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Candle Cave

Rinns of Galloway, Larbrax, Cave Ochtrie Point, Wigtownshire.

NGR:NW 97626 59035
WGS84:54.88498, -5.15661
Length:Not recorded
Vert. Range:Not recorded
Altitude:Not recorded
Geology:Kirkcolm Formation - Wacke

A raised beach sea cave on the west side of Knockgour below Cave Ochtree Point.

From the History of the Hereditary Sheriffs of Galloway;

"And further to discredit the Sheriff, who was not at all disposed to be a willing tool in the hands of the Council-they ordered him to grant deputations to John Graham of Claverhouse, and the Lairds of Lagg and Earshall. These new deputes, who virtually superseded the Sheriff-principal, soon gave him a lesson how to treat schismatics with becoming rigour; and concurrently with their arrival, a large force of horse and foot, the latter represented by 6000 wild Highlanders, were turned loose on unhappy Galloway. As to this Highland host, it is related, that, " having received a general licence, they carried off every portable article from the houses of the inhabitants, and even stopped travellers on the highway and robbed them of wearing-apparel. These 6000 rapacious Highland soldiers, unaccustomed alike to the language and manners of civilized life, commanded by their own chiefs, clad in a strange garb, spread desolation and consternation whenever they approached."1 The recusancy of the Earl of Cassilis, in protesting against the Conventicle Act, had not been forgiven by the party in power, and consequently 1500 of this Highland host were now quartered in Carrick, who exacted free quarters, and ravaged and plundered his estates. The Council required him further to sign a bond making himself answerable that none of his family, tenants, or labourers, should attend Conventicle; this as a simple matter of prudence he refused to do, upon which he was declared an outlaw, and the Royal Commissioners, in the hey-day of their exercise of high prerogative, would at once have arrested them, had not the king himself demurred at such a proceeding, and warned them against pushing things too far. Troubles now thickened round the heads of Presbyterians (1. Mackenzie).

In 1679, Gordon of Earlston, who inherited the dauntless spirit of the old "Patriarch; "Patrick M'Dowall of Freuch (who had succeeded his father Uchtred in 1670) ; and Thomas Hay of Park, the Sheriff's father-in-law, were all summoned to appear before the council on a charge of having been present at conventicles. Acting under orders of which the old local authorities had no cognizance, the Highland host proceeded to acts of more daring aggression ; and with or without orders (the result being the same for the sufferers), they extended their system of pillage to the baronage themselves, quartering themselves at pleasure in their houses, and appropriating whatever they chose. The Sheriff, having removed his family to a place of safety, remained himself upon his estates, although treated little better than an outlaw. He had to abandon his castle to the Highlanders, and was often driven, Sheriff as he was, to seek shelter in strange hiding-places, his eldest son being his only companion. In Larbrax Bay, beneath the Sea King's Camp, is a cave which, in place of opening upon the sea-beach, is entered by a small aperture through the heathery hill above. The approach is so narrow that, in order to enter, a full-grown man must crawl backwards, till, after threading a short winding passage, a moderately-sized chamber is reached, perfectly dark, but quite concealed from view. In this undesirable abode, the haunt of the sea-otter or the chough, the good Sheriff frequently lay concealed, in a sorry way for creature comforts, whilst the Highlanders took their ease at his castle of Lochnaw. This military visitation is to this day looked back upon as a family misfortune; innumerable relics of olden times-arms, pictures, furnishings, and all such heirlooms as naturally accumulate during an occupation of many generations-were coolly carried off or ruthlessly destroyed by these kilted crusaders, on whose departure the Whig Sheriff found his ancient home almost as bare of furniture as were his temporary quarters by the sea-shore. [Agnew 1864]

Sir Andrew Agnew of Lochnaw, in 1671, on the 20th Nov. of which year he had sasine of Lochnaw, and the office of sheriff. He had married, in 1656, Jane, daughter of Sir Thomas Hay of Park, who had settled on her for life the lands of Auchness, Chapelrossan, Park, Balangoun, and Grennan. This Sir Andrew lived in troublous times. He had even to remove his family from Lochnaw to a place of safety, Galloway being at the time overrun by some 6000 Highlanders, brought to live at free quarters on the lowlands, by way of punishing the Presbyterians. At last he had to go into hiding, often taking refuge in a cave at Larbrax Bay, accompanied by his eldest son, while the Highlanders occupied Lochnaw. During this period the Castle was plundered of everything that could be carried away or destroyed. Sir Andrew preserved his papers by taking them with him. [Paterson 1870]

Alternate Names: Sir Andrew Agnew's Cave

Notes: There is as yet no evidence that this cave was the particular cave used by Sir Andrew. Larbrax Bay is part of the wider Broadsea Bay which along its length has also Drumwhistley Cave, Larbrax Fort Cave and Knockgour Cave.

Hydrographic Feeds: Irish Sea

Hydrographic Resurgences: Irish Sea

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This entry was last updated: 2020-11-02 14:35:20

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