Secret Cave

by Michelle Iona Melville

Image provided by VisitScotland/Paul Tomkins

Looking out of the cave its easy to conjure up pictures of the past, feel the fear of Lady Cameron as she was hunted by the soldiers...only the cave now knows what happened when she was discovered...The presence of Rowan close to the entrance only serves to reinforce the secrets held within the stones.

Ever since starting my job as a Countryside Ranger in Lochaber, I’d been intrigued by the stories of a hidden cave that had been used as a shelter in times of danger and I decided it was time to find out more.

I scrambled over a large boulder to find myself in a high cavern with amazing views back over the river, you would see enemies coming long before they saw you, but if they did catch you there would be no escape. It was surprisingly dry in the main chamber and there is a second chamber, accessed through a hole towards the back right of the cave. This second chamber is full of rock formations which require careful negotiation. I found this second chamber amazing, my eyes were wide open, shadows from my head-torch hitting the dark corners and rocks.

Being in the cave you realise that you are just the latest to visit this ancient place. Imagine the stories the walls could tell, tales of the young laird the only survivor of the massacre at Dun Dige with his servant rescuer or the story of Lady Cameron and her son’s time hiding from the Redcoat soldiers after Culloden. Maybe the cave was home to the last pack of wolves in the area or a lynx, did early people stumble on the cave and take shelter or was it a place of spirits and the Cailleach Bheur?

Looking out of the cave its easy to conjure up pictures of the past, feel the fear of Lady Cameron as she was hunted by the soldiers, the cry of her child, only the cave now knows what happened when she was discovered or of the worry of the servant who saved the young laird, hiding, knowing the enemies would kill the child if discovered and whose own dog gave his hiding place up to his wife so he had to leave Lochaber with the child. The presence of Rowan close to the entrance only serves to reinforce the secrets held within the stones.

Ben Nevis rising out of the mist which covers the landscape below. The sun is shining brightly in the top left corner of the image

Image provided by VisitScotland/Airborne Lens

Ben Nevis, overlooking Glen Nevis, rising above the mist.


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