MONCRIEFFE HILL FORT

Friday, February 27, 2009



The top is encircled by a grassy bank which is all that remains of an iron-age fort. The walls of the fort were made of vitrified stone – rocks heated to such a high temperature that they melted and fused together. How such a high temperature was reached and why it was done are still a mystery to archaeologists. The summit is marked by a small cairn and has terrific views, especially over Perth and the Tay to the north, backed by the first hills of the Highlands. Slightly further round the summit edge is a curious flat stone slab with a deep hole carved into it, overlooking the M90 stretching away south towards the central belt


The name Moncrieffe comes from Moncrieffe Hill south-east of Perth made from hard ancient lava. The River Tay lies to the north and the River Earn to the south; they join just east of the hill.


The Celtic name Monad Croibhe (which is in fact Gaelic but the Pictish would have been similar ie. Old Welsh Minit) meaning Hill of the Tree. The Battle of Monad Croibhe is said to have been fought in 28AD between two Pictish armies. Moncrieffe Hill overlooks the sacred Pictish sites of Scone and Abernethy and the royal Pictish palace of Forteviot.


This area was granted to Sir Robert de Meyneris, Chamberlain of Scotland, in 1248 after which time one branch of that family took their name from the lands. The Moncrieffe badge displays an oak, that revered tree of ancient Celtic times.


Murchadh Monaidh Chraoibhe. Name change from Murchadh Garrioch.


Submitted as Murchadh Monagh Craebi, the submitter requested authenticity for 13th C Gaelic Scotland and desired an appropriate Gaelic form of the byname Moncrieff. Watson, The History of the Celtic Place-Names of Scotland, p. 400f says that "Moncrieff near Perth is considered to have been the scene of 'bellum Monid Chroibh,' 'the battle of Monad Croib,' 728 (AU)." The standardized form of Monad Croib appropriate for the 13th century is Monadh Craoibhe.


In Gaelic, locative bynames which are based on names of cities or towns are formed by putting the place name in the genitive case. The genitive case of Monadh Craoibhe is Monaidh Chraoibhe, pronounced roughly \MOH-nee KHREE-vuh\, where \KH\ is the sound of ch in Scottish loch. We have changed the name to Murchadh Monaidh Chraoibhe to meet his request for a Gaelic form of Moncrieff. However, we cannot make the name authentic for the 13th century as the only examples of locative bynames that we have in Scottish Gaelic are used by the Lord of the Isles and his predecessors, and by a petty king and some of his ancestors. These are not reliable examples of what normal people used as bynames. We do have examples of simple locative bynames in Irish Gaelic in the 13th century, so the byname is registerable.


His previous name, Murchadh Garrioch, is released.

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