Bruce's Cave

King Robert the Bruce's Cave

Useful Information

Location: Kirkpatrick Fleming, Dumfriesshire. Just west of the A74 Carlisle-Abington at Kirkpatrick Fleming. Follow road North through village, turn left at London House Inn. Inside King Robert the Bruce's Cave Camping Site. Well sign-posted.
Open: summer season only.
Fee: Adults 35p, parking 20p.
Classification: artificial sandstone cave
Light: none.
Dimension: L=4m
Guided tours: L=4m, D=5min.
Address: King Robert the Bruce's Cave, Cove Lodge, Cove Estate, Kirkpatrick Fleming by Lockerbie, Dumfriesshire, Scotland, DG11 3AT, Tel: +44-146-1800-285.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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This cave may be the most likely place, as some versions of the legends talk of Sir William Irving, who was hiding Robert the Bruce for three months in his secret cave.

This cave consists of a small chamber 12 feet in diameter, in which Robert Bruce is reputed to have hidden from the English. As all schoolboys know, Robert Bruce had his life changed by a spider as he watched it try time and time again to weave its web across the cave entrance. This inspired him to return again to his fight against the English. Today the cave is still populated by spiders, perhaps the descendants of the original one seen by Robert Bruce.

The cave is carved out of a red sandstone cfiff, about 30 feet above the river, Kirtle Water, and until 1927 could only be reached by being lowered on a rope over the overhang, and swinging into the cave. Because of the many accidents the council decided to build the present footpath so that the cave might be inspected in comfort.

Text from: Tony and Anne Oldham (1972): Discovering Caves - A guide to the Show Caves of Britain. With kind permission by Tony Oldham.