The Caves of Caiplie

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


Address

Kilrenny
Fife
KY10 3XB
Scotland

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

Introduction

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.

 


Description

The Caves of Caiplie

Construction materials: Stone (sandstone) - The caves have been cut by the sea;

The Caves of Caiplie are situated to the east of Kilrenny on the coastal path. They are reputedly the site of early Christian worship.

The largest of the caves 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 of the cave was formerly clay and excavations in the nineteenth century recovered human remains from underneath 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.

Kirsty Owen (September 2007)


People / Organisations:

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

Events:

  • 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:

NameReferenceNotes
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:

NameAuthorDateNotes
Guide to the East Neuk of FifeFleming, D Hay1886Available as an ebook at http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/usebooks/fleming-eastneuk/index.html See Chapter on Kilrenny