Marble Arch Caves

On a tour in Marble Arch Caves Fermanagh

One of the Marble Arch Caves guides leads a boat tour • Fermanagh

The Geology of the Marble Arch Caves

Walking through the woods on the way to the Marble Arch Caves

The path through the wood to the entrance of the cave • Fermanagh

Walking through the woods on the way to the Marble Arch Caves

The path through the wood to the entrance of the cave • Fermanagh

The Archaeology, History and Folklore of the Marble Arch Caves

Walking through the woods on the way to the Marble Arch Caves

The otherworldly interior of the cave • Fermanagh

‘After walking for nearly an hour among the rocks and precipices and waterfalls without end, I took the candle from the hands of my guide in order to look over a precipice, at the bottom of which I thought I could hear water running. How it came about I cannot tell, but the candle went out. ‘ Now,’ said my guide, in a melancholy voice, ‘ we’re done for ever, I would not move my foot from this place for a guinea.’ After having, with a great deal of trouble and effort, made the man at the entrance to the cavern hear, I was certain that he would go for lights, and set myself down tranquilly to pass the time, being much amused at the fright of my companion. ‘Have you ever seen him?’ I said. ‘Who?’ he answered. ‘The great devil who put out the candle with his cloven foot.’ ‘Oh no. Sir!’ he said, ‘it must have been the fairy. Oh, I am sure it was the fairy; she is jealous, and does not like anyone to come and bother her.’ ‘Oh’ said I, ‘was it the fairy ; then she is a damned bitch to have played us such a trick.’ ‘Oh, Sir, Sir!’ he cried, ‘don’t speak in that way about the good folk. You are on the edge of a precipice, and they could push you into it. I have never offended them, I respect them, and I am sure they will not harm me.’ At this last statement I could not refrain from laughing, and I called his attention to a faint ray of light which appeared at the bottom of the precipice, and this seemed to reassure him a little. Patiently we waited for our guide with the lights, who came about an hour later, and released us from this disagreeable situation.’

The cave would continue to keep its secrets for some time longer. Indeed, it would be more than one hundred and fifty years after de La Tocnaye re-emerged from the caves before light would finally be shone on some of the Marble Arch’s darkest depths.

Explore Ireland with the Experts

Enjoy a more meaningful relationship with Ireland. Don’t miss out, become a member today. Monthly and annual subscriptions available.

Join Today

Exploring the Marble Arch Caves

Enjoying the Marble Arch Caves boat tour

On tour in the Marble Arch Caves • Fermanagh

Enjoying the Marble Arch Caves boat tour

On tour in the Marble Arch Caves • Fermanagh

Visiting the Marble Arch Caves

The pathways inside the Marble Arch Cave

A path through the darkness • Fermanagh

Upper left: the Marble Arch Caves Visitor Centre • Lower left: a walkway traversing a chamber • Right: a flow formation

Top: the Marble Arch Caves Visitor Centre • Middle: a flow formation • Bottom: a walkway traverses the chamber

Get to know the old place

Join Today

Explore more sites in Northern Ireland

  • Down — Northern Ireland — Places to Visit in Ireland
    June 1, 2022
  • Fermanagh — Northern Ireland — Places to Visit in Ireland
    September 9, 2022
  • Fermanagh — Northern Ireland — Places to Visit in Ireland
    June 8, 2022
Main Search Page