Notes on the Sculptured Caves near Dysart, in Fife, illustrated by Drawings of the Sculptures

C Maclagan
1875 Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland  
The two villages situated on the sea-shore to the east of Dysart were, not very long ago, called The Wemyss, and it is natural to suppose that they derived this name from the remarkable series of caves among which they are built-Weem ( Uamha), being the Gaelic for cave. Some of .the weems of this neighbourhood, of which tradition tells, are now fallen down; others, whose entrances have long been thoroughly hidden by landslips from the cliffs above, have very recently been brought to our
more » ... e. One of these, which is the most easterly of this group, is the Gas work Cave, whose existence was discovered in the sinking of a tank for a gasometer. There are eight or nine of these caves at present open. We shall now notice these in succession, beginning with the most westerly, which is situated between the villages of-East and West Weinyss. It is called the Glasswork Cave, and is a truly magnificent one; having three entrances, west, south, and east. Its roof is about 100 feet in height. The span of its noble natural arches is often very grand, sustaining this loftiness far into the depth of the cave, and its innermost rocky wall is so smooth of surface as to suggest the idea that, in the times when the place was used for the manufacture of glass, the hand of man might have dressed it; but, on close examination, proof is found that this rock is in its natural, or at least its ancient, state, for just on the most artificiallooking portion of its surface we observed that there were graven two of those mystic configurations which belong to the class of our most ancient sculpturings. Each of these bridge-like figures is about 2 feet in length, and they are placed at an elevation above the floor of about 15 feet. These are the only gravings on its vast rock walls, and the cave is so dry that it is improbable that any others have been obliterated. Here there is ample room for the dwelling of man;: it maybe that " the rude forefathers of the hamlets" (The Wemyss) once abode in them. We visited this place at the noontide of a day, hot with a midsummer's sunshine. Under
doi:10.9750/psas.011.107.120 fatcat:3kx5rkx5vrcbbpy5eos5i2e77y