A mere ten feet below a suburb of Edinburgh Scotland, lies Gilmerton Cove, a mysterious network of tunnels and carved passageways. How old is this cove and what was it used for? There are many theories.
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 record states that the place was created by a blacksmith by the name of George Paterson in 1724. Until recently, no one had any proof to the contrary. Yet Julian Spalding believes that it may have been a temple used by the druids centuries ago and then buried to protect the sacred nature of the place. He says that the construction of the temple is too complicated for one blacksmith alone to make, and believes that Paterson simply discovered the place and used it for himself.
Now just because this place could have existed before Paterson, doesn’t necessarily make it a sacred druid site. There isn’t concrete proof to say that this is the case. But it is an interesting theory. And the carvings in the wall could a spiritual significance.
In the 1740’s, the site was used by the Hellfire club, a gentleman’s club that turned the cove into a den of vice: a place for drinking, enjoying music and sexual activity. Some researchers even believe that there were religious practices linked to these sex parties.
Then there are some other theories; that it was used by the Free Masons, and even the Knights Templar. Are any of these theories true? Who knows.
But it is interesting to think that just below the surface of a sleepy mining town and suburb, lies a piece of history, possibly charged with spiritual significance.
The isolation of these temples creates an intensified spiritual connection for the visitors. The practice started in central Aisa and migrated East over time. While some places of worship use architectural height to draw attention up to the heavens, these cave temples highlight the value of spiritual treasures that lie within (Source: The Open Mind).
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Yathae Pyan Cave: Kayin state, Myanmar
Pindaya Caves: Pindaya, Myanmar
Wat Tham Erawan: Nong Bua Lamphu province, Thailand
Yungang Grottoes: Shanxi, China
Khao Luang Cave Temple: Phetburi, Thailand