[Final chapter pp253/271 of E.L. Blanchard Adam's Descriptive Guide to the Watering Places of England London:John Adams 1851 - from some comments re postal situation I would guess based on a visit c.1847/8. Included here as an interesting comment on middle-class holidaying before the Island went in for the mass (working class) holiday makers from the 1870's onwards. Though the fine scenery is still there, the cheap brandy, and even cheaper wines, dissappeared a long time ago!]
The Isle of Man as a watering place is rapidly rising in the estimation of the public ; and there are few spots where a month or two of summer can be more agreeably and advantageously spent. Till lately it was comparatively unknown to the valetudinarian and the pleasure-seeker, but steamthat peculiar agent of the nineteenth century, by which obscure localities have been elevated and distant places brought nighhas done wonders for Monas Isle. At one time, and that not distant, it was difficult, and often impossible, for weeks together, to obtain a passage to or fro, and then only in the most uncomfortable and questionable-looking sailing craft. Now it is far otherwise. Finer steamers are not to be found anywhere than those belonging to the Isle of Man Steam-packet Company, in which the passage to the Island may be made from Liverpool daily, in summer, in five or six hours; from Dublin weekly, in seven hours; and the visitor returning from the Lake District may transport himself from Whitehaven to Monas sea-girt shores in little more than three ismun. steamers also ply to and from Fleetwood and Glasgow.
The Isle of Man, from its geographical position is favourably situated for a popular summer resort, being almost equidistant from the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Indeed, from the summit of Snaefield, its highest its highest mountain peak, a bird's-eye view may be obtained of the coast of each country Looking at the Island, we cannot but be struck with the attractions it possesses. Its climate, coast, country, and contiguity to the surrounding shores, all combine to render it a desirable place to be visited.
The climate is exceedingly salubrious during summer and in the autumn. There being no portion of the island more distant from the sea than five miles, a delicious coolness prevails during the hottest day, whilst the same cause prevents the excessive cold to which we are often subjected in England. The air is generally bracing, and, from the quantity of oxygen it contains, is very favourable to the enervated invalid. Individuals suffering from pulmonary complaints, or in whom symptoms of these maladies have appeared, should not, upon any account, visit the Isle of Manit will be sure to hasten the progress of disease. All others may go there with safety, if they indulge not too freely in the cheap brandy and cheaper wines, for which it is famed.
Finer sea-bathing is not to be found in her Majestys dominions. The water is of great strength and purity, and the beach, being composed of either fine hard white sand, or small clean pebbles, the water is free from the impurities which are to be found at other watering-places, and the bottom may be seen at a considerable depthsay twenty or thirty feet.
The scenery is also calculated to attract and interest the visitor. Boldness, beauty, and grandeur, may be found comfined within its narrow limits. Though it measures only thirty miles in length, and scarcely exceeds ten in breadth, and has a surface of less than 300 square miles, there are few places, of much larger extent, that possess equal scenic attractions. Its greatest defect is its want of wood and waterthe latter is irremediable; the former ought to be supplied, and that by the present generation. It would greatly enhance the value of the land, by covering that else unproductive, and, by adding to the beauty of the country, make it attractive to strangers. The scenic characteristics of the Island are, as we have intimated, boldness this is especially displayed on the coast, where, in many cases, the rocks rise perpendicularly from the sea many hundred feet, presenting to the eye of the spectator, and to the surges of the Irish Sea, a bold and imposing front. In wandering along the cliffs, the geologist will find much to interest him in the peculiar construction of the rocks, which appear as though they had been upheaved from deep recesses by a sudden freak of Nature.
Sublimity and grandeur are to be found associated with many of the scenes of the interior. The mountain ranges remind the visitor of some parts of British Switzerland and the Principality, while the glens surpass anything of the kind we have seen. To the visitor who can spare time, and can find enjoyment in tracing the windings of a glen, brave the precipitous ascent of a mountain, or enjoy the music of a waterfall, there is no ordinary treat for him when he visits Monas Isle. Diversity contributes to beauty, and it may be found here, for, leaving the wild, and rugged, and sublime, the beautiful may be found abounding. In the districts where cultivation has been attended to, there will be found some of the prettiest, quiet, rural, pictures eye has gazed upon. We could mention some which greatly charmed the writer, during a residence there, but we leave them for more specific notice as we proceed.
There is much associated with the history of the Isle of Man, which, to the intelligent visitor, will not be devoid of interest. In the brief space allotted to us, we cannot venture much upon this subject. We may just mention that the Isle of Man is the Mona of Caesar, and the Monada of Ptolemy. The time of its first occupancy cannot now be ascertained. The roving Gaulish and Cimbric colonies appear to have had possession of it prior to the Christian era. The inhabitants seemed to have practised Druidical superstitions till the year 447, when they were converted to Christianity by St. Patrick, who appointed St. Germanus his successor. They then maintained for a long time undisturbed possession, till the irruption of the northern barbarians, when they came under the dominion of the Scots, and eventually of the Welsh kings, whose reign terminated in 917.
From that period Manx history records a succession of twelve kings, the first of whom was of Scandinavian origin. One of these kings was greatly esteemed by our Edgar, by whom he was made admiral of the great fleet raised by that monarch for the protection of the English coast. This was in the year 974.
The subsequent history of the Island, from this period till the time of Edward III., records many vicissitudes and changes in its governors, and details the petty wars in which its inhabitants were engaged. In the reign of Edward III. a descendant of Reginalds revived a claim for the Island, and through the aid of the king, gained possession of it. It was then held successively by the Bishop of Durham, Earls Salisbury, Wiltshire, and Northumberland, upon whose rebellion it was seized by Henry IV., and given for one year only to Sir John Stanley, to whom, in the following year (1407), it was wholly given, to be held on the payment of a cast of falcons to the king at his coronation. John Stanley thus became the King of Man, and his descendants continued to hold that office until the time of James I., when they received a new grant of it.
During the troublesome times of the Commonwealth, the island remained attached to the king. When a Parliamentary fleet attacked it, a gallant defence was made by the heroic Lady Derby, but unavailingly so, as the Deputy Governor betrayed the Castle. General Fairfax then held the island till the restoration, when it again reverted to. the Stanley family. In 1735, the island descended to James, the first Duke of Athol. In 1765, the sovereignty of it was sold to the British Crown for £70,000, and £2,000 a-year. In 1825, an act was passed by both Houses of Parliament authorizing the government to treat for the remaining interest in the royalties and privileges of the island, and in 1829, the further sum of £416,114 was paid to his Grace, and the sea-girt isle became, not by conquest, but by purchase, the sole and entire property of the British Crown. This has been of great advantage to it, and ever since that change was made it has gone on rapidly advancing in population, intelligence, and trade.
Though thus now a dependency of this country, it is allowed to preserve intact its ancient institutions. These are of very distant origin, and are perhaps the most perfect living types of the old feudal governments. The legislature is composed of the Governor, appointed by the Queen~ his Council, composed of, the Bishop and the other law officers, and the House of Keys. a miniature parliamenta company of agricultural and other gentlemen, who meet occasionally, frame laws and otherwise legislate for their tiny empire. They are self-elective, and are not very popular with some of the people. English enactments do not extend there, unless expressly stated, and in such case the House of Keys retains the power of rejecting, the imposition. The house, however, cannot give currency to any new law. of their own, without first obtaining the Queens sanction for it. Thus the inhabitants have a tolerable guarantee that their interests, pecuniary. and social, will be preserved uninjured. An attempt has been made by some of the inhabitants to secure a popularly-elected House of Keys, and the exercise of the elective franchise by the people. In that they have failed. Another party has sought annexation to England, and representation in the House of Commons, but the same result has followed; and it is well that they have not succeeded, for, had they accomplished the latter purpose, the island must have been totally ruined. It could not have sustained its share of the burdens which weigh down the people of England. At present it knows not taxation, and the authorities have no power to impose any: the only general tax is 4s. 6d. annually upon each house, which is devoted to keeping up the highways and streets. Tue fund for this purpose is increased by a few taxes on luxuries, namely, on carriages, horses, and dogs, game licences, and licences to hankers, brewers, hotel and tavern keepers, and hawkers; but then " pikes" are unknown. There are no toll-bars on the island, and better roads, barring the hills, are not to be found anywhere. The only other taxes are those imposed by the British government for fiscal purposes. These are of small amount, and are confined to such articles as foreign spirits, wines, teas, tobacco, &c., and are not felt by the consumer. In these respects the Isle of Man is a happy exception to the surrounding countries, and thus forms, not only a place of delightful summer resort, but to the man of quiet habits and moderate means a desirable spot for permanent residence.
The laws of the island are simple, and, were they properly upheld, might be models of legislation to larger communities. Unfortunately, law is cheap, and lawyersadvocates, as they are termedgreatly abound. The consequence is, that litigation is abundant. The most trifling matter is taken into court, and kept there for some time, for the especial benefit of the "limbs of the law." It is no uncommon case for an action, arising out of some petty dispute or unworthy quarrel, to remain unsettled for two or three years, simply because the lawyers cannot afford to let it out of their hands sooner. Though the law is cheap, it thus becomes extremely dear; and we have known many cases where an entire property has been destroyed by legal costs. We pity the stranger who gets into the fangs of the law while visiting there. However just his case he must not expect to escape unscathed.
The religion of the island is that of the Established Church. The clergymen, most whom are of Manx origin, are exemplary as pastors; some of them are superior as preachers; but their general characteristics are simplicity, piety, and devotedness, and their labour has not been in vain. Much superstition still remains in the interior, and the tales of witches, fairies, and such like lore of the past, find ready currency among the peasantry, and have their influence to the present day. It is no uncommon case, even now, to have ceremonies performed for driving the witches away, or curing some unhappy animal that has fallen beneath their baneful influence. But these cases are becoming rarer. Intercourse with the enlightened, and the spread of education, are dispersing these clouds of error and superstition.
While the Church of England is the established form of religion, all others are tolerated. There are to be found Wesleyan Methodists, Primitive Methodists, Independents, Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, and some few minor sects.
The Wesleyan Methodists are by far the most important, in point of numbers and influence, exceeding, we believe, in the former, the Establishment itself. Its tenets and spirit seem to suit the genius of the people, and it has gone on increasing till there is not a nook on the island that has not its preaching house and its society. Its influence has been most beneficial in raising the moral and social character of the people.
There are few places where there is so little flagrant crime and so few outrages upon person and propertywhere there is so little improvidence, and consequently little abject poverty and mendicancywhere . the really poor are better provided for, though there are no poors-rates; and where the general aspect of society, morally, socially, and religiously, is more agreeable. A Sabbath spent in the Isle of Man is a more than ordinary treat. The quiet, the utter absence of all traffic, and the crowds that are attracted to the various places of worship, throw around the day a charm sought for in vain elsewhere.
There are few sources of amusement beyond what are extern. In this respect the island is behind older-established watering-places. As the necessity for them appears. the inhabitants will be wise enough to provide them. The want, however, is fully made up by the sources of enjoyment which are to be found in the open air. The bays of the different ports are admirably adapted for boating, and most gentlemen visitors avail themselves of this healthy exercise. The principal bays are almost land-locked, and hence boating may be indulged in with as great, or greater, safety than on the lakes, while the views which are obtained from the water are enchanting. The means for gratifying the desire for aquatic excursions are abundant and reasonable. At Douglas and Ramseythe two principal townsboats of every description, from the light rowing gig to the lugger, are always on hire, and for a few shillings a boat of any description may be had for an hour or a day, with the accompaniment of a trusty boatman.
Those who are fond of fishing may gratify themselves to their hearts content, as the coasts abound with every variety of salt-water fish, and which are not very particular as to the quality of the bait offered them or the skill of the hand that tempts them. We have often seen a mere tyro in the "gentle art," after a few hours pursuit of his avocation, return with such a supply of the finny tribe as to be at a loss how to dispose of them. Mackarel are very abundant in the deep water off the head-lands, especially off Douglas Head, and we know few employments more exciting than that of catching this beautiful and delicious fish. The fresh water fishing is goodwhen it can be come at. The small rivers abound with trout, but they are rather strictly preserved, a matter greatly to be regretted. There are means, however, of conquering this difficulty. The initiated will understand us. sporting is not a very profitable amusement, unless the sportsman should direct his attention to the "gulls," and they wont help him to a dinner. Partridge and quail are to be found, but not in abundance, while grouse are non est inventus. Snipe are plentiful, and furnish good sport. Sportsmen will always find a good gun, plain directions as to the best ground, and an hospitable host, at the "Half-way House," between Douglas and Peel. Old Burrowes seldom disappoints his friends. A days rabbit shooting may also be obtained, for a consideration, and the contents of the bag, on "the Calf," a small island, situate at the southern extremity of Man., from which it is separated by a narrow but somewhat dangerous channel. With the exception of one family, who farm it, and the lighthouse-keepers, the rabbits are the sole occupants of this petty dependency.
Hunting is not much patronised. Hares are not very abundant, and foxes are unknown. In the north of the island some little coursing is indulged in, hut beagle hunting cannot be safely prosecuted. The maintenance of a pack of hounds has often been attempted, but never with success. The number has always been diminished before the end of the season, either by their making fatal summersaults over unexpected precipices, or taking similarly successful leaps, after an imprudent hare, from a provoking headland, into a thirty-fathom bath in the Irish Sea. The same causes damp the ardour of the most enthusiastic sportsmen. The country is altogether unsuitable for the bugle.
The turf is as little attended to. Till lately there were no horse races. Recently an attempt as been made to establish them, but they are small affairs. During the summer there are several regattas. Some of these are more than respectable, and, if they were supported with spirit, would. be exceedingly attractive.
The accommodations for visitors are, upon the whole, good. Some of the hotels are first-rate establishments, not to be surpassed at any watering-place in the kingdom. They are, in every respect, very superior to some we have seen, the wines and brandies first-rate, and the charges moderate.
Douglas being the principal point of debarkation, we mention it first, for the guidance of those who may visit the island for the first time. The principal hotel is called Castle Mona. This is a magnificent house almost a palace. It was formerly the residence of the Duke of Athol, and is every way worthy of a ducal occupant. It is situated in the centre of the bay and on its margin, and is surrounded on three sides with beautiful pleasure-grounds. By the way, it has been rumoured that our own VictoriaGod bless her !has been contemplating its purchase for her own purpose, for which it is more suited than Osborne House. The landlord is Mr. Heron, a gentleman in every sense of the word, whose object appears to be to fufil the duties of his station. The living, the society, and the various et caeteras essential to the enjoyment of hotel life, are to be found at the " Castle," combined with moderate charges, and proximity to good bathing. For two guineas a-week the best of everything may be obtained.
The next in importance is Fort Anne Hotel. This is a new house, delightfully situate on the "Head," commanding the entrance to the harbour, and with the finest marine,. rural, and mountain scenery we ever beheld. The pleasure grounds are also beautiful, but not extensive. One advantage this hotel possesses is, that the visitor may land from the beach below the house, without the annoyance of landing on the pier-head, and passing through the town. The internal arrangements are of the most recherche character. We do not know who is the present arbiter of its comforts. We forgot to mention that bathing may be enjoyed here, on a pebbly beach, accessible only to the occupants of the hotel, while there is a marine parade running parallel to the pier, but private, being separated from it by the entrance to the harbour.
The Royal Hotel is situate at the top of the Marine Parade, and within a stones throw of the landing-place of the packets. This house is now presided over by Mr. Hill, formerly of the Crescent Hotel; and to those who know him the mention of his name is sufficient guarantee for abundance, comfort, courteous attention, and politeness. Those who do not, we should recommend to pay him a visit, and we are quite sure they will be of the same mind with the writer. His terms are about 30s. a-week.
There are many other houses of note, but we cannot notice them fully in our assigned limits. We mention them for the guidance of our readers, and say, for second-rate houses, they can scarcely, among the number, make an unwise selection : British, Adelphi, Albion, Crescent, Cumberland, Fleetwood, Ramsey, Redferns, and York Hotels.
Lodging-houses are abundant, and of every variety of description. They will generally be found clean and comfortable, and the inmates attentive. the charges vary according to style and locality. In taking them the visitor should be careful to have the terms properly understood, for sometimes the influx of visitors is so large, that rather extra vagrant prices are demanded. We should point a party who wishes to combine comfort, respectability, and a pleasant and healthful situation, to the Crescent Cottages, Woodville, the Castle Lawn, Marina, Mona-terrace, Harris-terrace, Taubman terrace, Finch-road, and Prospect-hill. These are choice neighbourhoods, removed from the smoke and noise of the town. Cheaper, but still comfortable, apartments, will be found on the North and South quays, Athol-streeet, Peel-road, Fort-road, &c. &c.
While on this subject, we may just say, that somewhat similar accommodation may be found in the other principal towns in the island. At Ramsey, Bretts Mitre Hotel and Crawfords Great Western Hotel are admirable houses. Of the first we can speak from experience, and especially in praise of the obliging host. Here a good dinner and agreeable society may always be depended, on. The Peel Castle Hotel will supply the travellers wants at Peel; and Mr. Kneen, of the George, at Castletown, will see that his visitors are properly attended to.
Having thus met the first demand of health or pleasure-seekers, we would next point out to him how he may employ his time to the best advantage, and see all that is worthy of his attention.
We suppose he has landed at Douglas, from one of the Insular Companys steam-boats, the Tynwald, the King Orry, or the Ben-my-chree, or from those from Fleetwood, the Fenella or Orionthat he has been comfortably ensconced in an hotel or lodging-house, has slept soundly, and dispatched an ample breakfast. He now essays forth, and we offer him our aid. Douglas is in it itself an uninteresting place; its streets are narrow, irregular, illventilated, and eloquent of the absence of the Sanitary Commissioners, while the air is redolent of the effluvia of fish and decomposing refuse, which is not improved by the prevailing fumes of tobacco and bad brandy. The buildings are of an inferior description. There is scarcely an exception, if we overlook one or two of the churches, the Oddfellows Hall, and some few buildings in the better parts of the town. But the suburbs are beautiful, and display as much of contrast with the town as is to be found in the old and new towns of Edinburgh. The population of the town is about 10,000of the island, 50,000. The Pier-head forms a most agreeable promenade, and is much frequented on the arrival of the steam-packets in the evening, as well as when they depart in the morning. It is 520 feet in length, and 40 feet in breath for 450 feet from its commencement, when it increases to the extent of 90 feet, terminating in a circular area of considerable elevation, with a handsome lighthouse springing from its centre. It was built by government in 1800, at a cost of £22,000. From this portion a delightful view is obtained of the bay and the shores by which it is skirted. Here, on a summer evening, there is generally to be found a gay crowd, enjoying the cool of the refreshing sea breeze. From this point, also, is seen to advantage the peculiarly splendid appearance of the setting sun, as it sinks behind the lofty mountains which form the background of the picture. At the upper end of the pier is the Court House, where, on court days, the visitor may find an hour or two of amusement at the vagaries of Manx lawyers, and read much of native character.
To the right of the pier is St. Barnabas Church, a neat stone structure, but lost from its confined situation. Proceeding to the Market-place, we come to St. Matthews Church, a small rude building, of ancient date, having been consecrated by the venerable Bishop Wilson. In this church the service is occasionally performed in the Manx language, a strange dialect of the Celtic, said to be, by Manx sages, the language in which Adam made love to Eve when they alone formed the worlds inhabitants. We are not prepared to dispute this assertion, but certainly we can see no reason, in its non-euphonious sounds, to wish for its future preservation; and, as common consent seems to be on our side, we are under no alarm that it will survive many generations. St. Georges Church, which stands on the hill behind Athol-street, is a plain edifice, and looks more ancient than it is. It forms a pretty object when seen from the valley below the Peel-road. The new church of St. Thomas, in the Finch-road, is a neat specimen of the early English style of architecture. No other building is of sufficient importance to call for even a passing remark. The Scotch Church will be found in the Finch-road; the Wesleyan Chapel in Thomas-street, near the Post-office; and the other chapels in the immediate vicinity.
Douglas boasts of a water company, a gas companybut it is badly litand one or two banks. The market is held on Saturday, and is well supplied. the postal communication with England is daily in summer, and twice a-week in winter daily between the insular towns. There are several news papers published in Douglas for local circulation, and many publications to circulate in England are also printed there, by which means their proprietors secure the benefit of free postage and evade the enactments of the English Stamp Act.
The environs of Douglas are very beautiful. The visitor having seen the town, we would lead him up the North Quay, across the bridge which spans the small river that runs through the harbour, and up the hill, past Taubman-terrace, Fort Anne Hotel, Harold Towera castellated building, which looks most picturesque from the pier, and is the residence of the High Bailiffon to the "Head," where, if he has a soul for Natures pictures, he will find a scene interesting enough to wrap him in wondering admiration. We have often gazed upon the picture till words failed to tell the emotions it excited. Imagine the gazer standing upon a lofty headland, rugged and abrubt lit, the sea to the right stretching as far as the eye can reach, bounded in some places only by the horizon, in others by the dim outline of the Cumberland Hills, and dotted here and there with vessels of various burthens; below, a depth of several hundred feet, the baya miniature of the famed Bay of Naplesspread out in a semicircular form, bright, clear, and placid as a sheet of glass, and enlivened with various parties of pleasure and yachts with their snow-white sails; around, to the heft, the various villas, terraces, and mansions, which skirt the bay, with Castle Mona in the centre, all relieved with bright and luxuriant foliage, and surmounted with an exquisite amphitheatre of rural scenery, stretching away to the summit of a lofty mountain range, which bounds the gazers view, and completes the exquisite picture.
Such is the view presented from Douglas Head. After gazing at this for a while, there is an agreeable change awaiting those so inclined. Descending from the heights, which is no easy task, the bather will find convenient coves of Natures own construction, where he may enjoy the luxury of an ablution in water clear as crystal, and suitable for the most timid as well as the most daring in aquatic pastime.
Reascending the "Head," there is a romantic walk along the cliffs, which, turning to the right, leads to the lovely grounds of the "Nunnery," the seat of General Goldie. These grounds are much and deservedly admired. The name is from an ancient priory, said to have been built in the sixth century by St. Bridget. Very little of the ruins now remain. The family reside in the mansion adjoining, an edifice of recent erection. Proceeding onwards, the way heads past some pretty villas at Mill Mount, along a pleasant road, a mansion or two on either side, to Kirk Braddan Church. This is a most picturesque spot. The church is very ancient, of rude construction, and almost hid by lofty trees. The graveyard is interesting, especially to the antiquarian, who will here find some valued relics of by-gone ages. From this edifice there is a pleasant road direct to the town, on which will be found some pretty views and elegant mansions.
Another pleasing ramble may be found by leaving the town at the north end of Athol-street, and proceeding along Finch-road, passing the Scotch Church. On this road are many superior mansions, commanding a fine view of the bay. At the end of the road is the elegant villa and grounds of Marina, now used as a seminary by the Misses Dutton. Turning to the right, the road leads past the new church of St. Thomas, along the margin of the bay, from which there is a good view, the nearest prominent object in the foreground being the Tower of Refuge, a castellated structure raised upon a dangerous rock, which is nearly covered at high water, for the purpose of affording safety to mariners who may unfortunately be wrecked on the rocks. A few minutes walk, and the Woodville-road is reached, where quite a new town has been built of late years, and which, as a place of residence, has many attractions. At this point, also, the Castle Mona grounds begin. A great portion of the land formerly enclosed has been built upon, and the "lawn" now sustains some spacious and ornamental mansions. From the Castle Lodge, taking the footpath leading up the plantation, many beautiful residences are seen, both on the hill and on the lawn. This pathway leads directly to the Castle, which is magnificent for its size and completeness. The grounds are very interesting, being planted with exotics, native shrubs, and forest trees, and through which winds a little glen of Alpine beauty. They are about twenty acres in extent. Still proceeding onward a series of beautiful villas are passed in succession till the Crescent is reached; thence there is a pleasant walk further along the margin of the bay, past Strathallan Crescent, to Derby Castle, the furthermost building on the north side of the bay. Ascending the hill to the left, there is the pretty village of Onchan, with its modest-looking church. Still keeping to the left, there is a pleasant walk through a highly cultivated country, adorned with mansions and villas, rendered picturesque by the extensive views that are obtained from its great elevation. This road will lead directly to the point of departure.
Three or four very pleasant excursions may be made in exploring the island, and they will repay, in interest and advantage to health, the trifling expense they may cost. We may here remark, once for all, that the means of conveyance are reasonable. During the summer months omnibuses travel between the different towns. The fares are small. We would recommend, for a party of two or four, the hiring of a phaeton or gig, which may be had on most moderate terms, and, as there are no toll-bars, the extras are trifling.
The best route to take is to journey south to Castletown, the metropolis of the island. The road leads across the bridge at Douglas, and leaving the Nunnery on the right, passes through a pretty country, but exceedingly undulating. The traveller will see some pretty views as he journeys along. About eight miles from Douglas is the village of Ballasalla. This place is ancient, and contains the venerable remains of the Abbey of Rushen. The scenery here is exceedingly picturesque. Proceeding to the left, and again to the right, there is a pretty drive to Castletown. As it is approached, the small fishing village of Derbyhaven and King Williams College are seen on the leftthe latter a noble structure. Castletown itself contains little of interest. It is but a small place, of about from one to two thousand inhabitants; but it is the seat of government, the residence of the Lieutenant Governor (the Hon. Charles Hope), and the place where the Manx Parliament assembles. The principal object of attraction is the venerable Castle of Rushen, which is of great strength, and is now the only prison in the island. It was erected in the year 947, by one of King Orrys successors. The Castle is quadrangular, with square towers on the sides, the largest more than eighty feet high; it is surrounded by a lofty embattled wall and fosse, and defended by a glacis of stone. From the summit of the tower is an extensive view. What soldiers are in the island are located at Castletown. The streets are open and regular, and there is a neat church in the market-place. There are two or three other places of worship in the town. Speaking relatively of the inhabitants, we should say that they are somewhat exclusive and aristocratic.
The neighbourhood around Castletown is level and fertile. Proceeding south through Arbory-street, the celebrated quarry of Poolvash is passed, where Manx marble is found in great abundance. It is much used for mantel-pieces. From this quarry the steps of St. Pauls Cathedral were taken. The limestonebeds here are very extensive. At the distance of four miles from Castletown is Port St. Marya very small and very rude fishing villagebut where a good glass of brandy and a good cigar are always to be found. Near this place is Spanish Head, a bold promontory worthy the attention of the tourist. From Port St. Mary to Port Erin, so called from being opposite to Ireland, is a pleasing half-hours drive. This is an unattractive spot, but it is generally from it that boats are hired for a trip to the Calf of Man, an island situate at the southern extremity of the Isle of Man. The passage to it is often dangerous, from the rapid tide that flows through the Sound. The " Calf" is nearly five miles in circumference, and comprises an area of more than six hundred acres. On the western side the cliffs rise, in perpendicular masses, to the height of four hundred feet, and its summit is five hundred feet above the level of the sea. Tire Welsh, Scotch, and Irish mountains are distinctly seen from it. A large rock on the south side, called "the Eye," is an object of interest. The distance of "the Calf" from Port Erin is about three miles. In returning the visitor should stop at Fairy Hill, west from Rushen Church, one of the finest barrows in the island. A different road may be taken in returning to Castletown, which goes near some extensive Druidical remains, close to the village of Colby.
Starting again from Castletown, the best direction is to take the Kirk Malew road for Peel. Near this road on the right, on the banks of a rivulet, are Goddard Covans Stones, well known to all readers of Sir Walter Scotts "Peveril of the Peak." Crossing the mountains of Barrule by a good road, the Foxdale Mines are passed, at the bottom of which there is a beautiful cascade. A mile and a half further on is Tynwald Mounta circular barrowwhere the legislature annually assembles to promulgate new laws. From Tynwald Mount the road goes straight to Peel. Its great attraction is the old and venerable castle. It is a pity to see this ancient hold mouldering to decay, and we think the government might devote some of the insular revenues to its proper maintenance. All who are familiar with Sir Walter Scott and Shakspeare will visit it with much pleasure. Eleanor Duchess of Gloucester, and the Earl of Warwick, were, on different occasions, prisoners within the walls of Peel Castle. There are some strange legends attached to the place.
Leaving Peel, the road stretches northward along the coast, and leads to a small glen, called Glenmay, at the head of which there is a pretty waterfall, formed by a ledge of rocks crossing a large rivulet. The whole glen is a picture. A writer says, "It is a spot which every pilgrim to Mona ought to visit, almost in preference to any other."
Again starting from Peel, by the Douglas-road, we proceed to Tynwald Mount and St. Johns, when the road to Ramsey turns to the left, and passes, for two miles, through a deep defilea sort of miniature Kyber passsteep, lofty, barren, and desolate, and distinguished by a hermit-like solitude. In the bottom runs a small river. A short distance from the upper end is the Fall of Rhenass, a romantic and beautiful cascade, which leaps and jumps from the mountain from whence it derives its name. The fall is difficult to find, but a guide is always at hand at the foot of the hill. The road then leads through Kirk Michael, past Bishops Courtthe Bishops palacewhich must be visited. The gardens are beautiful, and the grounds most interesting. A little further on is the village of Ballaugh, then succeeds the primitive one of Sulby, followed by the lovely parish of Lezayre, through which the town of Ramsey is entered. The whole of this drive is full of interest and beauty. To the right there is a continuance of mountain scenery, the foreground filled up with a richly-cultivated country and pretty mansions, and on the left the fine champaign districts of Andreas and Jurby are spread before the eye.
Ramsey is the prettiest town in the island : it is small, but regularly built, and is situate on the margin of a bay of seven miles in extent. The country around is deeply interesting, and the boating and fishing in the bay are good. It possesses also the charm of good society.
From Ramsey there is a picturesque road, by the coast, to Douglas. The distance is sixteen miles, but the roughest we ever drove. Its ever-changing aspect, however, amply repays the fear it may inspire. We are sorry we cannot fully describe its various scenes, but our space forbids it. Immediately on leaving Ramsey southward, some exquisite scenery is encountered, near Ballure and Ballure Bridge, and from that spot to the village of Laxey is reached every turn of the road presents a new and interesting picture. Laxey itself is a romantic place. Situate in a deep glen, it looks the perfection of solitude and quiet. To be seen might, the traveller should alight and walk up the glen for a distance of two or three miles. On a summer evening, just when the suns rays are beginning to leave its depths, it is a place of exquisite beauty. Thence to Douglas is a pleasant ride of seven miles, during which some beautiful views may be obtained.
One other mode of seeing the island, and we are done, and that is to take a passage on board the Ben-my-chree, some Friday morning, at nine oclock, and before six in the evening every creek will have been explored, every headland doubled, and the whole island circumnavigated. This plan is really essential in order to give the tourist an idea of its magnificent scenery.