Constantine’s Cave

Constantine’s Cave CRA O NO632100 1 5m

Constantine’s Cave 1855 OS 6 inch 1st edn

pn Constantine + SSE cave

According to local traditions, the cave is named either after Constantine I who was killed there by Danes in 874 (Leighton 1840 iii, 90) or after Constantine II, son of Áed, king of Alba (900–43), likewise supposedly killed by Scandinavians (MacKinlay 1859, 209–11; OSA, 171, quoted under Danes Dike CRA, below). Neither of these traditions is historically reliable.

The cave was excavated in 1914, and evidence of occupation was found: the remains of a wall across the mouth of the cave, bones (deer, oxen, sheep, horse, rabbit and whale), sea-food remains, part of a Roman glass bottle and fragments of Roman amphorae, fragments of Romano-British ware, and more. The walls of the cave have been carved with two animal figures and a number of crosses dated by the excavators to 800 × 1000 AD. Stone coffins were found near the cave, but they may have nothing to do with the various uses and occupations of the cave itself (NMRS NO61SW 6).

This place-name appeared in printed volume 3