It is over 30m deep and is formed from the action of the stream, Crichope Burn, on the soft sandstone that underlies much of the area. The gorge was long believed to harbour supernatural beings, and a natural rock cell, the "Elf's Kirk" (since broken up for building stone), stood at its entrance. A natural archway on the footpath along the side of the gorge bears many 18th and 19th century inscriptions, supposedly including one by Robert Burns.
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