ANGUS MCPHEE - Weaver of Grass

ANGUS MCPHEE or MACPHEE was a crofter from Uist who spent almost 50 years in a Highland psychiatric hospital. During this time he chose not to speak - instead he wove a series of incredible costumes out of grass. These he hung on trees in the hospital grounds.

This blog follows the progress of HORSE + BAMBOO THEATRE as they develop and tour a show about Angus....

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

1997 - 2011

By chance I came across the upper photograph on the CANMORE site. This is the website of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland no less, and it includes the photograph apparently taken by Mary Miers (who holds the copyright for it), and the accompanying information refers to 12th May 1997 - perhaps the date it was taken? 

So the house where Angus lived as a young man is recorded on this august site, including accompanying archaeological information - "A crofting township comprising twenty-four roofed buildings, two of which are L-shaped buildings, and two unroofed buildings is depicted on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Inverness-shire, Hebrides, South Uist 1882, sheet xlviii). Fifteen roofed, one partially roofed and six unroofed buildings are shown on the current edition of the OS 1:10000 map (1971)."  

Below it is my own photograph from 2010, fortuitously taken from almost the same position as in 1997. The deterioration in the house is marked. It made me wonder what status the building has, if it is considered worthy of inclusion in the Canmore lists?

By the way the site is included for its 'archaeological' importance - nothing to do with Angus at all. I'm sure no one involved was conscious of his existence back then. It's also wrongly labelled as 53 Balgarva rather than 52, although patcmbll posted to Canmore in May this year pointing out the mistake.

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