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


Wemyss Caves - The Court Cave

Cave / Rock Shelter

Nearest Town:Leven (7km NE)
OS Ref (GB):   NT342969 / Sheet: 59
Latitude:56° 9' 36.56" N
Longitude:   3° 3' 34.35" W

Added by landells

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Rare Pictish Cave Drawings Could Be Lost To The Sea
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
29th November 2016ce

Project will create digital archive of historic cave drawings

Archaeologists have revealed the initial results of a project to preserve ancient cave drawings in a Fife town.

Wemyss Caves hold the largest collection of Pictish carvings in north-west Europe.

However, they are under constant threat from coastal erosion... continues...
moss Posted by moss
6th February 2014ce

Wemyss Caves Carvings Laser Scanned

A major project to excavate and record the famous Wemyss caves and their ancient carvings begins today. The joint project between Fife Council and Channel 4’s Time Team is expected to last for five days and aims to preserve a wealth of information for future generations... continues...
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
3rd June 2004ce
Edited 3rd June 2004ce


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i am some what freaked out at the discovery of this site - the result of actually trying to find out more about the druidic or megalithic way of thinking leads me to one of the most ancient sites that I look out upon nearly everyday in the magical kingdom of fife.

the caves are in poor shape - but somehow they still maintain a sense of the mystical past they so obviously hold.

As we explore this little part of Fife there is an overwhelming sense of stepping back through history.

What a Great place Fife is.
Posted by stevem
24th July 2003ce
Edited 25th July 2003ce

These caves are formed in the sandstone cliffs to the north east of East Wemyss. They have been of interest since 1865 when they were catalogued by Professor James Young Simpson for Dr John Stuarts second volume of "The Sculptured Stones of Scotland" published in 1867. The Court cave has a main cavern with a narrow cave at its entrance, in the narrow cave there is a incised figure holding a spear with an animal beside him. Some claim this could be a viking carving of the god Thor with his sacred hammer. In the main cave there is a Pictish double disc with z rod symbol and on a higher ledge a double disc symbol. The Doo caves roof has now collapsed, but was apparently a well marked cave containing a double disc and z rod symbol with a beasts head touching it, the same symbols can also be seen on the silver plaques which were excavated from Norrie's Law. Jonathan's cave contains many distinctive symbols of Pictish origin such as double discs, an upright fish and several animals. It also contains a carving of an oared ship. The sliding /sloping cave should only be visited with great care and has upon it rectangular markings and a double disc symbol. These caves have been used by our ancestors for thousands of years, but are now in danger from coastal erosion, great care should be taken when visiting them Posted by big sandy
17th July 2002ce


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King James IV. in a frolick once joined a company of gypsies, who were here making merry, and when the liquor began to operate, the gypsies, as usual with people of their character, began to quarrel among themselves; upon this his Majesty attempted to mediate between the parties, but they, ignorant of the rank of their new associate, were about to handle him pretty roughly for his goodness, which obliged the King to discover himself; in allusion to this affair, the cave was afterwards ironically called the Court Cave.
From the Old Statistical Account for Wemyss parish.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
30th December 2010ce

Local superstitious people thought that the caves were inhabited by supernatural beings, hiding in the darkened corners and were scared to go near them after dark Posted by big sandy
17th July 2002ce


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Court Cave on BRAC Updated

There are photos of Glass Cave and Jonathan's Cave in adjacent pages.
Posted by markj99
9th January 2021ce
Edited 9th January 2021ce

The ancient symbols hidden in a cave

Latest news on the protection of these caves.
moss Posted by moss
3rd December 2018ce

East Wemyss, Glass Cave on BRAC

rockartuk Posted by rockartuk
27th April 2006ce

East Wemyss, Jonathan's Cave on BRAC

rockartuk Posted by rockartuk
27th April 2006ce