[From Pigot's Directory, 1823]


[nb still being edited]

SITUATED in the Irish Sea, and nearly in the centre of the British European dominions, is about thirty miles in length, and nearly twelve in breadth at its widest part ; it inclines from a north-east to a south-westerly direction and lies between 54º 5' and 54º 27' of northern latitude, and the centre of the island is at about the fifth degree of western longitude from Greenwich: at each extremity it diminishes almost into a point. The distance from Douglas Head to Liverpool north-west Buoy is sixty miles, to St. Bee's Light forty-two from the Point of Ayre to Whitehaven twenty-eight to the Mull of Galloway twenty one, to the Copeland Islands off Belfast thirty-eight, to Strangford Lough forty ; from the Calf,of Man to Dublin sixty, to Holyhead fortty-five, and to Liverpool north-west Buoy sixty-eight. Respecting the derivation of the name, etymologists are not unanimous, some supposing it to be a contraction of its native name Manning, others; deducing it from Mona, by which it was probably known to Caesar and Pliny; while others contend, that it is derived from the British word MON, signifying detached, or isolated. Its superficial extent is calculated at 130,000 acres,about two-thirds of which are under cultivation, the rest consisting of unreclaimable mountain, or unprofitable moor. The greater part of the sea boundary, particularly to the west, north, and south-east, is formed by precipitous rocky cliffs indented with numerous bays and creeks.

A chain of moderately elevated mountains prevades the greater part of the Island ; these commence at Maughold Head near Ramsey, are interrupted between Mount Kreevey and South Barule, and then continue to the south-western extremity of the Island, where they abruptly terminate in the,sea at Breda Head. The greatest elevation in this ridge is the height of which is five hundred and eighty yards above the level of the Sea, and from whose summit, on a clear day, may be distinctly seen England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. North and South Barule are not much inferior in elevation to the former. The other principal eminences, to which names have been assigned, are Pen-y-pont., Kreevey, Mount Pelier, Garrahan, and Greba. The uninclosed parts of the whole ridge belong to hi,s Grace the Duke of Athol, as Lord of the Island, but the natives have the privilege of turning their diminutive mountain sheep upon them to graze, and of cutting turf, inferior indeed in quality, but of essential service to the poor in a place, where all other kinds of fuel must be imported from Britain. This ridge gives rise to numerous mill streams and rivulets, naturally short, and rapid in their course, and frequently partaking of the. boggy tinge of the soil, from which they descend. The principal of these is Ramsey or Sulby river, which, descending from Snawfel and the neighbouring heights into the fertile plains of the north, after an easterly course of about nine miles, forms the harbour at Ramsey. Douglas as, its name imports, is art union of the Dhoo and the Glass, or the Black and the Grey, which coalesce, a little more than a mile west ward of Douglas, give name to the town, and form its port. The northern side of South Barrule. supplies Peel river, and the mountain torrent of Glen Moy, three miles to the southward. Another stream descends from the opposite side , forms a Junction with a branch near the village of Balla-Salla, and after a southerly course empties itself into the sea at Castletown Bay. Four. other rivulets take all easterly course; one discharges its waters into the sea at Laxey, and the other three cross the upper and lower road front Douglas to Castletown. Besides these there are several others, but all are shallow, and many in summer are not large enough to turn a mill.




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