1986 vandals drove a car from Buckhaven along the main road,
down Jonathan’s Wynd and into the Cave where they
set it on fire. This resulted in the destruction of the
swan drawing. The swan is a part of the Wemyss Coat of Arms
and represents a learned person. It has now been lost forever.
needless act of vandalism resulted in the formation of "Save
the Wemyss Ancient Caves Society" or SWACS on October
8 1986. The Society works for the preservation. of the Caves
and their unique markings recording all aspects of the
Caves and education about them. One of the Society's first
successes resulted in the installing of a metal grille in
1988 to prevent access to Jonathan’s Cave. Kirkcaldy
District Council, with a Manpower Services Team in conjunction
with Historic Scotland, did this work.
a few months after the grille was installed the high tides
washed away 5 metres, 16 feet, of road and prevented access
to the Cave. However Fife Regional Council stepped in and
built a rough stone barrier, which has withheld the storms.
This path allows visiting parties into the Cave to see the
unique drawings, mainly Pictish but also what is either
a Pictish or a Viking ship, said to be the oldest drawing
of a ship in the country.
1987 a stolen car was again driven down Jonathan's Road
and set on fire, this time outside the Cave.
In 2004 the society was trying to gain funding for a new improved path
for easy access so all visitors can enjoy this unique opportunity
to view this special part of our history.
Access to the caves via Castle Green
SWACS was awarded £25,000 for a new access path to the Caves of which the society is asked to pay 7.5%. The path was completed in November. John MacDougall MP our Honorary President cut the first turf on a fine morning in August. This new path will make access to the caves safer. There are steps up and down over headland but these are very gradual with stopping places to admire the view. There was a grand opening ceremony performed by Captain Michael Wemyss.
Open Sundays continue to be a great success. They have been running now for over 31 years. There are some regulars but always new faces appear often for far afield and all intent on a visit to the caves. An increase in numbers was very noticeable on Doors Open Day (DOD) and Scottish Archaeological Month (SAM) Sundays, both in September.
email Mike: email@example.com