[From Johnson's Guide, 1850]

PART II.

A DESCRIPTIVE ACCOUNT OF EACH PARISH AND OF THE FOUR PRINCIPAL TOWNS IN THE ISLE OF MANN.

" Atque crone immensum peragravit mente animoque.

The Isle of Mann is divided into six Manors or Sheadings, and these again are subdivided into seventeen Parishes, as follows :

1. GLANFABA,

contains

the Parishes of

Patrick and German.

2. MICHAEL,

Do.

Do.

Michael, Ballaugh, & Jurby

3. AYRE,

Do.

Do.

Lesayre, Andreas, & Bride.

4. GARFF,

Do.

Do.

Maughold and Lonan.

5. MIDDLE,

Do.

Do.

Onchan, Braddan. Santon, and Marown.

6. RUSHEN,

Do.

Do.

Rushen, Arbory, and Malew.

There is also another Division, which, though not often noticed, is of some importance, viz., the four High Bailiwicks, of Castletown, Douglas, Ramsey, and Peel. The High Bailiff of Castletown has a jurisdiction, in all causes under £1 14s. 3¼d. (40s. old Manks currency,) extending to the Parishes of Rushen, Arbory, Malew, and Santon. The High Bailiff of Douglas exercises a similar jurisdiction, extending to the Parishes of Onchan, Braddan, Lonan, and Marown. The High Bailiwick of Ramsey includes the Parishes of Andreas, Lezayre, Maughold, Bride, and Jurby ; and that of Peel, the Parishes of Patrick, German, Michael, and Ballaugh.

In the following descriptive accounts of the several Parishes and Towns, the Alphabetical arrangement is adopted, for the sake of convenient reference. A Viaticum, or Road-Guide, is subjoined, containing a variety of information useful to Tourists.

ANDREAS.

This Parish is bounded on the north by the Sea, on the south by the Parish of Lezayre, on the east by Bride, and on the west by Jurby.

The living, which is the most valuable in the Island, is a Rectory, in the gift of the Crown. It has been generally held by the Archdeacons of Mann, no emolument being attached to this ecclesiastical office. The Archdeaconry, however, is not essentially connected with the Rectory of Andreas, several Archdeacons having held the Rectory of Ballaugh, which is the second in value. As a matter of law, the nomination to an Archdeaconry, as far as powers, prerogatives, and jurisdiction are concerned, is vested in the Bishop of the diocese. Burns, in his " Ecclesiastical Law," under the title " Archdeacon," observes, " Archdeacouries are commonly given by Bishops, who do there fore prefer to the same by collation. But if an Archdeaconry be in the gift of a layman, the Patron doth present to the Bishop, who institutes in like manner as to another Benefice." Such is the English law on, the subject, and as the Act, (33d Henry VIII.) placing the dioceses of Chester and Mann under the Metropolitical jurisdiction of York, provides that the subordinate officers should be appointed and installed in like manner in the Isle of Mann as in Chester, the Bishop of Sodor and Mann appears to possess a substantial claim to the patronage of the' Archdeaconry.' But the Bishops of olden time uniformly waved theirĄ right in favour of the Lord Proprietor, and hence the Patronage of the Archdeaconry came to be considered as belonging exclusively to the lord. By the purchase of 1829 it was included in the other ecclesiastical patronage purchased by the Crown, and it is probable that after so long an abeyance, the Bishop would find some difficulty in establishing his claim, should he ever be advised to prefer it.

The Parish Church of Andreas was built in the year 1800, and is the largest Parish Church in the Island, containing about 1000 sittings. The font is of white, marble, and was formerly the property of Philip I. of France. It was presented to the parish by Mr. Corlett. The Glebe-house, which was very old, suffered severely from the great storm of January 6th, 1839. It has, however, been almost entirely rebuilt, in a very tasteful style; by the Venerable Archdeacon Hall, the present Rector, who has added a handsome conservatory, contributing greatly to the elegance of the mansion. He has also constructed, at his own expense, a new road, for the accommodation of the parishioners residing to the north of the Church, and who had formerly no access to it but by a narrow avenue passing between the house and the stables, now reserved as a private approach.

The Glebe of this Parish is a freehold, as is the case with several others ; and it is worthy of remark that these Glebes are the only absolute and independent freeholds in the Island, every other property being mentioned in the lord's books as subject to a charge of Quit-rent*
(*The Glebes which pay Quit-rent are those of Braddan, Onchan, Patrick, German, Kirk Christ Lezayre, Michael, Lonan and Marown.)

In this parish is a considerable tract of marshy land or Curragh, part of which, by careful draining, has been reduced to cultivation, and produces good crops. The remainder yields fine meadow hay. Excellent marle is found throughout the parish, and is of the greatest service in enriching the soil. It has been suggested by some geologists, that all that part of the Island to the north of the Lezayre range of hills was formerly the bed of the sea. The sandy nature of the superficial soil, and the traces of alluvial formation presented by the whole tract, gave rise to this impression, and the subsequent discovery of an anchor , in the Curragh, at a great depth, and another in the Lhen-moar, nearer the shore, has tended to strengthen it. But the height of several parts of the parish of Bride seems to present an insuperable difficulty ; and a more general belief is, that the northern extremity was divided from the main land by a sound, the lesser isle thus formed bearing the traditional name of St. Patrick's Isle. But it is improbable that the change was so recent as this circumstance would imply, and perhaps the most probable conjecture is, that the Curragh was originally an inland lake, which not only accounts for the discovery of the anchors, but also for the peculiar appearance of the Lezayre hills, which bear every mark of having at one time overhung a considerable body of water. At Newhaven, North America, a similar appearance has been observed in a range of hills now three miles from the coast.-(VideWausey's Journal, 1797. -

Near Ballachurry, on the estate of William Watson Christian, Esq. H. K., a quadrangular fort will be found in perfect preservation. It has by some been attributed to the Danes, but is much more probably the work of the Protector's troops. The Danish forts are of a somewhat different construction ; and that of Ballachurry bears every resemblance to those undoubtedly constructed during the civil war. There are bastions at the four corners, and it is environed by a moat of considerable dimensions. The internal encampment is square, and a fine level, sufficiently depressed to secure the troops from fire arms, at a time when grenades were not in use. This noble encampment is well worthy the attention of the visitor.

In the Church-yard of Andreas are the monuments of several persons who had attained great longevity. Within a plain iron railing are enclosed the tombs of two previous Archdeacons of the Isle, William and, Daniel Mylrea, with their wives and several of their children. There is also a very ancient monument, with the following Runic inscription, of which scarcely a dozen letters are legible. The ingenious antiquarian, Mr. Beauford, has succeeded in decyphering it as follows

Sona, ulf. sui. svaudti. raisti. crus. dono,
Aftirarin. finiue. cunna. sina.

which he thus translates ;

The son of Ulf of the Swedes erected this cross to the Warrior Aftirarin the son of Cunna.

Near Ballachurry, a handsome chapel, dedicated to St. Jude, has recently been erected by subscription, and endowed with £100 per annum out of the tithes of the parish. The Rector of the Parish is by Act of Tynwald constituted Patron of the Chaplaincy. There are not many large estates in this parish. The chief are, Ballachurry, the property of W. W. Christian, Esq. ; Guilcaugh, Sir George Drinkwater, Knt. ; Regaby-beg, J. Kneale, Esq. Captain of the Parish; Ballawhane, W. Teare, Esq. ; and Braust, the Property of Mrs Lyons, daughter of the late Archdeacon Mylrea.

The Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists have several Meeting-houses in this parish. There are also several schools, the principal of which is the parochial school, under the management of Mr. John Cannell.

ARBORY.

This Parish extends about six miles from north to south, and two from east to west. It is bounded on the north by the parish of Patrick ; on the east by Malew; on the west by Rushen; and on the south by the sea. It is supposed to have derived its name from the trees which once spread their embowering shadows over its extent; but of its present aspect we may say with the Poet,

"stat nominis umbra."

The Church is situated two miles and a half northwest from Castletown. The living is a vicarage in the gift of the Crown. The present Incumbent is the Rev. Alexander Gelling,

There is little in this retired parish to interest the visitor, except a few Druidical temples and tumuli. The circles of the former are incomplete, though some of the stones are of great size, and are now covered with moss. There are also the ruins of an old Monastery, said to have been built on land given by one of the Godreds. The black limestone of the Poolvash a Quarries, commonly called Manks marble, has been mentioned, page 61. Near Balladoole, the property of G. Woods, Esq., is a brackish spring, probably issuing from a salt rock.

In the Church-yard of Arbory are the tombs of 18 persons upwards of 70 years of age, and seven upwards of 80. Respecting the vicarage-house the following memorandum has been left by Bishop Wilson. " I supplied the vacant vicarage for one year, and applied the income towards building a new vicarage-house ; with this, and what I begged, and £2 10s. I gave myself, and with the assistance of the parish, we have erected one of the best houses in the diocese.

There are several pretty villas in this parish, among which may be mentioned Parville, the seat of George Quirk, Esq., Water-Bailiff and Receiver General ; Bell-abbey, Matthew Dawson, Esq. ; Balla-keighin, &c., &c.

The Village of Colby is about a mile west from the Parish Church. At Colby Bridge are two meetinghouses of the Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists.

The Annual Fairs are on the 28th of October, and the 6th December.

BALLAUGH.

This Parish is bounded on the north by Jurby; on the east by Lezayre ; on the south by Michael and " Braddan ; and on the west by the sea.

In the northern part are several pits of rich marle, which is of the greatest benefit to the Agriculturist, , and greatly increases the value of the land. From one of these pits have been dug fossil remains of great value.

The bones of the gigantic Elk, now extinct. the Cervus Alces of Linnæus, are frequently thrown up in the pits of shell marl at Ballaugh. The largest head of this species ever found here is now in the British Museum; it measures from the tip. of the highest antler to that of the other, 8 feet 6 niches ; largest horn 5 feet 8 inches long ; and its broadest palmative part 14 inches. A skeleton of this animal nearly complete was discovered in 1819, fifteen feet below the surface, and ingeniously put up by Mr. Kewish, (of which the annexed cut is a representation.)

Distance between the tip of the horns
8ft. 0
Length of horn
5 10
From the ground to the tip of the horns
13 0

It was presented to the University of Edinburgh, by the late Duke of Athol and is now in the Museum

woodcut of Elk

The old Parish Church, though of so recent a date as 1717, had become ruinous, and in 1832 a new erection was completed from designs by Messrs. Hansom and Welch, capable of accommodating 600 persons. The living is a Rectory, in the gift of the Crown, and is the second in point of value in the Island. The present Incumbent is the Rev. Thomas Howard, who succeeded on the death of the Venerable Hugh Stowell, the pious biographer of Bishop Wilson.

The Village of Ballaugh lies on the road betwixt Ramsey and Peel; from the former of which towns it is seven miles north-west ; from the latter nine miles north-east. Coaches from Ramsey to Douglas pass through the Village every day in summer, and on alternate days in winter.

The mountains Slieau-voilley, part of Slieau-churn, Cronkan, and Slieau-doo are in the parish.

The Annual Fairs are held on 18th of May, and 26th of August. There arefew estates of importance. Brooigh jairg-beg is the property of John Teare, Esq., Captain of the Parish ; Ravensdale is the property of Col. Campbell. The Wesleyans have two chapels m this parish

BRADDAN.

This parish is the largest in the Island, and is bounded on the north by Lezayre and Ballaugh; on the east, by Lonan, Onchan and the Sea; on the south by the Sea; and on the west by Michael, German, Marown, and Santon. It extends eleven miles from north to south ; and five miles in the broadest part from east to west. The lofty summits of Bein-y-Phot and Garraban are in this parish. The southern portion consists of'good and well-cultivated land. The Church is two miles west from Douglas, and is surrounded by the best growing timber in the Island. The living is a Vicarage, in the gift of the Bishop. The present Incumbent is the Rev. Wm. Drury. A neat little chapel has been erected at Baldwin, dedicated to St. Luke. 'The Chaplaincy is in the gift of the Bishop, and is at present held by the Rev. T. Cain

.Kirk Braddan Church
Kirk Braddan Church

The Church-yard of Braddan is a most romantic spot, and its vicinity to the town of Douglas makes it ;a favourite resort for walking parties. Several interesting monuments arrest the attention of the visitor, and have often been the subject of description both in prose and verse. The exquisite pathos of the following lines, from the pen of Mrs. E. S. Craven Green, will be felt by every one who peruses them.

KIRK BRADDAN CHURCH-YARD.

Silent and still
Art thou in thy green solitude:-we hear
No sound, save with a strange and fitful thrill,
The low wind sweeping thro' thy solemn trees
(A Voice that breathes unearthly mysteries)
We stand amid the Past, whose sabbath sleep is here!

Grey altars of our rest,
How are ye gathered in this quiet place !
Where the worn pilgrim, weary and distrest,
The high in hope, the joyous and the fair,
The sinless child, the evil heart's despair,
Share in the silent dwellings of their race !

Where those white roses bloom, *
Beauty, and love, and youth are with the dust ;
The snowy marble guards the virgin's tomb;
Bright angel ! early summoned to the skies,
To smile amid the flowers of paradise,
To wear thy crown of stars, and worship with the Just

Where the wild grass is deep,
Forgotten hearts have mouldered in the clay,
And those who left them to their dreamless-sleep
Perchance have given their dust to foreign graves,
While here the breeze the churchyard nettle waves,
Sighing to strangers' ears of those long past away.

And thou, dark Runic stone.t
Who knoweth what thy voiceless silence hides +
Sternly thou frownest on this moonlight lone,
Thy legend undisclosed, thy mystic lore
Holding the secret of a race of yore
Fading as Time's corroding finger glides.

O'er the dim characters
That have for us no language to impart
Who raised thee in this place of sepulchres
If human love, or a stern conqueror's pride,
Triumph or sorrow thy dark symbols hide,
We know not with our race thou hast no part,

Save that thy shadow falls
Upon their graves! Shall thus oblivion shroud
Our loved and lost ones ? No ! our HOPE recalls
The Christian's glorious immortality!
The frozen north, the Indian's burning sky
Echo with anthems unto Him who bowed

Meekly amid his dying agony,
His thorn-crowned head upon the Cross!-the sign
That shall unto the gathered nations be
A token thro' all Time, and those who sleep
In grey Kirk Braddan's silence thus shall keep
The RECORD of their heritage divine!

*In allusion to the tomb of Miss Scott, behind the western extremity of the church.
+ The following is the inscription on this stone as decyphered and translated by Mr. Beauford :
Durlifr. nsaci. risti, crus. done. Aftfiac. sunfin. frudur. sun. Safrsag.
For Admiral Durlif, Aftfiac the son of his brother, the son of Safrsag,erected this cross.

Of Admiral Durlif history makes no mention, but the title was that of the Water-Bailiff, who was, in days of yore, an ofricer of the highest dignity under the Kings of Mann.

The following stanzas, kindly contributed to these pages by the Bard of Skye, though not strictly of local interest, are sufficiently connected with the subject of " a place of tombs," to warrant their insertion m this place.

 

THE ORPHAN.

BY DONALD MACASKILL. ,

Within the shadows of a rustling oak
Whose murmuring leaves made music to the wind,
Sate a young maiden, and her soft voice broke
In summer gladness, with a tone so kind,
That the still sadness of that glade remote
Was lighted up as if a spirit sung -
A blue-eyed seraph of that lonely spot
Whose brow was sinless, and whose heart was young
Her glance was placid, all untouched by gloom,
And yet she sported o'er her mother's tomb.

Oh, blame her not, that in the spring of youth,
She loved the wild flowers and the wood-birds' son g,
Nor deem her thoughtless, though, in very sooth,
Within that dale she sported oft and long ;
For she, fair child, ne'er drank a mother's love,
Nor e'er was lifted to her swelling breast ;
Her hours were few, when, like a longing dove.
The world-worn mother sought a haven of rest
'Twas here she lay, they told that little maid,
And here with her she spent the summer day-- -
Along the streamlet,'twas with her she stray-ed
With her she sang, when rose the woodland lay,
Trees whispered of her, flowers her image kept,
And she, her mother, 'midst these beauties slept.

Beneath an oak, whose leafless branches swung,
With long, loud howlings to December's blast,
In a deep dell, where copse-wood wildly hung -
O'er a hoarse river brawling roughly past,
I stood in sorrow; the young maid was gone,
The blue-eyed seraph had departed home,
The flower was shrouded 'neath its wintry stone, -
The bright bird fled, 'mid other bowers to roam,
The spirit of the dews had kissed her cheek,
When eve grew chill, his gems were 'midst her hair
The eye dilated, and the hectic streak,
Told he had wood and won the child so fair.
One cold and wintry night he claimed his bride,
And the pale clay sleeps by its mother's side.

In the Church-yard of Braddan is a lofty obelisk to the memory of Lord Henry Murray, brother of the late Duke of Athol. ,

The gentlemen's seats are numerous and beautiful, ;but, with the exception of Injebreck, the property of :A. Spittal, Esq., they may be considered to belong to Douglas, and their description will be included in the account of that town. Injebreck is situated in the very heart of the Manks mountains, and is sufficiently retired for a hermitage or monastery of Carmelites. Some fine trees were planted here by Colonel Wade, which add to the picturesque appearance of this mountain retreat.

BRIDE.

This is the most northern Parish in the Island, bounded by the Sea on the north and east, by Andreas on the west, and by Lezayre on the south. It is a small parish, extending only three miles and a half from north to south, and two from east to west. The parish Church is five miles north from Ramsey, and is very old and plain in its construction. Its dimensions are fifty-four feet by sixteen, and there are a few windows on one side only. Opposite the church-yard gate is an ancient cross, without any inscription. The living is a Rectory, in the gift of the Crown, and is the third in value in the Island. The present Incumbent is the Rev. John Nelson. In 1772, a gallery was erected at the west end of the Church. The front bears Bishop Hildesley's arms, and the following inscription, "This gallery erected A. D. 1772, by favour of the Rt. Rev. M. S. M." There is no Rectory-house in this parish, the present' Rector residing in a neat stuccoed house opposite the west end of the Church.

In this parish is the Point of Ayre, formerly very dangerous to mariners, on account of the currents which form a vortex at their place of meeting. A light-house has been erected, however, 106 feet high, which is visible for many miles at sea, and has been the means of saving many vessels from destruction. The light is alternately red and yellow, revolving, and attains its greatest brilliancy every two minutes.

The Cliffs which extend along the shore on the east are lofty, and afford a noble view of the bay of Ramsey, and of the intervening shore, over which the music of the rippling waters greatly enhances the scene. The gambols of the porpoise, too, may not unfrequently be observed, at no great distance from the beach.

Rabbits are found on the cliffs in great abundance. Wild ducks and snipe are found on a low marshy spot between the Church and the Point of Ayre. On the shore is found a singular kind of petrified marle, used for the formation of rockeries, and occasionally beautiful pebbles may be picked up.

At a little distance from the road is a curious Danish tumulus, called Cronk-e-vowlan, which is in good preservation, and is worthy of notice.

The estates are small. F. J. D. Lamothe, Esq., is Captain of the Parish. The retired and castellated mansion called Thurot Cottage, is the property of Mrs. Crellin. There are two meeting-houses of the Wesleyans in the Parish. There is also an excellent School at a short distance from the Church, under the management of Mr. John F. Garde, of Trinity College, Dublin.

The Parochial Library of Bride was formerly one of the best in the Island, but, with the rest, it has gradually fallen away, and nothing remains but a Catalogue, which is of as much use to the parish as a rent-roll to a gentleman who has lost his estate. It is to be hoped that the Parochial Libraries may be restored, and, in these days of cheap literature, a very trifling outlay would accomplish so desirable an object.

CASTLETOWN.,

Castle Rushen
Castle Rushen

This town is situated in the Parish of Malew, and is the seat of the Insular Government. Its original name was Rushen. It is twelve miles south of Peel, twenty-five south-west from Ramsey, and nine and a half south-west from Douglas. A small stream divides the town, over which have been constructed a stone bridge, and also a wooden one for pedestrians. The Bay is dangerous for shipping, but Derbyhaven, one mile further east, is an excellent harbour. The peninsula of Longness [sic Langness] , separates the two Bays. A new Pier has been commenced, and is now completed, which is an ornament to the town.

Castletown is not a great resort of commerce ; but the Courts of Law, and the College cause a considerable bustle during the terms, which include nine or ten months of the year. The distinguishing feature of the place is Castle Rushen, a venerable and imposing structure, probably the only perfect specimen of Danish Architecture remaining in the British dominions. The Arabic numerals 947, discovered on the end of a beam by the workmen employed in the repairs in 1815, and naturally referred to the date of the erection, but as these numerals were not introduced into Europe until a later period, they cannot have been placed there in-947 ; though it is very probable that this may be the true date of the building, and that the memory of the year was otherwise preserved. (Vide Appendix, B.) This noble edifice is in perfect preservation, and unless destroyed by fire, has every appearance of durability for a long series of centuries. The defence of the fortress by the Countess of Derby has already been noticed. It may be added, that Robert Bruce, in 1513 [sic 1313], also besieged it for six months. The stone glacis by which it is encompassed, is said to have been erected by Cardinal Wolsey. The resemblance of the whole structure to the Castle of Elsinore, immortalized by its association with " the philosophic prince," has frequently attracted the notice of travellers. The Castle, besides being used as a prison, also contains apartments for the accommodation of the different law-courts.

Castletown from Mt Strange
Castletown from Mt Strange

Lorn-house, the residence of the Lieutenant Governor, his Excellency C. Hope, is a very elegant mansion, built by the late Robert Cunningham, Esq., and now rented by the British Government. The Gardens of Lorn-house are extremely tasteful, and may vie with any in the Island, or even in England.

King William's College stands about half a mile north-east from the town, and is a very handsome structure. It was founded in 1830, at a cost of £71000. The trustees of the property which was bequeathed by Bishop Barrow, are the Lieut. Governor, the Bishop, the Archdeacon, one of the Deemsters, one of the Vicars-General, the Clerk of the Rolls, and the Attorney General. The sons of the Manks Clergy are entitled to a gratuitous education. The Principal is the Rev. Robert Dixon, M. A. ; the Vice-Principal is the Rev. J. G. Cumming. There are three other Masters, with assistants. The transept of the College is called St. Thomas's Chapel.

St Mary's Chapel Castletown

St. Mary's Chapel, on the parade, is a Chaplaincy in the gift of the Governor. The present structure was erected in 1826. The present Incumbent is the Rev. George Parsons.

Castletown has several excellent Schools, variously endowed. In the centre of the town are a Market-house and Assembly rooms. The Market-place is ornamented by a fluted column fifty feet high erected in memory of the late Cornelius Smelt, Lieut-Governor of the Isle, who laid the foundation stone of King William's College.


 

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