[From Illustrated Notes on Manks Antiquities, 1904]


ON a prominent shoulder of the Meayll Hill, overlooking Port Erin Bay and facing Bradda Head, stands one of the most remarkable monuments of antiquity — a circle of stone cists of late Neolithic or early Bronze age, so curious in the arrangement of its parts that it appears to be unique in the British Islands, and is probably only paralleled, but scarcely equalled, by certain burial mounds in Scandinavia.

Some twelve years ago, recognising the important nature of this relic of prehistoric times, and struck with the incorrectness or inadequacy of the brief references made to it in archaeological works, we devoted some time and trouble to a systematic examination of the site, and published a pamphlet, in December, 1893, giving an account of our excavations, with illustrative plates.

A couple of years later we made an exploration of the ancient hut village that lies in the " Hollow of Botheration " (Lag ny Boirey) further down the hill; and after the Liverpool meeting of the British Association in September, 1896, we took a party of distinguished archaeologists — Prof. Montelius, Dr. Munro, Prof. Haddon and others — to see the results of our labours. Parts of the excavations were still open, and the curious symmetry in the arrangement of the stones excited considerable interest, and some discussion as to probable age and the relationship to other megalithic monuments elsewhere. The importance of the Manks prehistoric remains in relation to Scandinavian antiquities was obvious during the four or five days that our friends were able to devote to a rapid survey of the Island, and we were pressed then, and on many occasions since, to extend our observations to other parts of the ground and to earlier and later traces of human life and work.

The pamphlet on the Meayll stone circle has been long out of print and is often asked for, the single copy at the Port Erin Biological Station is frequently borrowed by students working at the Institution, and the Curator — Mr. Chadwick — informs us that from the applications made to him by visitors it is clear that if the work were reprinted there would be a considerable demand for it.

As we have for some years taken every opportunity that offered of exploring the antiquities of the Island, and as a considerable accumulation of unpublished notes and drawings is now in our hands, we have decided while reprinting our account of the stone circle on the Meayll, to let that monument now take its proper place in the series, and, by adding some description of the still earlier and the later prehistoric and eohistoric Manks remains, to form what we hope may prove a useful illustrated introduction to local archaeology.

P. M. C. K.
W. A. H.

PORT ERIN, December, 1904.


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