Erosion still damaging Wemyss caves

Wemyss Caves'Fife
Wemyss Caves'Fife

ON-GOING efforts to ensure the historically significant Wemyss caves survive are to be taken to the Scottish Parliament.

Last year the Save the Wemyss Ancient Caves Society (SWACS) told the Mail the caves were in danger of rotting away due to erosion and vandalism.

The caves have been heralded in the past by historical experts with Fife Council archeologist Douglas Spiers describing their Pictish wall drawings as “internationally important”.

MSP David Torrance plans to raise awareness of the caves and the need for assistance with their preservation.

He said: “The Wemyss caves are of real historical value and are one of the jewels in the crown of Scottish history.

“They have been utilised for a variety of purposes through the centuries, and further study of the symbols and carvings etched upon the walls could potentially progress our understanding of Scottish cultural history.

“I am pushing the Scottish Government on this issue.

“The caves also have the potential, if marketed properly, to be a huge tourist boost to the Wemyss area and Fife in general.”


The Scottish Costal Archaeology and the Problems of Erosion Trust (SCAPE), an organisation committed to the research and promotion of Scotland’s coast, is also planning to use survey and visualisation methods to digitally preserve the interior of the caves.

Joanna Hambly, officer of SCAPE, believes the project will create a digital resource that will bring the caves and the carvings to both local and global audiences.

“Our vision is that people will be able to virtually explore the caves in incredibly realistic detail,” she said.

“Carvings can be enhanced, and people will be able to virtually access parts of the caves that are difficult or dangerous to get to.

>> SWACS will be hosting its annual lecture entitled ‘Visualising Wemyss Caves’ at 19.30p.m. on Tuesday, March 5 at Coaltown of Wemyss Town Hall.