[From Abel Heywood Illustrated Guide 1903]
THE Isle of Man is no longer the favourite resort of a few Lancashire and Yorkshire people merely; it now attracts visitors from all parts of England, Scotland, and Ireland. As the years have rolled by since it was " whispered into famousness," nearly half a century ago, the tide of summer visitors has risen to a height as unexpected as it has been agreeable to the natives, and that rise may be fairly put down to the almost unrivalled salubrity of its climate, its natural beauties, and the peculiar quaintness and wealth of its history. Since the first steamer sailed with " strangers from Liverpool," in 1831, a small craft of 200 tons burden, and 100 horse power engines, called the " Mona's Isle," a noble fleet has been placed on the various stations in communication with Douglas, and instead of a few hundreds of passengers being conveyed, the steamboats now number their passengers by hundreds of thousands annually. Mona is a small island truly; it is only 33 miles long, and from 9 to 11 miles broad, and its circumference does not exceed 76 miles; but small as it is, it teems with lovely and strangely varied scenery, and with objects of historic interest. Mountains of considerable height, and valleys of exceeding beauty, abound ; whilst its streams, rendered picturesque by cascade and fall, furnish splendid sport for the angler. Historically, its attractions are peculiar. It possessed kings in the early centuries of the Christian era. It has been the scene of fierce battles, in which Danish, Scotch, Norwegian, and Irish blood has been spilt like water. It has had the Christian faith taught in it, without let or hindrance, since the days of St. Patrick. Relics of its eventful history are found thickly strewn over the land, and are pointed out to the visitor with the pardonable pride of possession which such a heritage engenders in the most debascd minds. The arms of the Isle of Man, consisting of three legs, bent at the knee, and joined together, are borrowed from Sicily. As early as the third century before Christ the Greeks used this device to symbolise the triangular island, with its three capes, one at each angle. It is supposed that some time in the middle ages a Prince of Man married a Princess of Sicily, and adopted her arms as his own. In the year 1851, the population numbered 52,116, at the last census (1891) 55,598. Since then the number of inhabitants has largely increased, being at the present time not less than 70,000. Douglas, the principal town, haying a population of considerably over 20,000. The Island has suffered in consequence of the absence of manufacturing industries, but during the last few years the leading inhabitants have been trying to revive decaying industries and to establish new ones, thus creating more work for the natives during the winter season. Consequently lead mining and cloth manufacturing, especially sail cloth, which has a world-wide reputation, are now in a more prosperous condition. The fishing industry, which at one time was the staple industry, is not so successful, so that many of the young men emigrate, and, as a rule, are very fortunate, being a steady race of men. The Island suffered a severe blow by the failure of Dumbell's Banking Company, which occurred on what is now called Black Saturday, February 3rd, 1900. Many of what were the leading tradesmen and public companies went as a result of the failure into liquidation.
The Isle of Man, thanks to the service of Railways and steamships, is now within easy access from any part of the United Kingdom, and it is a common thing to breakfast in London, and still have an early tea in the Isle of Man, or vice versa. Nine lines of steamers are now plying to the island, viz., from Liverpool, Barrow, Fleetwood, Whitehaven, Glasgow, Silloth, Dublin, Belfast and Ardrossan, and additional boats are run, during the season, also frorn Blackpool.
THE LIVERPOOL ROUTE is, of course, the most popular, and through the enterprise of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company will doubtless still remain so. There is daily communication from the Great Landing Stage all the year round, and during the summer months, steamers run twice and often three times every day. Under favourable circumstances the whole distance of 82 miles is covered in a few minutes over three hours. Some of the Railway Companies have adopted the plan of conveying passengers from the station to the landing stage, and of forwarding visitors' luggage direct to the island without troubling the owners thereof, which is a very great convenience. A new service of steamers in opposition to the old company was started in the year 1900. They have bought one of the Calais and Dover Steamers, and run from Liverpool during the season only.
THE BARROW ROUTE is gradually increasing in its popularity, though it has only been established a few years. It is shorter than the Liverpool route, taking about an hour less time, which, to those who suffer through sea-sickness, is decidedly an advantage. Another advantage is that the tourist has an opportunity of visiting Furness Abbey en route, or, if time permits, of making a detour into the lake district by the way. There is communication during the season, each week-day from Barrow to Douglas, and vice versa, and the distance is about 40 miles.
THE FLEETWOOD ROUTE possesses the same convenience as Barrow, that of trains running close up to the Steamers, and by this route the island is most easily accessible from the Northern parts of Lancashire and the whole of Yorkshire. Steamers run daily during the entire summer, from Whitweek to the end of September. The distance is 40 miles.
THE WHITEHAVEN ROUTE is an occasional service, weekly in the season, and the sea passage occupies only three hours. By this route the island is approached from Cumberland, Westmorland, Durham, etc. The distance from Whitehaven to Ramsey is 37 miles.
THE GLASGOW ROUTE enables visitors to reach the island from all parts of Scotland, the distance from Glasgow to Douglas being 140 miles. By the new system of sailing from Ardrossan in connection with the steamers, Glasgow and the busy S. W. district of Scotland are brought within eight hours' journey of Douglas.
THE SILLOTH ROUTE is also available from all parts of Scotland and the North of England. During the summer months the Silloth steamers leave for Douglas on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and the passage is generally made in a little over four hours. Monthly return tickets are issued by the North British Railway Company at all their principal stations, and passengers are allowed to break their journey at various stations either going or coming. The distance between Silloth and Douglas is 66 miles.
THE DUBLIN ROUTE is also the direct route between Dublin and Scotland via Silloth. Monthly excursion tickets may be had. and first-class steamers leave twice weekly during the season, Distance from Dublin to Douglas 94 miles.
The Isle of Man Steam-Packet Company have opened up a new service to Dublin and back on the same day, leaving Douglas at eight o'clock in the morning by one of their fastest steamers, arriving at Dublin before one o'clock. Visitors coming from distant parts of England and Scotland are afforded a splendid opportunity of visiting Ireland. Four and a-half hours are allowed on shore. The return journey is timed for 5.30, arriving in Douglas before 11 o'clock. As many as 2,000 visitors a day avail themselves of this popular trip
THE BELFAST ROUTE is worked via Peel, daily throughout the summer, and gives the visitor the opportunity of a pleasant day across channel, through Belfast Lough, and several hours to spare in the city of Belfast. This arrangement also gives parties in the northern parts of Ireland easy and direct access to the " Gem of the Irish-Sea." Distance from Belfast to Douglas by sea, 80 miles; via Peel, about 45 miles.
Arriving off Douglas,'the visitor is amazed by the loveliness of the Bay. The scene is exquisitely beautiful. Behind the semi-circular sweep of sand and shingle the land rises for miles inland, the view terminating in a crescent of noble mountains. Few sights can be more impressive than that which meets the visitor here. Douglas Bay is a deep indentation in a high, rocky coast, its southern extremity being a lofty promontory crowned by the castellated Douglas Head Hotel, and having a tall lighthouse perched on a rocky platform, half-way up. its precipitous front, whilst round the edge of the precipice is a magnificent marine drive, surpassed by nothing of its kind in the British Islands. The Douglas Head Hotel from its position commands one of the most splendid marine views in the United Kingdom, only equalled by that to be obtained from the Douglas Bay Hotel, lately erected on the hill-side above Derby Castle. Adjoining Douglas Head Hotel, a Warwick Revolving Tower has been erected ; from its summit a splendid view of the mountains of the Island is obtained. Adjoining the Tower is a dancing saloon and refreshment rooms, with side shows. The whole of this was destroyed by fire at the end of the season 1900. The Tower appears to have received no material damage, the buildings have been erected again and are now in full working order. There is a tramway from the Breakwater to Douglas Hotel, thus making the ascent easy. The most popular bathing-place in the Island is Port Skillion, situated just below the Lighthouse ; a bath having been erected bathers can enjoy their swim, even at low water. The headland gradually increases in height as it runs inland, until it culminates in the peak of the Nunnery Howe, and at, its foot runs the estuary of the Douglas and the inner harbour of the port, whilst from its seaward front, a little west of the lighthouse, extends the Battery Pier, a noble breakwater with a long, bent arm, protecting the outer harbour, which is a broad expanse of water lying between the headland and the splendid Victoria Pier, towards which we are rapidly approaching, the harbour being divided into two unequal parts by the Old Red Pier, which was built almost a century ago, at a cost to the insular Government of £26,000. To the north of the Victoria Pier, built in a reef called Conister Rock, is the picturesque Tower of Refuge, erected, for the safety of the crews of vessels wrecked on the reef, by Sir William Hillary, founder of the National Lifeboat Association, who at that time resided at Fort Anne. The headland seen at the other, or northern side of the bay, is Bank's Howe, a bluff promontory 400 feet in height. Under the shadow of the Howe is Derby Castle, with its huge pavilion and ornamental grounds, and on the summit above stands the pretty village of Onchan, the tapering spire of its Parish Church being seen rising above a spur of the hill. A little to the south of Derby Castle, on the rise of the hill, is the picturesque pile of buildings on Falcon Cliff, near which stands the Castle Mona Hotel, once the home of the Duke of Athol when governor of the island. Adjoining is the Palace, with its huge Pavilion, which is known to every visitor to Manxland. It is said that this is the largest dancing saloon in the world. A nobler background than that which rises behind the terraced town of Douglas can scarcely be imagined. The lofty chain of mountains stretch in a series of rocky peaks in the distance right across the field of vision, beginning at our extreme right with the huge mass of Maughold Head, which rises abruptly from the sea with the pointed peak of North Barrule towering above it. Next comes Slieu Choar, and following that Snaefell, the Manx mountain-monarch. South of Snaefell come in succession the peak of Pen-y-Phot, the rounded head of Garrhaghan, Colden Mountain, the Baldwins, the double-headed Greeba, opposite which is the twin cliff-like head of Whallin, behind that is Slieuwhallin, and further southward the conical peak of South Barrule and the intervening height of Mount Murray. The range now rapidly decreases in height, and as we draw nearer to. the huge cliffs of Douglas Head the scene vanishes from our sight like a fairy vision, and we find ourselves alongside the Victoria Pier as the roar of the welcoming gun resounds among the rocks around us.
The town of Douglas is the largest and most important in the island. It is the only town in the island which is incorporated, the old Town Commissioners having given place to Town Councillors and Aldermen, presided over by a Mayor. Under the new arrangement Douglas has made rapid progress. The old portion, witlh its insanitary buildings and crowded, narrow streets, has been removed, and broad streets, with healthy, working men's dwellings, have been erected. Old St. Matthew's Church, in the Market Place, has been pulled down, and on its site, also on the site of the old British Hotel and Market Place, a handsome covered market has been erected. Fine Municipal Offices and a Town Hall have also been built at a cost of £20,000. A new system of drainage is now being carried out at a great cost. The Waterworks have been purchased and a new Reservoir made, and active preparations are going forward to make another, thus assuring the town an abundant supply of fresh water. An infectious diseases hospital has also been erected, but in consequence of the immunity of the town from infectious diseases it is seldom that there are any patients. Everything has been done to make the town a true place of health and rest for the thousands annually visiting it.
We have the magnificent Loch Promenade with its lofty range of boarding-houses joining this.
Douglas gets its name from the two rivers-Dhoo (black), and Glass (grey)-which unite just outside the town and flow through the harbour.
The town is easily explored, for all roads lead from the Victoria Pier. That is a useful centre, where one gets an impression of the spacious Promenade, curving away with a grand sweep northwards till it joins the Harris Promenade near St. Thomas' Church, continuing under the name of Crescent Road past where the Iron Pier stood (pulled down in 1894 with the hearty consent of every townsman) to the newer Queen's Promenade which ends at the foot of Burnt Mill (or Summer) Hill. On a summer evening the Promenade affords a spectacle unique in the British Isles, with its brilliantly-lighted houses-no one ever dreams of drawing the blinds on the sea-front-the gay crowd of pleasureseekers moving to and fro ; the throng of vehicles carrying visitors to more amusements, or bringing them back from a long day's tour in the country ; the green sea in front, covered with yachts and row-boats, the grey terraces rising behind. Douglas Promenade in the season is a place not to be matched easily, nor soon forgotten. Taking the Victoria Pier as a centre, we have several interesting tours of exploration open to us. But before leaving the Pier let us note that it is built of huge blocks of concrete, cost originally £50,000, and has had to be lengthened by 400 feet, at a further expenditure of £30,000, to meet the rapidly increasing traffic. The outer portion is solid as the base rocks themselves ; the older part has concrete walls only, packed inside with rubblestone.
1. Turn sharply to the left by the Peveril Hotel, and keep onward to the Old Harbour and Red Pier.
Across the harbour we notice the Fort Anne Hotel overlooking the town and bay. To the left of the structure is a castellated mansion known as Fort Anne Tower, and adjoining it is Fort William, a terrace of lofty buildings commanding a wide view. On the right of Fort Anne is Ravenscliffe, a Gothic residence well hidden in trees, and more seaward still, the embattled mansion of Harold Tower, wherein the painter Martin once laboured at his works. The Red Pier is 520 feet long and 40 feet wide, and was completed in 1800, the first stone being laid by John, Duke of Athol, in 1793. Ferry boats ply across the harbour from many points, by which a considerable time may be saved at a small cost. A magnificent drawbridge has also been erected by the Government over which many thousands wend their way to Douglas Head. The rotation of hills viewed from here, looking westward, are Greeba, Colden (in front of which is the smaller eminence of Creg Whallin) Garaghan, the pointed Pen-y-Phot, "Slieu Meayl, and Mollagh Onyr (hardly to be separated from each other), behind them, just discernable, Snaefell, and eastward of that the pale summit of North Barrule. - The yachts, which convey fishing parties for a sail of a couple of hours at a charge of about a shilling or so, or pleasure parties to Port Soderick, Castletown, Port St. Mary or Port Erin at moderate charges, have deserted the old Pier for the busier life of the Promenade, where also numerous convevances wait for hire for Peel, Castletown, Glen Helen and Laxey, or for the larger drives to Port Erin, Kirk Michael or Ramsey.
2. From the Pier proceed up Victoria Street. Here on the left are the Theatre, Grand Hotel, Music Hall and Victoria Baths in one immense block of handsome buildings, and opposite them the Villiers Hotel, which is the largest hotel on the island. The first narrow opening on the right is Duke Street, where we pass Wellington Street on the left, and a little further Duke Street ends, and is continued by Strand Street, the most popular thoroughfare of the olden time in Douglas. Proceeding along Strand Street we see Webb's " Public Lounge and Louvre," on the right, which is a very fine structure, and shortly arrive at Castle Street, which is a continuation of Strand Street, and by this we reach the old Promenade and Lifeboat House. Victoria Street, which is the principal street of the town, leads straight from the Victoria Pier joined at the top by Ridgeway Street, where the new Town Hall is situated, leading to the North Quay, where we come to new St. Matthew's Church, a handsome building erected in place of the old one-now demolished for town improvement. Lower down the Quay, passing through the market-place, we come to the New Swing Bridge, a handsome erection spanning the harbour and affording easy access to Douglas Head (the playground of Douglas). This was erected by the Insular Government at a cost exceeding £18,000. Near to are the Isle of Man Steam-Packet Company's offices, a handsome pile of buildings, formerly the Imperial Hotel.
3. From the Victoria Pier, as before, proceed along Victoria Street to its turn at the foot of Prospect Hill. Turning to the right at the Adelphi Hotel, enter Athol Street between the Court House and the Isle of Man Bank. Turn down Athol Street to St. James's Hall at the corner of which turn up George Street into Circular Road, where turn to the right, passing the new Oddfellows' Hall, where Oddfellow visitors will receive a hearty welcome. Further on the neat chapel formerly belonging to the Unitarian Church, now used as a seamen's bethel and town mission, then enter Buck's Road, where straight before you is Finch Hill Congregational Church, keeping along up the gentle rise, we shortly reach Rosemount, where there is a fine Wesleyan chapel, erected at a cost of £7,000. This is the finest suburb of Douglas. From here we descend the hill past the Bowling Green Hotel and reach the Promenade at about its centre.
4 Along the quay to the head of the Harbour and over Douglas Bridge ; the road here turns to the right for Port Soderick, Castletown, and the Southern and Western parts of the island, but we turn to the left along the South Quay to Fort Anne Road, whence we ascend Douglas Head, which commands a delightful view of the bay and mountains. By extending the walk along the magnificent Marine Drive we arrive at Port Soderick.
By the opening of the Laxey and Ramsey section of the Electric Tramway, one of the finest systems of electric traction in the United Kingdom has been completed, extending from Douglas to Ramsey, a distance of sixteen miles, and including the Snaefell electrical mountain railway. The route of the line opens out a beautiful country hitherto practically unknown to tourists and pleasure seekers, commanding most magnificent glen and mountain scenery and fine marine views. The line is double throughout, and is on the overhead electrical system. The cars are of most modern style, comfortable, convenient, and splendidly equipped.
THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS of Douglas are of noble design and commanding appearance. They consist, amongst others, , of the Government Offices at the top of Prospect Hill, the Court House in Athol Street, the Post and Telegraph Offices, Regent Street, the Custom Horase, Parade Street, the Free Library, Athol Street, St. James's Hall, St. George's Street, Oddfellows' Hall, Circular Road, and the Masonic Hall on the Promenade. The hotels are quite palatial in their style and appointments, especially the Peveril, Villiers, Fort Anne, Royal, Regent, Athol, Grand, Falcon, Granville, Castle Mona, Metropole, Douglas Bay, The Mona, and Salisbury; all of which are on the Promenade line, along which the tram-cars run. There are most excellent hostelries of a less pretentious class, such as the Ridgeway, Victoria, Talbot, Queen's and Handley's.
THE AMUSEMENTs are plentiful and well varied. First there is the Grand Theatre, in Victoria Street. This house and the Music Hall (now absorbed by the Grand Hotel), and Baths adjoining, were built by Mr. Thomas Lightfoot, of Sheffield, a most enterprising and energetic sample of the old railway contractor. Douglas also owes its tramways to him. The Grand Theatre is visited by the best English touring companies, as also is the Gaiety on the Promenade. This is a new Theatre, and said to be the most handsomely fitted-up outside of London. Amongst the minor amusements may be named the Star Music Hall, in Prospect Hill, some sort of show or entertainment at the Masonic Hall, Woodruff's popular Music Hall, in Strand Street, the Bowling Green, in Derby Road, and the Circus facing the Pier. In addition to these there are the monster amusements at the Palace, and Derby Castle, the managers of which provide excellent morning concerts throughout the season, besides variety entertainments and dancing in the evenings.
The places of worship in Douglas are numerous. The churches of the establishment are St. Barnabas', in Fort Street, St. Matthew's, in Ridgway Street, St. George's, in Church Street, All Saints', Alexander Drive, and St.Thomas's, at the bottom of Finch Road. The Roman Catholics have a splendid chapel, St. Mary's, in Bucks Road. The Wesleyan Chapels are in Victoria Street, Rosemount, Salisbury Street, and Well Road ; the Primitive Methodists possess excellent buildings in Bucks Road, and on the Promenade. The Congregational Church is in Bucks Road, the Seamen's Bethel in Circular Road, the Presbyterian in Finch Road, the Baptists in Broadway and Crescent. The distance between these various places of worship does not exceed five minutes in any instance.
A walk to Kirk Braddan is the usual Sunday morning excursion for visitors. Crossing Douglas Bridge at the head of the harbour, and turning to the right, we soon arrive at the gates of the Nunnery Grounds, and at once enter an avenue of lofty trees, at the end of which we have a fine view of the Nunnery House erected on the site of the Ancient Nunnery of St. Bridget, which was founded by that Saint A.D. 567, when she received the veil from St. Maughold. In the fine gardens which surround the house are two ancient gravestones which are said to cover the remains of Cartesmunda the " Fair Nun of Winchester," who fled from King John, and Malilda, the daughter of Ethelbert, King of Mercia. Speaking of the old Nunnery, now fallen to decay, Sacheverell, Governor of the Island in 1692, says :-
" Few monasteries ever excelled it in largeness or fine building. There are still some of the cloisters remaining, the ceilings of which discover that they were the workmanship of the most masterly hands; nothing in the whole creation but is imitated in curious carvings on it. The pillars supporting the arches are so thick as if that edifice was erected with a design to baffle the efforts of time, nor could it in more years than have elapsed since the coming of Christ..,have been so greatly defaced had it received no injury but from time ; but in some' of the dreadful revolutions this island has sustained, it doubtless has suffered much from the outrage of the soldiers, as may be gathered by the niches yet standing in the chapel, which has been one of the finest in the world, and the image of the saints reposited in them torn out. Some pieces of broken columns are still to be seen, but the greatest part have been removed."
Whilst passing the Nunnery we come upon a cannon taken in the Crimean War, placed at the foot of a tall obelisk erected, as the inscription shows, by public subscription, to the memory of Brigadier General Goldie, of the Nunnery, who commanded a brigade of the British Army in the Crimea and fell at the battle of Inkerman.
The path now soon widens, and after we cross the railway line we have a high green bank on the left. Following the field path, we arrive at Pulrose Mill, and keeping by the side of the brook, we soon see some pretty cottages with attractive flower gardens, and where we may, if necessary, obtain refreshment.
Here is a junction of three roads. That to the right leads back to Douglas by way of the Quarter Bridge and Peel Road ; that on the left is the new road to Castletown ; while that directly in front will tale us to Kirk Braddan. Keeping therefore, straight on along the pleasant shady lane known as the " Saddle Road' (so called from a stone, shaped curiously like a saddle, which projects from the wall just beyond some cottages on the left, and which, according to an old Manx legend, is used by the fairies at night in exercising the horses of the neighbouring farms), we soon reach Kirk Braddan. - The original structure was of great antiquity (it was re-built in 1773), and the graveyard possesses more interest in its old age than any other spot near Douglas, or perhaps in the whole island. It has been a resting place for the dead for fully 1,000 years, and relics of doughty warriors and saintly monks, of Celt, Scandinavian; and Saxon are found here, Runic crosses are seen bearing names of those who died 700 years ago, and the strangely intertwined patterns on them are a most interesting study. Note the curious belfry of the old church, where the bells are hung in the open archway of the tower.
A little further down the road on the opposite side is the new church, a neat Gothic structure, seating about 1,000 people, 300 seats being set apart for the use of visitors. The tower cf the church has been twice surmounted by a spice. and on both occasions its spire has-succumbed to the fury of the wind and fallen. The Cemetery is across the valley from here, and close at hand.
The return to Douglas is generally made by crossing the river by the Quarter Bridge and turning to the right along the Peel Road.
PORT SODERICK is reached by two routes, of which the most popular will always be the Marina Drive. An Electric Tramway has been laid down on the drive, extending to Port Soderick ; thousands of visitors use this means of reaching this popular resort. But by following the Castleton Road the visitor will find it one of the prettiest and most enjoyable walks about Douglas. Leaving the Nunnery Grounds on the right, the road for nearly a mile passes under a grove of very fine trees, that meet overhead, forming an agreeable shade. On reaching the water trough at the junction of the old and new roads to Castletown, keeping on the direct route, or old road, to the left, we shortly discern in a field on our right, at a short distance from the road, two remarkable hillocks, which once played an important part in the history of the island, being the scene of the old Manx ordeals of trial by battle. On these two hillocks were placed the litigants, each supplied with bows and arrows, and on the order being given each commenced shooting at the other until one was killed, when the victor was adjudged to be in the right. There are some ancient remains also here, consisting of a stone circle and a tumulus in which were found an urn and other antiquities. A large mass of quartz here is also supposed to be a monumental erection. A few hundred yards further on we turn to the left to the Railway Station and lovely glen of Port Soderick. At the foot of the glen is the bay and hotel. The rocks will be found very fine, three interesting caves lying on the south side of the bay, one of them being of considerable extent. The nearest is entered by a narrow slit in the rock and may be walked through, but the two more distant must be visited either at low water or by boat.
The return to Douglas should be made by the Marine Drive.
The walk to Onchan is shorter, but more fatiguing than that to Port Soderick. Walk along the Loch Promenade past the bathing ground and Castle Mona (built by the last Lord of Man, the cost being (40,000), the grounds of which were once very fine, but have been turned into building sites. Beyond Castle Mona the hotel and pleasure grounds of Falcon Cliff stand on the heights above us. We pass the Crescent, which terminates in Burnt Mill Hill, and by following the road to the right reach Derby Castle, where fashionable concerts are given during the season and in the evening the band plays dance music in the pavilion, which will hold 6,000 people, and which is brilliantly illuminated. The grounds ought to be seen by every visitor to Douglas. Retui n now a short distance and ascend Burnt Mill Hill, taking the first turn to the right past the Industrial Home, and at the end of the road we cross the further of two stiles and find ourselves on a footpath which skirts the edge of the cliff above Derby Castle. Or we can keep on past the castle, along the fine roadway made by the company which owns the electric tramway connecting Douglas with Laxey. Passing along the cliff we find ourselves on the margin of Onchan Harbour, and descend by the winding road to the beach, or follow the road to Onchan Church, which is very picturesquely situated, almost as isolated, in fact, as that of Kirk Braddan. There are several sea-worn caves and chasms at Onchan Harbour, and in the summer the beach is bedecked with wild flowers. As we return through Onchan Village towards Douglas, we may look into the Nursery Gardens, or keep along Governor's Road on our right, turn. ing afterwards to the left and descending towards Falcon Cliff, the tower of which we soon see before us.' Reaching four cross roads, we take the one to the left; which leads to the shore road through '- Little Switzerland," which is a very charming little spot. Taking the-first turn to the right after passing over the Governor's Bridge we come to the Borough Cemetery, which has just been completed. Passing on we arrive at the top end of Douglas.
The journey from Douglas to Laxey can now be, and is most often, made by the electric tramway, but the drive of 7½ miles by way of Onchan is a very pleasant and interesting one. After passing through Onchan we descend the White Bridge Hill and cross the Groudle stream (fed from the reservoirs which supply Douglas with water, and flowing through a beautiful glen). Ascending the opposite hill we come to the Halfway houses, and about half a mile beyond the second of these we descend a steep hill to the junction of a narrow lane on the right, opposite the second mile stone from Laxey. A few yards down the lane to the right is a gate leading into a field in which stands the " Cloven Stones," which is perhaps the most ancient memorial in the island, being said to mark the last resting place of a Welsh prince, who landed here for the purpose of conquering the island before the Scandinavians and Norsemen had settled there. Glen Gawne, and Garwick pleasure grounds may also be visited before proceeding further. Passing out of the glen we follow the road to the steep descent which leads to Old Laxey. After the Pier has been visited we now follow the tramway used for conveying stuff from the mines up the glen through some delightful scenery, and reaching the head of the glen, come to the junction of two roads with a church (Christ Church) erected for the use of the miners, standing on an elevation between them. Taking the road to the right we soon reach the washing floors connected with the Laxey mines, and, further on the
The Laxey Wheel-one of the largest, if not the largest, in the world-was the work of a native of Laxey-John Casement. It was erected in 1854., and named the "Lady Isabella," in compliment to the wife of the Honourable Charles Hope, the then Lieutenant-Governor of the Island. The wheel is 72 feet in diameter, 226 feet in circumference, and 6 feet in breadth; it contains 188 buckets and 48 spokes. The balance at the wheel shaft is 10 tons, the top balance 7 tons, It is 200 horse-power. The platform above the wheel, which may be ascended by permission, is 75 feet high, and ascended by 95 steps. Eight hundred men were once employed in the mines and on the works; but the depression in minerals has had a woeful effect on the industry of Laxey. The produce of the mine is lead, blende, and copper. Considerable quantities of silver are obtained from the lead ore---from 80 to 120 ounces in the ton. The ore is drawn from the mines by two powerful turbines. The water-wheel will pump water from a depth of 400. yards at the rate of 250 gallons per minute.
The neat church in the centre of the village was erected by the company, and opened in May, 1856. The Wesleyan Methodists and the Primitive Methodists own the two pretty chapels in the lower part of the glen. The large building near the quay was Captain Rowe's warehouse, used as stores.
Vessels are laden with lead ore from the quay. On the beach there is a well, known as " Lord Henry's Well," which has acquired fame for healing and health-giving properties.
In the centre of the village is the Laxey Park, recently formed for the pleasure and convenience of visitors. It is of considerable extent and provided with many means of amusement. The walks are beautifully varied, and one or two hours may be spent here most enjoyably.
Leaving the big wheel we return to the washing floors, where a turn to the right brings us to Laxey Glen Gardens, which are beautifully laid out and form the entrance to Glen Roy, a most lovely sequestered dell, luxuriant with flowers and ferns, at the head of which is Cairn Gharjohl, an isolated hill well worth a visit on account of the Runic Cross and old graves at its foot.
Before leaving Laxey the ascent of Snaefell (the monarch of Manx mountains) should be made. It is now no longer necessary to climb its height as an electric tramway encircles the' mountain. On arriving at the top of which we find a well appointed, first-class hotel.
Returning to Laxey and going northward we come to KING ORRY'S GRAVE, which is about half-a-mile from Laxey, near to the point where the old and modern roads from Laxey to Ramsey cross each other. It stands in front of two cottages on the left, and is the supposed memorial of King Orry,who gave laws to the Island and founded the House of Keys.
The DHOON GLEN is two and a half miles from Laxey, and is ene of the most lovely glens in Manxland. The head of the glen and the hotel are on the high road from Laxey to Ramsey, and a small charge is made for admission. It contains a fine-waterfall of over 160 feet, in two almost equal leaps.
This drive is on the Peel Road, and is part of the further excursion to Peel. The road leads past Kirk Braddan Churches and Cemetery and the Lunatic Asylum. At about two miles from Douglas we reach Union Mills, and a little further on the Dalrymple Memorial Chapel. Four miles from Douglas is the picturesque hamlet of Glenvine, and near it the Parish Church of Marown, the only parish in the island untouched by the sea. The hill on the left is Shen Choar and the tall chimney of the Foxdale Mine is seen on the same side. Not far beyond the church, on the opposite side, is " Aitkens Folly," a castellated building so-called because its owner, a clergyman of that name, never finished it. The next village passed through is Crosby, which is a very pretty rural retreat, and on the right is the Greeba Mountain, at the foot of which is the ruined Church of St. Trinian. The road winds round the base of the mountain past the grounds of Greeba Tower and Stanley Mount, two finely situated castellated buildings, nearly hidden by thick woods, and past the opening of Greeba Glen, and at Ballacraine, a little further on, we get a glimpse of the lower portion of Glen Mooar. Half a mile beyond this is St. John's, memorable for the famous Tynwald Hill and its neat chapel.
The chapel is in the gift of the Crown, and is, in its position, an object of considerable beauty. It is built of the light-coloured granite found on the mountains of South Barrule, in the early decorated style. In the porch of the church may be seen a Runic monument, beautifully carved, with an inscription signifying that " Inosruier engraved these Runes."
Exactly 200 yards from the church is the Tynwald Hill, the most noteworthy spot on the island. At one time it was supposed to be a Danish sepulchral barrow ; but it is more probable that it was erected for the purpose which it now serves. Tradition also asserts that it was composed of soil brought from every parish of the island. Its name is derived from the Danish Ting, a court of justice; and Wald, a fence. The hill is surrounded by three rows of seats, cut out of the side, for the accommodation of the official persons, the clergy, and the Keys. The top of the mound is about 21 feet in circumference. On this was placed the chair of state for the king, or, in his absence, the governor. The hill is 12 feet high, and the circumference of the base 240 feet.
In accordance with an ancient Scandinavian custom, every law adopted by the Tynwald Court, after receiving the Royal assent, must be promulgated from the top of Tynwald Hill before it can come into force, but the practice of reading them in extenso in Manx and English has been discontinued, on the ground of the great publicity afforded by the insular press, and the titles and sub-heads, or side notes, are now read only, and "Tynwald Day" (July 5th, or if that day is Sunday, July 6th) is the great national holiday of the Manx people.
Anglers will find a splendid river at St. John's, where for over three miles there is excellent trout fishing.
From St. John's a walk or drive of two miles brings us to GLEN HELEN, perhaps the most favourite resort for picnic or pleasure parties on the island, which is situated on the high road from Peel to Ramsey, and is easy of access from all parts. Some years ago the beautiful glen was purchased by Mr. Marsden, of Liskeard Castle, Liverpool, and received his hame in honour of his daughter. It has subsequently become the property of the Glen Helen Hotel and Estate Company. The suspension bridge and Swiss cottage at the entrance were built by Mr. Marsden. The approach from St. John's is very picturesque. As the valley contracts and the hills become higher we catch glimpses through the openings of the higher summits of the ranges of Sheu Whallin, South Barrule, and Greeba. After entering the grounds, we proceed at once to the upper glens and the falls, and if not pressed for time, climb by a winding path through the wood to " Pic-nic Hill," where a splendid view awaits us of the surrounding country. If we do not choose the climb, we may follow the path from the lawn in front of the Swiss cottage. -The walk is very fine with the river (which is the Peel river) below us and the glen rapidly narrowing as we proceed. The thickly wooded glen divides into two branches at a point where the stream is crossed by an iron-planked bridge, and here we are in front of the Rhenass fall. The two branches run back into the heart of the mountains, and down each branch runs a streamlet, and the two streams unite just below tl)e fall. Between the months of the two glens rises a huge rock to the height of about 75 feet. To this rock a bridge is thrown ; standing on this bridge we have a beautiful view of this fall, and on turning round we have the second or upper fall before us. Above this second fall are three other smaller ones, connected by deep channels worn into the rock by the stream. Having ascended the glen along the northern side, we now return to the Swiss cottage by the opposite side, equally picturesque in every part. The grounds are well supplied with refreshments, games, and amusements.
From St. John's a walk or drive of nearly four miles takes us to Glemnaye, but this beautiful glen is better approached from Peel.
The road between St. John's and Peel, a little under three miles, possesses no feature of interest, and we soon enter the suburbs of the town.
The City of Peel, so called, was forrnerly known as Holmetown ; on in Manx, as Purt-ny-Hinshey ; or, " port of the island." Up to 1763 Peel was chiefly supported by smuggling ; it is now mainly dependent on the fishing industry, which gives employment to nearly 2,000 men and boys, and about 200 vessels. Its income from this source was estimated at from £70,000 to £80,000 annually, but in consequence of the great falling off in the Irish fishing it has been reduced to one-half this amount. Few towns have been so blessed with educational endowments as this, otherwise, uninteresting place. It owns a Grammar School, founded in 1746 by Philip Moore, Esq., and endowed by him with a sum of £500. There is also a Mathematical School, founded in 1763 by the Rev. James Moore, of Dublin, and liberally endowed by him, to which liberality there have been large additions made from time to time by benevolent persons, and the Mathematical School is now a rich foundation. But the best gift to Peel ever made was what is known as "Christian's Endowed National School," which dates from 1652. In that year, one Philip Christian (a native of Peel), left two houses in Lovell's Inn, London, in trust to the Clothworkers' Company, wherewith to secure a payment of £20 annually to two poor boys, natives of the Isle of Man. These houses, or rather the land they stood on, have so increased in value that the Clothworkers have been able to add to the original gift large sums, amounting to fully £300 per annum. So that in an educational sense, Peel is exceedingly well off. By a recent act of Tynwald the trusts of the Grammar School and Mathematical School are merged in the Christian Endowed National School, and the Clothworkers' Company purpose building a higher grade school in connection with the existing elementary one. The principal hotels for visitors are the Peel Castle, Marine, Peveril, Creg Malin, and Royal.
Peel Castle, now- in ruins, is the great attraction to visitors It stands upon five acres of land, the walls enclosing an irregular polygon, flanked with rough towers, faced with red sandstone. It is impossible to say when this venerable pile was built, but it is thought the wall was erected about the year 1,5oo, by Thomas, Earl of Derby. The ruins contain the remains of two churches, St. Germains and St. Patricks. The latter was a small cathedral church only 76 feet in length. In the cells beneath these ruins tragical events are said to have occurred,
The ill-fated Duchess of Gloucester was (according to tradition not well-supported) imprisoned for fourteen years in the Cathedral crypt. Thomas, Earl of Warwick, was also sent to the Castle by Richard II., but was released by Henry IV. While the ruins of the Castle revive fhe recollections of ancient feudal grandeur, the spiritual prisons under the churches call to mind the vigorous ecclesiastical discipline which prevailed in former times, and from which ' dwellers in the igth century have been happily freed. The Castle is not wanting in superstitious legends, the most notable being the story of the " Mauthe Dhoo," or " Black Dog," which is referred to by Sir Walter Scott in the "Lay of the Last Minstrel."
The custodian, who accompanies visitors round the ruins, points out the many objects of interest, and particularly J Fenella's Tower, which recalls the romantic incidents chronicled in Sir Walter Scott's " Peveril of the Peak ; " also shows stone cannon-shot and other antiquities which have been dug up in the ruins. From Peel Hill we have a striking panorama of the whole west coast of the island, from the huge cliffs of the Calf and Bradda, to the south, as far as the sandy brows and bold sweeps of shore northward ending at Jurby Point.
Outside the Castle there is a mound go feet long, and 3 feet broad. which is called the Grave of the Giant. he had three legs (must have been the original Manxman), and could jump from the Castle to the horse hill. Once he took a huge stone, weighing many tons, and threw it on the opposite hill, where it broke in three pieces, and where they remain to this day. St. Patrick is said to have banished this terrible fellow from the Island.
Peel is the centre of the fishing industry, but in consequence of the partial failure of the herring fishery, the inhabitants have turned their attention to the attraction of visitors. There are large and well-appointed board and lodging-houses throughout the town, and a very nice promenade. Peel is a very pleasant place to spend a quiet holiday.
One of the finest churches in the island is in Peel. It was built during Bishop Hill's time, and many think that had he lived this church would have been made into a cathedral. The sunsets at Peel are magnificent.
The drive from Peel to Glenmeay (Anglice, Vale of Luxuriance) is very pleasant. It is only a small village, containing two hotels. The Waterfall Hotel stands close to the fall, and in order to reach the fall we must pass through the hotel grounds. It is not a large fall, but it is surrounded by some exquisite scenery. A walk down the old cart road through the glen to the sea will well repay the trouble, the almost perpendicular cliffs which spring from the bed of the stream being very wild and picturesque, and the beach at its foot being excellent bathing ground.
From Glenmeay, if the visitor is so disposed, he may make the ascent of South Barrule; also visit Niarbyl Point, where a magnificent view of the island may be obtained. By crossing the stream at Glenmeay village the road leads along the Dalby Hill; from whence a beautiful view of the Scotch and Irish coasts is obtained. On arriving at Niarbyl Point, a few hundred yards from Dalby village, one of the finest views on the island meets the tourist.
A short distance from the village of Dalby a road on the right leads down the glen--Dalby Lhag, and along to Cronk-na-Irey-Lhaa, at the foot of which are the ruins of a treen chapel-reputedly the burial place of the Kings of Man. The whole district is filled with objects of interest.
From Douglas to Port Erin by road is 13½ miles along the Castletown Road, leaving the Nunnery grounds to the right. At the top of Kewaigue Hill we have a choice of the old and new roads. ;The old road is the heaviest on account of the steepness of its gradients, but it keeps nearer to the coast line, and the scenery is more varied and picturesque. The new road, which we take, descends the slope, passes under the railway, and then ascends Middle Hill and Mount Murray, Mount Murray, once the home of Lord Henry Murray, son of the Duke of Athol, and Governor of the island, is now converted into an hotel and pleasure resort under the proprietorship of the Mount Murray Hotel Company, and is a most desirable place to spend an afternoon. At the foot ot the descent beyond Mount Murray we cross the Santon Burn by the Ballalorney Bridge (known as the Fairies' Bridge), and as we approach Ballasalla we have a fine view of the southern coast line from Cass-ny-Awin to the Calf of Man, and on the land side the Mull Hills, Bradda Head, Cronk-ny-Irey-Lhaa, and South Barrule, with Castle Rushen (with the houses of Castletown clustering round it) and King William's College on the left of us. At Ballasalla a turn to the right through the village leaves Rushen Abbey on the right hand, and we pass over the Silverburn. If time permit, Rushen Abbey should be inspected, or it may be visited readily from Castletown. At Arbory, a little over two miles beyond Ballasalla, we pass the old friary of Bimakens, said to have been founded in 1373, but all that remains of it now is used as a barn. A little beyond this on the right stands the parish church of Arbory, and the road next passes through the village of Colby, and over the Colby river. We immediately after see Bradda Head right in front, pass Rushen Parish Church, and soon drive into Port Erin.
PORT ERIN, is rapidly making a foremost position as a watering place. Large boarding houses and hotels have been built, and the people of this progressive place are reaping their reward. Every house is crowded during the months of July, August, and September. Families have found out the many advantages of staying at this beautiful spot. For a busy man nothing could be better than a holiday spent at Port Erin.
The following are all first-class hotels, and are all situated on the margin of the bay:-Falcon's Nest, Eagle, Station, Belle Vue, and Bay. Some idea of the size of these hotels may be made by considering the number of bedrooms in the first-named, viz., nearly 300, and 16 sitting rooms.
The whole place has been recently drained. and every attention paid to the sanitary arrangements. The water is drawn from the mountains, thus providing a pure and abundant supply for domestic purposes. A new bathing place has been completed on the shore, where visitors may enjoy their morning swim without running any risk. It is claimed that this is the largest and best swimming hath in the United Kingdom. Situated on a deep indentation of the coast which forms a beautiful semicircular bay between the Mull Hills and the huge bluff of Bradda Head, the distance across the entrance to the bay is about half a mile. From the "Castles" as the south western horn of the bay is named a breakwater and landing pier was constructed at a cost of about £80,000, 950 feet long;-formed of huge concrete blocks, weighing from 14 to 17 tons each, but these blocks have succumbed to the power of the storms, and now the ruins only of the breakwater remain. Surmounting Bradda Head is a conspicuous tower. erected by public subscription in 1871 to Mr. William Milner, who was head of the Milner Safe Manufactory Company, and who had a residence at Port Erin, in acknowledgement of his numerous charities and his never tiring efforts to benefit the Manx fishermen.
is about a mile from Port Erin, at the eastern foot of the Mull Hills, which here descend by gentle declivity to the water's edge. The harbour is well protected eastward by a stone pier 259 yards long, erected is 1827, at the end of which is a small lighthouse On the western side of the harbour runs a quay erected in 1845 and the new breakwater. called the " Alfred Pier " was founded in 1882. the first stone being laid by the Duke of Edinburgh. During the herring fishery this port is the rendezvous of the Manx fishing fleet. The port itself possesses a fleet of about 100 fishing smacks, manned by about Sao hands. A boat excursion can be made, weather permitting, from Port St. Mary to the CALF OF MAIN and the Chickens Rock Lighthouse, the distance from Port St. Mary to the Calf being about five miles-time 1½ hours each way. The sail takes us past the wild inlet of PERWICK, the deep clefted CHASMS, the SUGAR LOAF Rock, and the gigantic cliffs of SPANISH HEAD, the most southern point of the island, which is traditionally said to be the scene of the wreck of part of the Spanish Armada in 1588. The Calf Island is owned by Mr. George Cary, who lives there in solitary state. The Sound, as the narrow channel between the Calf and the mainland is called, is a wild place in winter, and even in summer has to be navigated with care on account of the boiling currents, for here the main tides meet and divide, not without tumult, the one stream, flowing eastward towards Douglas, and the other westward to Peel. The Calf Island itself is principally used for a sheep pasture, but the view from the summit of its highest point is unparalleled in the island, and well worth the visit. The whole of the southern part of the Isle of Man is spread before us like a map, and on a clear day we can distinguish the Arklow and Mourne Mountains in Ireland, with the hills about Cardigan Bay in the west, and to the south and east the Cambrian and Welsh Mountains.
Of late years Port St. Mary has become favourably known to the touring public, and each year sees a large increase in the number of visitors. To meet their requirements numerous large and well-appointed boarding-houses and hotels have been erected. A new railway station has just been built with every modern convenience, near to which is the Station Hotel, erected to meet the requirements of the people who do the walk to the Chasms, which, by the way, every visitor to Mona's Isle should visit, as they are the most wonderful sight in the Island. They can be approached from either Port Erin or Port St. Mary. New Gas Works have been erected to supply both Port Erin and Port St. Mary. Port St. Mary has been truthfully styled " The home of the artist and pleasure-seeker." To the amateur fisherman no better place could be found to spend a holiday, as the coast around swarms with fish.
The Road to Castletown is only a variation from that to Port Erin, made by continuing straight on at Ballasalla instead of turning to the right through the village, which is only 1½ miles from Castletown.
CASTLETOWN is the titular metropolis of the island, though not now the seat of government. The Silverburn River, which rises in South Barrule, runs through the town. The harbour of late years has been improved at a cost of £4,500. The pier, which is composed of limestone, is 200 yards in length. The monument in the Market Place was erected to the memory of Governor Smelt, who died in 1832, after occupying his office for 28 years. An antique sun-dial, a few yards distant, is very remarkable. It is a solid stone ball, with thirteen dial faces, each marked differently.
The hotels in the town are the George, the Union, and the Commercial. Near to the George Hotel is the only Barracks on the Island, where about fifty men were lodged. The Imperial authorities have removed the regulars from here; now there is no regular force stationed on the Island. The church, St. Mary's, is built upon the site of a church erected by Bishop Wilson in 1698. The present church dates from 1812. The Wesleyans, the Primitive Methodists, and Roman Catholics have chapels in the town. The small building near the gates of the castle was once the " House of Keys," where the insular legislature have assembled to make laws for the island since 1606[sic ?1706], prior to which the "Keys " met in the castle. Since the " Keys" have met at the Government Offices, Douglas, this building has been converted into a bank.
It is said-and there is no other authority but tradition that Castle Rushen was erected, as it now stands, in 960, by King Guthred, or Godred,.the second of the Orrys, who is said to be buried within its walls. The building is erected of lime-stone blocks taken from the near shore, or from Scarlet Point, and present the appearance, after centuries, as if recently erected. In the centre of the building is the keep, the ground plan of which is an irregular rhombus. It is flanked with towers. At the northern portion of the building is a lofty portcullis, passing which is an open quadrangular court, with a well in the centre. The clock was presented to the castle by Queen Elizabeth, in 1597.
The Castle, after a fortnight's siege, was taken by Edward Bruce in 1313 and demolished, but after standing in ruins for 300 years was re-erected by the Earl of Derby, then King of Man. It was used as the common prison of the island until about 5 years ago, when the more modern gaol near Falcon Cliff, Douglas, was erected.
Near Castletown are splendid Golf Links pleasantly situated, and close to the sea ; there are eighteen holes, the course being about three miles in extent. There is an excellent hotel, where every comfort is found for golfers. Good fishing, bathing, and boating may also be had here.
About two miles from Castletown are the hotel and grounds of Rushen Abbey, the nearest railway station, however, is Ballasalla, where visitors by rail should alight before reaching Castletown. They will find excellent accommodation at the hotel, and trout fishing in the Silverburn, which runs through the grounds, is free to visitors there, the right belonging to the hotel. From the hill behind the hotel may be obtained one of the finest views in the island. The grounds are rented as a fruit garden, and many tons of fruit are annually sent from here to England. Rushen Abbey tomatoes and jams have a high reputation. The dormitory and refectory of the old abbey are used as store rooms.
The abbey was founded in 1098, and greatly enlarged by No or Ewan, Abbot of Furness, on lands granted, in 1134, by Olave Kleining, King of Man, who granted the abbey many privileges, and also apportioned to the abbot, who was a baron of the isle, one-third of the tithes of the island, to be devoted to the education of youth and the support of the poor. The abbey was occupied by an abbot and twelve monks of the Cistercian order, who neither wore shirts nor shoes, and only ate flesh meat when on a journey. The abbots were appointed from Furness Abbey, and held courts of their own. The first monks who inhabited the abbey were poor and worked hard; in process of time, owing to increase of wealth, they became proud, and indulged in luxurious living. The abbey was completed in 1257, and in the reign of Henry VIII. it was dissolved, and its revenues vested in the crown. It is said to have been the last monastery in the United Kingdom which was dissolved. A short distance up the stream from-Rushen Abbey is the Crossag, or Monk's Bridge, which is one of the most ancient relics of former times now remaining on the island, appearing in the earliest records of the island, and showing by its construction that it must have been built before the introduction of wheeled carriages into the country.
Between Rushen Abbey and Castletown on the high road is KING WILLIAM'S COLLEGE, founded in 1830, and named after William IV. It consists of a chapel, an extensive library, class rooms. museum, and dormitories. The cost of its erection was £6,572. Its erection was considered a great national event. The entire building was destroyed by fire in 1844, but through the exertions of the principal, the whole was re-erected during the following year. There are twenty scholarships in connection with the college, tenable in the school, ranging from £10 to £40. There are also six exhibitions of the value of £30 per annum, and one of £40 each to the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge or Dublin. The governing body consists of the Leut Governor of the Island, the Attorney General, the first Deemster, the Clerk of the Rolls, the Bishop, and the Archdeacon.
There is an excellent High School for girls also in Castletown.
is a mile and a half from Castletown. It is a very ancient and interesting building, and contains many interesting relics which were used prior to the Reformation. There is in the church a curious brass crucifix, and part of a brass crozier or pastoral staff. The font is of granite, very roughly shaped.
The little fishing village of Derbyhaven, ten minutes' walk from King William's College, is the finest natural harbour on the island, which has many interesting historical associations.
In the middle of the harbour there is a breakwater. To the north of Langness, connected with Derbyhaven, is St. Michael's Isle, upon which a little chapel and an old circular fort (of great strength) are now in ruins. The fort is supposed to have been erected by Queen Elizabeth in 1603. During the herring season a light is kept burning in the turret from sunset to sunrise.
Baldwin and Injebreck are exceedingly beautiful and well worth a visit. Here the Douglas Corporation are making a new reservoir, hundre(:s of men being employed at the works. The best road for a vehicle ora pedestrian is past the cemetery, near Kirk Braddan Church, to the Strang village, where roads lead to East and West Baldwin Valleys. The visitor after passing through West Baldwin Valley towards the north, will arrive at Injebreck, which is very romantic. The river Glass has its source in Injebreck. The road over the mountain leads to Kirk Michael and the north of the island. The mountains of Caraghan and Pen-y-Phot may be ascended from the road; the former being 1,520 and the latter 1,772 feet above the level of the sea. The pass between Greeba and Caraghan Mountains is about a mile from Injebreck, from whence a beautiful view is obtained of the sea surrounding the island, and portions of Scotland. The return to Douglas may be varied by passing St. Luke's, a Chapel,of-ease to Kirk Braddan, which is built on the site of an ancient treen oratory called Keeihill Abbane, close to which are the remains of a Tynwald Mount where the Commons of the island met in 1429.
The Long Drive to Ramsey, vin St. John's is 242 miles and passes the entrance gate of Glen Helen. The first portion of the route has already been described. After passing Glen Helen the road winds For about a mile up a steep ascent called Craig Willie's Hill, from the brow of which we have a fine view, including a glimpse of the Mull of Galloway in Scotland, 20 miles distant. White descending the hill we have a good view of Sartfell, Slieu-ny-Franghane, and Shen Curn. Jurby Point is also visible, axid the Mourne Mountains in county Down, Ireland, may be seen if the day is clear. In a short distance further we reach the hamlet of Baregarrow, and soon afterwards we see a notable mound called Cronk Urleigh. This is the original " Tynwald Hill." The next place of interest is KIRK MICHAEL. We have here fine views of both land and sea. Almost the sole object of interest in the episcopal village of Kirk Michael is the church with its Scandinavian monuments. Near Kirk Michael are Glen Mooar and Glen Willan, in the former of which is the beautiful Spoot-y-Vane Waterfall, 6o feet in height. A mile from Kirk Michael we pass Bishop's Court, the residence of the Bishops of Sodor and Man. The next village is Ballaugh, the birthplace of the Rev. Hugh Stowell, of Salford. A little beyond Ballaugh we have a view of Ravensdale, with Slieu Dhoo at its head, and a couple of miles further is Sulby village, close by which is the entrance to Mona's wildest retreat, Sulby Glen.
The town of Ramsey, like the other Manx towns, consists of an Old and a New Town; the former, the direct successor of the old smuggling town of the last century, and still, in spite of many changes, bearing marked traces of the times when " fair trading" was the one employment of the islanders, to which everything else must give way; and the latter, being the product of the modern reputation of the Island as a summer resort. The Old Town occupies the triangular space lying between the harbour and the shore, and consists of narrow streets and lanes, composed of an extraordinary intermixture of houses and cottages of all sizes and shapes, confusedly grouped together without the least regard to order or arrangement. It is divided into two nearly equal parts by its main street, Church Street, named from St. Paul's Church, which stands at its northern end; and its present boundaries---are the " New Road," with its continuation " Waterloo Road," on the south ; the harbour, on the north ; and the beach, on the east.
Beyond the low-water landing pier, embankments are formed as far as the mouth of Ballure Glen, and terraces of fine houses have sprung up, and landward the new tows is rapidly filling up the undulating ground which lies between the old town and the mountains. The chief, business thoroughfare is Parliament Street, which 'intersects the northern part of the town from east to west, extending from near the Railway Station to theMarket Place in the centre of the town. The shops in this street are generally large, the Post Office, Court House, and several banks and hotels being situated in it. The COURT HOUSE is a very commodious building, enclosed by a low wall, surmounted by an iron railing Here the second Deemster. or Judge of the Northern District, the Vicar General, and the High Bailiff of Ramsey hold their Courts. At the northern end of Parliament Street, near the Railway Station, are the Town Buildings, in which the Municipal Board, the School Committee; and other public bodies hold their meetings.
Close to the Court House is the MARKET PLACE, a large open space extending for some distance along the south side of the harbour. Here weekly markets are held on Saturdays.
THE HARBOUR, through which runs the Sulby River, is well protected from shore winds, and is nearly always crowded with vessels, the quay presenting a very active picture. It separates Ramsey into two parts, which are connected by a
stone bridge 180 feet in length. Ramsey is the only port in the northern part of the island, and a good import and export trade is carried on here. Near the harbour is the Manx Northern Railway Station, opened in 1879, the Railway joining the Isle of Man Railway Co.'s system at St. John's.
MOORAGH PARK extends over 30 acres, and was laid out by the Town Commissioners on a portion of the Mooragh (Moor) which consisted of 200 acres of level sand, purchased by them in 1881. In the park is a lake 16 acres in extent, in the centre of which is an island containing a fountain and a couple of tennis courts. The lake itself is about a mile in circumference, and at the south end there is a landing stage for boats, on which is a verandahed building. There is also a pavilion for dancing. About 30,000 trees have been planted, in addition to the flowers and shrubs. The Mooragh Promenade is fully a mile in length, the sea coming right tip to the broad parapet, along which trees are planted at intervals,
the whole forming one of the grandest promenades in the United Kingdom. As we leave the Mooragh by its southern outlet we cross the harbour by a large swing bridge, a moveable platform 16o feet long and 16 feet wide, built by the Cleveland Bridge and Engineering Co., at a cost of £20,000 in 1887,
There is excellent fishing with long line or deep sea lines on the banks marked by the lightship, and lines and bait are supplied by the boatmen. At the right season of the year mackerel are also to be taken in large numbers by " whiffing." Very good fishing may be had by trolling with sand-eel or fly in the vicinity of the Carrick or the rocks at Maughold head. For full particulars of the latter, the most scientific and exciting form of sea fishing, the reader is referred to an article on " Sea Fishing at the Isle of Man " in Volume I. of " Anglers' Evenings," written by members of the Manchester Anglers' Association, and printed by Messrs. Abel Heywood & Son.
As well as the sea-fish, trout are to be caught by those sufficiently skilful in the streams. Permission has to be obtained, information on which can be had from the local fishing tackle makers.
The bathing at Ramsey is quite safe, the bay being free from currents, and the purity of the sea-water makes the bath particularly pleasant here. The machines are stationed on the south-side of the iron pier. Gentlemen may also bathe from the rocks towards Maughold Head, or from the sandson the north side of the harbour.
The Electric Power Company have extended their line from Laxey to Ramsey, thus opening up one of the most beautiful routes in the Island.
Two miles from Ramsey the Church of Lezayre is situated at the foot of Sky Hill. It is a beautiful object in the landscape, overgrown with ivy.
The very best of accommodation is provided for those who visit Ramsey. The boarding houses are everything that can be desired, -and lodging house keepers do their best to supply the wants of their patrons. Very fine houses have recently been erected on the Mooragh promenade. No difficulty is experienced in providing suitable lodgings, and the terms are most moderate. The townspeople are ever on the look out for improvements to satisfy the wants and wishes of tileir visitors.
A magnificent bridge has been erected over the harbour at a cost of £20,000, thus providing easy access to the promenade.
There are three Established Churches in Ramsey-St. Paul's in the Market Place, St. Olave's in North Ramsey, and Ballure in the South. St. Paul's is the chief church, and is a plain building erected in 1822. All the seats are free, and large congregations are the rule at this church. A great loss was sustained to the community by the death of the vicar, the Rev. G. Paton, in the year 1900. He was one of the most popular preachers that has ever occupied a pulpit in the Island. He was beloved by the people. His son is at present curate-in-charge.
The Wesleyans have two churches-one in Waterloo Road, which seats over 1,000 people, and a mission church in North Shore. The Primitive Methodists have one chapel in Parliament Street, which seats 800 people. The Presbyterians have a very fine church in Waterloo Road, and the New Connexion have one near the station.' On the Promenade is a small Roman Catholic Church, which has also suffered by the death of Dean Gallow in the year 1900. He was much beloved by the people.
In the matter of education Ramsey has been behind the other towns of the Island, but now the School Board have taken the matter in hand. A new system has been commenced, and the schools formerly worked by St. Paul's Church and the Wesleyan schools have been taken on rent by the committee.
There is no theatre in Ramsey, but there is a large building called the Palace in which entertainments are given. There is also another building called the Pavilion, which is occasionally used for concerts.
To reach Maughold Head from Ramsey, the tourist must pass along the East Road, called within the town boundaries, Ballure Road. After crossing Ballure Bridge, from which an attractive view of the lower Glen is obtained, the road begins to ascend the slope of Slieu Lewaigue ; and presently we get a splendid view of the Head with the pretty creeks of Port Lewaigue, and Port-e-Vuillen, while to the northward we have a fine view of Ramsey with its bay, and the whole Northern District from Jurby to the sandy cliffs of Point
Cranstal. A short distance beyond Port- e-Vuillen, we pass one of the fine runic crosses so numerous in the Isle of Man; it is fixed in the earthern bank by the road side, after the usual custom in Roman Catholic countries. Two miles further we reach the parish church and the village of Kirk Maughold, situate on a bleak tableland behind the Headland. The church is a very old one and of the true Manx type. It is unusually narrow, being 72 feet long by 17 feet wide, and is surrounded by an extensive burial ground, the largest in the Island. Near the gate of the churchyard, on a pedestal fixed in a block of stone, is a beautiful -pillar cross " of a remarkable character, known as St. Maughold's Cross. In the churchyard itself and in the vicarage are numerous other crosses and antiquities, many of great beauty and interest, which the intelligent visitor should not omit to examine. Leaving the church, a walk across a field, in a N.E. direction, will bring the visitor to the Head, from which a magnificent view of the sea and southern headlands is obtained.
BALLURE GLEN AND ALBERT TOWER.
Ballure Glen is a small but lovely nook, though the beauty of its stream and waterfall has been greatly impaired by the operations of the Waterworks Company, who have diverted both stream and fall to the reservoirs. It is entered at the Ballure Bridge, whence a footpath leads up the glen by the side of the stream or by a cart road along the side of the hill nearest the town. The sides of the glen are high and steep and thickly wooded, and the scenery, especially from the path along the stream, is picturesque and attractive. Opposite the waterworks reservoirs we strike the path over the hill to the ALBERT TOWER. This tower stands upon the summit of the Lhergy Frissell, and being a conspicuous object from every part of the town, it at once attracts the attention of the visitor. It is built of granite, is 45 feet high, and 16 feet square. The view from its summit is wide and interesting. From this point the summit of Noith Barrule, 1,850 feet, is easily reached.
SULBY GLEN AND SNAEPELL.
This, the finest of all the Manx glens, is too far to be visited on foot by any ordinary walker in one day, Sulby village, at the entrance of the glen, being five miles from Ramsey, the head of the glen being nearly nine miles, and the summit of Snaefell eleven. It can be best reached by taking the train to Sulby, and by either walking or driving up the glen to the foot of Snaefell. Comfortable cars meet each train to take visitors up the glen to the Tholt-e-Will Falls and Snaefell. The ride from Ramsey to Sulby is very interesting; the mountains on one side, and the great plain of the Curragh on the ether, affording a constant succession of picturesque and attractive scenery.
The entrance to the glen is almost opposite to the Sulby Glen Hotel, and at the entrance there is a curious pile of rocks called Cronk-y-Samarck. After passing a cluster of cottages about half-a-mile up the glen, the road scenery becomes much wilder and more lonely; we next pass the Starch Works and obtain a good view of the glen and the towering mountains above it, the river being much wider, and a capital locality for fly-fishing, especially on turning the foot of Mount Karran (1,100 feet), where the road rises. Opposite Mount Karran is Mount Carrick, and in the foreground is Slieu Monagh, 1.260 feet high. Proceeding onwards the glen narrows, and the surrounding mountains become steeper and higher, the river being shrouded by trees until we reach the comfortable hotel and restaurant at the entrance to the wild glen of Tholt-e-Will, which is a most delightful retreat amidst the wildest of mountain scenery, yearly increasing in its popularity. The views up the narrowed valley above the hotel and away to the summit of Snaefell, or down to the well-wooded vale below, are amongst the most delightful visions of holiday rambles. As we creep up the mountain side we catch glimpses of Snaefell and Pen-y-pot,(1,770 feet) in front, and behind the glen below us Slieu Dhoo, the " Black Mountain " (1,139 feet), and Slieu Farrane (1,600 feet). Here are also situated the beautiful waterfalls of Tholt-e-Will and Alt, which are well worth a visit. The Alt abounds in fine trout and affords good and ample sport for the angler. From the point where we quit the glen to ascend the Manx giant, Snaefell (2,036 feet), the distance to the summit is about two miles, but the views of the glen and surroundings during the ascent, and from the summit, will amply repay the toil of the ascent. No other mountain in the British Islands ot the same altitude can give so varied and extensive a prospect, which embraces England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland in its stretch, whilst the whole of the Isle of Man lies like a map around us. The descent and return may be either by the way we came, or by many others at the discretion of the visitor, as beautiful glens diverge in almost all directions from Snaefell.
Sulby river is the best in the Island for angling; there are splendid pools and plenty of good-sized trout and salmon.
THE DHOON GLEN.
This is one of the most beautiful glens in the island. It is six miles and a half from Ramsey to the hotel which stands at the head of the glen, where a small charge is made for admission. At the head is a well-wooded plantation, beautiful in itself, but more fascinating situations are found lower down the glen. Passing a large water wheel, formerly used to pump the water out of the now disused lead mines, we come to the first fall of about 80 feet, and immediately another leap of about the same depth, the total height of the falls being over 160 feet. Just beneath the first and above the second fall the visitor crosses a rustic bridge, from which the scene both above and below is one of a most fascinating character. A few yards before coming to the great fall is a smaller one, romantically situated on the left, close to which is a tunnel 26 feet in height, cut in the rock for.some hundreds of yards for purposes in connection with the old lead mine. A path has been cut from the bed of the river to the hill side, which leads us down to the shore, and as we walk along this path we see another torrent down the opposite hill side. This is Glen Callan, and the return by this equally romantic glen is a very agreeable change. At the beach is a small bay, which is so surrounded by rocks of every form, that from a little distance out at sea there is nothing seen which tells of the proximity of the beautiful glen we have just traversed. As we return by Glen Callen, its beauties are seen to great advantage, and by closely following the watercourse some delightful bits of scenery open out to our view. The splendid waterfall of the Dhoon Glen is not surpassed, we think scarcely equalled, even by the Spoot Vane on the opposite side of the island.
KIRK BRIDE AND THE POINT OF AYRE.
The northern extremity of the island is not often visited by passing tourists, but to those who stay a few days at Ramsey it affords a pleasant day's variety. Kirk Bride is about four miles from Ramsey. The pedestrian must take the road at the west end of Parliament Street which branches to the right from the Peel highway and leads over the bridge across the Sulby, and follow the Bowring Road, passing St' Olave's Church at the top of the road, and continue in the same direction; a good road branches off to the right, this is the Bride Road, and leads directly to the village, which is situated on the slope of an elevation called "Cronk-ny-Irey-Lhaa (the Hill of the Rising Day), 1,445 feet high. The church is at the bottom of a steep hill. In the churchyard are two fragmentary runic crosses, beautifully decorated. On an eminence here is a stone circle called "Cronk-ny-Vowlan," with an internal tumulus, from which a fine view of the Scottish coast and the Cumberland mountains is obtained.
The road to the right from the church leads to the POINT OF AYRE, the northern limit of the Isle of Man, which is distant about three miles. The lighthouse at the Point, which is built of stone, and is 159 feet in height, was erected in 1818. The lights are reached by a winding staircase, well protected against accident. The light is visible for about 14 miles, and revolves by clockwork, alternately showing red and white. A curious phenomenon occurs at the Point of Ayre, which is worth watching from the shore. The two tides running on each side the island meet off the Point and form a troubled water called by the natives the " Streens," which means strife, or contention. The formation of the coast here is peculiar. Stones of all sizes, rubbed smooth and round by the action of the waves, form terraces one above the other on the shore, which has so rapidly shallowed that the lighthouse, built close to the sea little more than 70 years ago, is now at some distance inland.
The return to Ramsey may be made by Kirk Andreas, if preferred, by turning westward from the North Road at Bride Village and following the road through the Sand Hills.
For the convenience of those who wish to make use of the Railways the following itinerary may be useful:
PORT ERIN RAILWAY. Poyt Soderick Station-Port Soderick, Kewaigue, Richmond Hill,Mount Murray. Santon Station Geenock, Crogga Hill (for magnificent view), Cass.ny-Awin Glen, Foxdale. Ballasalla Station-Rushen Abbey, Fort Island, Derby Haven, Kirk Malew, Roman Bridge, Glenaby. Castletown Station-See Page 30. Colby Station-The Slock (fine view), Cronk-ny-Irey-Lhaa, The Carnanes, Fairy Hill. Port St. Mary Station-Port St. Mary, The Chasms, Spanish Head. Port Erin Station-See Page 27.
THE PEEL. RAILWAY. Union Mills Station-Kirk Braddan, Kewaigue, Bobby Lewin's Mill. Crosby Station-Glen Darragh, Greeba, Rhenass Glen, Baldwin Glen, Injebreck, Foxdale. St. John's Station-See page 2o. Peel-See page 22.
THE RAMSEY RAILWAY. Ballacraine Station-Glen Helen, Craig-Willy's-hill, Glen Broogh, Glen Wyllan. Peel Road Station-Glen Carn, Glen Ballagawne, Spoot-y-Vane Waterfall, White Strand (good bathing). Kirk Michael StationKirk Michael, Glen Wyllan, Spoot-y-Vane, Cronk Urleigh, Slieu-na-Frangliane. Ballargh Station-Ballaugh Glen, Riversdale, Sulby Glen, Old Ballaugh Church. Sulby Station Sulby Glen, Primrose Hill, Skye Hill (splendid views), Tholt-e-Will, and Olt Waterfalls, Snaefell, Glen Auldyno Lezayre Station-Kirk Andreas, Jurby Point, village, and church. Ramsey-See page 34, for the town, Maughold Head and church, Kirk Bride, and the Point of Ayre with its two light-houses, the northernmost portion of the island.
ELECTRIC TRAMWAY. Groudle Station-Glen and Howstrakes, Golf Links. Garwick Station-Glen and Lonan Old Church and Burial Ground, Ballabey, Lonan Church and mountain district, Laxey, Snaefell, Dhoon Glen and beach.
The visitor who has no qualms on leaving terra firma should not miss the sail round the island in one of the Packet Co.'s swift and comfortable steamers, and if so inclined he can vary his trip to Laxey or Port St. Mary by making the return journey on the popular excursion steamer " Fairy Queen," which plies daily from Douglas along the coast. Those fond of sea-travel may have their fill, for at very cheap rates the Steam Packet Co. issue tickets which cover excursions to Dublin, Belfast, Ardrossan, Glasgow and the beautiful scenery of the Clyde, Fleetwood, and round the island, returning to Douglas each evening.
ABEL HEYWOOD & SON, PRINTERS, OLDHAM STREET, MANCHESTER
Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received
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