(Based on and used with permission from the wicker-man.com site which was written circa mid-2000s.)
Whithorn is a town near the south coast of Scotland. A number of scenes from Wicker Man were shot here.The most recognizable of its locations is Whithorn Library, which served as Summerisle library in the movie. The sign above the door has not changed since the time of filming. The library facade and neighbouring houses can also be seen in the film when the children of Summerisle chant 'we carry death out of the village' . With the exception of recently added wheelchair ramps, the scene remains exactly as it does in The Wicker Man.
The Summerisle library and registry office interiors were filmed within the building.
A cottage in Whithorn, 59 George St, also served as the upstairs bedrooms and landings of the Green Man inn. (See this for floorplans as it used in the movie.)The front of 59 George St.
A plaque in front of that house.As you can see from the following photographs, its recent owners had not yet fully moved into the premises when they kindly allowed wicker- man.com to picture their house. Alder's bedroom in particular is largely unchanged since the time of filming. Although the original woodwork in Howie's room has been painted over, it is also clearly recognizable.
It is often wrongly claimed that Willow's bedroom ( interior and exterior ) was filmed in Gatehouse Of Fleet, some miles away from Howie's room. It has since passed into legend that the scene was shot in two separate locations. This is an odd claim, especially as the woodwork is identical in both rooms seen during the sequence.
This mistake has possibly arisen because the Gatehouse building that served as the Green Man's frontage has an L-shaped rear similar to the familiar shots of willow's room. Please read our Gatehouse Of Fleet location report for more details.
Here are some shots of the rear of 59 George St. Willow's room would be the window on the left, Howie's the one to the immediate right, adjacent to it.
The area where Lord Summerisle stood admiring the copulating snails, among other things, is now the site of a garage. Similarly, no evidence of rhubarb could be found during our visit! (the shots of the garden in front of the rhubarb plants where Lord Summerisle presents Ash to Willow)
Willow's bedroom has now been sub-divided into two smaller rooms. With the present house-owner's help we were able to confirm that, despite the changes, the original room door and windows are in the appropriate places and their woodwork is identical to that seen on screen. The cupboard doors which Britt Eckland banged upon have since been lost during the conversion. However, with a keen eye ( and a small amount of building development knowledge ) the rooms are very much identifiable as willow's famous bedroom.
Both the front and rear windows of the old double room can be seen in the film. The front window still has the same woodwork surrounds that can be seen on screen. A cupboard has since been placed into the lip in the wall adjacent to Willow's rear window. And, indeed, Willow's rear...
(image hosted elsewhere, NSFW)
The previous owner of the house for many years was Mrs Ruby Kirk, now deceased. Mrs Kirk often insisted that her house was definitely used to film Willow's now famous seduction. She was correct.
The hairdresser's shop, only seen in the director's cut, was listed as Elizabeth R Smith hairdressers at 23 Church Street on a call sheet but since there is no Church St in Whithorn, it is most likely a typo for George St. A building matches the descriptions there. (See this page for more info.)
Also of note in Whithorn is the scene involving pregnant women walking thru the apples trees. Locals can recall this area being filmed in the fields that back onto the village. This would match up with the film's production sheets, however it is difficult to ascertain whether footage filmed here made it to the film itself. Hardy says it was shot at David Hemming's gardens in Kent... (12/13/15)
Much gratitude is due to James Redfern and his parents for allowing us access to their house which enabled us to write this article. Their hospitality was way above the call of duty.