[From Isle of Man, Cumming 1848]
Port Erin.-St. Catherine's Well.-Brada Head and Copper Mine. -View from Grammah.-Fairy Hill, Fleshwick Bay.-Manx peasantry, cabins, carranes, and Sunday blankets.-Origin of the names Lezayre and Arbory.-The Friary.-Upper limit of the boulderclay.-Grenaby.-St. Mark's.-The Black Fort and Sir Walter Scott.-Granite blocks and Goddard Crovan's Stone.-Structure of granite.-Bubble of South Barrule.-Ascent of the mountain. -Evidence of great cataclysmal action.-Strike of parallel mountain-chains.-Mines and Minerals.-Slieauwhallin.-Witchcraft. -Tynwald Mount.-Ancient ceremonies.
PORT ERIN (or as it is sometimes called, Port Iron) presents a genuine specimen of a Manx fishing village. Old herring nets spread upon the thatch of cottages, and big stones 1 tied at each corner to keep all safe down; semi-putrid fish drying in the sun against the walls; pigs and poultry roaming about and picking up refuse; the heads and entrails of hake and congers; heaps of the shells of the limpet, periwinkle, scollop, and whelk; old inverted boats hauled up and ranged along the walls; lobster-pots strewed about on the shore; and rumpy cats basking in the sun.
'Tis a splendid beach, and the prettiest bay in the island If it were on the southern coast of England, it would beyond all doubt become a favourite watering-place. A little of the public money would make it a valuable haven, and a great accommodation to the herring fleet when lying off the western coast of Man. Her Majesty's mail has been landed here when it could not be landed in Douglas; but there is no great landed proprietor resident on the spot, no one to plead the claims of the poor fishermen, and so, like Derbyhaven, with great capabilities it lies neglected and almost useless 2.
How magnificently does Brada Head rise up, shutting in the northern angle of this horse-shoe bay! The mines of copper there, which at the beginning of the seventeenth century seem to have been wrought to some extent, have latterly been almost abandoned. The only copper at present raised on the island seems to be at Laxey, where it is worked along with the lead and zinc and afterwards separated by hand. The mouth of the mine is with difficulty accessible when the tide is out.
In proceeding across from Port Erin to Fleshwick Bay on foot we cross the little hill Grammah, from which a very fine view is presented. It is probably the only point at so low an elevation where both the east and west side of the island can be seen at the same time. We catch a view of Dalby Point near Peel, and of Castletown and its neighbourhood, and turning round south-westward we have a fine view of the Calf Islet and the Stack. Just in the hollow here on the northern side of the hill, and in the meadows at the west end of Rushen parish church, there is a magnificent tumulus 3, known by the name of Cronk-na-mooar and Fairy Hill. In so many instances 4 it has been determined by actual examination that these barrows or elevated mounds of earth, as well as the cromlechs and the so-called druidical circles, are places of sepulture, that it seems useless to note the conjectures which have been hazarded by different persons as to the original intention of this carnedd in the valley here at our feet.
It may be remembered 5 that Reginald, son of Olave the Black, was slain here in 1249 by the knight Ivar; as we have however the record of his interment in the church of St. Mary of Rushen this is evidently not his mausoleum. Nor is it certain that any battle took place on that occasion between the followers of Reginald or Ivar, otherwise we might presume that it covers their remains. It is probably of a very much earlier date than the thirteenth century. In descending from our station on Grammah towards the parish church, some gravel-pits on the road-side give a good insight into the structure of the drift-gravel platform, and it is well to examine it at this point in immediate connexion with the underlying boulder-clay, which is very finely developed in the cliffs at the head of Port-Erin Bay. The scooping-out of the tertiary gravels at the period of the elevation of the land may be well studied in this immediate neighbourhood.
An excursion hence into Fleshwick Bay will never be regretted by any true lover of the wild and stupendous in Nature's beauties, though the road for carriages is none of the best. Brada and Ennyn Moar, sinking down precipitously into the western sea with bluff and frowning look 6, were at one time quite separated by a narrow channel corresponding with the Kitterland Strait, through which, during the pleistocene period, the sea continually flowed. Now they are connected by the upheaved tertiary sea-bottom. A sufficient inroad has however been made in these gravel and clay beds to form a snug little creek tolerably secure from all winds but the north-west for only very small fishing craft.
I have been in few places where a sense of solitude rested more powerfully upon me than here. It has often put me in mind of some of the more sequestered valleys in Wales, Cumberland, or the Peak of Derbyshire, as I have watched the tiny sheep 7 perched goat-like upon points of rock, or dashing headlong8 in their fright at the stranger adown a rugged chasm, the tinkling of the bell and their shrill bleat echoing most wildly from mountain to mountain. Here will be heard, I verily believe, more Manx than in any other part of the Sheading, and the simple habits of the natives can scarcely be studied in a better locality than this. Here, if anywhere, we may expect to meet with .carranes9 instead of shoes, Sunday-blankets 10for cloaks, bundles of gorse for gates and doors, loaghtyn11 sheep and relics of the ancient race of purrs, and here the true samples of Southside Manx cabins; and their inmates are (generally speaking) sufficiently well-off not to be solicitous about anything better. They enter most fully into the spirit of the adage, "Man wants but little, nor that little long." They are certainly an independent race, which may seem to some remarkable when they consider the many masters they have had at different times, and the frequency with which the island has changed hands. I am however myself inclined to attribute much to the absence of a poor-law on the island, and to the operation of the insular law (to which they are very strongly attached), which gives power to the wife over a considerable moiety of the husband's goods, which she can settle away independent of his wishes or interests. An unruly son whom his father would cut short may thus fall back securely upon the more tender feelings of his mother. It has however frequently kept family property together, and liberated estates which the dissipation of the father would have impoverished. Hence the affection of the islanders for this ancient law.
It would be easy, on foot or horseback, to ascend the mountain-range from Fleshwick Bay and to take the bridleroad over in that direction to Peel; but it suits us better to return towards Castletown by the inland road for a couple of miles, and then to turn up the hill-side by the road to Grenaby, and so into the Peel road from Castletown. We pass on our way Christ's Rushen parish church, Colby glen and Arbory church, and turn off at the Friary, an ancient Cistercian cell in connection with the Abbey of Rushen. It is amusing to note sometimes the strange reason assigned for the names of places; thus Chaloner tells us12 Kirk Christ's Rushen is so called from "being built on the side of a rushy bog;" Kirk Arbory, because formerly surrounded with trees arbour-like, and Kirk Christ's Lezayre because it is " placed in a sharp air." For my own part I am inclined to give the following derivation of the names. The parish churches of Christ's Rushen and Lezayre are dedicated in honour of the Holy Trinity, and it may not be easy to determine why the name of the second pÚrson in particular has been applied to them. They stand respectively in the sheadings of Rushen and Ayre. We have beforet noted the origin of the name Rushen, in St. Russin, a fellow-labourer of St. Columba, and I know no reason why Lezayre should not be derived from the Manx lesh, towards or belonging to, and Ayre, the name of the sheading 13. Again, if we look at the old map of the island14, which Chaloner himself has given in his book, we find Kirk Arbory written Kirk Kerebrey. Now we know that St. Cairbre, a disciple of St. Patrick, attained to considerable celebrity towards the close of the fifth century, and though Sacheverell states, seemingly on his own authority, that the patron saint of Kirk Arbory is St. Columba, I am much more disposed to give that honour to his senior St. Cairbre, and to conclude that, just as Kirk Conchan has been corrupted into Kirk Onchan, so Kirk Cairbre has easily slidden into Kirk Arbory.
Vice ascend the mountain-side by the road which turns up between Parville and the Friary 15 and passes by Balla Clague. The road traces along the upper limit of the boulder clay, and we begin to be struck with the number of large granite blocks which rest upon the surface; they have largely afforded materials for building, but we still find them in the banks on each side of the road, and on the top of the hill before we descend toward Grenaby there is an accumulation of them in the corner of a farmyard.
The view of the southern basin of the island from this point is particularly fine. We are sufficiently elevated to have the whole spread out as a map before our eyes, and to comprehend it almost at a glance, and at the same time we are sufficiently near to dwell upon and to note distinctly any object about which we are specially interested.
Descending to Grenaby we come upon a well-wooded valley, through which the Silverburn has cut its way, and the old mill and the contiguous bridge form nice subjects for the sketch-book. The road ascending towards Barrule has been cut through a mass of the boulder clay, and presents a convenient section for its study. There is a road leading hence direct across the country for St. Mark's, but it is hardly practicable for vehicles. The more advisable route is to continue on the road which runs on the brow of the hill skirting the western side of the valley of the Silver burn, till we get into the Peel road near Ballahot. Here again, just before we descend to Athol bridge, we note, at the point where the road-cutting exposes the old red conglomerate resting on the upturned and contorted schists, a fine accumulation of granitic blocks, and there is, as we shall see, the Silverburn valley interposed between them and their origin.
After proceeding a couple of miles on the Peel road, we may if we choose turn off on the right hand by a good road leading to St. Mark's, and visit the spot which Sir Walter Scott has rendered famous as the Black Fort in 'Peveril of the Peak'16. Hardly a trace now remains of the old Danish rampart; but the field where it stood (a portion of glebe which the present chaplain of St. Mark's has reclaimed out of a dreary waste) has been christened after the "Great Unknown," whose description of the locality is both highly picturesque and faithful 17. It is not far from St. Mark's chapel on the western side hard by the little purling brook, which rising in the granitic boss of South Barrule, and taking a southerly course, meets the Silverburn a little above the Crossag bridge at Ballasalla. The stream is choked up with the blocks of granite, and they are accumulated against every salient angle in the valley, and spread out in every little alluvial flat for a considerable distance.
It is very plain that the accumulation of granite blocks in this direction is owing to a very different cause to that which has lodged them in the valley of the Silverburn at ` Grenaby, and perched them on every eminence along the mountain-range both on the eastern and (as we shall see) the western sides of it, and even on the very summits of South Barrule and Irey-na-Lhaa. We must certainly mark here the different effects of alluvial and diluvial action. But we must keep in mind also the fact, which the gravel boss on the Calf of Man has tended to establish, that the sea-level at one point in the period of the boulder formation, was at least 400 feet higher relatively with the land in this neighbourhood than at present. It would therefore almost wash the base of this granitic boss on South Barrule. It was a glacial period, one in which the carrying power of ice was much brought into play, and therefore the granite blocks which the little burns, taking their rise in that eminence, brought down to the sea were frozen into shore-ice, drifted off a mile or two by the currents along the coast and stranded here and there on the lower eminence where they accumulated on the deliquescence of the ice. We may in this way account for their occurrence over the greater part of the southern basin of the island without having recourse to any violent cataclysmal action, since when we come to examine the matter, we find that all the points of the occurrence of these blocks which lie to the east and south of the granitic boss are at a lower level than it; but we must plainly look to some other cause to explain their occurrence on the western and south-western side of the boss at a much greater elevation.
Now let us examine this great ellipsoidal granitic bubble. It rises up in a fine dome, around the base of which mantle a series of metamorphosed rocks, gneiss and mica-schist 18, passing gradually into the ordinary clay-schist of the island. Great masses of white quartz rock lie strewed about on the surface, and have been carried along with the granite blocks a great distance to the south-westward 19. It presents a complete wilderness of blocks, dreary and desolate and black with heather; the very blades of coarsest grass seem to struggle hard upon it for a miserable existence; here and there a swampy hollow has gathered together a foot or two of peat, where the cotton-grass (Eriophorum polystachion) finds a wretched habitat.
Baron Von Buch, in his description of the Brocken, in a paper read before the Berlin Academy of Science, (December 15, 1842,) has given us a good insight into the structure of these granitic bubbles. The beautiful bellshaped form of that mountain, as presented to persons approaching it from Elbingerode by way of Schierke, is particularly striking. There is an exquisite repose in the landscape which rests upon its parabolic surface, of which the outline is so distinct, that a small cottage on the top, which would hardly be noted on other mountains, stands out prominently as a small wart. We might at a distance suppose it smooth and polished, but an actual approach exhibits it as covered with innumerable blocks, heaped on each other without any appearance of regularity.
Now these two very general phaenomena, the regularly circular form of granitic mountains, and the breaking up of the surface into millions of blocks, seem to depend on one another in some relation. Baron Von Buch suggests that granite mountains are lifted up in a certain plastic condition, not as lava in a perfectly fluid state filling up fissures, but in thick ellipsoidal bubbles, by forces acting from beneath; in the ultimate cooling and contraction of the upper dome-shaped surface, it will necessarily break up into a vast number of blocks, forming what have not been unaptly termed " seas of rocks." At the same time the granite arranges itself in cooling into large concentric layers, gradually diminishing in size, until at last the innermost nucleus appears cylindrical, as may be seen in bosses of small extent, and this remarkable concentric arrangement may very readily be mistaken for stratification.
The granite of South Barrule20 is a true granite, consisting of flakes of mica, and small crystals of pinky-white quartz in a matrix of white felspar, the felspar greatly predominating. A somewhat coarse and not very hard rock is the result, of which the general appearance when wrought is not unlike some of the coarse specimens which I have seen of millstone-grit. Till lately it has only been used in buildings in its rough state, occasionally for gateposts and farm-rollers, but within the last year a company has been formed, who have commenced working a quarry 21 for its export in a wrought condition. It has a slight tendency to decompose in concentric layers, which is probably due to the predominance of felspar ; but if care be taken in reference to this, in the arrangement of the blocks in building, there is no doubt, from the evidence afforded by old cottages and barns on the island, that it will be found a very durable material.
Of the age of this granitic bubble I can only offer the negative evidence, of its not having appeared at the surface at the period of the old red conglomerate, from the absence of any boulders of it in that formation in all researches hitherto on the island. But these boulders do appear in the boulder-clay formation. Either then its elevation took place in the interval between the carboniferous epoch and that of the Pleistocene tertiary beds ; or, if it were anterior to the carboniferous epoch, it has been since exhibited on the surface in consequence of that extensive denudation, of which we have other clear evidence as having passed over the island22. I am inclined to this latter view, though still supposing a second elevation of the granitic mass, during which were injected into the cracks and fissures then formed those elvans or granitic veins 23 which we find penetrating far into the schists round about this boss, three of which are cut through in the Foxdale mine 24.
The whole of this district forms a grand mining country, and has been opened at several points along a line running E.N.E. and W.S.W. (which is the general strike of the productive veins) between Glen Rushen and Ellersley in Maroun parish. The Beckwith mine in Glen Rushen, the Cronk Vane (white hill) mine on the north-eastern side of South Barrule, and the Foxdale mines (including under this latter term the Cornelly or Jones' vein), belong to one company, who hold them on lease from the Crown. The Mona mine at Ellersley is in the Bishop's barony, and is held from him on lease by a different company.
The distribution of the mineral veins of the common sulphuret of galena (lead), in this neighbourhood is somewhat singular, approaching rather to that of mountainlimestone districts than of Silurian countries. The veins often swell out into large sops, which sometimes terminate again in serines or small rake-veins, spreading out from one great trunk. There is therefore necessarily great uncertainty aud speculation in the working. The miner comes suddenly upon a vast body of ore, of which he had previously little or no indication; in the midst of his work, whilst following up, as he imagines, a continuous pipe-vein from fifteen to twenty feet in width, as suddenly it seems to die out, and without the least warning he finds his mine exhausted and his works stopped25.
The ascent to the summit of South Barrule is by no means difficult. There is a very fair road leading over the pass between that mountain and Irey-na-Lhaa, which communicates with Colby, Arbory and Grenaby, and with the Peel road from Castletown near the sixth milestone on the western edge of the granitic boss. In following the road from this latter point, we shall be tracing the course along which the blocks of granite from the boss have been driven, and we shall find them diminishing in number and size the further we proceed. The height of the pass above the granitic boss is about 200 feet, and the granite boulders have been driven over it to the western side of the mountain-range, and occur scattered at wide intervals over a large extent of country, and may be met with in the bed of the Glenmeay river, into which they have been carried by the streamlets which flow into the vale of Glenrushen. We catch them here and there running along the ridge which unites Irey-na-Lhaa with South Barrule, and I have picked up a few of them the size of a good cannon-ball quite on the top of Irey-na-Lhaa, a height of 1445 feet above the sea, and near 700 feet above the top of the granitic boss26. But the most remarkable circumstance is, that in ascending from the pass to the summit of South Barrule we fall in with three or four of considerable size, and there is one which I have noted within sixty feet of the top of the mountain, and quite on the western side of it, certainly not less than two tons weight. The summit of South Barrule is in a direct line between this granite boulder and the granitic boss whence it has come, and the difference of height is 788 feet. But there is a slight depression between the granite boss and the ultimate rise of the mountain, across which the boulder must have been transported, viz. that in which the sixth milestone stands, and this milestone is distant about a mile and a half from the top of the mountain. Hence we have a rise of 853 feet in a mile and a half up which the granite boulder ascended to the top of South Barrule, and then slid down some sixty feet on the other side. Had there been but one boulder, we might perhaps have concluded that it had been carried thither for some purpose by human agency, but the circumstance of there being so many scattered at random all over the surface of the mountain precludes such a supposition.
Here then, it seems to me, we have the evidence of some great diluvial action, an indication of enormous waves with great carrying power sweeping over the surface of the island, and breaking upon the mountain summits. How far the transport of these granite boulders may have been aided by their being frozen (perhaps) into masses of ice, must remain a mere speculation; but I do not see how it is possible, with any conditions of relative sea-level, to account for the phwnomena here presented to us by any known effects of ice alone, and without taking into the reckoning the agency of some great cataclysm or series of cataclysms. Here if anywhere certainly we must have recourse to the theory of great waves of translation proposed for our acceptance by the gifted author of the Silurian System.
The scene from the summit of South Barrule is of a most magnificent character, not presenting the wildness and vastness of the Cumberland, Welsh or North British mountains, but perhaps a greater variety. England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, surrounding the blue ocean, in which like some monster ship the Isle of Man seems to float, are caught sight of on a clear day from as it were one of the mast-heads of the vessel. The importance of this look-out is seen by the selection of the spot in the 'Trigonometrical Survey' for connecting the triangulation of Ireland with Great Britain. All the more notable points, both on the coasts of the Irish Sea and for a considerable distance inland, come within the uninterrupted sweep of our instruments, if we except the neighbourhood of Kirkcudbright in the south of Scotland, which is hid by the intervening loftier eminences of Sneafell and North Barrule in the north of the Isle of Man.
How easy is it on a bright summer day, when seated beneath the pile of stones which crowns the summit of the mountain, to enter into the feelings of the noble Earl of Derby, where writing to his son Charles27, he says, " When I go on the mount you call Barrule, and but turning me round can see England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, I think shame, so fruitlessly to see so many kingdoms at once (which no place, I think, in any nation that we know under heaven can afford such a prospect of), and to have so little profit by them !"
The geologist could hardly desire a better point f˘r obtaining a bird's-eye view of the arrangement of the insular mountain-chain, and the relation it bears to the coast line and the tertiary formation of the lowlands. He finds himself here clearly upon a saddle whose axis runs E.N.E., with the beds of dark glossy schist dipping off towards Castletown on the one side and Peel on the other; at the same time there are some traces on the southern side of the mountain of a fault in the same direction as this axis, as if in the upheaval the saddle had cracked on that side, and permitted the N.N.W. portion to be somewhat more elevated than the other.
This same ridge or saddle is continued in a direction W.S.W. to the summit of Irey-na-Lhaa, where it terminates abruptly. It seems to die away more gradually towards the E.N.E., passing over the granitic bubble on Dunhow, and sinking down into the lower hills of Maroun parish28.
Parallel to this ridge we have that which ought properly to be called the great central axis passing through Slieauwhallin 29 and North Barrule as most prominent extreme points, and including Sneafell the highest mountain of the island and Greebah 1478 feet high. There is again another secondary range to the north-west of, and parallel to, this, containing some prominent points, in which we may include Rock Mount near Lhargydhoo, Sartel 30, Slieaunyfraugbane, Pelier and Mount Karrin.
Between these ranges are very deep synclinal depressions, which form the drainage of the country, as indicated by several of the rivers or their main branches. Other valleys are thrown off at right-angles, and along these generally speaking the gathered waters find their outlet to the sea.
On the summit of South Barrule there are indications of ancient fortifications, including an irregular area of 22,000 square yards, the thickness of the base of a wall on the northern side being upwards of nine yards. When we call to mind that the ancient name of this mountain was Warfield or Warfell, and that on the invasion of the island by Richard de Mandeville31, the Manx retreated towards this point as their natural stronghold, we shall perhaps be brought to the conclusion that at one time this was a military station of considerable importance 32.
We return into the Peel road, and descend towards St. John's Valley, following the course of a streamlet which takes its rise in the turfy ground near the sixth milestone. It has cut its way in one part along the line of junction of the granite and the schists, and we see the two so closely dovetailed into each other, that the granite has the appearance at one or two points of being an overlying formation. The metamorphism of the incorporated schists is well worth study. The shaft of a mine has been sunk upon their junction, and from a vein running nearly north and south some valuable. ore is at present being obtained out of the granite.
A little lower down by the road-side near Hamilton bridge is a very pretty waterfall, which in rainy weather pours down a full torrent some thirty feet over a ledge of clay-schist into a wooded hollow. Hence the valley downwards is of a very fine character, and becomes more and more impressive as we descend. It is refreshing after the desolate, treeless wildness of the granite district, to look upon such a rich combination of wood, water and rock, valley and fell, which here presents itself before us.
Slieauwhallin on our left-hand rises precipitately, on our right Kenna cultivated to the top; immediately in front a low alluvial valley extends athwart the landscape, which is backed by the magnificent Grebah 33, rising up dim and gray with its two summits at points north and south from each other, the former to a height of 1478 feet, and the latter 1355. But as we descend further still, our attention is arrested by, and rests exclusively on, Slieauwhallin, and we shudder as we look at its steep. northern aspect, running up at an angle of 45░, and call to mind the purposes to which in former days superstition devoted it.
We may have read the severe statutes enacted in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries against witchcraft, both in England and Scotland, under which multitudes of both sexes perished, and it may surprise us to learn that they have been repealed only within the last century and a quarter. But in an island like that of Man, where the wind howls over heathery wilds, the lightning plays upon the summit of cloud-capped mountains, the thunder-peal rolls along dark and deep valleys, and is re-echoed against an iron-bound coast, mingling with the roar of the stormy billow in sea-worn caves and fearfully dismal chasms, we need feel no surprise that in such an island persons should be found seeking gain by practising on the superstitious and awestruck feelings of the ignorant, or that laws should be enacted to suppress if possible such dark practices. Yet there was a classical refinement in the cruelty of these laws, and the manner of their execution. That dank turfy hollow there at the foot of Greebah was once a wide-spreading lake which glassed the deep shadows of the surrounding mountains. It then had a name indicative of its cha. ratter, Curragh-glass, the " Gray-bog." Many such pools in very ancient days seem to have existed round about here in the valley, scooped out of the great drift gravel platform which spreads out at a level of 125 feet above the sea. They have been gradually filled up by the growth of peat beds, but in the marl beneath the peat have been discovered numerous remains of the antlers and other portions of the skeleton of the great Irish Elk34. These majestic specimens of the cervine tribe seem to have come down from their mountain-fastnesses to drink, and the weight of the horny foliage of their heads sunk them in the mire and they perished. In the Curragh-glass those who were suspected of witchcraft met with a similar fate, and happy were they if they perished by drowning there, for then they were acquitted of the charge laid against them, and received the last rites of the church in hallowed ground. But if in the struggle for life they managed to gain a footing again on terra firma, then their guilt was established, and the dreadful alternative awaited them of finishing their wretched life either by fire at the stake, or by being rolled down in a spiked barrel nearly a thousand feet from the northern summit of Slieauwhallin.
Those days of cruelty and of blood have happily long passed away, but, alas! the spirit of superstition which prompted such deeds lingers on in the midst of Mona's peaceful mountains, and cases of presumed witchcraft continue still to be obtruded by the credulous peasantry into courts of justice in the Isle of Man 35.
And here we have hard by, in the centre of the valley, the Tynwald Mount, the "forum judiciale," the hill of justice itself, as Bishop Wilson explains it. Of the Scandinavian origin of the name, as well as of the ceremonies connected with this hill, there can be little doubt whatever, let the interpretation of it be what it may36; and deeply interesting to every patriot Manxman, as well as to every antiquarian, must the sight of this green mound be. Whenever he hears of annexation to England, and a representation in the British Parliament, it ought to be a monitor to him to stand fast for the ancient glory of his country, and to plead hard for the independent laws and the time-honoured institutions of the Isle. Hither, for eight hundred years and more, has the gathering of his ancestors been, and here has the herald proclaimed the decisions of the national council and the laws by which Man should be governed.
The Tynwald hill, called also Cronk-y-Keeillown (i. e. St. John's Church Hill), is a mound of earth said to have been originally brought from each of the seventeen parishes of the island. The circumference of the base of it is 240 feet it rises by four stages or circular platforms, each three feet higher than the next lower : the lowest platform being eight feet wide, the next six, the third four, and the last or topmost being six feet in diameter: the whole is covered with a short turf, neatly kept. Formerly it was walled round and had two gates.
On the feast of St. John the Baptist a tent is erected on the summit of this mound, and preparations are made for the reception of the officers of state, according to ancient custom. Early in the morning the Governor proceeds from Castletown under a military escort to St. John's Chapel, which is a few hundred yards to the eastward of the Tynwald hill. Here he is received with all due honour by the Bishop, the Council, the Clergy and the Keys, and all attend divine service in the chapel, the Government chaplain officiating. This ended, they march in procession from the chapel to the mount, the military formed in line on each side of the green turf walk. The Clergy take the lead, the juniors being in front and the Bishop in the rear. Next comes the Vicar-general and the two Deemsters, then the bearer of the sword of state in front of the Governor, who is succeeded by the Clerk of the Rolls, the twentyfour Keys, and the Captains of the different parishes.
The ceremony of the Tynwald hill is thus stated in the Lex Scripts of the Isle of Man, as given for law to Sir John Stanley in 1417.
"This is the constitution of old time, how yee should be governed on the Tinwald-day. First you sball come thither in your royal array, as a king ought to do by the prerogatives and royalties of the land of Mann, and upon the hill of Tinwald sitt in a chaire covered with a royall cloath and quishions, and your visage into the east, and your sword before you, holden with the point upward. Your Barrons in the third degree sitting beside you, and your benefited men and your Deemsters before you sitting, and your Clarke, your knights, esquires and yeomen about you in the third degree, and the worthiest men in your land to be called in before your Deemsters, if you will ask anything of them, and to hear the government of your land and your will; and the Commons to stand without the circle of the hill, with three clearkes in their surplices, and your Deemsters shall call the Coroner of Glanfaba, and he shall call in all the Coroners of Man, and their yardes in their hands, with their weapons upon them, either sword or axe; and the Moares, is to veitt of every sheading; then the chief Coroner, th is the Coroner of Glenfaba, shall make affence upon pain of life or lyme, that no m e a disturbance or stirr in the time of Tinwald, o rmur or rising in the King's presence, upon paine of Twanging and drawing; and then to proceed in your matters whatsoever you have to doe, in felonie treason or other matters that touch the government your land of Manne."
At the present day the chief ceremony of the Tynwald Hill is the proclamation in Manx and English of all the laws which have been passed during the year; after which the procession returns in the same order as before to St. John's Chapel, where the laws receive the signature of the Governor, Council and Keys, and the business of the day is finished37.
1 Generally speaking the thatch is tied down by sugganyn (straw ropes) made fast to pieces of stone (called bwhid suggane) which jut out from the walls, though not unfrequently (almost always in the case of hay and straw stacks) the ropes are fastened to large stones which hang down loose on every side. See the frontispiece view 'of King William's College from the Creggins.
2 St. Catherine's Well gushes out of the sand by the sea-shore. In the old maps of the island we find mention made of St. Catherine's Chapel, but it has disappeared along with the Chapel at Port St. Mary, and that which once existed in this parish at Balla-keillMoirey (the place of Mary's Cell or Chapel), as the name plainly indicates.
3 it is 450 feet in circumference and 40 feet in height, and surrounded by a ditch.
4 See the Archaeological Journal, vol. i. p. 142, and vol. iii. p. 223. Chaloner, in his Account of the Isle of Man, writes thus: " Whilst I remained on the island I caused one of those round hills to he opened, in which were found fourteen rotten urns or earthen pots placed with their mouths downwards, and one more neatly than the rest in a bed of fine white sand containing nothing but a few brittle bones. (as having passed the fire,) no ashes left discernible: hereabouts are divers of these hills to be seen; but in other parts of the isle few and dispersedly ; some of these being environed with great stones picked endways in the earth."-Chaloner's Account, p. 10.
5 See page 101 supra.
6 Three winters ago a fine vessel, the 'Wilhelmina' of Glasgow, bound for Leghorn, was dashed to fragments against these adamantine precipices, and every being on board of her perished. It was utterly impossible to render any help from the shore, though attempts were made by letting down ropes from the crags above.
7 Quarters of mutton may frequently be had not weighing more than 8 lbs.
8 Instead of walls and hedges, in the Isle of Man the fields are mostly divided by banks of earth, on the top of which gorse is sown, and forms a tolerable fence. To prevent the cattle, horses, cows and sheep from climbing over, the hind and fore legs of the animal are fastened together by a rope or straw band. This is called lanketting.
9 The carrane is made by placing the foot in a raw neat's hide, cutting out a convenient portion, which is then drawn up over the foot and laced with a thong. The hair is outside. Old rags are sometimes placed under the sole of the foot, or portions of pitched sheepskin, to prevent the wet coming through.
10 In the Lex Scripta of the Isle of Man it is given for law that the Sunday-blanket (an equivalent of the Scotch tartan) shall descend as an heir-loom in the female line direct. It is to this that Camden alludes when he says that "the women of the island, whenever they go out of doors, did clothe themselves in a winding-sheet to keep them mindful of their mortality."-Mr. Quayle's MS. quoted above.
11 Loaghtyn or Lugh-dhoan (lugn, mouse, and dhoan, brown) is the name given to a peculiar breed of sheep having a dirty brown fleece, which was once common on the island, but has almost disappeared.
12 Chaloner's account, page f. t Page 58, supra.
13 The only other two parishes on the island not called by the name of the patron Saint are Ballaugh and Juiby, and the reason plainly is to avoid the confusion of two St. Mary's and two St. Patrick's on the isle. There was the abbey church of St. Mary of Rushen, and so the other St. Mary was called Ballaugh or Ballalough (the place of the lake). There was St. Patrick of the Peel, and so the other St. Patrick was called Jurby, from the isle of Jurby in which the church stood.
14 See Plate IV.
15 A relic of the ancient building may be remarked in an old barn, whose windows and doorway have somewhat of an ecclesiastical character: all else has disappeared. Of the old mill nothing now remains but the sluice. It was anciently called Bemaken, Bimaken and Brimaken.
16 Vol. i. p. 264, edition 1822.
17 The famous granite boulder weighing between twenty and thirty tons, known by the name of Goddard-Crovan's stone, stood close by. It was broken up by the owner of the field about twenty years since some fragments of it are built into the parsonage. The old legend of the stone is, that Goddard lived with his termagant wife in a great castle on the top of Barrule. Unable to endure the violence of her tongue, he turned her unceremoniously out of doors; after descending the mountain some distance, imagining herself out of his reach, she turned round and began to rate him so soundly at the full pitch of her voice, that in a rage he seized on this huge granite boulder, and hurling it with all his might killed her on the spot.
18 I have, from the north side of this boss near the Foxdale mines, specimens of mica-schist which contain imperfect garnets.
19. A dyke of white quartz cuts through the eastern side of the boss from north to south.
20 The surface of this granitic bubble is about a mile long, by three quarters of a mile wide.
21 It has been wrought into excellent millstones, and the new church of St. John near the Tynwald hill is being erected wholly of granite from this quarry.
22 See the last chapter.
23 See Map I., section across the island.
24 The granite of the veins is much finer than of the great mass of the hoss. I have specimens from an adit which passes under the Peel road, which seem to consist almost entirely of felspar, with some large crystals of schorl. The richness of the mineral-veins increases as they approach the granitic mass; and at the contact, I have been informed, the quantity of silver in the lead-ore was found to average 108 ounces per ton.
25 For an account of the mines in the Isle of Man, see Appendix, Note K.
26 I have taken the heights as given hy Dr. Berger, in his paper in the first volume of the Transactions of the Geological Society of London, as ascertained hy barometrical observations. According to this measurement (which I believe very near the truth) South Barrule is 1545 feet, Irey-na-Lhaa, 1445 feet, the granitic boss (which he calls Dun-how), 757 feet, the pass between South Barrule and Irey-na-Lhaa, 983 feet, the sixth milestone on the Peel road from Castletown, 692 feet above the mean sea-level.
27 In 1643. See Peck's Desiderata Curiosa, vol. ii. p. 438
28 Strictly speaking, Garraghan and Bein-y-phot in the northern district are the continuation of this axis; the former is 1520 feet, and the latter 1750 feet, high.
29 Slieauwhallin, 978; North Barrule, 1850 feet; Sneafell, 2004 feet. The meaning of Slieauwhallin is Whelp's Mountain (Stieau Mountain and Quallian Whelp). Barrule is generally derived from baare top, and ooyl an apple. Perhaps it is baare-rouail, wandering or rambling point; Wild Mountain.
30 Sartel, 1560 feet.
31See Chap. VIII, supra p. 104.
32 We read in Chaloner the following statement:-" Mananan Mae-Bar, a pagan and necromancer, took of the people no other acknowledgement for their land hut the bearing of Rushes to certain places called Warrefield and Mame on Midsummer even."See Description, p. 9.
33 Sometimes called Greebey and Kreevey.
34 There is a very fine specimen in the possession of Mr. Gell, of the market-place, Douglas, obtained in this locality.
35 See Mona's Herald, January 10th 1844. Whilst these sheets have been going through the press, an occurrence has been noted in the public papers which is hy no means rare on the island. A farmer in the vicinity of Peel lost one or two of his cattle by disease. To detect the evil eye or avert its malice, he determined on a cow-fire. With Turf, coals and gorse a fire was kindled in the centre of the road, upon which the entire carcase of the defunct cow was placed. But an after-thought delayed proceedings awhile. The hide had been sold to the tanner, and an entire sacrifice was deemed essential. The hide was sent for, the purchase-price refunded, and then the holocaust was made. See Manx Sun, October 2nd, 1847.
36 The term "thing" is a Scandinavian equivalent of the Saxon mote, signifying a court or judicial assembly. Thus we have the Moot or Motehall for the miners' court in Derbyshire, and also the term Barmote, as well as the Wittenagemote of more ancient days. May we not connect the English word hustings with the Scandinavianthing? Again Wald is by some said to mean fenced, hy others to he the same as the Saxon weald, a woody place; thus we have the Wealds of Kent and Sussex. The monks of Rushen in their Latin Chronicle wrote the word Tingualla. May not gualla be from Gallia? We have Cornwall cornu Galli, the Gauls in the horn of England, and Wallia (Wales) from the same root. Thus Tingualla would mean the British judicial assembly.
37 In the neighbourhood of Tynwald Hill two great battles are recorded as having been fought: the one between the brothers Reginald and Olave in 1229, for the sovereignty of the island; the other in 1235 between Lauchlan on the one side, and Dugal Maol Mhuise and Joseph, deputies of Harold, on the other. The latter were slain. See " Chrouicon ManniŠ," p. 30, and Chap. VIII. p. 100, supra.
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