The Cave of Sawney Beane
A cave located here on Bennane Head is rumored to be the cave of the notorius 15th century mass-murders, Sawney Beane and his family. This cave served as their home during their 25 year reign of terror and the spot where they were finally captured.
The Cave in the Legend
Folklore says that Sawney Beane was a low-down criminal that wanted little to do with society. He found a woman with similar feelings and the two moved into this cave. In order to find food and money, the two took to the road and robbed and murdered travelers and brought their remains back to the cave to cook and eat. Over the 25 years, the duo had children and grandchildren, who also participated in their acts. The total number, produced through incest and debauchery, was rumored to be 46 sons, daughters and grandchildren. The group became known as the Sawney Beane Clan. It was said that at high-tide, the cave was covered up and that is the reason why they went undiscovered for so long.
On one night, the clan attempted to rob a man and woman returning from a fair nearby. The man put up a fight, but the clan devoured the woman when she fell from her horse. It was then that a group of over 30 people also returning from the fair rounded the corner and witnessed the attack. The clan retreated and the story was relayed on to the King, who quickly ordered a massive manhunt. Initially, the caves were ignored but at the constant barking of their tracking dogs, they decided to look into the caves. There, they found partially eaten human corpses, the rotting remains of countless others, the loot the family had built up over the years and finally, the family themselves who were hiding at the far end of the cave. The family was captured and taken North to Edinburgh where they were quickly executed for their crimes.
The Cave Today
Though the story may have been nothing more than an invention of the writers of pennyliners, this cave still draws in curious onlookers to this date. It is located 150 feet below the car park at Bennane Head. It is noted how difficult it is to see the cave entrance standing right by it, which can further be hampered by the tide (see above). If you decide to go, be aware of the tides at the time you are planning and prepare for a steep hike.