on the Village and Parish of Corstorphine
by G. Upton Selway
Originally Published in 1890
Reprinted in 1984 by the
Rowll Press, Rowll Grove Edinburgh.
A MID-LOTHIAN VILLAGE
Corstorphine as a place-name has always been, and is likely still
to remain, something of a mystery. Of three derivations advanced,
the one most generally accepted, and the one appealing most to one's
common sense, is Cross of Torphin (the older rendering of the
name Corstorphine being Crostorfyn), from Torfin grandson
of Malcolm II., or from Torphin, an archdeacon of Lothian,
said to have built a cross at this spot. Another derivation that appeals
to many is that of Croix dor fin, and tradition has it
that a cross of fine gold was presented to the church by a Norman
baron. To Gaelic scholars, and those who like to trace as many words
in our language to that source as possible, this third derivation
that has been put forward will no doubt settle the matter: Coire,
a large hollow; Stoir, steps through a wet place; and Phin,
from Fionn, white--viz., " the hollow with the white steps."
A trifle laboured, but ingenious. Whatever may have been the origin
of the name, the village and parish furnish a most pleasant study
alike to antiquarian and artist.
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