[From Ecclesiological Notes, 1848]

July 4, Castle Town.-Left Ramsay by the western road, which skirts the mountains, and is the best wooded that I have yet seen in the island. The first church is Kirk Christ Lezayre, which has absolutely no interest, being entirely new. Hence struck off to the north-west, for Jurby, the name of which is said to be purely Norwegian. The tall ugly tower of the modern chapel of S. Jude, Ballachurry, comes in sight on the right; and after some difficulty in finding the way through a most unfrequented part of the island, I came out on Jurby church. It stands in a desolate situation, close to Jurby Head, the north-west extremity of Man: but is quite new. Hence southward again, to Ballaugh old church. This is evidently, though new, rebuilt on the old plan, and its west facade is extremely interesting. It has a western porch, which I suppose resembled that at Kirk Maughold, and from this two flat square-edged pilasters run up to the campanile, just of the same character as in our own Saxon churches.

It is much to be wished that the original work remained; as it is, such a glimpse is more tantalizing than instructive. New Ballaugh church, which stands a mile and a half off, in the village, is remarkable for nothing but its ugliness. Here I again fell into the Ramsay and Peel road, which now begins to skirt the west of the island, decidedly (contrary to the general rule) its poorest side. Two miles brought me to the deep shady plantations of Bishop's Court, a very ancient residence of the Bishops of Man, never actually rebuilt, but so much altered from time to time as to leave no features of interest. There was an ancient chapel, but it was rebuilt by Bishop Murray, and now contains nothing remarkable. One mile further is Kirk Michael, the most important place in the island, after its four towns. The church is new, but there are three very fine crosses at the entrance of the churchyard. One stands opposite the gate, on ground which I fear must have been abstracted from the churchyard; the other two are on each side of the gate on the wall. The first is much the finest. On its face and back it is curiously wrought in cable-work, round which various animals are sculptured;-the inscription, said to be the most perfect Runic one in the three kingdoms, is at the side: annexed, I give the interpretations which have been offered of it: Mr. Just's is:-
" Voalfar, son of Thurulf the Red, raised this monument for Frithur, his mother."
Sir John Prestwick's seems little better than nonsense:-
" Walter, son of Thurulf, a knight right valiant, Lord of Frithur the Father JESUS CEIRIST."

The inscription of another cross is said to mean,-" 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."

At the north-east extremity of the churchyard, is a ruined piece of wall,which proves to be the east end of the old church, with an inscription to the effect that the whole of the chancel was rebuilt at the sole expense of Dr. Thomas Wilson, son to Bishop Wilson, in 1776. Immediately to the east of this is Bishop Wilson's monument: it is a black high tomb, surrounded with railing; at the top is this inscription:-
"Sleeping in JESUS; here lyeth the body of Thomas Wilson, D.D., Lord Bishop of this Isle; who dyed March the 7th, 1755, aged 93, and in the fifty-eighth year of his consecration. This monument was erected by his son Thomas Wilson, D.D., a native of this parish: who, in obedience to the express command of his worthy father, declines giving him the character he so justly deserved.-Let this Island speak the rest."

The first paragraph is repeated at the side. There is not much to admire, certainly, in all this. By the side of Wilson lies his excellent successor, Hildesley;-as also three other Bishops, Phillips, Mason, and Crigan.

On leaving this church, the road becomes hilly and bad, accommodating itself to the creeks that run in from the shore. Peel castle, on its low dark rock bounds the view.

Seven miles brought me to this ancient and wretched town. I think the Peel Castle Hotel is the best inn. In the place itself there is absolutely nothing to interest; the rock on which the Castle stands is most deeply interesting, and in the most romantic situation conceivable. It is now connected with the island by a wall; but you have to be ferried across. The walls, erected in 1500, and enclosing a space of about five acres, are tolerably perfect. You land at a curious flight of steps on the east; and in the guard-room which you first enter are shown the passage by which the Mauthe Dhoogh, the spectre hound, used to enter. Waldron, and from him Sir Walter Scott have told the tale at length; I insert it from the former.

"It is said, that an apparition, called in the Manx language the Moddey Doo, in the shape of a large black spaniel, with curled shaggy hair, was used to haunt Peel Castle; and had been frequently seen in every room, but particularly in the guard chamber, where, as soon as candles were lighted, it came and lay down before the fire, in presence of the soldiers, who at length, by being so much accustomed to the sight of it, lost great part of the terror they were seized with at its first appearance. They still, however, retained a certain awe, as believing it was an evil spirit, which only waited permission to do them hurt; and for that reason, forbore swearing and profane discourse while in its company. But, though they endured the shock of such a guest when all together in a body, none cared to be left alone with it. It being the custom, therefore, for one of the soldiers to lock the gates of the Castle at a certain hour, and carry the keys to the captain, to whose apartment the way led through the church, they agreed among themselves that whoever was to succeed the ensuing night his fellow in this errand, should accompany him that went first, and by this means no man would be exposed singly to danger; for I forgot to mention, that the Moddey Doo was always seen to come out from that passage at the close of day, and return to it again as soon as morning dawned; which made them look on this place as its peculiar residence. One night a fellow being drunk, and by the strength of his liquor rendered more daring than ordinarily, laughed at the simplicity of his companions; and although it was not his turn to go with the keys, would needs take that office upon him to testify his courage. All the soldiers endeavoured to dissuade him: bitt the more they said, the more resolute he seemed, and swore that he desired nothing more than that the Moddey Too would follow him, as it had done the others, for he would try whether it were dog or devil.

" After having talked in a very reprobate manner for some time, he snatched up the keys and went out of the guard room. In some time after his departure, a great noise was heard, but nobody had the boldness to see what occasioned it, till, the adventurer returning, they demanded the knowledge of him; but as loud and noisy as he had been at leaving them he was now become sober and silent enough; for he was never heard to speak more: and though all the time he lived, which was three days, he was entreated by all who came near him to speak, or if he could not do that to make some signs by which they might understand what had happened to him, yet nothing intelligible could be got from him, only that, by the distortions of his limbs and features, it might be guessed that he died in agonies more than is common in a natural death. The Moddey Doo was, however, never seen after in the Castle, nor would any one attempt to go through that passage; for which reason it was closed up, and another way made. This accident happened about threescore years since." That is, about the year 1670.

To the east of the guard room is the Cathedral church of S. Germanus, founded by Bishop Simon in 1240. In its general contour, and in the red sandstone which forms its material, it is strikingly like Carlisle Cathedral, while the chancel much resembles S. Begh's. The east wall rests absolutely on the edge of the precipice.

It is a small cross church with central tower, but without aisles or porches. The walls are perfect but unroofed; and the red sandstone of which they are composed, is so extremely friable, more especially where exposed to the fury of the north-west storms, here perfectly terrific, that it cannot stand much longer. Indeed the wonder is that the nave arch holds together as it is.

The east window is a small, plain, unequal triplet, with interior drip-stone. On the north side of the chancel are five lancers, also quite plain; under them, two arched recesses, covered with the mould, which has much risen; but probably the tombs of bishops. The arrangement of the south side is the same as that of the north, except that under the fourth light is a door, leading down by a passage concealed in the thickness of the wall to a crypt, barrel-vaulted, and diagonal-ribbed from thirteen short shafts; but filled up to the spring of the arches with rubbish. Here Eleanor, Duchess of Gloucester, is said to have been confined in 1440: and to have lived for fourteen years: and I should add that, according to the castle tradition, the Mauthe Dhoogh is believed to have been her restless spirit. The arches which support the tower are somewhat later than the choir: they are of two orders, and seem early Middle-Pointed; but the sandstone is so much worn, that it is impossible to speak certainly.

The east window of the north transept was Middle-Pointed, and seems to have had two lights. The north is the same, except that it has a plain door beneath it. The west is a lancet.

The east window of the south transept resembles that of the north, except that it is not in the centre of that side, but more to the south. The south window is the same also, only it has no door under it, and is not in the middle, but to the east: above it in the gable is a small window of two lights. The west side has a lances, and a door which, as leading up from the sea steps, was the principal entrance to the cathedral. On the left hand, inside, is a circular benatura.

The nave was also Middle-Pointed. It has two blocked windows on the north, on the south four arches of construction, perhaps intended for a contemplated aisle, with four two-light obtuse-headed windows in them; the tracery has quite perished.

The tower is short and squat, with a square belfry turret at its south-west angle. A heavy corbel table runs round the transepts.

This is the present state of this cathedral; and it is certainly no credit to the memory of Bishops Wilson and Hildesley, that in their eighty years' episcopate it should have become the ruin it now is. The latter was enthroned in it; but none of his successors have been. The inside is now sometimes used as a churchyard, and there are a few tombstones in it; but the difficulty of getting down in the rock discourages frequent sepulture here.

Even now, with a comparatively trifling outlay, say £3000-the place might be preserved; a cathedral unique in its situation, or only to be matched by the Rock of Cashel;-venerable for an uninterrupted succession of Bishops from all but Apostolic times;-deeply needed as a school of clerks and choristers for the island,-why should not this be done ?

While we are yet by these ruins, a few remarks on the early Ecclesiastical History of Man will not be out of place. S. Patrick in his second visit to Ireland, was shipwrecked on the Isle of Man, and spent three years in evangelizillg that country. On his departure for Ireland, he left S. Germanus bishop, and on his decease, consecrated successively Conindrius and Romulus, who have left no trace of their names in any of the island churches. To the latter succeeded S. Maughold; to him S. Lomanus; to him S. Conaghan, and to him S. Marowne. During the eighth, ninth, and tenth centuries, the succession is unknown.

How these Bishops were consecrated does not distinctly appear; but they seem to have had their succession either from Ireland or from Wales: till about llOO they became suffragans of York, and about 1180 to Drontheim.

In the mean time the Bishopric of Sodor was instituted by Pope Gregory IV. in A.D. 838; and embraced the Hebrides. On the conquest of these islands and Man by Magnus of Norway, the two sees were united.

In 1348, Bishop William Russell refused obedience to the see of Drontheim, having been consecrated by Clement VI.; and the island was annexed to the Province of Canterbury.

In 1377, the sees of Sodor and Man were separated,-the Bishops of the former taking their title from " the Isles," those of the latter naming the little island in which the cathedral stands, Sodor, to keep up the old name. The first of these was Bishop Waldby, afterwards translated to Dublin; whose brass is to be seen in Westminster Abbey.

In 1542, Man was re-annexed to the Province of York.

The arbitrary attempt to dissolve the Bishopric, and its happy defeat, must be fresh in the memories of all.

In the enclosure of the castle walls* is a small building, said to have been a church, and to have been under the invocation of S. Patrick. I say said to have been, because the structure is so exactly like what is said to have been the armoury that it is difficult to believe one to have been an ecclesiastical, the other a profane building. As to its date, the only clue left is the excessive rudeness of its masonry.

I do not describe the fortifications of the castle, because I am incapable of doing so scientifically, and a vague popular description of such buildings is useless. The most interesting part of it, however, is the round tower, which exactly resembles those of Ireland. It is about fifty feet high, and nearly six in internal diameter: it is furnished with a door on the east side, to which access could only have been gained by a ladder, and has four small square windows near the top, and one lower down facing the sea.

* I hope few persons will agree with Mr. Petit in saying, `` I confess it was with no pleasure that I heard a report of the intended restoration of Peel Castle and Cathedral. I fear that even a judicious restoration would destroy many characteristic features, "Archaeologieal Journal, ix. 58." And yet he proceeds to say that the building must soon be swept away, either by decay or restoration. Can the driest antiquarian prefer the former to the latter ? And is it nothing to restore its cathedral to one of the most ancient bishoprics in existence ?

After dinner, left for the south. The parish church of Peel is S. German's, a miserable building though in cross form. Hence to S. Patrick's, the parish of which, after having been annexed to that I have just mentioned, was separated by Bishop Wilson, who built the present church. It is worth noticing that he quite caught the old spirit of Manx churches,-a very easy one to catch, certainly, but still he was faithful to the type, and preserved it, in all instances, so far as I am aware, under other details.

Hence the road winds in a most romantic manner through Glenmeay, where is a waterfall, which, however, I had not time to see, to Dalby Point, whence the first view of the Calf is caught. The Calf has no further ecclesiological interest, than as having been the scene of the penitence of the last English hermit. A gentleman, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, having, in a fit of jealousy, slain a beautiful girl to whom he had been deeply attached, endeavoured to expiate his crime by choosing a cave, in the cliffs of this island, for his retreat. It is a very fine rock, containing about six hundred acres, and principally tenanted by gulls and rabbits.

The road, after leaving Dalby Point, crosses the great island chain, between South Barrule and Cronknaireylha, " the hill of the Rising Day." A bleaker and more desolate road I have seldom travelled; and in July, the wind came as keen as in March. At length the ridge was past; and then the vale of Castle Rushin burst upon the eye, studded with white houses in every direction, and bearing clear evidence of a high state of cultivation. You wind down by a spar of South Barrule, behind which the sun had now sunk; and in two or three miles arrive at Kirk Arbory. This name is usually derived from the shady situation of the church, but by Mr. Cumming, with far greater probability, from S. Cairbre, a disciple of S. Patrick. The corruption is just the same which has turned Kirk Conchan into Kirk Onchan. This, too, is a modern church, but it has its ancient font, like that of Kirk Bride, octagonal and small, disgracefully exposed on the north wall of the churchyard. Another mile to Kirk Malew, the parish church of Castle Town, new, though on the old Manx plan, and fitted up with modern attempts at stained glass.

The church is under the invocation of S. Lupita, sister of S. Patrick; others say, S. Lupus; but the analogy of S. Concha is in favour of the former derivation. The font,-a rude granite block,-has recently been restored to the church. Here William Christian, whose fate is the groundwork of Peveril of the Peak, was buried. There is this entry in the Register:-" Mr. William Christian, receiver-general, was shot to death at Hango Hill, Jan. 2, 1662, for surrendering the keys of the garrison to Oliver Cromwell's army. He died most penitently and most courageously, prayed earnestly, made an excellent speech, and next day was buried in the chancel of Kirk Malew." A mile and a half more, and twilight closing around me, I entered Castle Town.

The castle of Castle Town, at present the seat of government, is said to have been built by Godred, King of Man, in 947, and to bear a strong resemblance to that of Elsinore.

The castle may very well have been founded by Godred. But the date 947, discovered on an old beam in the repairs of 1815, is a palpable fiction, though the island antiquaries seem to have taken it as genuine. As little truth is there in the date 1103, in a cell at the entrance to the keep, though great part of the building seems of that date. The keep is interesting, from possessing the two damp cells in one of which Bishop Wilson, in the other his two vicars-general were confined. The spiral staircase leading to the top may be First-Pointed, but I much doubt it; the square-headed trefoiled door is used in Northumberland as late as the fifteenth century, and may be so here. The old chapel I was not able to see, and therefore quote Mr. Cumming's account.

" On each side of the oriel window is a stone ledge [bracket] on which rested the ancient altar, [mensa] in the southern side of it a piscine; and on the north a small cupboard [aumbrye.] In the northern angle of the little chapel, which is hardly fifteen feet square, is a small grated window communicating apparently with a cell, which has since been thrown into a passage; we may easily conjecture this to have been the confessional."* This is now occupied by the works of the clock, a present from Queen Elizabeth.

The view in the clear twilight from the top is superb. Looking south, far over the waters you catch Penmaen Mawr, like a cloud in the distance, but most clearly visible without a telescope; to the right, the savage cliffs of the Calf, and the more stupendous outline of Spanish Head, raising themselves against the gold of the sunken sun: across them, Slieve Donard in Down, and the high land round Dundrum Bay; to the north, the whole chain of Manx mountains, from purple North Barrule, by royal Snaefell, and black Beiny-phot, and double-headed Garrahan, and pyramid-like Greaba, and lonely Sliewhallen, down to South Barrule, gorgeous in the sunset, and uttermost Cronknaireylha. Then a little to the east, darkness is closing in aroma Scawiell Pikes and Ennerdale.

*The comparative height1 of the highest Scotch, English, Irish, Welsh, and Manx mountains, may not be uninteresting.





Ben Nevis



Cader Idris



Macgillicuddy Reeks


Scawfell Pikes







The five Manx mountains next in height, are

North Barrule






South Barrule





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