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  Well Caves  

Right below Macduff Castle is the Well Cave. This is a double cave with an inner and outer chamber. A grille has been placed across the entrance and the gate is locked. The outer chamber has been called the Chapel Cave and has a rocky ledge, a sleeping ledge, near the tiny entrance to the inner chamber. It has been said that there is a marking on the east wall of the outer chamber but it must be hard to see.
A crawl of about 2 metres, 6 feet through a narrow opening leads into an inner chamber, which once inside is high and large and one can easily stand. The Cave is dry except for the area where the well was, where there has been a fall of rocks.

There are no Pictish carvings on the walls of the inner cave, but on the east wall there are some very smartly carved initials of 1866. However when using a video light the walls are seen to be covered with initials of the past. It was the custom on Hansel Monday* for the young people of the village to enter the Cave with torches and drink the waters of the well which were said to protect one from many diseases. However it is more likely that this was an opportunity for hankie-pankie away from the prying eyes of others.

Well Cave
Inner Well Cave

At the far end of the Cave there is a passageway now too narrow for access. This led to a flight of steps recalled by the village elders, which led up into the original tower.

It was believed that Macduff carne home one night to find that MacBeth had got there first and had murdered his wife and children. Macduff was cast into the dungeon but being his own castle managed to escape down the steps, down the tunnel and out of the Well Cave. From here he made his way along the coast where he hid in another cave today known as Macduff’s Cave, which was a very safe hiding

*When the Gregorian calendar was adopted in 1752, 11 days were taken from the year in September. The Scots were very angry with this and demanded back their 11 days. From that time Handsel Monday has been Monday 11 days after New Year. This action was necessary as the year was getting out of step with the seasons and Britain with the rest of Europe.

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