Tents Muir, the Covenanters and the Victor at Airds Moss

Was Tents Muir in Fife a refuge for Covenanters in the 1680s? According to local tradition, the landscape of dunes and links near RAF Leuchars was used by presbyterians hiding from the Restoration regime. Or is the name older?

Tents MuirAs Tents Muir probably looked before modern pine plantations © Richard Webb and licensed for reuse.

Tents Muir lies in Leuchars parish, Fife.

Map of Tents Muir

According to the OS Name Book of the mid nineteenth century it was,

‘A large moor situated to the east of the parish of Leuchars, and is bounded on the east by St. Andrews Bay; its surface is chiefly rough pasture with a few scattered furze. some of the tenants use it as a rabbit burrow and others for sheep pasture. … It is supposed by those versed in history to have derived its name from the circumstance of the Danes settling there and erecting tents, when they invaded the Eastern coast of Scotland; the tradition in the locality states that during the persecution the Covenanters deserted their habitations, through fear of their pursuers, and went there and lived in tents, hence the name Tents Moor.’ (OS Name Book, Fife and Kinross Shire, Vol.48.)

Tents Muir Earlshall

If Tents Muir was used as a refuge, then the Covenanters were hiding right under the nose of Andrew Bruce of Earlshall, the Lieutenant-Captain of John Graham of Claverhouse’s Troop of Horse and victorious commander of government forces at the battle of Arids Moss in 1680.

Bruce lived at Earlshall Castle, just to the west of Tents Muir.

Map of Earlshall Castle

Earlshall CastleEarlshall Castle © kim traynor and licensed for reuse.

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Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved. Please link to or retweet this post, but do not reblog without the express permission of the author @drmarkjardine

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~ by drmarkjardine on April 3, 2014.

3 Responses to “Tents Muir, the Covenanters and the Victor at Airds Moss”

  1. Live near the forest end of Tentsmuir so this was fascinating.

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