The Bodach and Cailleach, Gigha, Argyll

Sacred Stones:  OS Grid Reference – NR 6382 4730

Folklore

The Bodach and the Cailleach
The Bodach & the Cailleach

On this “Isle of the Gods” — as some historians proclaim Gigha to mean — the ancient rites and ceremonies of local folk continued until pretty recent times.  One writer narrated some intriguing pre-christian events connected to this curious and little-known place, speaking of indigenous heathen rites:

“These are in fact known to have persisted on the island until well into the early part of the (19th) century when Irish fishermen could still be seen climbing the little hill of Moinean Sitheil, in the sacred Moss of Peace below Ardminish, to pay homage to the “Old Ones” of Gigha: a pair of ancient legend-shrouded stones known as the Bodach and the Cailleach, that from time immemorial have stood upon a low green knoll below the farm of Achamore.

“Through the countless ages the strange jug-headed little Bodach and his smaller consort have kept steadfast vigil over Gigha: their mysterious aura said to guarantee its continuing fertility and prosperity as they link the thriving island of today with beliefs and traditions having roots in the earth-cults and sun-worship of primeval times.  In the past folk would have honoured them with offerings of meal or milk and even now they still command considerable local affectation and respect, albeit expressed in less overtly pagan ways.  And so they stand as ever upon their tiny hillock gazing out across tumbling terraces of old Cantereoch and beautiful Ardlamey Bay, inscrutable and silent, yet with a strangely ‘knowing’ air impossible to define.”

References:

  1. Anonymous, Exploring Historic Kintyre and the Isle of Gigha, Harlequin Press: Oban n.d.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

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  55.661677, -5.756533 Bodach and Cailleach

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