The Caves of Caiplie

National Grid Reference (NGR): NO 59980 05830, map


KY10 3XB

Also known as:

  • The Coves (now0)
  • Caplawchy (ba875)
    Caiplie is reputed Caplawchy, a site associated with St. Adrian who is alleged to have founded a settlement in this part of Scotland in the ninth century.
  • The Caves of Caiplie


The Caves of Caiplie, which have been cut by the sea, are situated to the east of Kilrenny on the coastal path. They are reputedly the site of early Christian worship.    The largest is known as Chapel Cave and features a number of incised crosses of various different periods.    Holes have been cut in pairs in the rock for passing ropes through. The floor was formerly clay and excavations in the nineteenth century recovered human remains beneath the floor.   There is evidence that the rock around the mouth of the cave has been worked. However, the cave has had several phases of human occupation and it is not possible to say whether this is associated with early Christian use.



People / Organisations:

Saint AdrianFounderB875ASaints Day: 4th March. St. Adrian is alleged to have founded a settlement here in the ninth century.


  • Cave: Founded (b875a)
    The site was first used for Christian worship in the ninth century.
  • Cave: Alteration/conversion (c170)
    The cave was used a barn and a doocot.
  • Cave: Abandonment (c180)

Archive References:

Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 34025
CSA: Inventory of Scottish Church Heritage - HardcopyReference: 1296Research by Helen Armitage.

Scran - Online databaseReference: 000-000-108-801-CImage: Edwina Proudfoot
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 1296Research by Helen Armitage. Compiled by J Dowling.

Bibliographic References:

Guide to the East Neuk of FifeFleming, D Hay1886Available as an ebook at See Chapter on Kilrenny