Sunday, September 09, 2007

Dun Bonnet's Cave

Northern Entrance
Back in July I found myself on an unscheduled search for the cave of the 'Dun Bonnet of Foyers', aka. James Fraser, the IXth of Foyers who reportedly hid out there for seven years following Culloden. Although I published a picture of a cave then, both of us who were there knew that it was not the right one. Today my elder son and I went off on a serious search - and returned successful.

As previously reported the cave is not a tourist attraction. Indeed the moss on the boulders surrounding it looked as if it had been growing undisturbed for a decade or more. It is also not particularly roomy.

James Fraser was apparently kept supplied to some extent by the good people of Foyers and no doubt he did some hunting, fishing and trapping. It seems to me that seven weeks concealed in this cave, with a little bread and other essentials appearing every second day, would be a good selection exercise for a potential SAS recruit. But seven years with no known end date would have taken an enormous physical and mental toll, even on a tough Highlander! I can't understand why he didn't head off to exile in France like the rest of them.

An anonymous comment on my July 'Dun Bonnet' post noted, Fans of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series will know well the story of the Dun Bonnet from the 3rd novel of the series, Voyager. The one difference being that in Voyager, it is the Dun Bonnet of Lallybroch!

Floor of the cave (not great for sleeping!)
If you would like to be guided 'off the beaten track' to investigate some Scottish heritage or history, just email me .

3 comments: said...

I believe that in one of the books, it was mentioned that Jamie tried to get away to France, but couldn't get to the docks. They were too well guarded.

Anonymous said...

I have read and reread the Outlander books for years, Jamie Fraser in the books stayed to be near his family, and because, thinking the love of his life was lost to him forever, appreciated the solitude the cave afforded him. He had wanted to die at Culloden, when he didn't die physically he died emotionally, I think Diana used the cave as a literary parallel to a tomb or in he might as well have been dead because he couldn't go on living without Claire. He eventually had one of his tenants give him up and claim the reward money to support his family/tenants that he was laird to. Either way....thanks for sharing the picture....we Outlander fans love to see the places Jamie and Claire may have been!

Unknown said...

In the book, Jamie was given information about how long it would be appropriate to hide. He knew it would eventually be safe to come out of hiding.