[From Mate's Isle of Man Illustrated, 1902]
THE ISLE of MAN claims a nationality of its own ; yet it can be seen, " from the centre all round to the sea," from the summit of its highest mountain. It has its own laws ; and its Tynwald Court, claiming to be the most ancient existing representative assembly in Europe: yet it can be traversed in a summer holiday of one week. Its prehistoric remains, castles and ruined churches, its ancient privileges still tenaciously clung to, its old customs not quite obsolete, its language not quite forgotten, will attract one class of visitant to its shores The lover of the picturesque pur et simple, will be captivated by the charm of landscape and seascape, harbour and hill and sunset; and will find at least one of its towns tout ensemble the most picturesque fishing town in the British Islands. The seaboard on the east and west side, has sheer walls of cliff, headlands of jagged slate cut by bays, creeks, river estuaries and crescent bends of strand ; around the southern end, low ledges of terraced limestone and volcanic basalt ; and around the northern end, grassy dunes and long sandy shores. The Manx coast has variety. It has also everywhere the charm of " character." The interior of the Island is a mountain range. From a central axis the summits look down upon the panorama of lowlands and coast. Ten of the principal summits rise to heights of 1,500 feet to 2,000 feet ; while Snaefell reaches the noble altitude of 2,024 feet. Several lesser summits exceed 1,000 feet, and a height of 500 feet is not unusual in the lateral and transverse spurs that terininate in the abrupt cliffs and headlands of the coast. Above the cultivated limit are purple moorland and grassy fell. The moors ooze in perennial rills that feed the rivers in the deep glens twisting out from the mountains to plain and sea.
Though but thirty miles long and ten wide, the Island is a perfect portfolio of landscapes. It is a microcosm,-a little world in itself. Within the same compass, there is probably no other place where such variety of scenes can be found.
White farmsteads, set in the velvet green of the sloping fields, piped with yellow lines of gorse, below the purple plush of the mountain, are its characteristic note. The geologist will find on the Island granite, Cambrian and Silurian slates, recl sandstone and limestone of the early systems, varied by intrusions of basalt, greenstone and other volcanic rocks. Of more recent systems he will find traces of lias and chalk, glacial clays, drift gravels, raised beaches, peat mosses, lacustrine and fluviatile deposits, and the ubiquitous erratic boulder. Perhaps to the specialist the chief interest will be the crumpled and folded slate bed on the north-western side of the hills, which have been the subject of important papers by W. G. Lamplugh, F.G.S., of the Geological Survey.
It is important to note that the Manx mountains stand central to four lofty groups, indicated by the English Skiddaw, the Scottish Cairnsmuir, the Irish Slieve Donard, and the the Welsh Snowdon, all visible from the Manx Snaefell.
The botanist will find a flora, characteristic of the different altitudes from. shore to mountain ; and in marine plants an exceptionally rich field of research along the southern coast. The zoologist has not much to tempt him to Man, unless it be to decide the question of the Manx rumpy, or tailless cat, and tailless fowl. There are no reptiles, except frogs and small lizards, the latter called in the country " man-creepers. " The Blessed Patrick, who is credited with expelling the reptiles from Erin, must have included Man in his beneficient work. As the Apostle of Ireland was also in fact the Apostle of Man, the Island can fairly claim to be included in the beautiful legend. But to archæologist and antiquary the Island gives abundant scope for original work in its prehistoric, early ecclesiastical, and medixval remains.
EVERYBODY in Manxland is not Manx. There have been successive infusions of alien blood ; but the native race of unalloyed extraction constitutes by far the largest part of the population. The aesthetic visitor may regret that the energy and progress of modern life have penetrated to the inmost recesses of the Island, the past everywhere touched by the present. The man of letters and the artist will see in Manx life the colour and form of old times, the Island still in the glamour of the past. But the most elegant and fastidious seeker of happiness will find that it is a very up-to-date place, in the comforts, conveniences, and even luxuries of modern civilization.
He will find the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company's boats and the boats of The Barrow Steam Navigation Co. superb channel steamers. On landing he will find hotels that are palaces ; railways and electric railways golf links; London morning papers to hand in the afternoon ; and in summer two daily mails, eight hours from London. As to Insular Society he will find an English Peer as Lieutenant - Governor, a Bishop of high social standing, a refined and cultured official class, the Legislature containing men who would be in place in the House of Commons; the Manx Church not different from the Church in England; Nonconformist ministers, representative men of the bodies to which they belong ; and Douglas a vigorous Municipality with a Mayor and Corporation, whose work is visible in Douglas as a modernized town.
English is spoken in Manxland with a plain purity, very different from the provincial dialects of English counties. The Manx are no longer bi-lingual. Those who can speak Manx very seldom use it. The Manx people, though rather brusque and independent, are unmistakably warm-hearted. Their characteristics are cautiousness, penetration, quiet humour, and the most absolute kindliness towards strangers. I n no country in the world are person and property so inviolable. Anything lost between the Point of Ayre and the Calf of Man will find its way back to its owner. The Manx race is a blend of Celtic and Scandinavian, the former predominating in the South, the latter in the North. In the Northern districts we find those superb types of manhood and womanhood, the distinctive physique and beauty of the Manx race. The fishermen of Peel also offer some fine types ; and as seafaring men they challenge comparison.
THERE are seven routes of summer sea-travel to Man. The most important service in summer, and the only daily service in winter, is from Liverpool to Douglas, by the boats of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. In the early days of steam, mails were first despatched (1816) from Whitehaven by a small steamer sailing once a week. Prior to this, sailing packets plied between Douglas and both Whitehaven and Liverpool. The Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. was founded in 1830. Their first boat, the " Mona's Isle," was 105 feet long and of 100 horse-power. The latest addition to their now magnificent fleet of eleven steamers, is the " Empress Queen," 385 feet long, of 10,000 horse-power, and the fastest paddle-boat in the world. On the Liverpool route the winter daily service averages five hours; in summer, at least twice daily, the passage is three-and-a-half-hours. The second route is from Barrow to Douglas, open from May to September, by the boats of the Barrow Steam Navigation Co., via the Furness, Midland and L.N.R. Railways; with two daily services in July and August. The " Duchess of Devonshire," in this service, is a fine, comfortable, and fast screw boat, 300 feet long, of 5,200 horse-power, and steaming 19½ knots. On the Fleetwood and Douglas route, the Isle of Man Co.'s boats sail daily from May to September. Both these passages average three hours. The Isle of Man Co. have a service all the year round between the Clyde and Douglas ; in summer, from Ardrossan, in connection with the Caledonian Railway; in winter from Glasgow, via Greenock. The Irish services, freight and passenger, from Dublin to Douglas, is maintained by the Ardrossan Co.'s boats, which run from Dublin to Silloth, via Douglas, connecting at Silloth with the North British Railway. The Isle of Man Co. have also a summer passenger service from Dublin to Douglas, average passage, four-and-a-half hours. Finally, there is an Isle of Man Co.'s summer service from Belfast to Peel, the passage, three hours. The summer excursion traffic includes the sail round the Island (five hours), to Llandudno and the Menai Straits (four hours), and Garliestown (three hours), by the boats of both the Isle of Man and Barrow Companies; from Blackpool by steamers from that port; and from Douglas to Ramsey by the "Fairy Queen." The most perfect systems of through bookings, connection of train and steamer, and the conveyance of passengers' luggage have been adopted on all these routes. As the passage is only a matter of a few hours, the steamers are built to attain a high rate of speed and to render the transit a mere luxurious sail. But they are also magnificent sea boats quite independent of weather. The record of the Manx boats is of the highest kind, compared with other cross Channel services ; a delayed sailing in consequence of bad weather is an extremely rare occurrence. It is the day of perfect sea transit. The Isle of Man Steam Packet Co., under the Chairmanship of Mr. J. A. Mylrea, T.i,., has by its spirited policy of late years, quadrupled its tourist traffic, and, pari passa, the prosperity of the Island. The approach to the Island is not hampered by dangerous navigation. The coast, however, over and above its port and harbour lights, has four of the most magnificent lighthouses under the control of the Northern Lights' Commissioners--viz. : The Chickens, Langness, Douglas Head, and the Point of Ayre ; while seven miles off the N E. end of the Island is the Bahama Light-ship. The position of the Island with regard to Irish Sea traffic, especially for Liverpool vessels coming up Channel, renders these lights very important. Nothing finer of the sort can be experienced than to be at sea off the S. E. coast of the Island at night, in view of the Chickens, Langness, and Douglas Head lights revolving with different durations and alterations of flash.
Crossing from Liverpool, Barrow, or Fleetwood, the Island becomes visible some thirty miles off, a long undulating ridge of faint purple. Snaefell is distinguishable towards the northern end of the range. The promontory of Maughold Head rises above the sea line at first as a separate islet. The Calf of Man, in the extreme south, appears as a low promontory continuous with the southern hills. The first detail that becomes visible is Douglas Head Lighthouse, snowy white against its hill. Along the coast grey walls of cliff emerge from the waters. A gap northwards of the lighthouse widens and develops into the sea front of a city lined out on the throbbing waves. Douglas, from the sea, is incomparable The bay, just two miles across, derives its charm from all its details composing into a unique whole, while the details in themselves are picturesque. On the left (S.W.) is the Nunnery Howe, 500 feet high, terminating seawards in Douglas Head, and the iron coast behind it. On the right (N.W.) is Banks Howe, a grassy hill of nearly the same altitude, with jagged grey cliffs, reaching their highest a mile beyond the limits of the bay. The central hills of the Island, five miles inland, are the horizon of the picture. In the middle distance green uplands ; in the intervening reach mansions among clumps of timher, looking seawards from an irregular plateau half the altitude above the sea of Banks Howe. Indications of shipping show that the harbour is at the base of the Nunnery Howe. The outer harbour is protected by the Battery Pier, just within the Head. A three-gun battery, dating from the Napoleonic war scares, stood on a terrace overlooking this pier. The other side of the outer harbour is formed by the Victoria Pier, 600 feet long and 50 feet broad, extending into deep water for the largest steamers to land passengers at all states of the tide. The south-west area of the bay is broken by Conister, a rocky islet crowned with a castellated tower built by Sir William Hillary, founder of the National Lifeboat Institution (1833), as a Tower of Refuge for shipwrecked mariners. A fine old castellated round tower, demolished 1818, stood on the rocks at the base of the Victoria Pier. It was originally a garrison post, but in the last century was used as a lock-up. Conister, or St. Mary's Isle, is wholly submerged at high water with spring tides. At low water it is possible to reach it on foot.
Tower of Refuge, Douglas
The town rises from the harbour by a steep gradient northward to the plateau, a level area along the harbour and the shore, narrowing into a mere strip under the scarp,
"Along the winding crescent by the sea'"
The sea-front around the bay is a continuous chain of fine blocks of modern boarding houses. Among these, less conspicuous than when it stood alone in its woods, the high plateau behind it, is Castle Mona, built 1802) by the fourth Duke of Athol, the last of the Lords of Man. In 1825 he sold the rights of his Lordship, to be vested in the English Crown; and died 1830. Castle Mona is now a hotel. Villa Marina, another charming residence remains, Falcon Cliff is a hotel, as also Derby Castle, a mansion of the same period, at the extreme end of the bay. The horse tramways terminate at this point, which is also the terminus of the Electric Railway round the coast to Ramsey.
Loch Promenade, Douglas
From the Victoria Pier to Derby Castle is a magnificent continuous promenade, called in succession the Loch Promenade after Lord Loch, a former Lieutenant-Governor ;
Harris Promenade, Douglas
the Harris Promenade, after Mr. S. Harris, High Bailiff of Douglas ; and the Queen's Promenade, having been completed in 1897, the year of Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee.
Queen's Promenade, Douglas.
Douglas is a re-arranged town. In its old arrangement the main system of streets was in the form of a T,-the bar being the Quay ; its junction with the stem the market-place ; the stem representing Duke Street, Strand Street, Castle Street, and their continuation in the Crescent Road. On both sides of old Duke Street was a complex network of narrow and crooked streets, those on the seaward side on the level; those on the landward side leaning against the slope of the hill. The re-arrangement of Douglas consisted in the creation of another T system, the bar in this case the Promenade, and the stem Victoria Street, cutting Duke Street at right angles. Victoria Street is now the chief business street and main thoroughfare : and all other streets have been more or less brought into connection with it. Duke Street and Strand Street, however, remain good business quarters.
Douglas has excellent hotels and boarding houses. The boarding houses of Douglas, especially those around the bay, in respect of moderate charges and excellent arrangements, challenge comparison with any watering place in the Kingdom.
Old St. Matthew's Church, and Market Place, Douglas.
Douglas has no buildings of any antiquity, nor, indeed, of any architectural pretensions. Two centuries ago it was a fishing village with less than one thousand inhabitants, while Castletown was the capital of the Island. Douglas has now twenty thousand inhabitants. Its growth within the last quarter of a century has been by leaps and bounds. The old church of St. Matthew's, at the Market Place, a chapelry of the Parish Church of Braddan, was taken down in 1899. New. St. Matthew's is the result of the labours of the Rev. T. A. Taggart, B.D., a man of whom the Island has reason to be proud. The New Church, in the Early English style, designed by J. L. Pearson, R.A., stands on the Quay, the old site being required by the Municipality for the Market-place. St. George's, off Prospect Hill (1780), contains the arms of the Dukes of Athol blazoned on a large wooden shield fronting the door in the west porch. St. Barnabas, in Fort Street (1830 , is large but unpretentious. St. Thomas's (1849), Early English, designed by Ewan Christian (one of a distinguished family of Manx Architects), is a fine church, spoiled internally by its galleries.
The Roman Catholic Church of St. Mary of the Isle, in Prospect Hill (1857), is a good basilica (in French 13th century Gothic) with two towers flanking the east end. Attached to the church, and in unity of design with it, is a fine presbytery for the resident clergy. The Presbyterian Kirk of St. Andrew's, in Finch Road, has a good spire. The Congregational Chapel, in Bucks Road, has also good architectural features. The Wesleyan Methodists are numerous in Douglas and throughout the Island. They have three chapels, the two principal being respectively in Victoria Street (the old chapel erected 1816) and at Rose Mount. The Primitive Methodists have two large chapels, one on the Loch Promenade, the other in Wellington Street (1821). The Methodist New Connection have a pretty chapel in Derby Road. There are two Baptist Chapels ; and the Salvation Army have a cantonment; but the activities of this body have not secured them great success on the Island.
The Court House in Athol Street (1840), the law quarter of Douglas, is a structure with a clumsy Creek portico. This building serves several purposes-the High Bailiff's Court, Magistrates' Court, General Gaol Delivery (Assize), Chancery Court, Staff of Government Appeal Court, etc., are held in this building, It is also the Diocesan Registry, and has the Police Station in the basement underneath. The Post Office in Regent Street, off the Loch Promenade, is a handsome new building in red brick and red sandstone ashlar. The Municipal Offices and Free Library are in Ridgeway Street, in a recently erected Town Hall. The most important public buildings in Douglas are the Government Office and Legislative Chambers;, situated at the corner of Finch Road and Prospect Hill, with the adjacent Rolls' Office in Finch Road. The latter contains all documents formerly kept in Castle Rushen.
House of Keys, Douglas
The Legislative Chambers, Council Chamber, House of Keys, and Tynwald Court (where both branches of the Legislature sit together) is a well-built edifice in the Renaissance style. The Arms of the Island are the Three Legs of Man- date from the Scottish occupation of the Island (1266-1343). The older armorial bearings of the Kings of Man, viz., a Viking Galley with furled sails figure on the shield over the door of the Legislative Chambers. The interior of the buildings has the Keys Chamber on the ground floor. The windows contain the arms of the most famous persons in the history of the Island, connected with Acts of the Legislature, including several notable Bishops. The Tynwald Court is over the Keys Chamber, and is approached by a good staircase. The Council Chamber is not accessible to the public.
The Supreme Court of the Island is the Tynwald Court, consisting of " The Governor, Council, Deemsters, and Keys." The Lieutenant-Governor summons a Tynwald Court at his discretion. The acts of this body are "Acts of Tynwald," and when they have received the assent of the King in Council, and have been promulgated in Manx and English on the Tynwald Hill they become law.
The Lieutenant-Governor is appointed by the Crown, is Captain-General of the military forces of the Island and sits as Chancellor in his proper Court. His oath of office runs: "To deal truly and uprightly between our Sovereign Lord the King and his people, and as indifferently betwixt party and party as this staff now standeth."
The Council consists of the Clerk of the Rolls; the Attorney General: the Receiver General; the Bishop, in right of his barony, the Archdeacon of Man, by ancient custom ; the Vicar-General, as the Bishop's official; and the two Deemsters, who are the judges of the Island, of the southern and northern districts respectively. The House of Keys was formerly a co-optative body with life membership and with appelate jurisdiction in civil cases. The constitution was radically altered in 1866. The Island has six electoral districts, consisting of the ancient Sheadings, and the four principal towns figure as boroughs. There are twenty-four members. In the revision of the ancient constitution by Sir John Stanley in 1422, it appeared that the traditional Keys were the " Taxiaxi," these were twenty-four Freeholders, vin., "viii. for the Out Isles, and xvi. in your Land of Mann, and that was in King Orryes days." The Keys are now returned by popular election, and the House has lost its appellate jurisdiction.
Noble's Isle of Man Hospital stands on the edge of the plateau overlooking the town and sea, at the crescent end of the Loch Promenade. It is finished in red brick, and is a very completely appointed hospital, the munificent gift to the town and Island of Mr. H. B. Noble, J P., in memory of his wife.
The principal Banks of the Island are the Isle of Man Bank, Limited, in Athol Street, the Manx Bank in Victoria Street, and also in Victoria Street a branch Office of the Liverpool Joint Stock Bank. All three Insular Banking Companies have branch offices in the other towns of the Island. The shops in Victoria Street compare with those of any leading English town. Duke Street, Strand Street, Ridgeway Street, and Prospect Hill come next in order. There are some old-established businesses. Douglas is exceptionally well supplied with photographic studios. At Brearey's, Prospect Hill, where all kinds of photographic material may always be obtained, there is a dark room for tourists who are amateur photographers.
The tourist will be struck by the absence of public monuments and statues. The Jubilee Clock in Victoria Street, presented to the town in commemoration of the Queen's Jubilee (1887), by the late Mr. G. W. Dumbell, is the only public monument of any kind. A circular system of cable tramways run from the Pier to the upper town, by Hill and Bucks Road, and Victoria Street, Prospect along the level to the end of Woodbourne Road, descending thence to the Promenade, the circle being completed by the horse-tramways. Douglas is abundantly well supplied with vehicles of the " sociable " class, varieties of phæton, landau, and char-a-banc. The English cab and the Irish and jaunting car are conspicuous by their absence. Douglas has four newspapers - Isle of Man Times: Manx Sun (bi-weekly) (1821), the oldest established paper ; Isle of Man Examiner ; and Mona's Herald (1833). An edition of the Isle of Man Times is the only Insular daily. The Manxman (weekly) is less a newspaper than a " review " of current Insular Topics.
The only theatre is the Grand (Victoria Street), with good interior and tasteful decorations. The box reserved for the Lieut-Governor is surmounted with the royal arms. Very good touring companies visit the Grand with the current dramas, comic opera, and occasionally, classical opera. The Palace and Derby Castle are the most characteristic amenities of the amusements of the summer season. They are small Crystal Palaces among gardens illuminated with myriads of electric lights. The great halls have interior promenade balconies and seated galleries. Fine orchestras supply music. The evening programme consists of dancing, interspersed with " turns " in which musical stars and variety entertainers furnish the usual programme. The Palace refreshment rooms are not licensed for the sale of intoxicants. It has also Sunday evening sacred concerts. Both places have the popular entrance fee of a shilling ; and at both places, notwithstanding several thousand persons are often present, order and decorum are invariable.
For yachting and sea-fishing, Douglas Bay is all that need be desired. There is a local Yacht Club, the yachts being all small raters. The water is of great purity, the sands are safe and the bathing excellent. The single feature in which Douglas is without rival is its continuous sea promenade. Next, perhaps, comes the roamage of the headlands, and the valley-walk on the banks of the river, through the woods of the Nunnery, as far as Kirk Braddan.
The most distinguished men, associated with Douglas as their birth-place, are-in the past, John Murrey, and in the present century, the Rev. T. E. Brown. John Murrey, the son of a Douglas trader, became British Minister at Constantinople. His collection of curios formed the first nucleus of the British Museum. The Rev. T. E. Brown, born 1830, Manx National Poet and Humourist, was a fellow of Oriel College, Oxford, and Vice-Principal of Clifton College. After a residence of five years of retirement in the Isle of Man, he died at Clifton in 1897.
DOUGLAS HEAD is approached by steam ferry from the Victoria Pier, or by the swing bridge over the harbour. On its grassy and heathery brows there is a panorama of harbour, town, and bay, backed by the uplands and mountains ; and of a half- circle of sea, with the Cumberland Mountains on the horizon. The lighthouse is below, and the incessant breaking of the sea on its worne ledges of grey slate. On Sunday afternoons in August an open-air service is held on the Head. The Bishop of the Diocese preaches, and collections are made for Noble's Hospital and other charitable institutions. The services date from the episcopate of Bishop Rowley Hill.
Port Skillion Bathing Place, Douglas.
The bathing creek of Port Skillion, for men only, is in a gully between the Head and the terrace of the dismantled battery. Within the turmoil of the waters outside the Head, this creek is one of the finest deep bathing and diving places, as well as one of the safest, that nature could construct; art has terraced the choicest spots with concrete platforms; and the dressing rooms, steps, approach paths, etc., all facilitate a comfortable bathe. On the upper part of the Head are an hotel, a revolving tower and the terminus of the Douglas Head and Port Soderick Electric Railway, which skirts the iron-bound coast behind the Nunnery Howe. Much of the permanent way is quarried through rock There are several bridges over deep ravines, and at Walberry the line skirts the base of stupendous crags. All the way there is the solitude of the lonely sea.
The Nunnery, Douglas
THE walk from Douglas to Braddan is either by the high-road to Peel, some way back from the north bank of the river ; or on the south bank, by the bridge at the head of the harbour and through the lower gate of the Nunnery. The first half-mile is through the Nunnery Grounds. On the left is an obelisk to Lieut.-Colonel Goldie , who commanded a Brigade at Inkermann and fell in the action of November 5th, 1854. At its base is a Russian gun presented by the British Government. The modern mansion of red sandstone and beautifully covered with ivy, overlooks the site of the Nunnery (of which nothing remains but the Chapel.) The Chapel was restored (1881) by the late Sir John Goldie-Taubman, for thirty years Speaker of the House of Keys. It is one of the very few ancient ecclesiastical buildings surviving in use on the Island. It dates from various periods, from the 13th to the 15th century. It was probably founded by Lady Aufrica of Mann, daughter of Godred II., sister of Reginald I., and wife of John de Courcy, of Down, circa 1190, dedicated probably to St. Bridget, In 1192 the monks of Rushen migrated to Douglas, but returned to Rushen, 1196 - possibly to this site. Robert Bruce halted for one night (1313) at the Monastery of Duf-glas on his way to attack Castle Rushen. The Prioress of the Nunnery was a Baroness of Mann. At the Dissolution the ex-Prioress married a son of Calcott, Receiver of Rushen Castle ; and the Calcott family came into possession of the Nunnery estates, which they held for two centuries. The Nunnery passed by purchase to the Taubmans, of the Bowling Green, near Castletown, who have held the Speakership of the House of Keys, with short intermissions, for nearly a century. Beyond the Nunnery the path follows the bank of the river. It then crosses water meadows, and glimpses are obtained of the mountain range to the N.W. On the left is Ballaughton, the residence of Sir Alured Dumbell, Clerk of the Rolls. Emerging from the meadow paths, the Saddle Road lies straight on. The domain on the right is Kirby, the seat of Sir Wm. Drinkwater, for forty years Senior Deemster of the Island.
The Saddle Stone from which this road takes its name, is by the roadside. It has stood there for at least two centuries. It seems to have been either a mounting stone or to have been otherwise foot-worne. A legendary belief existed in Man that the fairies loved to ride with horse and hound and bugle, hunting across country by night ; and for this purpose surreptitiously borrowed the best horses they could find. One story makes this stone a fairy saddle. Kirby or Kyrkeby, part of the Bishop's Barony, was formerly held on the tenure of entertaining the Bishop, going from and returning to the Island. Across the valley to the right is Ballafletcher, attached to which was a Lhiannanshee or friendly spirit. The estate belonged to the Fletchers, who had a luck-cup, a goblet of mound glass used only, by the heir of the estate on attaining his majority. This is still preserved at Seafield, in Santon, in the Bacon family. The cup is similar to that of the Musgraves, of Eden Hall, in Cumberland.
BRADDAN wears a look of antiquity far more remote than its venerable woods. It slopes to the Black River, a clear but deep brook with plenty of trout. The high-road from Douglas to Peel crosses the brook at the lower stile of the churchyard, and skirts the lower sides of the old and new churchyards, which are separated by the cross-road. A prehistoric work of vast size covered the slope of Braddan, the alignments still traceable, fine neolithic axes have been found here. It was, doubtless, the ancient Kyrkeby ; there is, however, no trace of a village about Braddan.
Old Kirk, Braddan.
The New Church (1880) in Early English style, and architecturally the best on the Island, stands north of the cross-road, below the ancient camp. The Old Church, now disused, stands to the south, in a densely crowded churchyard, also disused, looking down on road and bridge and river. This church contains fragments of older material built into it ; but has no quality except simplicity and fine grey colour. Manx churches were simple oblongs in the proportion of one to three, with western bell-gable: I'he tower of old Braddan (1773) is exceptional. This site is ecclesiastically very ancient-long prior to the establishment of parishes in 13th century. The runic crosses are of the 11th and 12th and 13th centuries. In 1291, Bishop Mark held a synod here and enacted canons, the text of which is extant. The runic crosses are designed with exquisite artistic feeling, -- the handwork rude, but direct and full of force. Canon Isaac Taylor gives the inscriptions :-
(Ma)lfiaac raised this cross to Ufaae, son of Crinaa.
Thorlaf Neaci, brother's son to Eab, raised this cross to Fiac, his son.
Ottar raised this cross to Froca.
There are no inscriptions on those of purely Celtic work. The crosses are of blue Manx slate, the most imperishable material. Manx runic inscriptions have some peculiarities of letters and of Norse dialect. On this subject Mr. P. M. C. Kermode's " Manx Crosses," Mr. A. W. Moore's " Manx Place-names," etc., may be consulted. A stone in the churchyard indicates the origin of the open-air services, which are attended by immense crowds in summer, and the trodden ground is too obvious a result.
Across the river from Braddan, in the modern Cemetery, is the grave of John Martin the famous historical painter, who in his later years resided on the Island, and died at Douglas, 1854, Braddan Vicarage is half-a-mile up the hill, the home of the Rev. T. E. Brown's boyhood, consecrated to memory in his poems. His chief works are " Betsy Lee " and other " Fo'c'sle Yarns," " The Doctor" " Old John and other Poems." The Island regards its beloved " Tom Brown " as incomparably the greatest of its sons.