Bid to protect historic Fife caves from vandals

An East Wemyss community group is seeking views on plans to install protective gates at historic caves.
The plans for the caves.The plans for the caves.
The plans for the caves.

Save Wemyss Ancient Caves Society (SWACS) looks after and promotes the caves, which are famous for their collection of early Pictish symbols carved into many of the cave walls over 1500 years ago.

Ongoing issues with vandalism and graffiti are putting the survival of the ancient and unique carvings at risk.

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An original scheme to protect Jonathan’s Cave with metal grilles in the 1980s did not last because of the poor quality of the materials used. The new proposal will replace the broken metalwork in Jonathan’s Cave with sensitively designed gates in resistant materials which will withstand the coastal environment for decades to come. It will even be possible to incorporate Pictish symbols as a design feature of the gates. Court Cave will also benefit from new gates installed inside the cave to protect the area of carvings.

“We are not proposing to shut off the Wemyss caves,” explained Mike Arrowsmith, chair of SWACS.

“The gates will only be installed in the areas of Jonathan’s and Court Cave that contain carvings. Our intention is that they will be open during daylight but lockable at night which is when most of the damage happens. The Wemyss caves are such a valuable asset in the community and have enormous potential as a visitor destination, but if we don’t take action to secure the carvings, future generations in East Wemyss will lose out on their inheritance.”

You can find the consultation on the SWACS website -

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