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Caithness Field Club

Caithness Field Club Bulletin

A Cave Below Castle Varrich
by Geoff Leet 

The First Statistical Account of Scotland 1791 (page 476) mentions a cave below Castle Varrich and it would be interesting to refind it. If it can be refound it will confirm the reliability of the writer in other statements. The cave appears to have been concealed, so may be known only to persons who were once adventurous children in the area.

To quote from the Account - the extract of which is shown below - "Perhaps it (Castle Varrich) was possessed by John Mackay Abarach, the greatest name for heroism in this part of the Highlands; and, what renders this conjecture the more plausible, there is a cave in the rock on which the castle was built, called Leabuidh Eoin Abaruich i.e. John of Lochaber's Bed, whither he is said to have retired in times of danger."

The hero died about AD1450. George Watson surmises that he would not have hidden in that cave if he had the castle, nor if a foe occupied the castle, so perhaps the castle was built after 1450.
If anyone knows where the cave is, I would very much appreciate the information.

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