The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

King's Cave



This place sounds very interesting. It is a cave on the coast in a sandstone cliff, and is full of carvings - animals, concentric circles, cup and rings, serpents, a coat of arms.. The RCAHMS record says "an Iron Age date is suggested for the animal figures" (this is a comment from 1961).

It gets a mention in the 'Statistical Account of Scotland':
There are several natural caves, the principal, and which excites the curiosity of strangers of all ranks, is [..] called the King's Cove, because, as tradition affirms, King Robert de Bruce and his retinue lodged in it for some time, when taking shelter in retired places, before his defeat of John Baliol, and accession to the throne of Scotland [..]

The cave is so spacious, that sermons have been preached in it to some hundreds of hearers at different times. About 2 miles south from it is another cave, which could contain 200 persons; but nothing else is remarkable about it.
Ah it's the carvings that pull in the crowds you see. The RCAHMS record mentions that Pennant in 1772 called the cave 'Fingal's Cave', maybe suggesting that the folklore about Robert the Bruce is actually later? confusingly though, the cave is at the foot of a mountain called Torr Righ Mor - which means`big hillock of the king'.

Amongst the carvings are ogham inscriptions and a cross - traditionally the caves were supposed to have been used by early Christian hermits.

There's a LOT of carvings, from every era up to the present day. It's not obvious what's currently believed about the I. A. date. Lots of description here:
I'm most surprised it doesn't have its own website?
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
18th August 2007ce
Edited 20th August 2007ce

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