Tag Archives: Gugh

Old Man of Gugh

The substance of this post was originally published a year or so ago, but the lighting of the image has been modified a little to capture something of the mystery I associate with the Old Man.

Gugh is a small island in the Isles of Scilly off the south west tip of England.  It is one km long and 0.5km wide and is joined to the larger island of St Agnes by a sand bar.  As a consequence it is accessible only at low tide.  There are just two houses on Gugh.  The island has several entrance graves, cairns and burial mounds dating from the Bronze Age.  The Old Man of Gugh is a menhir (a standing stone) 2.7metres tall and belongs to that period.

I always see in this picture a tall old man with white beard, bracing himself against the strong Atlantic winds.  At the stroke of midnight he begins his steady walk of a watchman guarding his territory, returning to his post before the first cock crow.

There is more background information in my post The Isles of Scilly.

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Scilly Rocks

Several months ago, I wrote about the Isles of Scilly, located almost 30 miles off the south west tip of Cornwall:
‘In addition to their natural beauty and evidence of earlier cultures  –  such as the standing stone on Gugh and various cysts and burial chambers from the Bronze Age  –  the Isles have an air of mystery about them.  Especially St Agnes.  Granite outcrops suggest strange creatures from a fantasy or mythological world  –  giant lizards, serpents, turtles, birds of prey  ………   You are never alone on St Agnes!’

I am returning to the topic.  I have since remastered the original photos in an attempt to capture a little more of the magic and mystery of the rocks. I intend to post the results today and in my next post.  All of the pictures are from St Agnes.  The background context to the images can be found at The Isles of Scilly and The Two Faces of St Agnes.

The first image was not actually used previously. It is a natural outcrop, known locally as the Nag’s Head, and seems to have been used as a standing stone in the distant past. In my wife’s novel, Narwhal, it is the focal point for a pagan ritualistic dance.

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Filed under Imaginings, Minimalist, Nature, photography, Shore, Texture, Uncategorized