The Pitcaple Environmental Project is named after the nearby Pitcaple Castle which lies to the southwest on the opposite bank of the River Urie. The Mill of Pitcaple is also right on our doorstep and the trees that surround the site are part of Mill Wood.
“Pitcaple” – what’s that, then?
The prefix “Pit-” is of ancient, Pictish origin and is taken to mean a plot of land. “Caple”, on the other hand, is likely to be a variant of “Cappel” a Gaelic word for horse. This word can also be spelt as “capall” and in modern Gaelic it is found as a prefix in words such as “Capall-abhainn” which, literally, means “river-horse” or, in English, Hippopotamus! Alas, we have no hippopotamuses (or is it hippopotami?) in the area.
But back to “Pitcaple”… and it follows that the place name is very likely to have meant “Land of the Horses”.
- Stravaiging Around Scotland: Pitcaple.