In September 1986 a car was driven from the neighbouring town of Buckhaven, down Jonathan’s Brae and into Jonathan’s Cave, where it was deliberately set alight. This event tragically resulted in the irreversible destruction of a number of carvings in Jonathan’s Cave including some of Pictish beasts and one depicting a swan.
It was this destructive act of vandalism which served as a principal catalyst in the formation of the Save Wemyss Ancient Caves Society (SWACS) on October 8th, 1986. Since its inception members of SWACS have worked tirelessly and creatively in order to promote and protect the Wemyss Caves and their unique carvings.
The society has functioned through the passion and commitment of its local volunteers, who have sacrificed a great deal of time and expense to ensuring the preservation of this historically unique setting.
In 2013 (April 16th) SWACS was unanimously congratulated in the Scottish Parliament during a debate instigated by local MSP, David Torrance. In 2014, SWACS, alongside York Archaeological Trust (YAT) and Scottish Coastal Archaeology and the Problem of Erosion (SCAPE) were awarded a certificate of excellence by the British Archaeological Awards for the visualisation of Jonathan’s Cave and the creation of the Wemyss 4D website.