[From Johnson's Guide, 1850]
This Parish is bounded on the north by Michael, on the east by Braddan ; on the south by Marown and Patrick ; and on the west by the Sea: It extends about four miles and a half from north to south, and . three and a half from east to west. A peculiar species of marle is found in this parish, in which remains of Elks are occasionally found imbedded. Mr. Feltham mentions having seen the head of an Elk, the horns of which were nine feet from tip to tip ; and from the other bones, he conjectures that the animal must have been seventeen feet high. The soil in the valleys is highly fertile. In this parish is the small village of St. John's, which merely consists of a few straggling houses in the vicinity of the Tynwald Hill, of which the vignette is a representation, and for a full description of which, see page 47.
At St. John's is the Parochial School, Mr. Hugh Cannell, Master. Four annual Cattle Fairs are held here, on the 17th of March, 1st of May, 5th of July, and 1st of November. The Parish Church is in the town of Peel, and is dedicated to St. Peter. The living is a Vicarage, in the gift of the Bishop. The present Incumbent is the Rev. J. L. Stowell. A new Church is now erecting at St. John's, the patronage of which is vested in the Bishop. The Wesleyan Methodists have Meeting-houses at St. John's and Greeba. The Gentlemen's seats are numerous and beautiful. T. Carran Esq., of Ballagyr, is Captain of the Parish.
The parish, which forms the north-western extremity of th Island, extends about five miles from east to west, and two from north to south. It is, bounded ou the north and west by the sea ; on the east by Andreas and Lezayre ; on the south by Ballaugh. The Parish Church was rebuilt in 1814, and stands on a commanding eminence from which a fine view of the three kingdoms may be enjoyed. It is about seven miles and a half north-west from Ramsey, and twenty-three from Douglas, by the St. John's road. The living is a Vicarage in the gift of the Bishop. The present Incumbent is the Rev. J. E. Harrison. This parish abounds in peat and turf of a very fine quality; and immense roots of oak and fir are occasionally dug up, which fully prove that the Island formerly produced trees of great size. The Jurby peat-bogs are now rendered classical by the beautiful legendary poem of Miss E. Nelson, a lady whose truly original genius has shed a lustre over the Isle of her nativity. The "publican's hovel," in which so many dark deeds were perpetrated, is now completely dilapidated, only one gable remaining, which may still be seen at the junction of the four roads between Ballamoar and Craig. The traveller who has occasion to pass this wild spot after nightfall, must be possessed of more than ordinary nerve, if he does not recall this thrilling story, and find himself unconsciously uttering the caution so mysteriously conveyed in the opening lines :-
" I rede ye beware of the Carrasdoo men,
As ye come up the wold!
Oh, I rede ye beware of the Curragh glen!
For he that will dare it comes not again,- in whispers his fate is told."
This parish also was the scene of a remarkable battle. About the close of the 11th century, during the regency of Mac Manis, a rebellion was raised by the people of the North-side of the Island, the ringleader of which was one Outer, or Outher. A battle took place at Stantway, in which the generals were killed, and the victory inclined to the Northern partisans. Most unexpectedly, however, the women of the South-side appeared in the field, and seconded their husbands and brothers so effectually that the tables were turned ; which heroic conduct on their part was, it is supposed, the foundation of the following diversity in the Statutes affecting the interest of the wife in her husband's property.
" Also, that every Man and Wife, which depart this life upon the Southside of this Isle, do stand in one; effect ; that is to say, the Man to have the one Halfe,; and the Wife the other Halfe ; provided always, that; the Debts temporall be paid out of the Whole, and the Debts spiritual out of the Dead his Parte.
Alsoe, upon the Northside of this Isle, in case a Man or Wife depart this Life, having no Children, or: Issue, the Wife hath the one Halfe, and may bequeath; it to whom she will ; and in like manner it is upon.; the South Side of this Isle. But in case there be any Issue or Children, lawfully begotten, then if the Man depart, the Geodes moveable are divided into three Parts, viz., one Part to the Executors, another part to, the Dead, and the third Part to the Wife. And of all Geodes immovable, not having any Life, the Wife; hath the Halfe on the North Side."
The chief estates are Ballamoar and East-Nappin,; :William Farrant, Esq., Capt. of the Parish; Summer-Hill ; Sartfield, J. Lace, Esq., &c.
In the Church-yard will be seen several records of longevity, and the Elegiac stanzas composed by a school-master for his own tomb will be read with interest, as a fair specimen of Insular latinity in 1756. ' The annual parish Cattle Fair is held on the 5th of April.
This extensive Parish is bounded on the north by ndreas and Bride ; a very small portion of it touches the Sea on the east, on which side its remaining boundary is formed by the parishes of Maughola and Lonan ; it is bounded on the south by Braddan ; and on the west by Michael, Ballaugh, and Jurby, being - thus connected with no less than eight parishes. Its length from north to south is about seven miles, and its breadth from east to west five. The northern part is well-cultivated ; the southern is very mountainous ; but even in these elevated regions considerable progress has been made by the enterprizing agriculturist, .and young plantations are springing up in several .hitherto barren tracts. Large quantities of the mountain sheep are reared in this parish. The most interesting spot to the Visitor is the lofty summit of Snea- fell, which may be approached from any side, but the southern roads are imperfect, and dangerous (without a guide) from the frequent morasses which abound even in the highest localities. The best of them is through Laxey Glen,.but no access to Snea-fell is so eligible as that from Sulby, from which place two excellent roads conduct the traveller. Another road winds through Glen-Aldyn, (a most picturesque and enchanting spot,) but is not so desirable as the roads from Sulby, one of which joins the Glen-Aldyn road about a mile from the mountain. These roads are passable for vehicles to within a short distance of the summit, but the general way of ascending is upon small Manks ponies, which are very strong and sure- footed, and much resemble those found in Wales, and in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. They are, doubtless, the same original stock, and are known in London by the generic name of Shetland ponies.
The view from the summit cf Snea-fell is truly sublime in its extent, and is the only view of the kind to be found in the British dominions. In other respects the lovers of the picturesque will derive more pleasure from the wild scenery of Loch Lomond or Katrine; but no man can stand on this Island peak, in the centre of three great kingdoms, and behold the distant shores of each across the blue waters, without feeling something of that " local emotion" which the contemplation of the grander phases of Nature is calculated to inspire. There is something ennobling in the situation. He beholds beneath his feet a little Isle which has witnessed more of battle and broil and blood than ` any spot of similar extent in the world ; where all the passions of the human breast, pride, revenge, burning love, and hate, and courage quelled but by death, have found their sphere ; he beholds the scene of many a hard fought contest for the crowns and sceptres which wither away with the bodies they adorned ; and he gazes on the soil where the feet of Wilson have trod, and thinks with rapture of the victories gained by that holy man, and his achievement of a kingdom more glorious than those of earth, and of a diadem whose lustre shall eclipse the sun in the firmament.
The view from Snea-fell is interesting in another respect. The traveller in the other parts of the Island, sees, in her little glens, and. streamlets, and waterfalls, the face of nature in miniature. The contrast between these, and the majestic expanse -which bursts upon his sight from the top of Snea-fell, cannot fail to strike him with admiration. It is as though the microscope had fallen from his eye, and a telescope been substituted ; or, to take a loftier simile, it is as when a soul, which has been chained to its tenement of clay, and has known only the limited field which his circum- stances permitted him to survey, has suddenly burst the bars of his prison-house, and gone forth into immensity, where the countless myraids of worlds roll in untiring majesty before his astonished and enraptured vision.
Among the wild recesses of this and other mountainous districts are to be found a few cottages, tenanted by peasantry retaining all the peculiar characteristics of the native Manks. Primitive simplicity invariably spreads its wings on the approach of civilization, and finds a shelter among the rocks and mountains. He, therefore, who would study the character of an ancient people must make his closet in the loneliness of their highland scenery ; for not only will he there find that character preserved in its pristine features, but the boldness and bleakness of the region will purge his mind from the impressions of an artificial state, and enable him to pursue his investigations in the moral world with vigour and success. The heights of the Manks mountains are not only naturally picturesque, but teem with moral beauties ; and the relies of song and superstition, carefully preserved in the traditions of those who know not the use of the pen, will amply reward the labour of him who explores the rich mine, as yet only partially opened.
The belief in the existence of Fairies is not entirely dissipated even in the present day, and the last generation of the Manks peasantry cherished it with the greatest reverence. In fact, scarcely one would have been found so divested of this innocent superstition, as to retire to rest at night without placing bread and water for the fairies, and the niggard lout who locked up his viands was looked on as worse than an infidel. But, (alas ! that it should be so,) the simple hearted peasantry have been driven to the necessity of bolts and bars to secure them from midnight intruders of a more palpable character than their airy visitants of yore . and the "good people" in dire umbrage, have shaken the motes from their gossamer wings, and left no trace of their flight. Sometimes indeed, the belated mountaineer starts in horror at an elvish scream which echoes from hill to hill, or sees a shadowy form of unnatural dimensions stride across his path ; but his tale of marvels finds few auditors beyond his own shealing, and even of these some one, bolder than the rest, would not scruple to insinuate, that the vision had been summoned by a too copious libation to the Ruby King.
From the side of Snea-fell issues the little rivulet which waters the vale of Sulby, and, after a course of about eight miles, debouches at the port of Ramsey. It is the largest stream in the Island, and affords good sport to the angler.
There is a greater number of gentlemen's seats in this parish than in any part of the Island, except the immediate vicinity of Douglas. Indeed the whole road from Ramsey to Bishop's Court, the greater part of which is included in One parish of Lezayre, is exceedingly picturesque, presenting in succession every various style of scenery. Among the principal villas may be noticed Milntown, the seat of the Hon. Deemster Christian ; Glentrammon,* John Teare, Esq., H. K. ; Glenduff, Llewellyn McWhannell, Esq. ; Loughan-o-yeigh, the residence of W. R. Wynyard, Esq., R.N.; Ellanbane, of the Rev. Wm. Butler ; East Kella, J. Corlett, Esq., Captain of the Parish ; &c.*' Vid. page 58.
The Parish Church is two miles west from Ramsey. The living is a Vicarage in the gift of the Crown. The church is new and of an elegant structure. The present Incumbent is the Rev. W. B. Christian, Archdeacon's Registrar. A tasteful little Chapel has been erected at the Village of Sulby, the patron of which is the Bishop. The present Chaplain is the Rev. John Qualtrough.
Two Fairs are annually held at Sulby, one the 4th of June, and on the 23d of July.
Several coins, urns, and skeletons have been found in this parish. Mr. Feltham refers to a current opinion that Ballamona, in Lezayre, is the same with Mirestoge, where Godred, the son of Olave, endowed a small piece of ground for the use of the Cistertian Monks. Of this there is no evidence beyond the tradition of seven hundred years, which also tells us of a Chapel and Cemetery on Skye-hill, at whose base many battles have been fought.
This mountainous Parish, which extends about four miles from north to south, and three from east to west, is bounded on the north by Maughold ; on the east by the Sea ; on the south by Onchan ; and on the west by Onchan and Lezayre. The Parish Church is about seven miles north-east from Douglas, and one mile from the Village of Laxey. The living is a Vicarage in the gift of the Crown. The present Incumbent is the Rev. Joseph Qualtrough.
The proportion of arable land in this parish is comparatively small, the greater part of its surface being mountainous. The peaks of Mallaghauvr, Onus, and Slieau-Lhean, are the highest, and afford tolerable sheep pasture. In the valleys, however, some good soil occurs.
In the glen, about a mile from the Village, is a valuable lead mine, which gives employment to a great number of men. It produces about 50 tons of lead ore, and 100 tons of blende monthly. The ore yields 1500 lbs of lead, and from 100 to 120 ounces of silver, per ton. The blende is manufactured into a semimetallic substance, called speltre.
The Village of Laxey is situated at the mouth of the streamlet of the same name, which falls into a bay, upwards of two miles across, and a favourite resort of fish of every variety The paper-mill of Messrs. Lewthwaite is built on the stream close to the Village.
In this parish are two very singular relics of antiquity. One, about half a mile from the village on the Ramsey Road, has long been a subject of discussion among antiquarians. Some supposed it to have been a common Druidical circle ; others again, not thinking the site sufficiently level for a circle so large as the distance between the remaining stones would imply, have imagined that the spot must have been used both as a temple and a tomb. Until very recently, there seemed little prospect of arriving at any accurate conclusion. The following extract of a letter from Thomas J. Leeming, Esq., of King's College, London, (who, in company with Surgeon Craine, of Ramsey, made a minute examination of this spot,) appears, however, to present a more satisfactory account of the subject. After alluding to the opinions previously entertained, the improbability of which he very ably exposes, Mr. Leeming proceeds :-
"These doubts and difficulties seem to be now nearly set at rest, and this little Stonehenge degraded to a mere burying ground; for, a short time back, the proprietor of the land, having occasion for some stones for repairing his fences, proceeded to remove some of the smaller fragments lying about, when it was found that they formed a cairn covering a large tomb or cest- vaen, composed of two immense stones lying parallel in a direction nearly east and west, and inclined towards each other above ; the space at the western extremity (and probably the eastern also) being closed up by a smaller piece. It would appear that this tomb is one of a series, probably the second from the tall upright stone standing at a little distance, as there is a large fragment appearing a little above ground that seems to form part of a similar structure. This is all that has been discovered hitherto, with the exception of some teeth and bones of a horse (most likely the steed of the person buried below) which appear of very ancient date, crumbling to dust with the merest touch. It is much to be regretted that a strange superstitious feeling has been the cause of preventing any further researches at present, for it seems to be the belief that "King Orry" (as the unknown occupant is already dubbed) will, if disturbed, be driven to the necessity of " walking," and perhaps causing great mischief in the neighbourhood. This notion, it is to be hoped, will, in time, wear off; and further researches be made, which may throw some gleam of sunshine into the mist that at present abscures the ancient history of the Island. Even as things stand at present, the curious in these matters will be well repaid by a visit to the old grave on Laxey hill."
The other relic alluded to is of too obvious a character to admit of dispute as to its original design. There is, indeed, a fashion, among partially informed persons, of calling every heap of stones which lies in their way Druidical. Accordingly, a small groupe of perpendicular stones, about two miles from Laxey on the Douglas road, known by the name of " the Cloven Stones," is currently spoken of as a Druidical temple, though it bears not the slightest resemblance to the numerous other temples, of undoubted Druidical origin, which have been. discovered, either in Wales or the Isle of Mann. In addition to this, there is a distinct tradition, that these rude stones mark the resting-place of a Welch Prince, who invaded the Island and was slain by the natives, by whom the stones were raised as a trophy, according to the usage of all ancient na- tions, allusions to which abound in the pages of Ossian. The disinterment, some years back, of several human bones, appears to leave no doubt as to the fact of the place having been used as a sepulchre ;though, of course, popular tradition, which, like the imagination of the poet, too often gives "a local habitation and a name" to "airy nothing," is in all cases to be received with caution, and carefully tested by analogy.
One other circumstance merits a passing, observation. It seems to have been taken for granted, that the name " Cloven Stones" was applied to this ancient cairn on account of the appearance of the two principal stones of the groupe, which stand close to each other, slightly inclining in opposite directions, and appearing to a' cursory observer as if they had formerly been one- stone, split asunder by a wedge. This, however, is extremely improbable, as the practice of the ancients; was to gather the largest stones they could possibly; procure for their cairns, and there seems no conceiva-° ble motive for dividing one which was to serve as a memorial of an important event. A suggestion may' perhaps be permitted, which has at least simplicity to recommend it. It appears that the original name of; the parish was not Lonan, but Lovan, . or, more correctly, Clovaaa, which 'latter orthography is used, sod lately as the year 1751, in the Lord Chancellor's judgment in the case of " The Bishop of Mann v. Com.; Derby, and Com. Derby v. Duke of Athol." In the Patent of James I. the orthography "Lovan" is used,' and is followed in the Act of Revestment. In the ancient M. S. S. it would, doubtless, be written, "Lonan", the letters u and v being formerly convertible, and the substitution of n for u is of such constant occurrence in old transcripts, that it is merely necessary to allude to it, to account for the present orthography.*
What then can be more natural, than to suppose that this cairn derives its name from the simple fact of its having been erected in the parish of CLOVAN, and that the designation should be "the Clovan Stones," not " the Cloven Stones," for which last there is no authority either in tradition, or in the nature of the case?
In the year 1786, two hundred and thirty-seven silver Coins were found buried in this parish, and, as appears from a memorandum of the Insular Court of Exchequer, were claimed by the Crown. On another occasion, also subsequent to the Revestment, a number of ancient coins, found in this parish, were de- mantled by the Receiver-General on behalf of the Crown, from the Duke's Seneschal. The Duke resisted, on the ground that treasure trove was the property of the Lord of the Manor, but the Insular Court of Exchequer over-ruled the argument, and the Coins were declared to belong to the Crown.
There are not many gentlemen's seats in this parish. Ballamenagh, the seat of Godfrey Tate, Esq., Captains of the Parish; and Baljean, of John James Moore, Esq., may, however be mentioned. The Primitive Methodists have a Meeting-house at Laxey, and the Wesleyans at Balla-cannal.
'A propos of this subject,-it is curious how much the names of many of the parishes have varied. Thus Arbory is sometimes, even so lately as in the Commissioners' Report in 1792, written Arbra, as it is pronounced by the natives. Marown is by Sacheverell written Marcom, from which it may be inferred that Malcolm, that is Columbus, was the patron saint. Similarly Onchan is written Conchan, &c., &c.
This Parish is bounded on the north by Patrick and Marown, on the east by St. Anne and the Sea ; on the south by the Sea; and on the west by Arbory.
The following interesting particulars have been kindly supplied by a gentleman well acquainted with the parish, and leave but little to be added.
Its average length is six miles, and breadth four miles. The Parish includes the Town of Castletown and Villages of Ballasalla and Derbyhaven. The population, exclusive of Castletown, is 3085.
The Limestone Quarries adjoining the Peel road, two miles out of Castletown, carried out by Mr. Moore and Mr. Jefferson, afford employment to many persons in the neighbourhood, and supply almost the whole of the Island with lime, besides considerable quantities for exportation.
" In the northern extremity of the parish are the Lead Mines of Little Foxdale, which are carried on with much spirit, and yield a rich return to the company, by whom they are leased from the British Crown.
" The Slate Quarries near the top of Barool, formerly yielded an excellent slate, which was in much request at the south side of the Island, but are now neglected.
" The Parish Church is situated at the distance of one mile and a quarter from Castletown on the Peel road. The patronage belongs to the Crown, and the present Vicar is the Rev. William Gill. St. Mark's Chapel is five miles distant from Castletown, on the eastern side of the parish, and affords means of attending divine worship to a considerable population residing in the neighbourhood, which comprises a portion of the parish of St. Anne. The Chapel was built by subscription, under the direction of Bishop Hildesley , in the year 1772, and is endowed with a Glebe consisting of sixty acres. The present Chaplain is the Rev. John Thomas Clarke.
"The Chapel attached to King William's College is an accommodation to the inhabitants of Derbyhaven and the Green, as well as the inmates of the College. The service is conducted jointly by the Principal and Vice-Principal of the College.
" Exclusive of Castletown, there are three Public Schools in the parish, with small endowments :-
1. The Parochial School, situated in the Village of Ballasalla, kept by Mr. J. Wattercon The number of children in attendance is 100. The master's salary, over and above the quarterage of the scholars, is £8, arising from the Impropriate Fund and Lady Elizabeth Hastings' charity.
2. St. Mark's School, contiguous to the chapel, under the charge of the chaplain. It is at present taught by Mr. Philip Kelley, and attended by about 30 children. The endowment is the payment of ten shillings a year for each seat in the chapel by the seat-holders, for which they have a right of sending; their children to the school, to be taught English and Latin for the quarterages of one shilling to three shillings.
3 The National School at Grenaby, built in the year 1835, by subscription, with the assistance of a government grant. The master's salary is £5 a year from the Impropriate Fund, and the quarterages of the children. The present master is Mr. Samuel Thompson, and the number of scholars about 30. The school-house also serves the purpose of a Chapel of Ease, where a Sunday evening service is solemnized by the Vicar of the parish, and is a great accommodation to the Inhabitants of the neighbourhood, many of whom reside at the distance of four miles from the parish church.
" The principal estates in the parish are Billown, the property ard residence of Thomas Moore, Esq., jp Captain of the Parish ; Ballavarvane, the property and residence of John Bridson, Esq., H. K. ; the Creg- Bans, belonging to George Quayle, Esq., of Liverpool ; Ballasalla House and Ballawhetstone, the property ot Sir George Drinkwater ; and Ronaldsway, belonging to General Goldie. This last extensive property is occupied by the Messrs. Blyth, Scottish gentlemen, who afford to the neighbouring farmers a spirited example of the best Scottish farming.
" Connected with the history of Hango Hill in this parish, the following extract from the Parish Register, for the year 1662, may be acceptable :-
"`Mr. William Christian of Ronoldsway late Recr. was shott to Death att Hangoe hill the 2th of January, he died most penitently, and most curragiously, made a good End, prayed earnestly, made an excellent Speech and the next day was buried in the Chancle of kk Malew."'
Near St. Mark's Chapel are the remarkable blocks of granite, called Godred Crovan's stones, but of which the real history is unknown. A Danish encampment, called the Black Fort, is in the same vicinity, aud was some years back in excellent preservation, but has since been much injured.
Near Ballown, on the summit of a hill, is a remarkable Druidical Temple. The circle is thirty feet in diameter, and composed of irregular white quartz blocks. A large table of granite lies on the east side, which seems to have been removed from the interior of the circle, and was probably used for human sacrifices. On the west, a cemetery has been discovered, and several urns containing valuable ornaments exhumed.
The Village of Ballasalla is about two miles from Castletown, on the Douglas road. In its vicinity is Rushen Abbey, founded by the Regent Mac Manus, for the accommodation of an Abbot and twelve Cistertian Monks. - The English visitor to Ballasalla will be agreeably reminded of some of the sweetest Villages in his own country ;. and the roads of the district, being for the most part bounded by neat hedges of thorn, form an agreeable contrast to the rough gorse- covered fences which meet the eye in other parts of = the Island.
Annual Fairs are held at St. Mark's on the 5th of January, and the 12th of May.
This is the only inland Parish in the Island, and is bounded on the north by German ; on the east by Braddan ; on the south by St. Anne and Malew ; and on the west by Patrick. In the original division of the Island, Marown was included in Middle Sheading, and this division is followed in the table at the beginning of this Part ; but since the year 1796, it has been assigned to Glenfaba.
Marown extends about five miles from north to south, and two and a half from east to west. The Parish Church is five miles west from Douglas, six east from Peel, and stands on a hill about half a mile from the high road, on the southern side. It is a very old building, the sides of the roof forming an acute angle of not more than 25 degrees. It was enlarged in 1753, but is very insufficient for the population, and the erection of a new one has been contemplated. The living is a Vicarage in the gift of the Crown. The present Incumbent is the Rev. William Duggan.
The mountains of Greeba, Archallaghan, and Slieau- schiarn, are in this parish. There is also a hill called Lhiaght y-Kinry, or "The 'grave of Kinry," a man who perished in an attempt to run from Douglas to Bishop's Court, and back, stark naked, in the depth of winter. On the road side, a little beyond the Village of Crosby, are the ruins of St. Triman's Chapel, or which little is known ; the vulgar, however, believe that sundry discontented ghosts wander about its crumbling walls.
On the north side of the estate of Mount Murray, the visitor will find a perfect Druidical Temple, of large dimensions. The circle is of the unusually large a meter of forty-two feet, and is composed of perpendicular stones. Two terraces partially enclose the temple at a few yards distance. The spot where these interesting remains are found is called Glen- darragh, " The Vale of Oaks," which seems to prove that the favourite tree of the Druids once abounded there, though not a vestige, save the name, remains " to tell what was." Two little streams course down the hill side to the Doo rivulet. On the west side of ; Mount Murray is a large mound of earth, 360 feet in circumference, and surrounded by a rampart and ditch. ; In the same neighbourhood is a sepulchral tumulus or' barrow.
The remains of two or three ancient chapels are to be seen in this parish; one on the estate of Ballingan, another on the estate of Ballaquinney-moar, another on that of Ballachrink, and a fourth on Ballalough.
The Mona Mining Company have for some years been working a shaft in Glendarragh with considerable success. The depth of the shaft is 102 feet. A very large wheel was recently erected by the company for drawing out water from the mine. The; piston rods of the pumps are 1008 feet in length ; the wheel is 22 feet in diameter, and has a stroke of six feet.
This parish contains several extensive estates. The largest is Ellerslie, consisting of five hundred and mixty acres, the property of William Turnbull, Esq.,tenanted by Mr. Edward Faulder. Garth the property and residence of Thomas Clucas Captain of the Parish ; Ballalough, the property of A. Spittal, Esq.; Ballavagher, Mr. Edward Gelling ; Ballafreer, Mrs. Kewley; and Ballaquinney-moar, the property of Thos. Clucas, Esq., are also of some importance.
The Village of Crosby is in this parish, and consists of a few straggling houses, and one row of small cottages. The Wesleyans have a neat little Chapel here. There are also several schools, with small endowments. The annual Fair is held at Greeba on the 2nd of February.
This parish is bounded on the north by Lezayre and the Sea ; on the east by the Sea ; on the south by Lonan ; and on the west by Lezayre. It extends four miles and a half from north to south, and three from east to west. The Parish Church is about three miles from Ramsey, near the promontory called Maughold Head. The living is a Vicarage in the gift of the Crown. The present Incumbent is the Rev. Bowyer Harrison.
In the Church-yard are several curious Runic stones and crosses. Opposite to it, is a beautiful pillar, five feet high, bearing on one side of an oblong four-sided capital, a representation of our Saviour on the cross, and on the other sides representations of the Virgin and Child, of a kneeling figure, and of an oak leaf with two acorns. The Vignette will give an accurate idea of the pillar and the four sides of the capital.
The device of the oak leaf is now almost entirely obliterated, but the drawing from which the vignette was cut was taken in 1798, when probably it was a little more distinguishable. It has, however, been supposed to have been intended for a representation of Maughold himself, and the kneeling figure has also been deemed a facsimile of Bridget, the celebrated Irish nun, who came over from Ireland to receive the veil from Maughold. But, independently of the dress, ,which is masculine, the device of the three legs, chiselled in relief on a rude escutcheon beneath the crucifix, determines that the pillar is at least as late as the Scottish conquest, seven centuries after the time of Maughold, and also that it is not Danish, as that device was first introduced by Alexander III.
Beneath the rocks which form the bold promontory ' of Maughold is the celebrated spring called St. Maug- hold's Well, the water of which is remarkably clear and refrigerant. The custom, not yet obsolete, of resorting to this well on the first Sunday in August, is most probably of druidical origin. The spot is precisely such as would have been selected by those hoary prophets for an annual assembly, when, probably, oracles would be delivered to the superstitious enquirers. It was the practice of the emissaries of the Church of Rome, when carrying their religion to a new region, not to abolish heathen observances, but merely to substitute a new pretext, having some reference to the new religion. Thus, in Ireland, they did not abrogate the custom of burning fires in honour of the Sun at the beginning and end of harvest, but instructted the benighted heathens to dedicate their fires to John the Baptist, which the peasantry continue to do to this day. So with regard to Maugbold's well. That captain of Irish Rapparees having selected this pot as his favourite abode, and .haven; afterwards.been canonized in honour of his self-imposed penånces, the people were instructed to repair to his well at a particular season, as they had formerly done to receive the oracular responses of the Druids. But as it was necessary to substitute a new pretext, the well was forthwith invested with the properties of preventing and curing barrenness, to which priestly juggle the chalybeate quality of the spring gave some colour; ing, at least in those days of medical ignorance. The fructifying virtues, it is needless to say, have disappeared with the priests who administered the draught, but the people still observe the custom of resorting to the spot once a year, though it may be safely affirmed, that the major part of them know not i wherefore they are come together.
At Ballaglass, the rivulet Dhoon falls over a rock of considerable height, forming a most picturesque water; fall. An Iron Mine has been opened within a few years near this rivulet, and promises to be productive. The lofty summit of North Barrule is in this parish. The proper name of this hill, and of that at the southwestern extremity of the chain, is Baare-ool, signifying °° the top of the apple," to which the mountain bears some resemblance. Though little inferior in height to Snea-fell, the view from the latter, being more central, is considered superior.
Several beautiful villas in the neighbourhood of Ramsey belong to this parish ; among which may be mentioned Claughbane, the seat of W. Christian, Esq., Captain of the Parish ; Ballure, with its romantie glen; Ballaterson ; Crow Ville ; Belle Vue, &c., &c.
The Wesleyans have four Meeting-houses in the parish, exclusive of the town of Ramsey.
The publication of the following curious extract from the Parochial Register of Maughold has been kindly permitted by the Rev. the Vicar.
" Edmund Christin Sumtime Captaine at ye Sea and afterwards for a time Governour of ye Isle of man departed this life in ye peele Castle being a prisoner there for sum words Spoken Concerning ye Kinge when ye great difference was betwixt Kinn and Parlament he was Committed By James Earle of Derby Being then in this Isle and John Greenbalgh Governour and afterwards Buried in Kk Maughold Church where he was Baptized was Buried January ve 22 : 1660."
This Parish extents about five miles in length from north to south, and four from east to west. It is bounded on the north by Ballaugh ; on the east by Lezayre and Braddan ; on the south by German ; and on the west by the Sea. The Parish Church is sixteen miles nortbwest from Douglas ; the same distance north from Castletown ; seven north east from Peel, and nine west from Ramsay. The living is a Vicarage in the appointment of the Crown. The present Incumbent is the Rev. Joseph Brown, Episcopal Registrar.
The Church is a very elegant structure, erected in 7835. In the Church-yard the ruins of the old church are still standing, which will be viewed with interest, as having often echoed to the voice of Wilson, whose tomb, as well those of his successors Hildesley and ; CriTaan, is not far distant.
Many venerable relies of antiquity are to be seen ' in this extensive church-yard. Those chiefly claiming attention are two Runic monuments with inscriptions. One near the gate bears a variety of carved lines of which the meaning is quite unknown. In the upper corner is a rude figure of a warrior holding a long sword with his right hand, and a small shield cut with radiating lines, probably intended to represent the sun, in the left. Round the edges is the following inscription, which is given according to the decyphering and translation of the learned Irish antiquarian Beauford, in preference to that proposed by Sir John Prestwich.
Ivalfir. sunr. Dural. fes. sins. randa. risti. crux. dono. Aftrinde mudur. sins.
For the sins of Ivalfir son of Dural this cross was raised by his mother Aftrinde.
The other monument, or rather cross, in the churchyard, bears the following inscription
Uleifan. funtre. gudean. nom. ilean. Reinti. crund : Son. sfstr. mel. muru. funtre. mus. tolirluf, cetlan. cone. in. e.
For which Mr. Beauford purposes the following translation
We hope to live through the holy name of God; and by means of the mysterious tree on which his son suffered an evil death, our sorrows shall be washed away.
The principal mountains in this parish are Slieau Doo, Slieau ny Craughane, Yn Vaaiyll, Sartal, and ë Cronk Urlelgh.* The beautiful Glen Wlllin, about a quarter of a mile from the Village, is a favourite resort of pleasure parties, and should not be passed over by those who desire to form an accurate idea of the peculiar scenery of the Isle of Mann. ' Vid. page 53
The most interesting spot is Bishop's Court, the residence of the Bishops of this ancient diocese, about a mile north from the village. The house has been altered, enlarged, and repaired by succeeding prelates from the time of the Stanley family downwards, until it now appears a capacious and elegant building. A private chapel was attached by the Right Rev. Lord George Murray, the present Bishop of Rochester. The venerable trees which surround the mansion wera planted by Bishop Wilson. The demesne is very extensive, and pleasantly laid out. From several points may be obtained beautiful prospects of the coast and Peel Castle. A rockery constructed by Lady Sarah Murray still remains, and is a pleasing memorial of her ladyship's taste. Bishop Hildesey, in 1760, erected two wooden pillars, in memory of a victory gained by Captain Elliot over the French Admiral Thurot, off the adjacent coast.
In the parish of Michael are the estates of Whitehouse, E. Gell, Esq., Captain of the Parish ; Ballaskyr, T. Cain, Esq. ; Montpellier and Eairy Kelly, &c., J. Brooke, Esq. ; Orrisdale, J. C. Crellin, Esq. ; Cooley Lodge, the late Captain Anderson.
A Cattle Fair is held at the Village on the loth of October.
The Parochial Schoolmaster at Cronk Urleigh is Mr. Patrick Kelly.
This Parish, variously written Oncan and Conchan, derives its name, according to tradition, from Oncha, the mother of Patricius. It extends about four miles from north to south, and five from east to west ; is bounded on the north by Lonan ; on the east by the Sea ; on the south by Braddan and the Sea ; and on Ithe west by Braddan. The Parish Church is a modern erection, and forms a pleasing object in the view from the Sea. It is about two miles from Douglas. The living is a Vicarage, in the nomination of the Crown. 'The present Incumbent is the Rev. John Howard.
In this parish agriculural operations have been -s rried on with great success ; the quantity of ses wreck drifted ashore, being of the greatest value to the farmer.
A description of the gentlemen's seats in this parish will be found in the account of Douglas.
The Wesleyans have two Meeting-houses in the parish, exclusive of those in Douglas. The Village Schoolmaster is Mr. Gale.
This Parish extends six miles from north to south, and four from east to west. It is bounded on the north by German and the Sea; on the east by Marown and Malew ; on the south by Malew and Rushen ; and on the west by the Sea. The Parish Church is about a mile and a half south from Peel. It was consecrated by Bishop Wilson on St. Peter's day, 1714, on which occasion he issued a special degree, inhibiting burial in churches on pain of the severest ecclesiastical censures. Formerly the parishes of Patrick and German had been united, but were now separated, the boundary line being drawn through Peel Castle parallel to the midst of the river. The living is a Vicarage in the gift of the Bishop. The present Chaplain is the Rev. A. Holmes.
This parish is very mountainous, and contains little arable land, but this deficiency is compensated by the valuable mines which have been discovered within its bounds. The chief are the lead mines of Foxdale, which are now actively worked by an English Company, and produce from 250 to 300 tons of ore per month. This ore is not so rich in silver as that of the Laxey mines, yielding only an average of 50 ounces per ton. The vein extends the whole breadth of the Island, and is very solid. The shaft called Beckwith's vein is sixty-five fathoms deep, and the Cross vein fifty fathoms.
Near these mines is a beautiful cascade, in one of the branches of the Peel river, which rises in South Barrule. In Glenmoij, also, about three miles south of Peel, is a sweet little fall, perhaps the most lovely spot in the Island, and a favourite haunt of the Fairies, Some remarks on the Fairy superstition were subjoin to the description of the mountain scenery of Lezayre. The mention of Glenmoij revives the subject, and furnishes an opportunity for an additional observation. In many of the Manks superstitions a resemblance to those of Scotland and Ireland may be traced, sufficient to prove that the aboriginal stock of all the three nations was the same. There is one in particular, cherished by the peasantry with the greatest reverence, which is too singular to be omitted, viz., the existtence of a peculiar species of fairy, which the Irish, under the name of " the Banshee," and the Scots, under that of "the Brownie," believed to be attached to particular families, and to give warning, by a plaintive cry, before the death of any member of them. They were, however, occasionally known to exhibit a malignant disposition, and the babes of those who neglected to propitiate them were some times found strangled, or at least with the mysterious impression of a finger and thumb upon the wet sand. " The Phynnodderee" of the Manks superstition, on the other hand, is in every sense a more amiable character, and is rather an object of respect than fear, except indeed to petulant children, who are instantly reduced to silence by the idea of the wild satyr-like form of this mysterious being. He assists both farmer and shepherd in their duties, threshing corn for the one, provided the sheaves are left untied, and driving the sheep of the other to the fold on the approach of a storm.. The poacher alone seems unable to gain his good will, as he never fails to destroy his snares when laid across his path. But the magic pen of Mrs. E. S. Craven Green has invested this creature of the imagination with such a bright reality, and illustrated the popular superstition so admirably in the following lines, that any other notice would be superfluous.
Oh! well we loved the Ocean isle, e'er our revels past away,
And we came with songs at the violet's birth, on the balmy eve of
We led the dance, and we scattered free our charmed favors round,
Token and gift for the threshold stone where the offering flowers we found.
Then the music of our silver bells came ringing on the wind,
As the night-bewildered peasant sought the mountain path to find,
And with song, and shout, and gladsomeness a gay and frolic band
Swept past him on their elfin steeds, the Knights of Fairy-land
And the cloudless moon came glancing out, to cast her sparkling sheen
On silver helm and diamond crest, and silken robes of green,
As we pledged the cup and spread the feast beneath the hawthorn tree,
Till the stars look'd dim on the mimic jousts of the Fairy chivalry.
Then far away, like shadows grey, we fled from the coming sun,
Lifting the spell from our watcher's eyes when the festal rout was done.
And for many a year round the household hearth he told the wondrous tale,
But never again might find the path that led to the haunted vale I
Sorrow and sin like a darkening cloud o'er earth's fair regions fell,
And we past away to our own bright land with a long and sad farewell,
Leaving our names to the forest streams and the pastoral vallies fair,
And the silvery nooks where the wild flowers cast their odours on the air.
But ONE returned, the' he knew the spell would change his radiant frame,
And send him forth a fearful shape with a wild and mystic name, ;
To come no more to his fairy home till time itself should fade;-
Yet ;he braved the curse, and endured the weird, for the love of a mortal maid.
His was the wizard hand that toiled at midnight's witching hour, ;
That gathered the sheep from the coming storm, ere the shepherd; saw it four;
Yet asked no fee, save a scattered sheaf from the peasant's garnered hoard,
Or a cream bowl kissed by a virgin's lip to be left on the household board!
He lived in. the light of the smiling eyes that first his homage won.,
Till the dust was laid on her lovely head-the mortal's race had run ;
The very stone that bore her name had crumbled to decay,
Ere the exiled spirit chained to earth passed from his toils away.
You may hear his voice on the desert hill, when the mountain winds have power,
Pour a wild lament for his buried love, and his long-lost fairy bower !
But the Elfin-Knight is now on earth a form beheld no more; -
A moaning voice, and a legend wild, of the wizard days of yore,
Are all that remain of the LAST who gave
His fairy realm to be woman's slave !
* * *
We have past away, but ye may recall
Our songs in the voice of the waterfall,
Lover and maiden who chance to stray,
When sunset blushes on lone Glenmoij,
Never shall vow that is plighted here,
Be broken on earth in its faith sincere ;
For we wrought a charm, and we breathed a spell,
Ever and aye in its bowers to dwell,
A charm of Love that shall ne'er decay,
if ye plight but. your promise in sweet Glenmoij.'
A Beautiful superstition, still retained by the native Manks who leave green boughs or flowers on the threshold on May eve. to propitiate the " good people." or, as they say, " to win good 'luck for the rest of the year. '
On the south east of the Niarbyl, or Dalby Point, is the ancient burial ground of the Kings. of Man'). This cemetery, like others of a remote period, is covered by a cairn of large stones, and is constructed on a hill, one side of which is very precipitous. The hill is called Cronk eyrey yn laa. Near the Niarbyl is also a curious cave, with an opening fourteen feet across by ten high. The tide flows into it, but at low water it is left quite dry. At Knockaloe is another cave, with a wide entrance, but narrowing as it recedes, and supposed to communicate with Maughold Head.
The principal gentlemen's seats are Rheaby-moar, R. Quirk, Esq., Captain of the Parish ; Balla-Cosnahan, the residence of W. Bennett, Esq. ; Knockaloemoar, J. Quirk, Esq. ; Ballabeg, W. Gell, Esq. ; Glen Moij, D. H. Davidson, Esq. ; Glen Rushen, E. Faulder, Esq. ; and Ballamoar, J. Richardson, Esq., of Liverpool.
The Parochial Schoolmaster is Mr. Thos. Cosnahan. The Wesleyans have Meeting-houses at Ballamoar, Dalby, and Foxdale.
There is a Chapel of Ease at Dalby in the patronage of the Bishop. It is dedicated to St. James, and was licensed by Bp. Bowstead. The present Chaplain is the Rev. George Cæsar Stephen, for whom a; Chapelry house is about being erected on a small piece of land, the gift of Thomas Carran, Esq.
This sea-port town, formerly called Holme-Town, or Holene-Town, is the head-quarters of the herring fishery. It is situated in the Parish of German, and is eleven miles west from Douglas, sixteen south-west; from Ramsey, and twelve north from Castletown. The town itself presents nothing remarkable to the visitor, but the ruins of the Castle and Cathedral are of great interest, and are annually visited by crowds of stran gers. They stand on a rocky isle, separated from the main land by a small sound. The Cathedral is ruinous, but the choir was long used for the enthrcyaization of Bishops. Bishop Wilson was the last enthroned there. At the eastern extremity a descent of eighteen steps conducts to the ecclesiastical prison. Within the Cathedral is the tomb of Bisbop Rutter, ' over which was formerly a brass plate, since, uufortunately, purloined, with the following inscription, the quaintness of which renders it worthy of preservation.
In hac domo, quam a vermiculis
Mutuo accepi confratribus meis
Sub ape Resurrectioris ad vitam, Jaceo Saml. permissione divina Episcopus hujus insulm.
Vide ac ride, palatium Episcopi ! Obt. 30mo die mensis Maii 1663.
There are also some vestiges of another church, dedicated to St. Patrick, the date of which is unknown. Both these ruins are within the area occupied by the Castle, which is polygonal, and includes about two acres. The Castle, from the earliest times, was a fortified residence of the Kings of Mann, and is believed to be older than Castle Rushen ; though, according to Bishop Wilson, the present walls and towers were erected by Thomas, Earl of Derby, in the year 1500. In the centre of the area is a mound of earth, probably a sepulchral tumulus, though it has also been conjectured to have been used as a rostrum for public harangues.
Till the Revestment, a body of native soldiers was always garrisoned at Peel Castle, but since that period the garrison has been removed, and the old walls allowed to crumble into decay.
The story of the Moddey Doo, or Black Dog, (sometimes absurdly written Mauthe Doog, by those who only judge from pronunciation) has given celebrity to this garrison. This Black Dog was wont 30 issue at night from a certain passage in the Castle, and proceed to the guard-room, where he squatted before the fire until morning, when he returned by the way he came. One evening, a soldier, having rendered himself pot-valorous, volunteered to go alone with the keys to the Captain's apartment, to which the passage frequented by "the spectre-hound" led. It is supposed that on his way he must have had a sharp encounter with the fiend, for he speedily returned, but never spoke again, and in a few days died in agonies. From that time the Moddey Doo never again resumed his visitations.
In the reign of Richard II. the Earl of Warwick was imprisoned for a short time in Peel Castle, but was recalled with honour.
A more illustrious and unfortunate prisoner was Eleanor Cobham, the wife of Humphry, Duke of Gloster, who, on the charge of witchcraft was sentenced by Henry VI. to perpetual confinement, under the guardianship of Sir John Stanley. She lingered fourteen years. Her melancholy story is alluded to by Shakspeare. (Vide King Henry VI. Part II.)
The modern visitor will find at Peel Castle a living curiosity, almost as great as the venerable pile itself, in the person of old Summers, the custodier of the ruin, who is quite an oracle in all matters relating to Insular legends, and spins his yarn with a gravity that might do honour to the ermine. To this repository of veritable chronicles, the intelligent traveller is referred for details, which, however interesting when delivered from the lips of a living guide, would be considered tame and prosaic in a printed one.
The following lines on the ruins of Peel Castle are the production of a gentleman whose only knowledge of the Isle of Mann is derived from hints contained in a few private letters, but whose natural spirit of romance, and habitual association with kindred scenery in his own more northern Skye, rendered it an easy task to contribute this graceful effort of his muse, illustrative of a venerable ruin, which has already elicited some of the happiest strains from the native lyre of Mona.
THE RUINS OF PEEL CASTLE.
BY DONALD MACASKILL.
Grey mists are creeping o'er the earth, dark clouds rush through
The night-wind with its wakeful hush sweeps low and sadly by;
How mournful is its swelling dirge! its deep and stirring tones,
As it waves the white grass on the walls, the moss upon the stones!
The diw-damp of an hundred years hath quenched the lonely
The feudal pomp of gone-by days moulders with crumbling earth; ',
The mountain blast hath borne the foam from off the mountain stream,
And wreathed it round the wasted towers that gloom in the moonbeam.
A vision of the past returns. The hearth, now black and cold,
Is blazing bright, while ring around the laugh and song of old;
There are fair maids, and bright-eyed boys, and lips that sweetly smile ;
The war-deeds of our sires are told, who fought for our loved Isle;
And there a bard with silver hair sings the bold gathering song,
Till the fire of fight in every face burns steady, stern, and strong;
There is a shout on every lip, a deed in every eve,
And a hundred high and hoary hills give back the patriot cry.
But the howlet's scream, and the cony's foot have sounded
through the hall,
And gloomy ivy, banner-like, hangs darkly on the wall ;
The song that swelled in days of yore bath sunk to the midnight sigh,
The brown fern rustles o'er the hearth, which erst was blazing high.
Where are the sons of lonely Mann, whose barks o'er the wide wide sea,
Were light as the bound of the mountain deer, as fearless and as free ?
Whose march in fight was like a crag from some tail mountain
Or like the eagle, when he swoops resistless from the heaven.
Where are the heart and eye of fire, which knew nor fear nor rest,
Like the levin-bolt which fiercely plays o'er Greeba's rugged crest?
They're scattered like the roaring surge, which bursts upon the rock,
Or the grim cliff that's shivered by the sounding thunder-shock.
And they have left no trace behind, save those storm-beaten walls,
Beneath whose base, with echoes harsh, the wave of Ocean falls;
Deserted are the halls, save when, in his lone wanderings,
The falcon stoops from his height awhile to rest his weary wings,
This town is situated in the parish of Maughold, and about the centre of the fine bay to which it gives its name. The streets are narrow and irregular, but contain a few good houses. The market-place is large, and on Saturdays presents an animated appear ance. Ramsey is fifteen miles and a quarter nortk from Douglas by the east coast road, and twenty-five by the western road ; twenty-five miles north-east from Castletown, and sixteen north-east from Peel. This town is becoming very fashionable as a wateringplace, being more retired than Douglas. The bay affords good shelter from the western gales, and a proposal was made to Government to make an harbour capable of admitting large vessels, but owing to the apathy of the people, has for a time at least been abandoned. Some improvements on a minor scale are, however, in process.
A large windmill has lately been built at the northern entrance to the town, by J. Monk, Esq., to whose enterprise and activity the public are much indebted. The cod and herring fisheries employ a considerable number of the population ; and until , lately several Hundreds found occupation in the extensive ship-building yards on the north side of the river, from which vessels of large burthen have been frequently launched. It is to be hoped, however, that their operations may be shortly renewed. From Ramsey the visitor may form a variety of pleasant excursions, either on foot, or with vehicles. The glens and mountains in the neighbourhood claim the attention of the tourist, and though they do not, as has been previously remarked, present the majestic features of the Scottish or Welsh scenery, possess beauties peculiarly their own, on which the eye of ' taste will dwell with pleasure.
St. Paul's Chapel, in the Market-place, is a small neat building. The present Chaplain is the Rev. William Kermode. The Scottish Seceders have a Chapel here, and there are several belonging to the Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists. The annual Cattle Fairs are held on the 25th of March, and the 8th of November.
This Parish forms the extreme south western extremity of the Island. It extends five miles and a half from north to south, and about two from east to west. It is bounded on the north by Patrick; on the cast by Arbory; and on the south and west by the Sea. The Parish Church is a plain building about four miles west from Castletown. The living is a Vicarage in the gift of the Crown. The present Incumbent is the Rev. William Corrin. An addition of fifteen acres has recently been made to the glebe of this parish, through the liberality of Edward Moore Gawne, Esq., of Kentraugh.
This parish abounds in limestone of excellent quality, and the mines at Glenchass have proved a profitable investment. They produce more silver than any mine in the Island. The central portion of the parish is in high cultivation, but the extremes are mountainous.
In the parish of Rushen are the Villages of Port Erin (vulgarly pronounced Iron), and Port le Mary The former is a small fishing hamlet standing upon a fine bay, where is good anchorage. The northern angle of the bay is called Breda Head, where is an excellent vein of copper. At Port Erin is an excellent spring, called St. Catherine's Well, which is however almost hidden with sand. Port le Mary is a small natural harbour, not very safe, opening into Poolvash bay, and not far from Spanish Head, the most southern point of the Island, and famous for the excellent clay- slate taken from its quarries. Near this promontory are twelve remarkable chasms in the rocks, which have most probably been produced by some mighty convulsion of nature, as they do not run according to the veins in the stone, but across them. This spot affords perhaps the most sublime view to be met with in the Island. The cliffs of Spanish Head are three hundred feet in height, and almost perpendicular, while the shrill screaming of the birds and the roar of tide at the base contribute to the awful character of the scene. The name " Spanish Head" is derived from the circumstance of part of the Spanish Armada having been wrecked here after their fruitless attempt to invade England, in 1588. Some Druidical remains are in this vicinity.
The large earthen mound called Cronk-na-moar, or Fairy Hill, is in this parish. It is not far from the Parish Church, in a low marshy bottom, and is formed of gravelly soil from the adjacent banks. The form of the mound is a truncated cone, in height forty feet and at the base four hundred and fifty feet in circumference. A deep fosse encompasses it, and on the north eastern side may be seen some traces of a pathway to the top. This mound bears every mark of having been a strong place of defence. About one mile from it are two blocks of clay slate, ten feet high, called the Giant's Quoit-stones.
The Calf of Mann is included in this parish. The scenery of this little islet is extremely bold and sublime, and well repays the adventurous visitor who explores it. It was formerly visited by puffins during the breeding season, but is now deserted by those birds, and is chiefly occupied by rabbits, of which from two to three thousand are annually exported from it. The Isle was purchased from the Crown by the late William Drinkwater, Esq., and is let to a farmer, who renumerates himself by the sale of the rabbits, and has, by enclosures and drains, rendered upwards of two hundred acres serviceable. To the south are a group of dangerous rocks called the Chickens, and also two triangular rocks of considerable height called "the Stack." Two lighthouses have rendered the navigation of this formidable coast comparatively secure. The narrow sound which separates the Calf from the Main-land is impassable, except at high and low water, from the irresistible impetuosity of the tide. The little rock of Kitterland lies at the north western entrance.
A little ruin on the highest part of the Calf still retains the name of Bushel's house, from the circumstance of one Thomas Bushel having retired for some years to this wild spot, where he sought by a rigid and voluntary abstemiousness to atone fora life of debauchery. Whether he really returned to the world, or died in his self-imposed exile, as a sort of excavation called Bushel's grave seems to indicate, is not entirely known. His bones have never been discovered.
The beautiful villa of Kentraugh, the residence of Edward Moore Gawne, Esq., H. K., is about a mile east from the parish Church, and possesses the most extensive shrubberies and hot-houses in the Island. The large property of this gentleman enables him to maintain an almost princely hospitality, and his public-spirited liberality has contributed much to the welfare of the Island generally. The other estates are, Mount Gawne, Mrs. Connal ; Ballachurry, the late Edward Gawne, Esq.
This small Parish is bounded on the north by Braddan ; on the east and south by the Sea ; and on the west by Malew. It extends about four miles from north to south, and one and a half from east to west. The Parish Church is about six miles south west from Douglas, and four north east from Castletown. The living is a Vicarage in the appointment of the Crown. The present Incumbent is the Rev. Samuel Gelling.
Not far from Oatland, in this parish, are the remains of a Druidical altar. Though small, it is nearly perfect, and the sepulchre in the centre is composed of large stones. At the distance of a few feet are some stones forming an are of a circle, and also a few on the opposite side, but if the circle was ever complete, all traces, except the stones mentioned, have disappeared.
A Cattle Fair is annually held at Oatland, on Whit-Monday. The Parochial Schoolmaster is Mr. Sanders. The Primitive Methodists have a Meeting-house at Mount Murray, and the Wesleyans at Ballakelly.
The air of this parish is considered highly salubrious, and it is remarkable for the longevity of its inhabitants, the ages on the tombstones being above the usual average of human life. On one there is the following epitaph supposed to have been written by Sir Wadsworth Burk, who was for many years Attorney General of this Island, and resided at Mount Murray, then called Newtown.
" Here, friend, is little Daniel's tomb,
To Joseph's age he did arrive,
Sloth killing thousands in their bloom,
While labour kept poor Dan alive.
How strange, yet true, full seventy years
Was his wife happy in her tears !
Daniel Tear died Decem er 9th, 1787, aged 110 years." There is also a large rudely hewn stone, styled in the register and on the tomb adjoining 11 the great broad stone," under which are interred the remains of six clergymen of the name of Cosnahan, four of whom were successively Vicars of this parish, who, it appears, from an entry in the Parochial Register, directed in their wills that they should be so buried.
The Principal gentlemen's seats are Mount Murray, the seat of the late Colonel Murray ; Seafield, the seat of Captain Bacon, whose mother presented a very handsome set of sacramental plate to the Church of St. Anne, in the year 1831.