[from Jenkinson's Practical Guide, 1874]
For a car or carriage drawn by one horse, to early four persons
and the driver, 5s.
For a wagonette or other conveyance, to carry six persons and the driver, 7s. 6d.
For a wagonette or other conveyance, to carry eight persons and the driver, 8s. 6d.
For a post carriage and pair of horses, to carry six persons and the driver, 7s. 6d.
For a sociable or long car, to carry ten persons and the driver, 10s.
This is a pleasant eleven miles drive, but those persons who travel between Douglas and Injebreck, when crossing the mountain range, will traverse most of the ground described, and therefore may not desire to take it as a separate excursion.
See pp. 23, 33, and 34, where particulars are given of the road as far as Strang village, distant 2½ miles from Douglas.
At the latter village four roads meet, the one on the left descending for half a mile to Union Mills, and the right-hand one to Sir Georges bridge, and thence across the valley and the Glass river. Keep straight forward, and leave the Race Course on the right hand.
Half a mile beyond, at a hamlet called Mount Rule, the road branches, the right-hand leading to Baldwin and Injebreck, and the left to Crosby, 2 miles distant. Entering the former branch a slight ascent is made, and then a glorious view is had of the mountains, with the East and West Baldwin valleys and Awin-ny-Darragh glen at their feet. Here the traveller will begin to be braced by a pure breeze, and will long to hasten farther into the recesses of the hills. The Baldwin village is a pretty object in the little valley below, with its stream winding in a serpentine course through the few green meadows.
Those who have visited Monas Isle year after year, without venturing from Douglas on any but the regular highways to Castletown, Peel, or Ramsey, will find that a new land is opened to them, revealing beauties which, though lying close at hand, have been hitherto unnoticed and uncared for.
Visitors with time at their disposal will do well to loiter about in this out-of-the-way district, and have a chat with some of the inhabitants. They will soon discover that they have entered a land replete with ghost and fairy tales, and that the people are exceedingly credulous, and believe implicitly in the existence of spirits and fairy elves, which disport themselves and play fantastic pranks on dark or moon-light nights.
We had gleaned, when in casual conversation with the landlord of the small inn close to St. Trinians church, that at Ballalough, near Baldwin, an old treen chapel had lately been levelled to the ground by a farmer, and that the unseen spirits had revenged the sacrilege by the death of the farmer and his family. The narrator of this legend being evidently in earnest, and a firm believer of its truth, we were induced, being near the spot, to ascertain the origin of the story; and more especially were we stimulated by a hint the man had thrown out that there was a stone there which had some curious straight letters on it that no one could read. Thinking that this might prove to be an ancient Runic monument, we went in search up a lane on the left hand, a short distance before arriving at the Baldwin village.
At the Ballalough and other farms we noticed in the fields traces of what appeared to be ancient graves ; but at the Rhyne farm, close by, we were shown the ground where existed the chapel and graveyard, which had been completely razed, and not a stone left to mark the spot. After searching some little time, we found lying loose on the wall, in the stackyard, a broken slate slab, with Runic characters as legible as when first made ; and on having it sent to Mr. Kneale, of Douglas, he translated it as follows :
" Thurbiaurn risti krus thana."
" ThorbjÖrn erected this cross " (to memory of A. B. his ).
The discovery of this stone in the ruins of a treen chapel, and so far away from a parish church, is particularly interesting to the antiquary, as it settles a disputed point, which is referred to by Dr. Oswald in the 5th vol. of the Manx Societys publications, where he says :" There is no account as to the manner in which the inscribed crosses, called Runic pillars, have been congregated at the present churches ; but it is understood by some of the natives that originally they occupied other situations." He then speaks of this belief as doubtful, and merely traditionary.
The person residing at the farm where we found the Runic stone is not a Manxman, and had not been there long. He maintained he was not a believer in ghost stories, but he could tell strange things connected with the thrashing machine, which he had seen with his own eyes. He also said that whilst living on the farm he had lost four head of cattle and three horses, and the neighbours all attributed it to the agency of the insulted spirits. He was now going to leave the farm, and everybody said that the owner of the land, who was coming to reside there himself, would also be a sufferer. On questioning him further respecting the thrashing machine, he said that originally a small windmill was erected for driving the machine, some portion of which was built of stones from the old chapel ; but immediately it was set to work it went with tremendous fury, and shook the whole premises ; the consequence was it had to be taken down. Since then the machine has been worked by horses, but it has been of little or no use, for it is constantly out of order, and when repaired and set to work again it immediately breaks. He further stated that it was at that moment in a useless, broken condition and the person who was coming to occupy the farm had requested him not to make the neighbours conversant with the state of the machine, as they would attribute it to the agency of the spirits.
The fairies and unseen spirits appear to he made responsible for everything.
" The skin of your knees should you rub,
By falling down cellars or areas,
Or break your shins over a tub,
Its placed in your way by the fairies.
If showers of gravel are thrown,
Or you miss milk and cream from your dairies,
Or find your horse all over foam,
Its sure to be laid to the fairies.
In short, all the evils of life,
And everything goes by contraries,
To yourself or your children or wife,
Its laid to the charge of the fairies.
Tis a famous excuse, Ill be bound,
For the Bettys and Sallys and Marys,
If things have been lost and are found,
Theyve been taken away by the fairies."
On arriving at Baldwin village, we entered into conversation with many of the inhabitants ; they all told the same story, that the man who dared to level the graveyard soon died, as did his son ; and the wife expired a lunatic ; but, strange to say, those members of the family who were from home, and thus did not assist with the work, were still alive. It was also well known in the district that the thrashing machine would never work. These things one and all considered signal punishments for the act of desecration.
The landlord of the public-house, in the Baldwin village, was evidently a true believer. His grandfather had lived at the Rhyne farm when the ruins of the chapel were standing, and his grandmother had found in a window of the ruin a stone ring, which the wife has now in her possession, and religiously treasures as a precious relic. We saw the ring ; it is small, but smooth and well shaped. If an ancient wedding-ring, the lady who originally owned it has evidently had beautiful small fingers. The man said that once a portion of the roof of the chapel was removed to a farmhouse, but owing to unearthly noises it had to be taken back before it had been away a fortnight.
He told a similar history of the Camlork Treen chapel, the remains of which may be seen on the southern side of the Race Course, close to the Baldwin road. It is now a circular mound of earth and stones, with a hollow in the centre, over-grown with gorse. Before the ground was inclosed for the races, the field in which the ruins stood was called " Chapel Field." The farmer who commenced levelling this chapel " took a pain in his arm, and had to stop work some days." Afterwards he continued his task, assisted by his wife and daughter ; the consequence was the two latter died soon after, and the man became insane, and expired after living in that state some time. Yhis story we found attested by dozens of people in the valley, and by others in Strang village, close to the Race Course.
The landlord of the inn, continuing his chat, told of an old stone which was removed from the neighbouring Church of St. Luke to a farmhouse ; but it had to be taken back, as those who lived in the house could not sleep at nights for noises, sometimes resembling a calf bleating, and at other times like a cart of stones being upset. At one time it was placed on the earthen fence of an adjoining field, but the fence would never stand, and the stone had to be removed again to the church.
Hearing that an old man residing at a farm some distance farther up the valley, near Injebreck, had seen the fairies with his own eyes, we went in search of him, and found the old gentleman in a field close to his house. He was hale and hearty, and soon showed that he was one who believed implicitly in the existence of fairies. He said that when a lad, he and a companion were travelling one fine moonlight night in the East Baldwin valley, and hearing something in a gill they stopped, and on looking up saw little creatures like small dogs, with red caps, running about. On asking him if he and his companion both saw the same sight, and if they were not afraid, he replied that the other youth, who is now dead, saw exactly the same, and they were not terrified, knowing that ifthe fairies were not disturbed, they would not hurt them.
Milton must have pictured in his mind a similar scene when he wrote :
" The fairie elves
Whose midnight revels, by a forest side,
Or fountain, some belated peasant sees,
Or dreams he sees, while overhead the moon
Sits arbitress, and nearer to the earth
Wheels her pale course, they on their mirth and dance
Intent, with jocund music charm his ear;
At once with joy and fear his heart rebounds."
On another occasion the man had heard the fairies shouting, and a child crying on the East Baldwin hills. Knowing that one of the old Manx superstitions is that infants are often changed in their cradles by the fairies, we supposed this would have reference to some such story ; but the man said he never heard more of it. However, he at once told of a woman, who, during harvest, was in a field helping her husband to stook the corn, when she heard her child crying. She had previously placed it behind one of the stooks, and when she arrived at the spot it was missing, and another child in its place, it having been exchanged by the fairies. Soon afterwards, hearing this child cry, she began to run to it ; but her husband, knowing it was not the voice of their own chIld, held the woman back, and would not let her go until the cry had ceased. She then went and found her own child. The fairies having heard their child in distress, and seeing it uncared for, had ta.~en it away and left the woman her own.
The Night-man, or doinney-ole, is also a strange character well known to Manxmen. Before the approach of a storm he . is often heard on the mountains giving a dismal shout of howlaa ! howlaa ! howlaa ! The old gentleman, continuing his chat, said he heard the Night-man shouting close to him one night at eleven oclock in West Baldwin, when he was going home, and being questioned by us he maintained that at the time he was perfectly sober. Another person, the shoemaker in Baldwin village, told us, in all seriousness, that he and some companions once heard the Night-man, and one of the party turned round and shouted some insulting expression. Quickly they were saluted by a shower of stones, and on gaining a house there was a regular tumult, and even the cattle broke loose and bellowed as if in great fear.
These narratives may seem childish, but we found that they are well known, and credited by many.
Perhaps the belief in the calamities resulting from the levelling of the treen chapels is only carrying to an extreme a veneration for the dead which exists among all races. It would be curious to trace the origin of the traditions peculiar to the Manx people. All men are more or less addicted to Superstition ; with some it is active and obvious to all ; with others it is latent, and its existence hardly known, and some-times ignored. But there it is, and it may have its source in the mystery connected with our very existence, and with an uncertain future, and the undiscovered country " from whose bourne no traveller returns." Do our friends who have departed this life still live as unseen spirits amongst us, and take an active interest in our affairs ? These are questions which occur to most minds, and are perhaps the origin of the belief in ghosts and fairies.
Probably we may attribute much of their tradition, which in so many instances borders on the marvellous, to the existence all over the Isle of Man of ancient rude monuments resembling the graves of a race of giants ; and to the mystery connected with these relics, and the early history of the island. If the Manx had their giants, represented by Mannanan MacLear, the Greeks, too, had their Cyclops, and the Persians, Irish, Scotch, and other nations had similar wonderful engineers of antique monuments.
Much of the superstition of the Manxman may be accounted for if we recollect that he dwells on an island surrounded by a tempestuous ocean, across the broad expanse of which he may discern, through the haze, the four neighbouring coasts. It has been said, and it is true in more senses than one, that " distance lends enchantment to the view "; and he would naturally enough people those far-off lands with an imaginary race, more especially when tradition would hand down that from those countries arrived people who conquered and took possession of his island home.
By nature he is of a highly poetic and romantic disposition, and he dwells amid rocks of the most fantastic shapes, among which the murmurs and sighings of the summer breeze need but little stretch of the fancy to be transformed into the song of the syren or the mermaid.
Baldwin is a picturesque village 4½ miles from Douglas and 2½ miles from Injebreck. Here are two bridges, one over the Darragh stream, and the other over the Glass or Injebreck river. Crossing the latter, an ascent is made up the high land separating the two Baldwin glens, with Carraghan height in front, and on the left Colden ; the hollow in which lies Injebreck being between the two. To the left of Colden are Slieu Reay and Greeba, and on the travellers right hand, across the East Baldwin glen, are Slieu Ree and the Cairn, over which runs the Keppel Gate road, leading from Douglas to Snaefell.
Less than a mile from Baldwin village stands St. Lukes church. Under the bell-turret, and over the east window, is a small carved stone, apparently part of an old grave-stone, and the tourist will glance up to it with interest, as it is the one the removal of which to a farmhouse, according to popular belief, so raised the indignation of the spirits. In all probability this stone is part of an ancient cross which is said to have stood on the site of the chapel.
In the 5th vol. of the Manx Society we are told that a carved stone belonging to a treen chapel in the parish of German, was buried many feet under ground by a native in consequence of a superstitious belief, entertained by some of the neighbours, that a murrain then prevalent among the cattle, took its rise from the stone laying tossed about.
" See the lines graven round it, all are Runic,
Mystic inscriptions, full of wizard power
To ward off ill."
On the top of the hill, Cronk-y-Keeil-Abban, on the left-hand of the road, and three fields from the church, are said to have been held some of the ancient Tynwald Courts, such as now meet annually at St. Johns. We have historical evidence that one such meeting was held here in 1429. The natives residing near say that a few fields distant from this point is the most central part of the island.
It commands a good view down East Baldwin, and away past the Asylum to Douglas Head, and the southern land cx-tending past Mount Murray to South Barrule. Northwards are Carraghan, Pen-y-Pot, and the Cairn.
When the road is seen winding along the east side of Car-raghan, enter a cart-road on the right, leading through the fields to the main road, which descends East Baldwin valley, with the stream on the left hand. Here, if the traveller enter one of the farmhouses he will see peat fires on the floors, with the old-fashioned large open chimneys ; but these are gradually being superseded by grates and modern-shaped chimneys.
On the bank of the stream is the Ohio lead mine ; another, the West Baldwin mine, was passed just before reaching Baldwin village.
When the Glass river is crossed, at the point where it is joined by the East Baldwin stream, the glen is well-wooded, and one or two paper-mills are observed on the banks of the river. It is a pleasant drive all the way down the valley, but there is nothing of special interest. The traveller may return 1:9 Douglas by crossing Sir Georges bridge, to the north side of the river, see page 35 ; or he may continue through Strang, and past Kirk Braddan.
For a car or carriage drawn by one horse, to carry four persons
and the driver, 5s.
For a wagonette or other conveyance, to carry six persons and the driver, 7s. 6d.
For a wagonette or other conveyance, to carry eight persons and the driver, 8s. 6d.
For a post-carriage and pair of horses, to carry six persons and the driver, 7s. 6d.
For a sociable or long car, to carry ten persons and the driver, 10s.
Port Soderick, a pretty little bay on the south side of Douglas, is a favourite resort. The distance by road is 3 miles, but the pedestrian may save ~ mile by entering a footpath when about 2 miles from Douglas.
Those who do not object to a short sea-voyage may visit the place by some of the yachts which ply between Douglas and Port Soderick during the summer, the charge being is. there and back. When the sea is calm the voyage may be made in smaller boats. Going by water the promontories of Douglas Head and Little Ness are passed, and a sight is obtained of some wild rocks and cliffs.
With carriage the river must be crossed at Douglas Bridge, and the Castletown Road entered, which turns to right and passes the Nunnery grounds, allowing of fine views of the mansion. A short distance farther the new Castletown Road branches to right, and runs under the railway. Keeping to the old and direct road, the railway is passed 2 miles from Douglas, and close to the mansion of Oakhill.
About 50 yards beyond the railway, at a cottage, the footpath may be entered which crosses the fields to Port Soderick.
Following the main road the sea presently appears, and the hollow is observed in which lies the creek, though not seen from this point. A short way beyond a blacksmiths shop, a lane on the left has to be followed, which soon makes a turn to nght, and then again to left. It allows of a good view of the little glen down which flows the Crogga rivulet to the haven.
Presently Port Soderick is reached, where there is an hotel, built specially for the accommodation of visitors, no other house being near. The creek is small, and surrounded by a rocky coast, which is seen to the north as far as the point of Little Ness. In the rocks, on the south side, are three caves; the one nearest the house is a very narrow crevice, which the visitor may walk through at almost all states of the tide ; the other two must be visited by boat, except at low water, when they may be reached by walking along the rocks on the shore. One of them is very large, and extends hundreds of yards under the land. To explore it candles are required. The third is not so extensive. [he landlord of the hotel keeps three boats, and lets them to visitors at a charge of is. per hour. If time allow, the cliffs on either side of the creek might be ascended. Those on the south yield a good view of Derby Haven, and from those on the north are seen a wild rocky coast to Little Ness, with the sea dashing and forming beautiful streaks of silvery spray. There is nothing else of particular interest ; but so secluded a spot, with the sea and rocks for companions, will well repay a visit, and here a few hours may be whiled away pleasantly.
The home of the following story of a mermaid, which ends rather simply, is Port Erin ; but as other guide writers have inserted it when speaking of Port Soderick, we suppose we must do likewise, or some readers might be disappointed.
" In the time that Oliver Cromwell usurped the Protector-ship of England, few or no ships resorted to this island ; and that uninterruptedness and solitude of the sea gave the mermen and mermaids (who are enemies to any company but those of their own species) frequent opportunities of visiting the shore, where, on moonlight nights, they have been seen to sit, combing their hair and playing with each other ; but as soon as they perceived anybody coming near them, jumped into the water, and were out of sight immediately. Some people who lived near the coast, having observed their behaviour, spread large nets, made of small but very strong cords, upon the ground, and watched at a convenient distance their approach; but only one was taken, which proved to be a female. Nothing could be more lovely ; above the waist it resembled a fine young woman, but below that all fish, with fins and a huge spreading tail. She was carried to a house and used very tenderly ; but although they set before her the best provisions, she could not be prevailed upon to eat or drink, neither could they get a word from her, although they knew that these creatures had the gift of speech, having heard them talk to each other when sitting regaling themselves on the sea-side. They kept her in the house three days, but per-celving that she began to look very ill by fasting so long, and fearing some calamity would befall the island if they should keep her till she died, they agreed to let her return to the element she liked best ; and the third night set open their door, which as soon as she beheld she raised herself from the place where she was lying, and glided with incredible swiftness on her tail to the sea-side. They followed at a distance, and saw her plunge into the water, where she was met by a great number of her own species, one of whom asked what she had observed among the people of the earth. Nothing very wonderful, answered she, but they are so ignorant as to throw away the water in which they have boiled their eggs."
According to tradition, there is an enchanted island near Port Soderick, which a mighty magician, who, for some insult he had received from the people living upon it, cast his spell over it, and submerged it to the bottom of the ocean, transforming the inhabitants into blocks of granite. It was permitted them, once in seven years, to rise to the surface for the short space of thirty minutes, during which time the enchantment might be broken if any person had the boldness to place a Bible on any part of the enchanted land when at its original altitude above the waters of the deep. On one occasion, about the end of September, on a fine moonlight night, a young woman, named Nora Cain, was sauntering along the little bay in sweet converse with her lover, when she observed something in the distance which continued to increase in size. It struck her to be none other than the enchanted isle she so often had heard of. It continued gradually rising above the surface of the water, when, suddenly disentangling herself from the arm of her lover, hastened home with all the speed she could, and rushed into the cottage, crying out, breathless with her haste, " The Bible, the Bible, the Bible! " to the utter amazement of the inmates, who could not at the moment imagine what had possessed her. After explaining what she had seen, she seized hold of the coveted volume and hastened back to the beach, but, alas! only just in time to see the last portion of the enchanted isle subside once more to its destined fate of another seven years submersion. From that night poor Nora gradually pined away, and was soon after followed to her grave by her disconsolate lover. it is said that no person has since had the hardihood to make a similar attempt, lest, in case of failure, the enchanter in revenge might cast his club over Mona also.
Many are the traditions of the Manx people respecting a beautiful country under the sea, and on this subject the mysterious-loving Waldron tells us the following story. " There was, some forty or fifty years since, a project set on foot for searching for treasures in the sea ; accordingly vessels were got ready, and machines made of glass, and cased with a thick tough leather, to let the person down who was to dive for the ( in my opinion, dearly purchased) wealth. One of these ships happening to sail near the Isle of Man, and having heard that great persons had formerly taken refuge there, imagined there could not be a more likely part of the ocean to afford the gain they were then in search of than this. They there-fore let down the machine, and in it the person who had undertaken to go on this expedition ; they let it down by a vast length of rope, but he still plucking it, which was the sign for those above to increase the quantity, they continued to do so, till they knew he must be descended an infinite number of fathoms. In fine, he gave the signal so long, that at last, they found themselves out of cord, their whole stock being too little for the capacious inquisition. A very skilful mathematician being on board, said that he knew, by the pro-portion of the line which was let down, he must have descended from the surface of the waters more than twice the number of leagues that the nioon is computed to be distant from the earth. But having, as I said, no more cord, they were obliged to turn the wheel, which, by degrees, brought him up again; at their opening the machine and taking him out, he appeared very much troubled that his journey had ~o soon been at a period, telling them, that could he have gone a little farther, he should have brought discoveries well worth the search. It is not to be supposed but everybody was impatient to be in-formed of what kind they were ; and being all gathered about him on the main deck, as soon as he had recrùited himself he began to relate in this manner.
" After, said he, I had passed the region of the fishes, I descended into a pure element, clear as the air in the serenest and most unclouded day, through which, as I passed, I saw the bottom of the watery world, paved with coral and a shining kind of pebbles, which glittered like the sunbeams reflected on a glass. I longed to tread the delightful paths, and never felt more exquisite delight than when the machine I was inclosed in grazed upon it. On looking through the little windows of my prison, I saw large streets and squares on every side, ornamented with huge pyramids of crystal, not inferior in brightness to the finest diamonds ; and the most beautiful building, not of stone, nor brick, but of mother of pearl, and embossed in various figures with shells of all colours. The passage which led to one of these magnificent apartments being open, I endeavoured with my whole strength to move my inclosure towards it, which I did, though with great difficulty and very slowly. At last, however, I got entrance into a very spacious room, in the midst of which stood a large amber table, with several chairs round of the same. The floor of it was composed of rough diamonds, topazes, emeralds, rubies, and pearls. Here I doubted not but to make my voyage as profitable as it was pleasant, for could I have brought with me but a few of these, they would have been of more value than all we could hope for in a thousand wrecks; but they were so closely wedged in, and so strongly cemented by time, that they were not to he unfastened. I saw several chains, carcanets, and rings, of all manner of precious stones, finely cut and set after our manner, which I suppose had been the prize of the winds and waves ; these were hanging loosely oil the jasper walls by strings made of rushes, which I might easily have taken down, but as I had edged myself within half a foot reach of them, I was unfortunately drawn back, through your want of line. In my return I saw several comely mermen and beautiful mermaids, the inhabitants of this blissful realm, swiftly descending towards it ; but they seemed frightened at my appearance, and glided at a distance from me, taking me, no doubt, for some monstrous and new-created species.
" Here, said my authors, he ended his account, but grew so melancholy, and so much enamoured of those regions he had visited, that he quite lost all relish for earthly pleasures, till continual pinings deprived him of his life, having no hope of ever descending there again, all design of prosecuting the diving project being soon after laid aside.
" With the same confidence the truth of these narratives were asserted did I hear a sailor protest that it was a common thing when they were out at sea, and too far from shore for the voice of anything on land to reach their ears, for them to hear the bleating of sheep, the barking of dogs, the howling of wolves, and the distinct cries of every beast the land affords."
Kirk Braddan, 1½ miles ; Union Mills, 2½ miles ; Crosby, 4½ miles; St. Johns, 8½ miles ; Peel, 10½ miles.
For a car or carriage drawn by one horse, to carry four persons
and the driver, 11s.
For a wagonette or other conveyance, to carry six persons and the driver, 17s. 6d.
For a wagonette or other conveyance, to carry eight persons and the driver, 19s.
For a post-carriage and pair of horses, to carry six persons and the driver, 17s 6d.
For a sociable and long car, to carry ten persons and the driver, 22s.
This, once the visitors favourite drive, has, since the opening of the railway to Peel, been almost discontinued. It is a very pleasant road, and would, in all probability, hold its own against the railway, were it not that best miles of the ground are traversed by those who take the "long round" via Kirk Michael and Ramsey.
The first 11 miles have been described at page 23.
On passing the picturesque and well-timbered grounds around Kirk Braddan churches, the view on the left is obstructed by high ground ; on the right are seen the Asylum, the Race Course, and houses dotted here and there on ground gradually rising to the mountainsSnaefell being now one of the number, and visible to the right of Pen-y-Pot.
Two and a half miles from Douglas the railway and the Dhoo river are crossed at the Union Mills. When on the bridge a good view is obtained of South Barrule. Here is a small inn, also woollen cloth, and flour mills, belonging to Dalrymple Maitland & Co. At the cloth-mill about 25 hands are employed, and at the flour-mill 4 hands. In the village is the Dalrymple Memorial Chapel. It is a pretty little building belonging to the Independents, this and the two chapels at Douglas being the only places of worship in the island possessed by that religious body. It was erected in 1862, in commemoration of James Dalrymple, Esq. , who was born at Kilsgath, in Scotland, in 1778, and died here December 24th, 1861, after a residence of forty years.
The road now gradually rises, and allows of good retrospective views of a richly-wooded country stretching to Douglas, the Asylum building being a very prominent object.
The vale in the direction of Douglas presently disappears, and the prospect embraces a fine upland country, with the mountain tops stretching from South Barrule to Snaefell.
Four miles from Douglas is passed the picturesque hamlet of Glen Vine. On the left, in the estate of Ellerslie, is seen a large chimney connected with the Great East Foxdale silver-lead mine (formerly called the Tynwald mine), and situated at the foot of Slien Chiarn. Here, close to the road, is the new parish church of Marown, the old church (the bell-turret of which is just visible from one or two points on the road) being about a mile distant on the left, near the mines, and oii the height called Archallagan. In the direction of the mine is Ballaquinea glen, a favourite resort of picnic parties, and Glen Darragh, where is a far-famed stone circle, both of which glens run up to Mount Murray, one of the sources of the Dhoo river.
On the right, by the roadside, is a castellated lodge near to the unfinished mansion, which is called Eyreton Castle, and which was built by a Rev. Mr. Aitken, and is now occupied by servants. Close to the Crosby railway station is a Wesleyan Methodist chapel, and a few yards farther stands a comfortable inn, called the "Half-way House." Crosby is a pretty village, 4½ miles from Douglas, sheltered by the mountains and embosomed in trees. Perhaps there is no inland village on the island more suitable as a place of residence. A few hundred yards farther is passed another snug inn, which claims to be the " Original Half-way House." Ihere is now a charming prospect. The richly-wooded grounds at the foot of the rocky front of Greeba, with the ivy-covered mansion of Stanley Mount, and the spire of St. Johns church, present a pleasing foreground ; and in the distance is Slieu Whallin, and the Peel hill crowned with Corrins tower.
A few hundred yards farther, close to a small inn, is St. Trinians church, in a field adjoining the road. It is an ancient unpretending building, without roof, and half con-cealed by trees. The stranger is allowed to enter the field and inspect the ruin, and he should do so reverently, for he is now on classic and charmed ground , it being the scene of the following story, called " The Buggane of St. Trinian."
" This religious edifice is said to have been erected in fulfilment of a vow made by a person when in a hurricane at sea, but, according to tradition, it was never finished. This was attributed to the malice of a mischievous Buggane, or evil spirit, who, for want of better employment, amused himself. with tossing the roof to the ground as often as it was on the eve of being finished, accompanying his achievement with a loud fiendish laugh of satisfaction. The only attempt to counteract the singular propensity of the evil one, which tradition has conveyed to us, was made by Timothy, a tailor of great pretensions to sanctity of character. On the occasion alluded to the roof of St. Trinians church was, as usual, nearly finished, when the valorous tailor undertook to make a pair of breeches under it before the Buggane could commence his old trick. He accordingly seated himself in the ~ chancel, and began to work in great haste ; but ere he had completed his job, the head of the frightful Buggane rose out of the ground before him, and addressed him thus : " Do you see my great head, large eyes, and long teeth?
" Hee ! flee ! (yes, yes) replied Timothy, at the same time stitching with all his might, and without raising his eyes from his work.
" The Buggane, still rising slowly out of the ground, cried in a more angry voice than before, Do you see my great body, large head, and long nails?
" flee ! flee ! rejoined Timothy, as before, but continuing to pull-out with all his strength.
" The Buggane, having now risen wholly from the ground, inquired in a terrible voice, Do you see my great limbs, large feet, and long ? but ere he could utter the last word, the tailor put the finishing stitch into the breeches, and jumped out of the church, just as the roof fell in with a crash. rp~~ fiendish laugh of the Buggane arose behind him as he bounded off in a flight, to which terror lent its utmost speed. Looking behind he saw a frightful spectacle close upon his heels, with extended jaws, as if about to swallow him alive. To escape its fury, Timothy leaped into consecrated ground, where, happily, the Buggane had not power to follow ; but as if deter. mined to punish him for his temerity, the angry sprite lifted its great head from its body, and with great force pitched it to the feet of the tailor, where it exploded like a bombshell. Wonderful to relate, the adventurous Timothy was unscathed, but the church of St. Trinian remained without a roof."
The scene of another legend, " The Phynnodderee," which may be placed in the same category as the preceding, is laid about a mile from St. Trinians church, in a field called " Yn Cheance Rhunt," or the " Round Meadow." Some say the Round Meadow is close to St. Trinians church, on the opposite side of the road.
The Phynnodderee is a creature of the Manx imagination, and is represented as being a fallen fairy, who was banished from fairyland by the elfin king for having paid his addresses to a pretty maid, who lived in a bower beneath the blue tree of Glen Aloyn, and for deserting the fairy court during the re-hollys vooar yn ouyr, or harvest-moon, to dance in the merry Glen of Rushen. He is doomed to remain in the Isle of Man till the end of time, transformed into a wild satyr-like figure, covered with long shaggy hair, like a he-goat, and was thence called the Phynnodderee, or hairy one.
" His was the wizard hand that toild
At midnights witching hour,
That gatherd the sheep from the coming storm
Ere the shepherd saw it lour;
Yet askd no fee save a scattered sheaf
From the peasants garnerd hoard,
Or cream-bowl pressed by a virgin-lip
To be left on the household board."
The Phynnodderee sometimes, when in a good mood, used to cut down and carry meadow grass which would he destroyed if permitted to continue exposed to the wintry storms. Upon one occasion the owner of the Round Meadow having expressed his displeasure with the spirit for not having cut his grass close enough to the ground, the hairy one in the following year allowed the dissatisfied farmer to cut it down himself, but went after him stubbing up the roots so fast, that it was with difficulty the farmer escaped having his legs cut off by the angry sprite. For several years afterwards no person could be found to mow the meadow, until a fearless soldier from one of the garrisons at length undertook the task. He commenced in the centre of the field, mowing round and round in a circle, at the same time keeping one eye upon the scythe, while the other
" Was turned round with prudent care
Lest Phynnodderee catch him unaware,"
and thus succeeded in finishing his task unmolested.
Before leaving this wonderful Phynnodderee, we give the following story indicative of his prodigious strength.
" A farmer having resolved to build a large house on his property a little above the base of Snaefell, at a place called Sholt-e-will, caused the requisite quantity of stones to be quarried on the beach, but one immense block of quartz, which he was very desirous to have for a particular part of the intended building, resisted all his efforts at removal. The Phynnodderee, however, conveyed it one night to the desired spot, and the farmer, wishing to remunerate the naked sprite, caused a few articles of clothing to be laid down for him in his usual haunt. The hairy one, on perceiving the habiliments. lifted them up one by one, and thus expressed his feelings:
" Cap for the head, alas ! poor head;
Coat for the back, alas ! poor back;
Breeches for the breech, alas ! poor breech;
If these be all thine, thine cannot be
The merry Glen of Rushen."
Having repeated these words, he departed with a melancholy wail, and now
" You may hear his voice on the desert hill
When the mountain winds have power;
Tis a wild lament for his buried love,
And his long lost fairy bower."
Without the aid of the Buggane, the Rev. Mr. Cumming endeavours to solve the mystery connected with the roofless state of St. Trinian. He says :" St. Trinian, or Tranion, is generally considered to have been a British bishop ordained by St. Palladius, but more probably the name St. Trinian is a corruption of St. Ringan, as the Scotch call St. Ninian ; for this church belonged to the Priory of St. Ninian, at Withorne, in Galloway.* [* Dr. Oswald says the name Trinion appears to refer to the etynom of Trin or Treen.] The Prior of Withorne, as well as the Prior of St. Bede, in Copeland, the Abbot of Bangor, or Banchor, in Ireland, and the Abbot of Furness, in Lancashire, were barons of Man, holding lands in the island, and as such were cited by the second Sir John Stanley, at the Hill of Reneurling, in Kirk Michael, in the year 1422, to come within forty days and do fealty to him for their holdings ; and not appearing, their lands were forfeited. To this day separate Courts Baron for these lands are held by the Crown officers.
" The nave and chancel of the church, according to the usual Manx type, are without any architectural division. The church is 69 feet long, outside the walls, and 24 feet wide. One fact which is noticeable is, that a series of square holes pierce quite through the walls along the north and south sides of the church, at a height of 6 feet from the ground, and at the east and west ends, at the top and bottom of the windows on each side of them. Could they be intended for defence ? or were they prepared as log-holes for the insertion of movable bwhid-suggane, or rope-stones, i.e., stones or pieces ot wood placed in the walls of houses in the island, to which are fastened the ropes which tie down the thatch * [* The landlord of the inn close by solves this difficulty by supposing the holes were for the purpose of fixing the scaffolding when the walls were being built, and, being a master builder himself, he is an authority on the subject.]
" The Rev. William Mackenzie, in his notes upon Stanley Legislation, printed in the 3rd vol. of the Manx Society, has conjectured that the building was interfered with by the confiscation of the barony by the second Sir John Stanley, as above detailed, yet the architecture appears of an earlier date than the 15th century.
" In the early part of the 14th century the Scotch had possession of the Isle, and were expelled by Montacute, Earl of Salisbury, in 1333, which seems more to coincide with the date of the building. As the barony was held by Scotch proprietors (the Priors of Withorne, in Galloway), this circumstance may give a clue to the story of the building never having been completed."
If the stranger enter the small inn close to the church, and bold a gossip with the landlord, he will hear some strange ghost and fairy stories ; and happily for the listener the old man is a firm believer in their truth. He is certainly a fit resident for a spot so haunted.
It is interesting to notice his serious manner when he is relating how, at one time, a young man, a stonemason, who was lodging at his house, having removed a stone from St. Trinians church, and inserted it into the wall of a neighbouring outbuilding, became suddenly ill, with his body covered all over with sores, and remained in that state for many months. At last the cause of the young mans illness was discovered ; the stone was taken back to the church, and the result was a speedy recovery, and a return of health and strength.
He will also tell of a boy who resided at a mansion at the foot of Greeba, who gradually pined away, and for a long time no one could discover the cause. At last it became known that the boy had once taken a small stone from the church when in sport with his companions. Search was made for the stone ; it could not be found, and the youth died. .
These stories serve to show with what veneration the natives look on their religious relics, and enable us to understand the force of the following curse handed down by their ancestors : " May a stone of the church be found in a corner of thy dwelling."
A solitary tumulated ruin remaining for ages undisturbed in a field, merely because it is called a Keeil, is a striking instance of the veneration with which the Manx regard such things. A veneration for ante-historic superstitions is a certain indication that an element of religion and the fear of God is powerfully implanted in the mind, either for good or for evil, and inspires a man with a conviction that he is designed for higher ends than he is able to comprehend. This principle, which everyone possesses, more or less, when well cultivated elevates the moral condition of man ; but without education, produces grovelling superstition and obstinate bigotry, often of the most destructive kind.
Leaving the landlord to muse alone on his strange stories, the traveller presently arrives at the foot of Greeba mountain, and finds that what has hitherto appeared only one castellated and picturesque building, now resolves itself into two modern private mansions, the Stanley Mount, and Greeba Castle. The grounds abound in foliage, and the situation is one of great beauty.
When 6½ miles from Douglas, a smithy will be observed on the wayside, opposite to which a road crosses the valley, and leads in the direction of Ballacurry glen. On the right-hand side of this road, and about a hundred yards from the smithy, is the " Round Meadow," previously referred to as the field where the Phynnodderee mowed the grass.
The level land in the valley around here is called the Curragh-glass, or " Gray-bog," and is said to have been in ancient times " a wide-spreading lake which glassed the deep shadows of the surrounding mountains." This lake, or pool, has been gradually filled up by the growth of peat-beds, in which is often found the bog oak, and sometimes the remains of the antlers and other portions of the skeleton of the great Irish elk.
There is nothing of special interest on the road, until a few yards beyond a small house, called the Hawthorn Inn, when the. St. Johns church and the flagstaff on the historical Tynwald Hill come in sight, directly in front ; and on the left is Slieu Whallin, with Peel hill and Corrins tower in the distance.
Half a mile before arriving at St. Johns is the hamlet of Ballacraine, where is a good-sized house, called Ballacraine Hotel. Here a road branches to right for Glen Helen and Kirk Michael, and it is the route the coaches take for Ramsey by the " long round." That on the left leads to Castletown.
On arriving at St. Johns church and the Tynwald Hill, many thoughts will rush into the mind of those who now pay their first visit to the spot. The student of history, and those acquainted with the laws and customs of the ancient Scandinavian nations, will at once revert to the times when each tribe and nation of northern Europe had its solemn annual open-air legislative meeting of rulers and people. With a kind of reverential awe will they look upon this tiny plot of ground where now, as in days of yore, annually on Mid-summer-day, July 5th, meet the whole Manx nation, for the purpose of appointing officers and enacting new laws. In no other country has the custom been continued.
We do not know when these meetings were instituted in Man, but in all probability it was in very remote times. The first historical notice of them is in 1417, when Sir John Stanley, King and Lord of the island, assembled the worthiest of the land to meet his deemsters, or judges, at this place, in order that they might declare what wa~s the law and constitution of old time, and promulgate the same to the people from the Tynwald Hill. After this time the laws continued to be committed to writing ; but previousy they had been locked up in the breasts of the deemsters.
The ceremony of the Tynwald Hill is thus stated
" This is the constitution of old time, how yee shall be governed on the Tynwald-day. First, you shall come hither 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 cushions, and your visage unto the east, and your sword before you, holden with the point upward. Your barrons in the third degree sitting beside you, and your beneficed 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 make call on the Coroner of Glenfaba, and he shall call on all the coroners of Man, and their yardes in their hands, with their weapons upon them, either sword or axe ; and the moare s, that is, to witt, of every sheading. Then the Chief Coroner, that is, the Coroner of Glenfaba, shall make affence, upon paine of life and lyme, that iioe man make any disturbance or stirr in the time of Tinwald or any murmur or rising in the Kings presence, upon paine of hanging and drawing; and then to proceed in your matters, whatsoever you have to doe, in felonie, or treason, or other matters that touch the government of your land of Manne."
At the present day, after prayers, a procession is formed from the church to the Tynwald Hill, in the following order
Captains of Parishes.
The High Bailiffs.
The Members of the House of Keys.
Clerk of the Rolls.
The two Deemsters.
The Attorney General.
The Lord Bishop.
Sword of State.
His Excellency the Governor.
On arriving at the summit of the hill, the Governor and Bishop take their seats, surrounded by the Council, and Keys, the people being assembled on the outside.
The Tynwald Court is fenced, prior to the commencement of proceedings, by the Lieutenant-Governor calling upon the Coroner of Glenfaba, the senior coroner of the island, whose power extends over the whole of it, to " fence the Court." The form was anciently as follows, and continues much the same at the present day :" I do fence the King of Man and his offices, that no manner of men do brawl or quarrel, nor molest the audience, lying, leaning, or sitting, and to show their accord, and answer when they are called, by license of the King of Man and his officers.
" I do draw witness to the whole audience that the Court is fenced." This is repeated thrice.
After the Court is fenced, the Coroner of Glenfaba gives in his wand of office, when the Lieutenant-Governor appoints his successor, upon taking the usual oath upon his knees, ad-ministered by the senior Deemster ; the other five Coroners in succession doing the same. They only retain office for one year, and remain out of office one year, when other persons are appointed in their places for the year following; their office is that of sheriff.
After these proccedings, the laws that have received the sanction of the Manx Legislature and Her Majesty the Queen, are read by the first Deemster, by reciting the title and heading of the various clauses in English, and by the Coroner of Glenfaba in Manx.
Until 1865 the laws were read in extenso in English and Manx, which rendered the proceedings at times rather lengthy. In that year a short Act of Tynwald was passed, providing for the above change.
When this business is concluded, the parties return to the chapel, where the Governor, Council, and Keys sign the Acts, attesting the promulgation (the laws having been previously signed by the consenting parties, of whom, by the Constitution, thirteen at least of the Keys must have signified their assent), and then transact any other business that may be brought before them ; after this the laws become valid as " Acts of Tynwald," for they cannot be enforced until they have been thus proclaimed from the Tynwald Hill.
There is, however, an Act of Tynwald which authorizes, in cases of emergency, measures to be adopted, and to have the force of law, before they can be proclaimed at the annual meeting at the Tynwald Hill.
Meetings, which are termed Tynwald Courts, are held many times during the year at Douglas or Castletown, and are attended by the Governor, Council, and Keys, when various interests of the island are discussed and new laws made ready for promulgation on the following Midsummer-day.
When the 5th July falls on a Sunday the Tynwald is held on Monday, the 6th, an Act having been passed in 1610 forbidding them to be held on the Sabbath.day. Previous to the alteration of the calendar in 1753 they were held on the 24th June.
* The rod or wand of office, or, as it is sometimes called, the yard, is now generally formed of a piece of cane, decorated with scarlet or blue ribbon.
Whether the Tynwald Courts were held yearly at St. Johns in ancient times is uncertain. One historian tells us they were permanently removed to that place in 1577. In 1422 a Tynwald was held at Reneurling Hill, near Kirk Michael, and in 1429 one met at Cronk-y-Keeil-Ahban, in Baldwin, and in 1430 at the Castle of Rushen, in Castletown; but in all probability these latter were extraordinary Tynwalds held for a special purpose, and did not interfere with the yearly meetings on Tynwald Hill at St. Johns. Some authors have, however, maintained that in former ages a Tynwald was held on Reneurling Hill, for the northern part of the island, and one at Cronk-y-Keeil-Abban for the southern district.
Bishop Wilson says that the islanders had a right to present petitions at the Tynwald, and undoubtedly when such meet.. ings were first instituted the people would deliberate and vote. Such privileges appear in later times to have been deemed disloyal, for it was enacted :" if any person rise up against the Governor sitting in any Tynwald Court, wherein he represented the Lords person, they are to be deemed traitors, and to be sentenced to death without any inquest on them by the Deemster ; that they be first drawn after wild horses,. then hanged, and afterwards quartered, and their heads struck off and set upon the Castle Tower, over the town, with one quarter there, the second quarter to be set up at Peel, the third at Ramsey, and the fourth at Douglas.
On the Tynwald-day a company of military is usually in attendance from Castletown, and people arrive in great numbers from every part of the island, and consider it a regular holiday. From time immemorial a fair has been held, and the adjoining grounds are covered with tents, cattle, and sheep.
The Tynwald Hill is close to the main road. It derives its name from the Scandinavian thing, a court of justice, and wald, fenced. The Manx call the hill Cronk Keeillown, or the Hill of St. John. It is composed of soil traditionally said to have been collected from each of the seventeen parishes of the island ; but this is a matter of great doubt, as no authentic record of such a fact is to be met with. The mound rises about 12 feet high, by four stages or circular platforms, each 3 feet higher than the next lower. The circumference of the base is 240 feet, and at the top 18 feet, the lowest platform being 8 feet wide, the next 6 feet, and the third 4 feet. The whole is covered with short turf, neatly kept. Formerly it was walled round, and had two gates. The approach to the top is by a flight of 21 steps cut in the turf, directly facing the Chapel, to which there is a spacious road of approach from the foot of the mound of 366 feet in length.
The chapel was erected in 1847, on the site of one much older. It is a neat, elegant building, composed of stone from a neighbouring quarry, and the whole is faced with granite from Foxdale, at the foot of South Barrule. The spire is 100 feet high. The inside of the chapel is arranged with the special object of accommodating the Governor, Council, and Keys, on the Tynwald-days. There is no burial ground attached. The total cost of the building was 25351. The British Government granted 15001., and the remainder was raised by private subscription. When the old chapel was pulled down, part of a Runic cross was found in the walls. It now stands in the porch, and reads as follows : " iva sortr raist runar t/iser."
i.e.: " Iva the Swarthy, or Black, engraved these Runes."
In the neighbourhood of the Tynwald Hill a battle was fought in 1229, for the sovereignty of the isle, between Olave the Black and his brother Reginald, who had usurped the throne. Reginald, with many others, fell in the conflict, and his body was afterwards conveyed to the Abbey of Furness.
Another combat took place between two factions, on the occasion of a meeting of the people at Tynwald, and some were slain.
Numerous remains have at various times been found in the neighbouring fields, supposed to have been those killed in the various conflicts. In 1847, when widening the road at the west end of the Tynwald Mount, a tomb was discovered, consisting of four upright stones with a large stone above. It is called the Giants Grave, in which there was nothing except a little black mould ; but 50 yards distant another was found, containing a battle-axe, stirrup, and beads of various colours, shapes, and sizes. These latter were placed by the late Professor Edward Forbes, in Jermyn Street Geological Museum, London.
The Glen Helen stream is crossed 1 mile out of the village of St. Johns, and it afterwards joins the stream from the Foxdale glen ; and the two form the Neb river, which enters the sea at Peel.
When over the bridge, the Ballaleece farmhouse will be observed on the right hand. It is the scene of a fairy legend, related to us by three or four persons residing in different parts of the island. It appears the fairies came and stole away the farmers wife. After some time, the man took to himself a second partner, and then the first paid him a visit, in company with a troop of sister fairies, riding on small horses. She arranged with the husband that they should come again at a stated time, when she would be on the second horse, and he was therefore to seize hold of the bridle and detain her ; but it was stipulated that he should not succeed in doing so, unless he swept the barn floor so clean that there was not left a single bit of straw. The man made everything in readiness for the meeting, but in the meantime told the secret to his second wife, and she, through jealousy, and in order to circumvent her rival, placed a single straw secretly under a bushel on the barn floor. The result was, that when the fairies came, the farmer seized hold of the second horse by the bridle, as pre-arranged, but could not detain it, and away went all the troop ; not, however, according to one or two relaters of the story, without doing a dark deed, by murdering their unsuccessful sister, for blood was discovered next morning on the threshold of the barn.
Presently the parish church of St. Patrick is seen across the valley on the left, with Cronk-na-Irey-Lhaa, and South Barrule beyond, and the Peel hill and Corrins tower in front. After passing the Cemetery a view is had of the sea, with the classical and picturesque ruins on St. Patricks Isle; and a quick descent is made into the town of Peel.