6. St Ninian's Cave,
Whithorn
Map Ref: NX 422 359

From the A747 follow Historic Scotland signs to the car park at Kidsdale. A walk of 2 km along a wooded glen and over a pebbly beach leads to the cave.

Crown ©, courtesy of Historic Scotland

The cave is an obvious cleft in the rocky headland at the west end of the beach. Local tradition says that Ninian used this quiet and secluded spot as a retreat.

Excavation in the 1880's revealed that the cave was used by Dark Age pilgrims. Lying among the rubble from the cave's collapsed roof were carved crosses and headstones, many belonging to the 10th and 11th centuries. These carved stones are now on show in the Priory Museum at Whithorn. Christian symbols were also carved on the rock face outside the cave entrance and a careful search will reveal traces of seven small crosses.The crosses are very fragile. Please do not touch them or attempt to make new carvings.

St Ninian's Cave is still a holy site and a place of pilgrimage. Look for but please respect the offerings left by modern pilgrims in the recesses of the cave.

Back
List
Next