From rock-dwelling giants to mermaids and seals who steal the hearts of local women, Scotland’s islands still today teem with tales of their legendary pasts. We are in the Isle of Skye, a point of interest in the Scottish Highlands is a site of folkloric mysticism and natural grandeur. One of the most spectacular sights of the Trotternish Peninsula, in the northeastern region of the Island, which was formed by a colossal landslide in ancient times, is the Old Man of Storr, a rock pinnacle of 50 m in height, so named on account of the rock’s outline resembling the profile of an old man.
The “Storr”, which refers to the group of looming outcrops that include and surround the Old Man, is a title derived from the Norse word for “Great Man”, and in fact folklore swirls around the rocky pinnacle.
According to the legend, the Old Man of Storr was a giant who had lived in Trotternish Ridge and when he was buried, his thumb remained partially above ground, creating the famous jagged landscape.
But other stories have created further mystery and romance around this site, and one tells of a brownie, a Scottish hobgoblin-type creature, who are said to have done good deeds for the families they chose to serve. On the Isle of Skye, it is said a villager called O’Sheen saved the life of a one of these creatures and the two becoming firm friends. When O’Sheen died from a broken heart following the death of his wife, the devastated Brownie took it upon himself to chisel two rocks: one in memory of O’Sheen and a smaller one to remember his wife.
The Old Man of Storr towers over the Sound of Rasaay at an elevation of more than 700 meters, and a hike up the grassy mounds toward the group of curious pinnacle rocks that surround the Old Man offers incredible panoramic views of the water and the surrounding mainland.
This unusual and immensely picturesque landscape has left an impression on a number of cultural works, including The Wicker Man (1973), the film Prometheus (2012) which filmed some of the opening scenes here, and Snow White and the Huntsman, in the same year.
Photos from web – google research