Creetown, named after the River Cree, on whose east bank this small town stands, was originally called Ferrytown Of Cree because many years ago there were ferries operating here with the purpose of taking pilgrims to Whithorn to visit the shrine of St Ninian. There being no wharf, boats used to be pulled up onto the beach. This feature, along with the nearby secluded coves, made Creetown an attractive port of call for the Isle Of Man gin and tobacco smugglers. In the 18th century a number of industrial activities started up in the area, including a grain mill, a lead shot mill, a tannery and a cotton mill. One of the area's more colourful characters was one James Connell, nicknamed "Beardie", who had he lived in the present would have been a contender for Worthing Birdman (see Worthing post). Connell made a set of wings from sheepskin and hooping in a bid to fly across the River Cree. Sadly, he failed in his attempt, suffering a broken ankle for his pains, but a reminder of him lives on in the form of a bridge called "Beardie's Bridge".
Creetown's "Hollywood moment" came with the filming of The Wicker Man, starring Britt Ekland and Edward Woodward. The town was one of several in the area to make an appearance in the film, which centred around a fictional west coast island called Summerisle. The Green Man bar scenes were filmed in the Ellangowan Hotel (although the exterior shots of the bar were filmed in Gatehouse Of Fleet). The hotel has photographs of scenes featuring the Green Man bar on its walls. Creetown's big event of the year is the Country Music Festival, which takes over three days in September.
Map of the area.
|Photo by John Lindsay, via Wikimedia Commons|