross, once a chapel called St. Catherine’s of the Hopes.
Barony of Mt. Lothian, coextensive with the former parish of the name in Mid Lothian now united with Penicuik, was a possession of the Abbey of Newbottle on Upper River South Esk.
Barony of Crighton included the parish of that name and that of Borthwick (formerly called Locherworth), in Mid Lothian.
Barony of Cramond, coextensive with the parish of that name in Mid Lothian, was split between Robert Avenel, who gave his half to the See of Dunkeld, and the royal demesne, so that the two halves were known as Bishop’s Cramond and King’s Cramond.
Barony of Carrington was coextensive with the parish of the name in Mid Lothian.
Barony of Dalhousie was coextensive with the parish of Cockpen in Mid Lothian.
Abbey of Newbottle, founded in 1140 by Cisterican monks from the Abbey of Melrose, owned the barony of Newbottle, which took up most of the parish of that name in Mid Lothian. In addition to several of the baronies which follow, the chapter came to own the barony that became known as Monkland (now two parishes) in the county Renfrewshir.e
Barony of Maisterton was coextensive with the former parish of that name in Mid Lothian which is now part of the parish of Newbottle.
Barony of Upper Cranston, also called New Cranston, took up part of the parish of Cranston in Mid Lothian.
Barony of Nether Cranston, also called Cranston Ridel, took up part of the parish of Cranston in Mid Lothian.
Preceptory of Balantrodach, coextensive with the chapelry of that name in Mid Lothian now in the later parish of Temple (the chapelry of Muirfut) in Mid Lothian, was given by David I to the Knights Templar for their Scottish headquarters.
Barony of Clerkingtoun was coextensive with the former parish of that name in Mid Lothian, now in the parish of Temple.
Barony of Moorfoot was coextensive with the former chapelry of the name in Mid Lothian, now part of the parish of Temple. The barony belonged to the Abbey of Newbottle.
Barony of Heriot, coextensive with the parish of that name in Mid Lothian, joined the territories of the Abbey of Newbottle in the 14th century.
Barony of Wedale, which included the parish now called Stow in Mid Lothian but was much larger, belonged to the Cathedral of St. Andrews. It was the valley of Gala Water.
Barony of Foula was coextensive with the parish of that name in Mid Lothian that is now part of the parish of Foula and Soutra.
Barony of Soutra was coextensive with the parish of that name in Mid Lothian that is now part of the parish of Foula and Soutra.
Lordship of Keith, originally granted to Marbhachair Chamuis by Malcolm II, was coextensive with the parish of that name in East Lothian, which later changed to Humbie. The territory was divided into two lordships granted by David I in the 12th century: Keith Hervie in the northwest to Hervey de Keith, progenitor of Clan Keith, and Keith Hundeby in the southeast granted to Simon Fraser.
Barony of Tranent took up most of the western two-thirds of the parish of that name in East Lothian along with a portion of the later parish of Glasmuir.
Barony of Preston lay within the later parish of Prestonpans in East Lothian, then part of the parish of Tranent.
Barony of Prestongrange lay within the later parish of Prestonpans in East Lothian, then part of the parish of Tranent.
Lordship of Seton occupied the northwest section of the parish of Tranent in East Lothian.
Lordship of Pencaitland was more or less coextensive with the parish of the name in East Lothian.
Lordship of Salton, coextensive with the parish of that name in East Lothian, was granted to Hugh de Moreville by David I.
Lordship of Ormiston was coextensive with the parish of that name in East Lothian.
Barony of Bolton, coextensive with the parish of that name in East Lothian, was granted to James de St. Hilary by David I.
Barony of Yester, coextensive with the parish of that name in East Lothian, was granted to Hugh de Giffard by David I.
Lordship of Morham was coextensive with the parish of that name in East Lothian.
Abthanery of Kilspindie was the land of the Culdee abbey near the later town of Aberlady within the parish of the same.
Barony of Aberlady, coextensive with the parish of that name in East Lothian, was given by David I to the See of Dunkeld when he reestablished it in the 12th century.
Lordship of Eldbottle, granted to John de Vaux in the mid-12th century, was coextensive with the medieval parishes of Gullane and Dirleton which are now united.
Thanage of Haddington occupied the parishes of Haddington, Athelstansford, Garvald, Baro, Yester, and (most of) Gladsmuir in East Lothian, and at one time probably Bolton and Morham.
Burgh of Haddington was chartered by David I but transferred to Ada de Warenne, Countess of Nurthumberland, wife of his son Henry, who died a year before him.
Abbey of Haddington, a house of Ciestercian nuns, was founded in the 12th century by Ada de Warenne, wife of Henry mac David, Earl of Huntingdon and Earl of Northumberland. Its lands became known as Nunraw.
Barony of North Berwick, coextensive with the parish of that name in East Lothian, belonged to the Mormaers and later Earls of Fife.
Priory of North Berwick was a house of Cistercian nuns established by Duncan I, Earl of Fife, in 1150.
St. Baldred’s Land is not a historical designation, but my term here for the four contiguous medieval parishes in East Lothian, three now united, which each had a church dedicated to St. Baldred, a Northumbrian missionary in the 7th century known as the Apostle to the Lothians. Together, they probably at one time formed a cohesive unit.
Schire of Tyninghame was coextensive with the parish of the same name in East Lothian, which was probably home to the abbey and is now united with Whitekirk.
Schire of Hamer was coextensive with the medieval parish of that name in East Lothian, later renamed Whitekirk; it now contains also Tyninghame and Aldham.
Schire of Aldham was coextensive with the medieval parish of that name in East Lothian which was absorbed into the parish of Tyninghame before it was united with that of Whitekirk.
Schire of Linton was coextensive with the medieval parish of that name in East Lothian, later called Haugh, then Prestonhaugh, and currently Prestonkirk, and is the only one of the St. Baldred parishes not united with the others.
Schire of Dunbar (Dun Barra in Gaelic), a major portion of the territory of the Earls of Dunbar, took in the current parishes of Dunbar, Sport, Stenton, and Whittinghame in the county of East Lothian.
Lordship of Innerwick, coextensive with the parish of that name in East Lothian, was the first territory granted by David I to Walter Fitz-Alan, High Steward of Scotland.
Lordship of Oldhamstocks, originally part of the territory of the Earls of Dunbar, occupied the northern section of the parish of that name in East Lothian until being absorbed into the lordship of Dunglass to the south.
Lordship of Dunglass, originally part of the territory of the Earls of Dunbar, at first took up the southern section of the parish of Oldhamstocks in East Lothian, then absorbed the barony of that name and so spread over the whole parish.
Lordship of Cockburnspath occupied the western part of the current parish of Cocksburnpath in East Lothian and was part of the territory of the Earls of Dunbar.
Schire of Coldingham took in the contiguous parishes of Coldingham, Eyemouth, Ayton, the former parish of Old Cambus (now eastern Cockburnspath), and parts of Mordington, Foulden, Chirnside, and Bunkle in the county of Berwickshire. Had the territory been in the north, it would have been termed an abthanery, because in the Early Middle Ages, Coldingham was home to an ancient dual abbey of the type known as a conhospitae, meaning monks and nuns at the same house under one government.
Founded by St. Ebb in the mid-7th century as its first abbess, the abbey had St.Cuthbert as its first instructor. Ecclesiastically, it came under the See of Lindisfarne, then of Northumbria, like all the southeast. It was destroyed in a Viking attack in 870. Edgar I granted the entire shire to the See of Durham in 1098. The Benedictine Priory of Coldingham was founded shortly after, at first dependent on Durham then on the Abbey of Dunfermline. The entire schire became a barony with the prior at its lord, though some of this was later split off.
Priory of Coldingham was a house of Benedictine monks dependent the Abbey of Durham that was founded in 1145 upon land in the parish of Coldingham given by Edgar of Alba in 1098.
Lordship of Swinton, coextensive with the parish of that name in the county of Berwickshire, was granted to Edulf de Swinton by Malcolm III.
The Merse, the largest portion of the territory of the Earls of Dunbar, took in the current parishes of Whitsome, Chirnside, Eccles, Hutton, Dunse, Edrom, Mordington, Fogo, Eyemouth, Bunkle, Nenthorn, Upsettlington (now Ladykirk), Longformacus, Ellem Cranshaws, Abbey St. Bothans, Greenlaw, Polworth, Westruther, and Cocksburnpath (minus Old Cambus) in the county of Berwickshire; and the current parishes of Smailholm, Makerston, Kelso, Stitchel, and Ednam in the county of Roxburghshire.
Lordship of Langton, coextensive with the parish of that name in the county of Berwickshire, was first granted to Robert de Ow by Henry, son of David I, Earl of Huntingdon and Earl of Northumberland.
Lordship of Upsettlington, coextensive with the current parish of Ladykirk in the county of Berwickshire, was the first possession of the Bissets in Scotland, granted to them by William the Lyon.
Lordship of Gordon, coextensive with the parish of that name in the county of Berwickshire, was granted to Richard de Gordon by David I in the mid-12th century.
Schire of Bunkle took in the now united parishes of Bunkle and Preston in the county of Berwickshire.
Schire of Berwick-upon-Tweed was not the same as the later county of Berwickshire but included the land that later became the town and the district around it.
Royal Burgh of Berwick-upon-Tweed was chartered by David I.
Priory of Coldstream was a house of Cistercian nuns established by Gospatric III, Earl of Lothian, in 1166 in the parish of that name in the county of Berwickshire.
Priory of Eccles was a house of Cistercian nuns established by Gospatric III, Earl of Lothian, in 1156 in the parish of that name in the county of Berwickshire
EARLDOM OF LENNOX
Called Leamhnachd in Gaelic, with its name deriving from Loch Leven (Levenachs) and its people called the Lemnaig, this province lay between Boquhan Burn in the east and River Leven on the west, between Loch Lurnaig and River Forth on the north and River Kelvin on the south.
It took in the parishes of Buchanan, Drymen, Balfron, Killearn, Strathblane, Fintry, Kilsyth, and Campsie in the county of Stirlingshire and the entire county of Dunbartonshire. Although many have claimed Lennox as an ancient mormaerdom, the best information states that the earldom was created for David mac Henry by his brother William the Lyon in 1174, and that he resigned the title upon being invested as Earl of Huntingdon. Afterwards, it was granted to Ailin I.
PRINCIPALITY OF CUMBRIA
The Kingdom of Cumbria began as Alt Clut during the dark ages, becoming Ystrad Clud (Strathclyde or Srath Clud) after the Northumbrian conquest of Galloway, then Cumbria after it regained lost territory when Northumbria retreated after the conquest of England by the Danes. The kingdom survived under its native Cymric rulers until at least the mid-11th century, after which it may have become an appanage of the Kingdom of Alba. That was certainly the case by the early 12th century when David fitz Malcolm, brother of the King of Alba, was inaugurated as “prince of the Cumbrians” in 1113.
There are strong indications that the resurgent Cumbria spread down to include what became the counties of Cumberland and Westmoreland in England. In 1092, however, William Rufus of England reconquered
Barony of Cumbernauld (Comar nan Allt in Gaelic) covered the parish of Cumbernauld in the county of Dumbartonshire.
Lordship of Lenzie (Leanaidh in Gaelic) covered most of the parish of Kirkintilloch, originally named Lenzie, in the county of Dumbartonshire.
Barony of Kirkintilloch (Cathair Cheann Tulaich in Gaelic) covered the town and an area about it in the parish of that name in the county of Dumbartonshire.
Burgh of Kirkintilloch (Cathair Cheann Tulaich in Gaelic) was granted a charter by William the Lyon.
Lordship of Strathgryfe (Srath Ghriobhaidh in Gaelic) lay between River Black Cart on the east and River Clyde on the west in the northwestern corner of Scotland below the Firths, centering on the valley of the River Gryfe. Four of its parishes were prefixed “Kil-”: Kilmalcolm, Kilpeter, Kilallan, and Kilbarchan, signifying missionaries from Ireland or Iona. In the Early Middle Ages, the territory was attached to the county of Lanarkshire until the 15th century, when it became the county of Renfrewshire.
Burgh of Renfrew (Rinn Friu in Gaelic) was chartered by Walter fitz Alan, High Steward of Scotland.
Abbey of Paisley (Paislig in Gaelic) was a Cluniac Benedictine house founded in 1169 that occupied the parish of Paisley in the county of Renfrewshire,. It also possessed the parish of Carmunnock in the county of Lanarkshire and the parish of Kilpatrick in the county of Dumbartonshire.
Clydesdale (Dail Chluaidh in Gaelic) was the original name for what became the county of Lanarkshire.
Abden of Glasgow (Glaschu in Gaelic), more or less coextensive with the parish of that name in the county of Lanarkshire, was the land of the abbey founded by St. Mungo, aka St. Kentigern, in 580, which also served as the chief or only bishopric of the Brythonic kingdom of Alt Clut/Ystad Clud/Cumbria.
See of Glasgow (Glaschu in Gaelic) was revived in 1116 by David fitz Malcolm, Prince of the Cumbrians, and went on to become the second-ranking diocese in Scotland after the prime See of St. Andrews. In 1491, the see was granted metropolitan status and became an archdiocese. The Diocese of Glasgow covered Nithsdale, Annadale, the Galloway district of Desnes Ioan, eight parishes of Eskdale, Kyle, Cunninghame, Carrick, Lennox, Strahgryfe, Clydesdale (or Lanark), Tweeddale, and Teviotdale. The Cathedral of St. Mungo dates from the late 12th century.
Burgh of Glasgow (Glaschu in Gaelic) was chartered by the Bishop of Glasgow in the 12th century.
Abden of Govan (Baile a’ Ghobhainn in Gaelic) was the land of the abbey of St. Constantine, former king of Cornwall and missionary of St. David’s in Wales, founded in 565. This was roughly coterminous with the parish of Govan. Upon the consecration of the Cathedral of Glasgow in 1136, David I gave the lands of Govan to the see.
Lordship of Drumpellier, comprehending the later parishes of Old and New Monkland in the county of Lanarkshire, became known as Monkland in the 13th century as a wholly-owned possession of the Abbey of Newbottle, but in the 12th century was under traditional rulers.
Rutherglen, coextensive with the parish of that name in the county of Lanarkshire, was owned by the Abbey of Paisley.
Royal Burgh of Rutherglen was chartered in 1126 by David I.
Carmunnock (Cathair Mhanach in Gaelic), coextensive with the parish of that name in the county of Lanarkshire, was a possession of the Abbey of Paisley.
Barony of Drumsagard was coextensive with the parish of Cambuslang in the county of Lanarkshire.
Barony of Blantyre (Blantaidhr in Gaelic) was coextensive with the parish of that name in the county of Renfrewshire.
Lordship of Bothwell comprehended the parishes of Bothwell and Schotts in the county of Lanarkshire. The Douglas territories of Dolphintoun, Walstoun, and Cambuslang came to be attached to it in later centuries.
Schire of Cadyow was coextensive with the parish of Hamilton in the county of Lanrakshire; the name changed to that of its owning family in the 15th century. The medieval parish of the name also took in the schire of Mahan, to which the latter was a chapelry.
Lordship of Dalzell (Dail Gheal in Gaelic) was coextensive with the parish of that name in the county of Lanarkshire.
Barony of East Kilbride (Cill Bhrighde an Ear in Gaelic), granted to Roger de Valoins by William the Lyon, was coextensive with the original parish of Kilbride in the county of Lanarkshire, which did not then include the territory of the former parish Torrance, and the parish of Glasford.
Lordship of Torrance (Torrain in Gaelic) was coextensive with the former parish of that name in the county of Lanarkshire that is now part of Kilbride.
Barony of Stonehouse (Taigh Cloiche in Gaelic), coextensive with the parish of that name in the county of Lanarkshire, was granted by David I to William son of Theobald the Fleming.
Barony of Glasford was coextensive with the parish of that name in the county of Lanarkshire.
Schire of Machan was coextensive with the current parish of Dalserf in the county of Lanarkshire, which changed its name from Machanshire in the 15th century. To the Church, it originally was a chapelry of the parish church of Cadyow, the later Hamilton
Barony of Mauldslie was more or less coextensive with the parish of Carluke in the county of Lanarkshire. According to local legend, there was at one time a Celtic abbey here.
Royal Burgh of Lanark (Lannraig in Gaelic) was chartered by David I in 1140.
Carstairs (Caisteal Tarrais in Gaelic), coextensive with the parish of that name in the county of Lanarkshire, belonged to the See of Glasgow.
Barony of Carnwath (Cathair Nuadh in Gaelic), coextensive with the parish of that name in the county of Lanarkshire, was granted to William de Somerville by David I.
Barony of Cambusnethan (Camas Nechtain in Gaelic), granted to William Finnemund by David I in the 12th century, was coextensive with the parish of that name in the county of Lanarkshire. In his will, Finnemund bequeathed his personal lands to the Abbey of Kelso.
Lordship of Dunsyre, coextensive with the parish of that name in the county of Lanarkshire, remained under its native lords in the 12th century.
Lordship of Avondale (Srath Abhainn in Gaelic) was coextensive with the parish of Avondale in the county of Lanarkshire.
Abden of Lesmahagow (Lios Mo Chuda in Gaelic) was coextensive with parish of that name. These were the lands of the abbey of St. Machute. The Tironensian Abbey of Kelso, owned the district under a grant from David I, erected the Priory of St. Mary and St. Machute here in 1144.
Barony of Biggar, coextensive with the parish of that name in the county of Lanarkshire, was granted to Baldwin the Fleming by David I.
Lordship of Dolphinton, coextensive with the parish of that name in the country of Lanarkshire, remained under its native lords throughout the 12th century.
Barony of Culter (Cultair in Gaelic), also spelled Coulter, was coextensive with the parish of that name in the county of Lanarkshire.
Barony of Wandel, also called Hartside, took up the parish of that name in the county of Lanarkshire which is now united with the parish of Lamington.
Barony of Lamington took up the parish of that name in the county of Lanarkshire which is now united with the parish of Wandel.
Barony of Syminton, also called Symonstoun, covered the parish of that name in the county of Lanarkshire.
Barony of Pettinain was first granted to the father or grandfather of Hugh de Pettinain, a Knight Templar and progenitor of Clan Huston to whom Malcolm IV granted the lands of Kilpeter in Strathgryfe, later the Barony of Renfrew. Kilpeter later became known as Huston.
Barony of Colvington, also called Colbanstoun, covered the former parish of that name in the county of Lanarkshire, now united with the parish of Thankerton.
Barony of Tancardstoun, later called Thankerton, covered the former parish of that name in the county of Lanarkshire, now united with the parish of Colvington, and was granted to Tankard the Fleming byDavid I.
Barony of Walston covered the parish of that name in the county of Lanarkshire.
Lordship of Douglasdale (Srath Dubhglais in Gaelic), occupied the parishes of Douglas and Carmichael in the county of Lanarkshire, was granted to Theobald the Fleming by David I.
Lordship of Crawford took in the parishes of Crawford (aka Crawford-Lindsey) and Crawfordjohn in the county of Lanarkshire.
Lordship of Dolphinton was coextensive with the parish of that name in the county of Lanarkshire.
Lordship of Cunninghame (Coineagan in Gaelic), first granted to Hugh de Morville, High Constable of Scotland, in 1138, is separated from Strathgryfe on the north by Kelly Burn and Kyle to the south by Irvine Water. It later became the northern third of the county of Ayrshire. In the late 13th century, it was attached to the Lordship of Galloway.
Abbey of Kilwinning (Cill D’Fhinnein in Gaelic) was a Tironensian house established in the late 12th century by Richard de Morville, High Constanble of Scotland and Lord of Cunninghame.
Lordship of Kyle (Cuil in Gaelic) lies between Irvine Water in the north, separating it from Cunninghame and River Doon in the south, separating it from Carrick. The district was subdivided early on into the barony of Kyle Stewart, possession of Walter Fitz-Alan, High Steward of Scotland, and the stewartry of King’s Kyle, retained by the crown; the two were separated by River Ayr. It later became the middle third of the county of Ayrshire.
Burgh of Prestwick was chartered by Walter fitz Alan in the 12th century in Kyle Stewart.
Priory of Mauchline (Machlainn in Gaelic) was a daughter house of the Abbey of Melrose founded 1165 in Kyle Stewart.
Royal Burgh of Ayr (Inbhir Air in Gaelic) was chartered by William the Lyon in King’s Kyle in 1205.
Lordship of Tweeddale (Srath Tuaidh in Gaelic) was coextensive with the county of Peebleshire, the upper valley of River Tweed, and also included the parish of Mertoun in the later county of Berwickshire.
Royal Burgh of Peebles (Na Puballan in Gaelic) was chartered by William the Lyon.
Lordship of Ettrick Forest was and colloquoially still is the name for what became the county of Selkirkshire, once home to rebel bands led by William Wallace, Andrew Petty, and Simon Fraser but otherwise unsettled until well into modern times. Used for hunting and refuge, it later became a crown demesne.
Abbey of Selkirk (Sailkirc in Gaelic) existed briefly in the later parish of Selkirk within Ettrick Forest from 1113, when it was granted to the Tironensian Order by David, then Prince of the Cumbrians, until 1128, when David I of the Brets and Scots moved it to Kelso.
Lordship of Lauderdale (Srath Labhdair in Gaelic) took in four or five parishes in what is now the western section of the county of Berwickshire through which flow River Lauder. It was erected by David I for Hugh de Morville, High Constable of Scotland, in 1138.
Burgh of Lauder (Labhdar in Gaelic) was chartered by Hugh de Morvile, Lord of Lauderdale, in the 12th century.
Abbey of Dryburgh, founded in 1150 for the Premonstratensian Canons Regular, took in most or all of the parish of Mertoun in the county of Berwickshire.
Abden of Old Melrose (Mail Rois in Gaelic) were the lands of the abbey of Old Melrose founded by St. Aidan of Lindisfarne three miles east of the later and better known Melrose Abbey. The abbey itself was in a bend of River Tweed cutting into Bemersyde Hill.
Abbey of Melrose (Mail Rois in Gaelic) was the site the monks of Old Melrose suggested when David I chose the area as the site of the mother house for the Cistercian Order, known as New Melrose, three miles east and upriver. The abbey lands spread across the parish of Melrose in the county of Roxburghshire.
Abbey of Kelso (Cealsaidh in Gaelic), occupying the later parish of that name in the county of Roxburghshire, was the place to which David I, king of the Brets and Scots, relocated the Tironensian monks from the Abbey of Selkirk in 1128. After 1144, the abbey also possessed the parish of Lesmahagow in the county of Lanarkshire.
Royal Burgh of Roxburgh (Rosbrog in Gaelic) was chartered by David I in 1124, and served as his first royal capital.
Schire of Yetholm was coextensive with the parish of that name in the county of Roxburghsire.
Abbey of Jedburgh (Deadard in Gaelic), occupying the parish of that name in the county of Roxburghshire, was granted by David, prince of the Cumbrians, to the Augustine Order of Canons Regular in 1118.
Royal Burgh of Jedburgh (Deadard in Gaelic) was charted by David I in 1138.
Lordship of Teviotdale (Gleann Tibhiot in Gaelic) covered most of the county of Roxburgshire, all that was not part of the earldom of Dunbar, the Abbey of Melrose, the Abbey of Kelso, the Abbey of Jedburgh, the lordship of Lauderdale, the Schire of Yetholm, or the Royal Burgh of Roxburgh, being the valley of River Teviot.
Lordship of Liddesdale (Lideasdal in Gaelic) encompassed the parish of Castletown in the county of Roxburghshire and the eastern section of the parish of Canonbie in the county of Dumfriesshire, being the valley of Liddel Water. It was first given to Robert de Soulis in the 12th century.
Lordship of Wauchopedale lay in the basin of Wauchope Water and parish of Wauchope in the county of Dumfriesshire, later annexed to the parish of Langholm as its western section. It was the first possession of the Lindseys in Scotland.
Lordship of Eskdale (Eisgeadal in Gaelic) lay in the basin of River Esk, comprehending the parishes of Eskdalemuir, Westerkirk, Langholm, and western Canonbie in the county of Dumfriesshire.
Priory of Canonbie was a daughter house of the Abbey of Jedburgh founded in the mid-12th century on a grant from Turgis de Rosedale, Lord of Liddell in Cumberland (near Carwinley). The location was in the Debatable Lands.
Lordship of Ewesdale (Uisgedal in Gaelic) lay in the basin of upper River Esk, taking up the parish of Ewes in the county of Dumfriesshire.
Lordship of Annandale (Srath Annan in Gaelic) lay in the basin of River Annan, comprehending the parishes of Moffat, Kirkmichael-Juxta, Wamphray, Kirkmichael, Johnstone, Applegarth and Sibbaldie, Hutton and Corrie, Lochmaben, Dryfesdale, Tundergarth, Mouswald, Dalton, St. Munro, Hoddam, Middlebie, Ruthwell, Cummertrees, Brydekirk, Annan, Cornock, and Gretna in the county of Dumfriesshire.
Lordship of Nithsdale (Srath Nit in Gaelic) lay in the basin of River Nith, comprehending the parishes of Kirkconnell, Sanquhar, Penpont, Durrisdeer, Tynron, Morton, Glencairn, Keir, Closeburn, Dunscore, Holywood, Kirkmahoe, Tinwald, Dumfries, Torthorwald, and Carvaerlock in the county of Dumfriesshire.
Royal Burgh of Dumfries (Dun Phris in Gaelic) began as a local burgh and was raised to a royal burgh by William the Lyon in 1186.
Priory of Lincluden was a house of Benedictine nuns established by Uchtred, Lord of Galloway, just north of the burgh of Dumfries.
Abden of Hoddom was the site of a Northumbrian abbey, whose grounds probably covered the medieval parish of Hoddom in the county of Dumfriesshire. The current parish of that name includes the medieval parishes of Luce and Ecclefachan.
Southern Cumbria lay south of Solway and north of River Eamont in the former territory of the long extinct kingdom of Rheged. It formed part of the kingdom of Strathclyde, afterwards called the kingdom of Cumbria (referring to the whole), from 927. In 1092, William Rufus conquered the territory south of the Solway, expelling Dolphin, its local lord (brother of Gospatric, second Earl of Lothian), and establishing the Earldom of Carlisle, granting it to Ranulf le Meschin, later 3rd Earl of Chester. David I of the Brets and Scots regained southern Cumbria in 1135. Henry II of England recovered it once and for all in 1157, splitting it into the counties of Cumberland and Westmoreland.
LORDSHIP OF GALLOWAY
Called Gallgaidhealalaidh in Gaelic, the first appearance of this territory in the historical record is from 973, in the notice of the meeting of six kings and kinglets with Edgar the Peaceful at Chester (probably the same occasion at which he granted the fief of Lothian to the Scottish crown). One of the attendees was “John of Galwegia”. Figures mentioned as kings of the Gallgaidheal in the 10th and 11th centuries have no relation to this realm of Galloway, which may not have existed before the 12th century. Rather than actually being a realm of “Foreign Gaels” or “Norse Gaels”, the word Gallgaidheal applied here was probably an attempt to pronounce the region’s name.
The first clear ruler is Fergus of Galloway who was its Lord in the early years of the 12th century (beginning c. 1110). His descendents ruled until 1234, after which the territory fell to John Balliol, married to Devorgilla ni Alan, daughter of the last independent Lord of Galloway.
Throughout the 11th century, the Kingdom of the Rhinns, taking in the districts below of The Rhinns and Farines (more or less the same as the county of Wigtonshire), was one of the possessions of the Ui Imhair who ruled the Isle of Mann and the Isles, not incorporated into one kingdom but as a separate entity. The end of that kingdom coincided with the end of the main line of the Ui Imhair and the rise of the Crovan dynasty.
Desnes Ioan was the district between Nithdale and Urr Water. Its northern portion was a sub-district called Cro, or Desnes Cro.
Glenkens (Gleann Cain in Gaelic) was the Uplands district between Urr Water and Ken Water to its confluence with River Dee, taking in the later parishes of Carsphairn, Dalry, Kells, Parton, and Balmaclellan of the county of Kirkcudbirghtshire.
Priory of St. Mary’s Isle was established on the peninsula of that name at the head of Kirkcudbright Bay as a daughter house of the Abbey of Holyrood in the late 12th century.
Abbey of Dundrennan (Dun Droighnean in Gaelic) was a Cistercian house founded in 1142 by Fergus of Galloway and David I of Scots with monks from the Abbey of Rielvaux in France.
Desnes Mor was the district between Ken Water to its confluence with River Dee, then River Dee, on the east to River Cree on the west.
Farines (Machair Ghallghaidhealaibh in Gaelic) was the district between River Cree on the east and Water of Luce on the west, representing the eastern bulk of the county of Wigtonshire.
Abden of Whithorn (Rosnat in Galwegian, Taigh Mhartainn in Gaelic) was the site in southern Farines of the abbey founded by St. Ninian in the late 4th century that later became a Northumbrian see that was extinct by mid-9th century.
See of Whithorn (Rosnat in Galwegian, Taigh Mhartainn in Gaelic) represented the revival by Fergus of Galloway of the Diocese of Galloway in the 12th century, also known as the Diocese of Whithorn and the Diocese of Candida Casa. The Cathedal of St. Martin had its own chapter of Augustinian Canons Regular. The diocese was suffragan to the Archdiocese of York until 1472. The Diocese of Galloway covered Galloway.
Abbey of Glenluce (Gleann Lus in Gaelic) was a daughter Cistercian house of the Abbey of Dundrennan established in 1190 by Lochlann, Lord of Galloway.
Abbey of Soulseat (Sabhal in Gaelic) was a house of Premonstratensian monks founded by St. Malachy, Archbishop of Armagh, in 1148.
The Rhinns (Na Rannaibh in Gaelic) included the land from the Water of Luce west to include the peninsula known as the Rhinns of Galloway, the western end of the county of Wigtonshire.
EARLDOM OF CARRICK
Called Carraig in Gaelic, the earldom was carved out of the Lordship of Galloway by William the Lyon in 1186 for Duncan mac Gilbright, cousin of Lochlann mac Uchtred, Lord of Galloway. It lay between River Doon in the north and Galloway Burn in the south, taking in the parishes of Ballantrae, Barr, Colmonell, Dailly, Girvan, Kirkmichael, Kirkoswald, Maybole, and Straiten in the county of Ayrshire. The Earldom eventually passed through his granddaughter, Marjorie ni Gilbert, Countess of Carrick, to her son, Robert de Brus VII, later to become Robert I of Scots.