Cleish, parish

Grid reference

NT 094 981 (accurate position)

Six-figure easting & northing

309400 698100





Nearby places

Lady Well, Cleish (0.32 miles)

St Ninian's Chapel, Kinross (2.03 miles)

Fergus Knowe, relief Kinross (2.44 miles)

Fergusknowe, settlement Kinross (2.56 miles)

Tullibole, former parish, Fossoway (2.99 miles)

Object Classification

Parish (extant in 1975)

Is linear feature?


Relationships with other places

Contains Lady Well, Cleish

Contains St Margaret's Burn, SLN/CLE

Parish details


Parish TLA




Medieval diocese

St Andrews

Parish notes

Cleish is first mentioned as the name of a chapel given by Malcolm I earl of Fife (1204-28) to Dunfermline Abbey, so it obviously lay within the Fife earls' sphere of influence (Dunf. Reg. 145). It belonged to a group of lands in what is today west Fife, east Stirlingshire and Kinross-shire, such as Culross PER (now FIF), Crombie CR, Logie-Airthry, Logie par. split between CLA, PER and STL (now STL), and the neighbouring Tullibole FIF (now KNR), in which the earls of Fife had a controlling interest (see PSAS vol.60 p.70 and N. B. Chrs. nos.5 and 9). On Malcolm's marriage to Maud daughter of Earl Gilbert of Strathearn c.1195, more lands in this area were added to the earldom of Fife viz Glendeven, Glendevon par. PER, Carnbo, Aldie, Dalkeith and Pitfar, all FO PER (now FOS KNR). The grant was made in frank marriage, and since Malcolm and Maud's marriage was childless, the lands reverted to Strathearn PER, where they remained until the boundary changes of 1891 (see Barrow, 1953, 56-61 and TU Introductory Notes). Shortly after Earl Malcolm's grant of the chapel of Cleish to Dunfermline Abbey, it became the cause of a controversy between the abbey and Earl Malcolm's newly-founded abbey at Culross. Culross claimed that it belonged to the church of Tullibole (diocese of Dunblane), which had formed part of their original endowment granted by Earl Malcolm, and that therefore the chapel belonged to them. Dunfermline contested this, and the Pope set up a commission of inquiry consisting of three eminent churchmen, including the bishop of Dunblane (presumably Bishop Osbert) to investigate this and other points of contention between the two monasteries. The commission brought together the contending parties at Easter 1227 at Dunfermline. At the hearing, but de plano, 'out of court', Dunfermline Abbey produced certain 'instruments and reasons', and Culross seems to have caved in immediately, agreeing that Cleish chapel did belong to Dunfermline after all (Dunf. Reg. no.213). Presumably one of the things that convinced them was a copy of Earl Malcolm's above-mentioned charter (Dunf. Reg. 145). The chapel of Cleish had achieved parochial status by c.1250, presumably at the behest of Dunfermline Abbey to clarify its status vis-à-vis Tullibole. Around that year it is listed as one of the churches of the deanery of Fothrif, diocese of St Andrews (Dunf. Reg. no.313). The par. formed part of the sheriffdom of Fife until 1685, when, by an Act of Parliament, the old sheriffdom of Kinross, which consisted of KNS and ORW, was greatly enlarged mainly by the addition of CLE, PTM, and the part of FOS which had formerly been TU (all formerly FIF). For more details see APS s.a.. In 1891, by order of the Boundary Commmission, the lands of Moreland, which, although in KNR, had been part of DFL, were annexed to CLE (see Shennan, 1892, 269; and DFL Introductory Notes). For the existence of a motte at Cleish in the late Middle Ages, see Halton • below. For an unpublished charter relating to the boundaries between the baronies of Crambeth (Dowhill) and Cleish in the 13th c., see Appendix 7 (SRO GD/254 no.1). For another 13th c. Cleish march, see Dunf. Reg. no.192, details of which are given under Dumghercloihe #. [All above from Taylor 1995 (PhD).]