The sculpture depicts a Spriggan – a mythical creature, usually of rather ill disposition, which is said to be a guardian of abandoned ruins, barrows and buried treasures. Sometimes Spriggans would even steal human children and leave their own ugly offspring behind, so be on guard if out walking with your kids!
This particular Spriggan is a work of an internationally acclaimed London-based sculptor, Marilyn Collins. Interestingly, it has inspired the horror writer Stephen King to write his short story Crouch End. Apparently, King was directed to the Parkland Walk by his friend, Peter Straub when he asked for a good place for a walk. Looking at the sculpture pushing its way through the wall, one can almost see how it inspired King to write a story about a different world, inhabited by demons and monsters, separated from our own only by a thin veil, which would sometimes give way, letting an unsuspecting person through to their doom.
The sculpture has also been said to be a tribute to a ghostly “goat-man” who allegedly haunted this particular area in the mid 1980s. Be as it may, local children would still play a game of dare to walk from the Crouch End Hill bridge to the Crouch Hill bridge in the dark, past this sculpture.
It is accessible 24/7, all year round. Do you know of any other Spriggans in London?
Hazel Baker is a qualified CIGA Tour Guide who delivers guided walks and private tours in London. View all of Hazel’s walking tours.