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2. Notices of some Ancient Sculptures on the Walls of Caves in Fife

  • J. Y. Simpson

The county of Fife abounds in caves or “weems”—a derivative from the Gaelic name for caves—and their existence gives a title to the earldom of Wemyss. Some of the caves in Fife are historical, as St Rule's at St Andrews, St Adrian's near Elie, and St Margaret's at Dunfermline. St Serf of Culross the great patron saint of the west of Fife, is described by one of his biographers as having usually spent the forty days of Lent in a cave named, as such retreats often were, the Desertum. This cave at the Desertum— (or Dysart, to use the modern form of the name)—was used as a church up till near the time of the Reformation. About two miles eastward of Dysart, and near the village of Easter Wemyss, there is a range of large caves, seven or eight of which are at the present time open; but several more probably exist, having their openings covered over with debris. They stand about 15 or 20 feet above the level of high tide. Some of them are 80 to 100 feet in length, and of corresponding height and breadth.

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Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
  • ISSN: 0370-1646
  • EISSN: 2059-9153
  • URL: /core/journals/proceedings-of-the-royal-society-of-edinburgh
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