The Lands and ‘Sisterlands’ of Aberdour, c.1100-1650
International Review of Scottish Studies, 31 (2006)
While involved in researching aspects of Edinburgh’s medieval and early modern history, I came across some information concerning a parcel of land in Aberdour, Fife, known as ‘The Sisterlands’. There was also brief mention of a few of the nuns who held the lands and lived in Aberdour between roughly 1480 and 1580. My primary interest was actually the sisters, but having taken a brief trip ‘ower tae Aberdour’ to see what other information might be available, I was completely taken with the village, the castle, the seaside, the view of Inchcolm, and I wanted to know much more about the history of this lovely place as well as more about the Sisterlands.
While very little information is known about the sisters, and less hope exists that more will ever come to light, I was intrigued by the long line of families who had held the land, the location of the lands, the connections the sisters might have had with other Fife families, and some of the local legends that are part of the history of the area. This paper, then, is something of a report on what I found by way of answers to some of the questions I had; but it should also be said that with each answer uncovered, two more questions arose. Some of those questions are posed here and some possible answers are suggested.