Cleeves Cove or Blair Cove is a cave system on the Dusk Water in North Ayrshire, Scotland, close to the town of Dalry. The Cleeves, or Cleaves Cove (Scots) cave system is situated in the lower bed of carboniferous limestone. It measures around 500 feet if all the passages were put together. The caves are now well above the level of the Dusk Water and lie close to Cleeves Farm and Blair Mill on the Blair Estate. Many of the stalactites and stalagmites have been damaged by visitors. The cave has three practical entrances facing onto the Dusk Water.
The word 'Cove' in Scots means 'Cave'. John Smith published a monograph entitled Cleaves Cove Stalactites and Stalagmites, published by Mr. Elliot Stock in which he provided drawings and a detailed description of these structures within the cave system, many of which have been destroyed. The site was previously known as the 'Elfhouse' or 'Elfhame' the locals at that time believed that these magical creatures had made this their abode. Ness calls the site 'Glen O'Dusk' or the Elf-hame, the caves being the Elf-house.
The cave system was created in the Dusk Glen when the waters of the Dusk (Gaelic for 'black water') ran through and eroded the limestone, followed by a period when it was relatively dry allowing the stalactites and stalagmites to form and finally a progressive infilling with soil washed in from above, resulting in a partial infilling of the caves and passageways; at this point John Smith obtained permission from Captain Blair, R.N., of Blair House to explore and ultimately remove some 300 tons of material.
The cave now lies 40 feet above the Dusk Water due to the excavation of the gorge by the river. Near the middle is a spacious chamber, 35 feet long by 27 broad and 12 high. The internal surfaces of the chambers and passageways are covered with calcareous incrustations and numerous crevices branch off in all directions. It was regarded in Victorian times as one of the greatest natural curiosities in Ayrshire.