Wicker woman Stornoway Lews Castle Grounds at dusk

- Image ID: D8HFE8
Tony Smith / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: D8HFE8
Lews Castle (Scottish Gaelic: Caisteal Leòdhais) is a Victorian era castle located west of the town of Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland. The name Stornoway (Scottish Gaelic-'Steornabhagh') derives from 'Sjornavagr', the Old Norse for 'steering bay'. Stornoway has been settled since at least Viking times although there is archaeological evidence of Neolithic activity in the near vicinity of the town. The Wicker Woman of Lews Castle looks extra spooky at dusk. She has now blown down and been recently damaged after many months of gliding through the grounds. It is a clever nod to the cult classic film 'The Wicker Man' (or the Wickerman) which was set on a fictional Summerisle, a remote Hebridean island famed for its popular and unusually abundant fruit produce. The film stars Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, Diane Cilento, Ingrid Pitt, and Britt Ekland. Paul Giovanni composed the soundtrack. The story centres on the visit of Police Sergeant Howie to the isolated island of Summerisle, in search of a missing girl the locals claim never existed. Howie, a devout Christian, is appalled to find that the inhabitants of the island practise a form of Celtic paganism. The film was shot almost entirely in the small Scottish towns of Gatehouse of Fleet, Newton Stewart, Kirkcudbright and a few scenes in the village of Creetown in Dumfries and Galloway, as well as Plockton in Ross-shire. The Wicker Man had moderate success and won first prize in the 1974 Festival of Fantastic Films in Paris, but largely slipped into obscurity. In 1977 the American film magazine Cinefantastique devoted a commemorative issue to the film, asserting that the film is "the Citizen Kane of horror movies" – an oft-quoted phrase attributed to this issue A remake, starring Nicolas Cage and Ellen Burstyn and directed by Neil LaBute was released on September 1, 2006. It was a failure at the box office and today it has a significant cult following as an unintentional comedy.