Wemyss Caves
Caves To See
Court Cave
Doo Cave
New Cave
Fern Cave
Well Cave
Unamed Cave
Jonathans Cave
Sloping Cave
White Cove Cave
Gassworks Cave
Glass Cave
Green Jeans Cave
Drawings Gallery
Drawings Gallery
  Jonathan’s Cave  
This cave received its name from a poor man, Jonathan who lived here with his family during the 18th Century. He was a nail-maker but hand-made nails were priced out of the market when the Carron Iron Works was established in 1759. However a few years ago some of his nails were found on the floor of the Cave.
In September 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.
Jonathans Cave

This needless act of vandalism resulted in the formation of "Save the Wemyss Ancient Caves Society" or SWACS on. October 8 1986. 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.

Tragically a few months after it 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.

In 1987 a stolen car was again driven down Jonathan's Road and set on fire, this time outside the Cave.

The Cave has a double entrance but only one gate. Despite recent painting by the Society there is much rusting and the gate is now rusted off its hinges and the cave remains open for all.

There are many drawings in this cave mostly on the west wall. A goose, fish, men, tridents, dumbbells, daggers and little Christian crosses. The perpendicular fish has two-cup marks and is an early Christian symbol. The horizontal fish is a fake. There is only one drawing on the east wall and that is now hard to see. It is at the back of the cave and is of a Pictish or Viking ship, said to be the oldest drawing of a ship in the country.

Above on a high ledge some Oghams script, Pictish writing can be seen, but no one has translated it. At the back are ledges where the Picts would spread their heather beds and sit yarning the long winter nights away in front of a fire.

There are some hold-fasts, mostly broken near the entrance, here animals would be tied and would help to warm the Cave.


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