The latest research at Gilmerton Cove suggests that the mysterious network of underground tunnels was once a Druid temple that dates back more than 2000 years. For centuries, the hand-carved passageways and hidden chambers have been linked to smugglers, the Knights Templar, and witchcraft.
Gilmerton Cove is located in Gilmerton, a suburb of Edinburgh, Scotland. In 2003, it was opened for visitors, and ever since then it has been an educational and fun attraction. At the same time, the site’s still an object of restoration and conservation work, preserving it for future generations. Most experts who research this site have been unable to pinpoint the true origins behind several stone tables and chairs found within Gilmerton Cove.
Inside Gilmerton Cove. (CC BY SA 2.0)According to Julian Spalding, a writer, art expert, historian, and the former head of Glasgow's museums and galleries, the temple could have been in use for centuries. He believes that further work at Gilmerton Cove may unlock many of the secrets connected with the mysterious labyrinth.
The official records state that this place was created by local blacksmith George Paterson in 1724. Until now, nobody had proof for anything different. However, now Spalding may found the right way to explain the origins of the site. He claims that a temple was deliberately buried by the ancient Druids to protect the sacred nature of the place. He is convinced that Paterson simply dug out rubble used to fill in the remains of the temple. As Spalding told the Scotsman newspaper:
“It is very probable that the whole complex was deliberately buried, a widespread ancient practice which prevented the subsequent defilement of sacred sites. This interpretation explains why two passages are still blocked by unexcavated rubble. It is inexplicable why Paterson should have filled them up after going to the immense trouble of excavating them. The work is beautifully consistent throughout and indicates a team of highly-skilled craftsmen, with numerous assistants, guided by a mastermind.”
- Medieval mass grave lay hidden just two feet below a college in Scotland
- Archaeologists in Scotland investigate the mystery of the Rhynie Man
- Woe of the Witches – The Elevated Flying Rowan Tree
- Thoth’s Storm: New Evidence for Ancient Egyptians in Ireland?
Portrait of Sir Francis Dashwood, 11th Baron le Despencer, by William Hogarth. (Public Domain)Spalding believes that the shapes of the rooms and passages is related to the womb, and were carved during Celtic times, or from an even earlier culture. He claims that the identification of Gilmerton Cove as a Druid temple makes sense with all the evidence. According to his research, the site is dated back to the Iron Age and it contains lots of proof for its origins because of its good condition. Spalding summarized:
Nowadays, the entrance to Gilmerton Cove is through what looks like a traditional mining cottage. Julian Spalding hopes that it will receive a world heritage status. If the future works in Gilmerton Cove confirm Spalding’s hypothesis, it will be another place on the Druid path, joining locations like Rosslyn near Edinburgh, Cairnpapple cairn near Bathgate, Dingwall (the ancient Viking capital of Scotland), Callanish (the land of the goddess Brigit), and many others.“Druids were known to meet in secret in woods and caves away from habitation. Gilmerton is on a high ridge, marked with megaliths, overlooking Cramond, the site of mankind’s earliest settlement in Scotland, and, later, a Roman Fort. If it is a Druid temple, discovered by chance in the 18th Century, then it will be the first substantial archaeological evidence of this sophisticated and highly-secretive priesthood.”
Archaeologists Sam Badger and Magnus Kirby investigate the mysterious tunnels. (Pamela Grigg)Historical sites connected with Druids are also in other parts of the UK. According to the Independent, at the village of Stanway, Essex, near Colchester, the grave of an Iron Age man was found in 1996. The remains are known as the ‘Druid of Colchester’ and were dated to about 40-60 AD. He could have been a Druid, a medical doctor, or both.
The bones were discovered among a number of graves of important people from this period. The wooden chambered burial site included not only human remains, but also a board game, a decorated cloak, a jet bead (which is believed to have magical properties), and medical equipment. The medical kit consisted of 13 instruments, such as scalpels, needles, surgical saw, hooks, sharp and blunt retractors, etc.
Surgical Tools found with the ‘Druid of Colchester.’ (Public Domain)Featured Image: A tunnel in Gilmerton Cove. Source: John Dale/CC BY SA 2.0
By Natalia Klimczak