Friday, 28 December 2012


This is Schrawynghop, the Marsh of Daemons, Oare Marshes in modern English, on Swale Creek off the Medway. Nearby are the Shining Cliffs, the white chalk cliffs of Kent. In the Anglo-Saxon story Beowulf, the oldest in the English language, the monster Grendal lived here.

The Kent marshes are largely drained now but the heavy rain this year has saturated the soil, returning this last remnant to something resembling its original state.

Looking out on the Isle of Harty from the site of Harty Ferry. Harty is now part of the Isle of Sheppy. This is the probable site of Heorot in the poem. In the Dark Ages Harty would have been a hill in a marsh open to the sea to the east at Warden Point. The Swale has been heavily canalised like most English waterways.


  1. Thanks, John.

    I was thinking this would look great in early morning light, but the grey clouds make it look even moodier and darker this way.

  2. Dear Paul
    It is a very N European sky. Heavy cloud cover and the light low on the horizon.

  3. Thank you for these lovely photos. Knowing that these sites are associated with the Beowulf legend, a poem I remember well from university Anglo-Saxon, and the wintry air about them gives these images a slightly eerie feel.

  4. You can almost see Beowulf searching for where Grendal is hiding in the marsh.

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