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Dunfermline, Bruce Street, Queen Margaret's Cave

Cave (11th Century)

Site Name Dunfermline, Bruce Street, Queen Margaret's Cave

Classification Cave (11th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Tower Hill; Chalmers Street

Canmore ID 49334

Site Number NT08NE 13

NGR NT 08901 87571

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Fife
  • Parish Dunfermline
  • Former Region Fife
  • Former District Dunfermline
  • Former County Fife

Archaeology Notes

NT08NE 13 08901 87571

(Name: NT 0889 8758) Cave (NR)

OS 6" map, (1938).

Location formerly entered as NT 0889 8758.

St Margaret's Cave is situated a short distance N of Tower Hill, on the E side of the ravine, nearly opposite Chalmers Street Church. It consists of an open apartment in the sold rock, 6'9" in height, 8'6" in width and 11'9" in depth. There is at present a small spring well at the bottom.

The tradition is that the cave had been used by Queen Margaret for her private devotions and that it was later suitably fitted up for this purpose by her husband, King Malcolm (1057-93).

At the entrance to the cave were one or two small recesses or niches on the sides of the rock. It is stated that on old man said he had seen the remains of a stone table with something like a crucifix upon it, in the cave.

P Chalmers 1844.

In the "rockeries" close to the entrance of St Margaret's Cave are several pieces of carved stones and above the rocky ledge, over the middle of the entrance, is a stone with a large, circular cavity set in between several unmortared stones.

In the S wall at a point 4' from the back and 2'10" from the front of the cave, a deep, well-formed niche has been hewn, 2'3" high and 1'3" broad. Near the S angle, outside, on the face of the rock, there is a similarly formed but smaller niche. Close to this is a bar hole with another 2'4" below. Stone benches run along the inside of the cave against the two sides.

E Henderson 1879.

(NT 0889 8755) St Margaret's Cave (NR)

OS 1:1250 map, (1967)

The cave is covered by a car park, but is preserved and entered by a tunnel.

Visited by OS (D W R), 18 February 1974.

The cave is protected by (and entered through) a recently-erected building at NT 08901 87571.

It is not noted as such on the current edition of the OS (GIS) MasterMap,

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 21 May 2010.


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