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

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Wemyss Caves - The Court Cave (Cave / Rock Shelter) — Folklore

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

Wemyss Caves - The Court Cave (Cave / Rock Shelter) — Fieldnotes

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

Dunino Den (Sacred Well) — Fieldnotes

Enter from a little path at the side of Dunino church and you will come through a leafy glade to a rock promontory, from here you can look down onto an area of ground with a little stream which runs through this natural amphitheatre. On the promontory there is a footprint carved out of the rock as at Dunadd and next to it a carved out basin which is approximately one metre across and half a metre deep. To the left of the promontory are very steep steps cut into the rock which lead down to the water. At the bottom of the steps carved into the natural rock on the left is a carved circle of Celtic knots approximately 25 cms in diameter. Follow this wall about 20 metres further round and you will find a large ringed cross approximately 3 metres tall and 1 and a half metres wide incised into the rock face.
This place has an atmosphere all of it's own, it is very peaceful and still down in the hollow and is still obviously used by people with an interest in pagan practices, I saw bunches of feathers, dreamcatchers, ribbons, little parcels and various other items tied to the branches of trees. All in all a most intriguing place and well worth a visit

Norrie's Law (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

Norrie's Law is a bronze age grave mound, occupying the highest point of a natural ridge or hillock of sand and gravel. Objects are said to have been found in a stone coffin within this "Tumulus". An article in The East of Fife Record dated June 16th 1882 tells us of the Discovery of the Norrie's Law hoard and that they appeared to have been found around 1819. The hoard is said to have consisted of a full suit of armour with helmet, shield, sword handle and scabbard which were entirely made of silver. This hoard was reputedly dug up by a local tinker who went on to sell his finds to a local jeweller, Mr Robert Robertson in Cupar for various sums of money, the silver was melted down. However, in the article the local historian of the period Dr Laing, gives us an earlier date of 1817 which tallies with that of Mr Albert Way who catalogued the few remaining pieces for an exhibition at the Archaeological institute of Great Britain. We are told the person who purloined the valuable hoard still resided in Pitlessie in good circumstances, free of the attentions of the exchequer to claim the fruits of his ill gotten wealth and that he naturally declines much communication on the subject. Some of the finds from Norrie's Law can be seen in the National Museum of Scotland in Chambers Street Edinburgh.

Collessie (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

The Collessie man is incised into a standing stone in a field at Mellville Home Farm about a kilometere east of Collessie. Although the stone is prehistoric, the carving dates from Pictish times and is of a naked male warrior walking from right to left. He is carrying a large rectangular shield with his left hand,and in his right hand a vertical spear with a ball like appendage on the base. The naked man is believed by many locals to be a representation of an ancient hero or mythical being. There is also a very faint trace left of what looks like an arch.This is the first stone I ever saw close up, it is absolutely amazing. the way to access the Collessie man is from Melville farm steading, then it's just a little walk through a couple of fields with cows in. Permission should be asked at Hallhill farm directly across the road from the entrance to Melville Farm.
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