Wemyss Castle Fife Scotland
As can be seen it is more palace than castle. A short walk away are the ruins of MacDuff Castle connected with the family.
Wemyss is a common term in Scotland - its origin is in the Gaelic word for cave.It is used to refer to ancient underground dwellings used by the Picts in times of war either as places to live or as places to hide family and precious goods in.
Below the Castle are some large caves, from which it is thought the name Wemyss comes from.
Apparantly the village of East Wemyss was once featured on the web site of the Fife Post. In this article they stated that the Parish of Wemyss was named after the famous caves in the area. The name, it is said, was derived from the (Scottish) Gaelic word "Uiam" meaning "cave". This Gaelic word, when used by people speaking in Old English became "Weim" or "Weem". It then evolved over time into the villages present name "Wemyss".
Elsewhere linguists scholars also have said that Wemyss is derived from the Gaelic word "Uiam" meaning cave. It later became "uamh"[oo-arv or oorv], which later evolved into Weim and Weem. If "-ais" is added onto the end of the word (eg "Uiam" becomes "Uiamais") the meaning changes to "at the cave". This variant of the word evolved over time into Wemyss.
A third view we have found is that a cave in the old Gaelic or Celtic (Scottish variant), was called vumhs or wamh; from that these lands received the name of Vumhs-shire--Wemys-shire.
It is interesting to note that one of the authors writes their name in gaelic as Uaimeas (derived from Scottish Gaelic) whereas the other author writes there name in Gaelic as Debhuimh (which is of course derived from the Irish Gaelic).
There are several major caves at Weymss, each with its own name. Thay are all at the base of the cliff (as shown in the picture above of Wemyss Castle), and they look out across the Firth of Forth estury to the North sea.
The picture to the left is the view from one of the caves - this one is actually called Weymss Cave. In a sort of cryptic sense- we could say that this is a picture of the origin of the family name.
Wemyss Bay on the West cost of Scotland is sometimes assumed to be the place of origin of the Wemyss - but this is in fact wrong. In local legend it is thought that Wemyss Bay is named after a well known local character/resident who had the name Wemyss.