Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Wemyss Caves

The Wemyss Caves lie along this stretch of shoreline to the east of the village of East Wemyss. There are interpretation boards close to this point.

Although I'd been to the Wemyss Caves several times, the last visit was some years ago, so when I read that the 'Save the Wemyss Ancient Caves Society' (SWACS) was offering guided tours of the caves on Saturdays in July, I thought it was time for a return visit and it was very well worth while. I learned a lot. The caves contain more Pictish carvings than anywhere else in Britain.
Walking towards Buckhaven from East Wemyss the first cave one comes to is known as the Court Cave.  It is said to have got its name because in the middle ages the landowner was responsible for the upkeep of law and order and he presided over the ‘Baron’s Court’ which was held in this cave. The court was summoned by ringing a bell, which hung from the mouth of the Cave.

Inside the Court Cave.

Cup marks in the Court Cave. They are an early form of rock art but the purpose of these marks is debatable.

This marking possibly represents the Viking god Thor with his hammer and  his sacred goat.

There are several symbols in this portion of the cave wall. At the top a long-necked bird and next to it a double disc and rod. Lower down other symbols including another double disc and a decorated rod.

Guide to the Wemyss Caves by Frank Rankin and published by Save the Wemyss Ancient Caves Society.
www. wemysscaves.co.uk - the website of Save the Wemyss Ancient Caves Society (S.W.A.C.S.)

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