[from Manx Place-names, 1925]

Sheading of Michael

THIS sheading takes its name from the parish and was formerly called the Sheading of Kirk Michael. The Sheading of Michael is bounded on the N. by Ayre, on the S. by Glenfaba, on the E. by Garff, and on the W. by the sea. From Ballaquine on the W. coast the boundary goes S. to Little London, through Glion ny Gill, over Slieau Maggle, and N. to Druidale, passing the Sharragh Bane and Killabraggah and N. to Gob y Vollee, through the Curragh and along the Lhane river to the sea.

The sheading is divided into three parishes, Kirk Michael, Ballaugh and Jurby. Of the ancient treen names, eighteen are Gaelic and ten are Norse.

Place-names show that the early population of the sheading of Michael were more Celtic than Scandinavian, and it is probable that the latter used the greater part of the sheading as a hunting-ground rather than a place of residence. Slekby, Le Soulby and Jurby may indicate permanent residence. We find call ('hill') in Cammal and Sartfell. Dalr ('glen') in Oristal, Scrundle, Carmodil, Bordal and Dalliot, the latter name showing Gaelic influence. We have vik ('creek') in Berk and Ballakoig. The following Norse personal names are found,-Thorketill, Ljótr and Hrutr, all of which were, however, borrowed by the Gaels. McOtter (Cottier) and McCorleot (Corlett), of Scandinavian extraction, probably came from one of the more northern parishes.

The following Gaelic names had disappeared at the beginning of the 16th century: Ó Crionáin, ó Laoidhigh, ó Fhloinn, ó Finn, ó Cuidighthigh, MacPháidin, Mac Giolla Dhó and MacAracháin.

Bilinguality is shown by Sartfell and Slieau Doo, the latter being a homestead on the slopes of Sartfell; both mean 'black hill.'

A large lake formerly existed in the sheading, named Dufloch (Dubhloch), from which Ballaugh takes its name, i.e. 'lake homestead.' In early times a great part of the sheading was swampy and unfit for cultivation, and a large area, called the Curragh, is still undrained. This is found reflected in the names beginning with logh, curragh, etc. It is also probable that the constant recurrence of close, 'enclosure,' (a borrowing from the English) indicates land which has been reclaimed from time to time. The largest area of the Curragh district is in the Sheading of Ayre.

The Norse Jurby and the Gaelic Shughlaig probably both indicate the chase, and mark the places where the huntsmen met preparatory to setting forth to hunt the deer and other wild animals in the mountainous district to the eastward of the sheading.


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