[From Quiggin's Guide, 1841]
Proceeding to Peel from Castletown, you pass Kirk Malew Church, a mile and a half from that town, and St. Marks Chapel three miles further on, but considerably to the right, near which, on the banks of a rivulet, were large masses of stone, of fine granite, called Goddard Crovans Stones[see the allusion to them in Peveril of the Peak, vol. ii. p. 2l]near which is a specimen of a Danish encampment, surrounded with a fosse, and defended by a parapet, and is noticed by Sir Walter Scott, in the same novel, as the Black Fort; but by the selfishness of the proprietor of the soil both these have been destroyed. The road passes near Barrool, which is supposed meant originally, the Apple-tree-road. Mannanan-beg-Mac-y-Lheir, the Druidical chief, had his hut or wigwam palace on the east of Barrool, and but a short distance from Tynwald Hill. The wretched inhabitants of Mona acknowledged this conjurer as their liege Lord, and their vassalage by carrying annually, on the eve of Midsummer-day, a quantity of green rushes to the top of Barroola portion of the rushes, however, was left at the chiefs residence at the foot of the hill; the payment of the green rushes was the tenure on which the islanders held their lands. On the Douglas road, and at no great distance from Tynwald Hill, is an artificial hill called Mannanans Chair, probably this was the Tynwald Hill of Mannanan, from which he issued legislative enactments. Crossing the mountains of Barrool by a good road, near the sixth mile stone, you pass the
which are now carried on to a great extent by an English company, who have erected several powerful water-wheels and steam engines for the purpose of unwatering them. They are now producing 250 to 300 tons of excellent lead ore per month, containing from fifteen to twenty ounces of silver in the ton of lead. The returns per quarter of late show a produce of nearly 800 tons, averaging £14 per ton. In one of the mines (Beckwiths vein) is to be seen one of the largest bodies of ore ever discovered in Great Britain; the depth of the present level is 43 fathoms, which has been driven through in a horizontal direction for a length of sixty fathoms, and the ore is setting down equally as strong on the sole of the present deep level.The great Foxdale vein, running nearly east and west, upon which the principal mines are now working, extends across the island from sea to sea, a very small portion of which has yet been explored. At the bottom of the north part of this mountain is a beautiful cascade, opposite Hamilton Bridge. A mile and a half further is the
where all the new laws must be promulgated to the people. Its appearance is pleasing from the neatness with which its singular form is preserved, and venerable from its antitiquity and the interesting purposes to
which it is entirely dedicated. It is a circular barrow about eighteen feet high, formed into a pyramid of three circles, the ascent being by a flight of steps cut in the turf, on the eastern side. When the legislative assembly are collected, a chair is placed on the summit under a canopy for the governor or his deputy, below whom the officers take their places according to their respective orders, whilst the surrounding area is filled with the people. Here was fought the battle between the brothers Olave and Reginald for the crown of Man, in which the latter was slain. A Tynwald Court is generally held on the 5th July. Near the mount is St. Johns chapel, from whence, after prayers, the different persons forming the court move in procession to the mount. The following is the ancient mode of promulgating the laws, extracted from the first page of the Manks statutes, and which is still continued
" Our doughty and gratious Lord, this is the constitution of old time, the which we have given in our days, how yee should be governed on your Tynwald day. First, you shall come thither in your royal array, as a King ought to do, by the prerogatives and royalties of the Land of Man. And upon the Hill of Tynwald sitt in a chaire, covered with a royall cloath and cushions, and your visage into the East, and your sword before you, holden with the point upwards ; your flarrons in the third degree sitting beside you, and your beneficed men and your Deemsters before you sit-ting ; and your Clarke, your Knights, Esquires and Yeomen, about you in the third degree ; and the worthiest men in your land to be called in before your Deemsters, if yon will ask any thing of them, and to hear the government of your land, and your will; and the Commons to stand without~ the circle of the Hill, with three Clarkes in their surplisses. And your Deemsters shall make call in the Coroner of Glanfaba ; and he shall call in all the Coroners of Man, and their yards in their hands, with their wea. pons upon them, either sword or axe. And the Moares, that is, to witt of every Sheading. Then the chief Coroner of Glanfaba, shall make affence, upon paine of life and Lyme, that noe man snake any disturbance or stirr in the time of Tynwald, or any murmur or rising in the Kings presence upon paine of hanging and drawing."
The etymon of Tynwald must be sought for in the Norse language. It is said that in the Icelandic language, Tin, or Ting signifies an assembly of the people, and Wald, a field. The erection of Tynwald Hill must, it is presumed, be referred to the period of the Norwegian dynasty, and subsequently to the period when the sea occupied the low land between Peel and Douglas. Tynwald Hill was surrounded by a ditch, and an eastern rampart including an area in the form of a right angled parallelogram. This area includes the chapel.
Leaving Tynwald Mount, you pursue your road to
which was anciently called Holme Town ; it is in the parish of Kirk German, 10~ miles from Douglas, and 12 from Castletown, and contains nearly 2000 inhabitants. In the feudal times it derived consequence from its vicinity to the Castle; and when the smuggling trade was at its height was a town of importance ; since that period, however, the inhabitants have been principally employed inagrìculture and fishing; the bay abounding with cod, haddock, and herrings of the finest quality. In former times it was famous on account of its Castle, which now holds a distinguished rank among the antiquarian curiosities of the Island, the remains of which even now
" Look great in ruin, noble in decay,"
and are situate on a small rocky island about one hundred yards west of the town, being separate from it by the Peel River, which is very shallow at low water. The entrance to it was formerly by a flight of steps on the eastern side, now almost worn away by time ; the walls which are from three to four feet thick, and flanked with towers, are built of clay slate, and are in many places quoined and faced with red sand stone, and are said to have been built, by Thomas Earl of Derby, in 1500 ; they enclose a polygonal area of about five acres, which is almost filled with the ruins of walls, buildings, and masonry much dilapidated, and in the centre is a pyramidal mound of earth, about seventeen yards at the base, surrounded by a ditch five feet and a half broad, supposed to have been either a tumulus raised over the ashes of some illustrious chief, or from the summit of which harangues were made to th e populace. The Island on which the ruins of the Castle stand, is connected with the main land by means of a wall, built about 40 years ago. Till the act of Revestment, this fortress was garrisoned by native troops in the pay of the Lord of the Isles, but since the Island became vested in the British crown, the armoury and garrison have been removed, and the whole suffered to fall into incurable ruin ; it however
" Stands to tell
A melancholy tale ; to give
An awful warnmg : soon
Oblivion will steal silently
The remnant of its fame."
Within the area are the ruins of two small churches dedicated to St. Patrick, and are supposed to have been the first Christian churches in the Island, and the Bishops palace, which must have been a very humble dwelling. The churches although roofless, and in a very dilapidated state, contain some characteristics of the Norman style of architecture. There are also the ruins of a cathedral inscribed to St. Germain, erected about the year 1245, by Bishop Simon ; several ancient authors, particularly Waldron, describe it as having been richly ornamented and abounding in monumental inscriptions, the traces of many of which are still observable. The interior is yet occasionally used as a burying place, particularly for mariners and others who have perished on the coast. Beneath the eastern part is the ancient ecclesiastical prison, constructed with all the severity of monkish times and rigour ; it is a vault eighteen feet deep, the roof of which is supported on low dwarf pillars, only twenty-one inches above the ground ; the bottom is extremely rough, and in one corner is a well or spring, which must have made a deplorable addition to the natural humidity of the place where neither light nor air was admitted but through a small window deep set in the wall, at the east end. Waldron also says, in his account of this place,. that there were other cells under the two churches, adapted to the purposes of punishment. Bishop Wilson was the last prelate who was enthroned in this cathedral which is now entirely unroofed, and hastening ta decay.
Two Cathedrals were attached to the diocese of Sodor and ManSt. Marys, of Iona,or I-colmcill, and St. Germains. Sometimes the Bishop resided in Iona, and sometimes in Peel, and was designated Bishop of Sodor and Mann. The etymon of the word Sodor has given rise to much discussion among those who were but very partially acquainted with the ecclesiastical history of the Island~ The Hebrides were divided into two sections ; the northern division was called Nordureys, and the southern division, including lona, was called Sudereys. The Sudereys (including 32 islands) and the Isle of Man constituted the diocese of Sodor and Man. The Sudereys-were latinized into Insulæ Soderenses, and that Sodor comes from Soderenses is clear as the light of the noon day sun.
Two eminent persons are said to have been imprisoned at different times in this castle ; one, Eleanor, the wife of Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, in the 19th year of Henry VI., in 1440, for witchcraft, over whom Sir John Stanley acted as gaoler, and where she died after a confinement of fourteen years. Shakspeare in his play of King Henry VI. part 2, has the following passages relative to it :
K.HenStand forth, Dame Eleanor Cobham,
In sight of God, and us, your guilt is great;
Receive the sentence of the law, for sins
Such as by Gods book are adjudgd to death.
You, madam, for you are more nobly born,
Despoiled of your honour In your life,
Shall, after three days open penance done,
Live in your country here, in banishment,
With Sir John Stanley in the Isle of Man.
Duch.Welcome is banishment, welcome were my death.
Gte. And, master sheriff
Let not her penance exceedthe kings commission.
Slser.Ant please your grace, here my commission stays:
And Sir John Stanley is appointed now
To take her with him to the Islé of Man.
Duch.Stanley, I pry thee go, and take me hence; I care not whither, for I beg no favour,
Only convey me where thou art commanded.
Stan.Why, madam, that is to the Isle of Man ; There to be used according to your state.
Duch.Thats bad enough, for I am but reproach:
And shall I then be usd reproachfully?
Stan.Llke to a duchess, and duke Humphrys lady.
According to that state you shall be led.
DueLGo, lead the way ; I long to see my prison
The other was the great Earl of Warwick, who for a time was banished to this Island by Richard, II., and placed in the custody of the garrison, but afterwards recalled, and his accuser, Lord Scrope, Earl of Wiltshire was beheaded without any formal process.
The castle is in charge of the High-bailiff, who deputes that part of his authority to old Bombadier Summenquite an original in his waywho will be found generally girdled with the keys : this veteran will amuse the visitor with endless legends of this celebrated, spot proving Sir Walter Scott and old Waldron to be mere novices in legendary lore, from the latter of whom we make the following extract of the story of the "Moddey Doo,"literally the " dog black" : "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 drst 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. And though they endured the shock of such a guest when altogether 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 certam 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 ensuingnlght 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 ; but the more they said, the more resolute lie seemed and swore that he desired nothing more than that the MODDEY Doo 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 no-body had the boldness to see what occasioned it, till, the adventurer returning, they demanded the knowledge of him ; but as loud and noisy as be 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 after seen in the castle,. nor would any one attempt to go through that passage ; for which reason it waí losed up, and another way made. This accident happened about . three score years since."Waldrons Description of the Isle of Men 1703.
This tale is alluded to by Sir Walter Scott in his poem of Lay of the Last Minstrel.
" But none of all the astonished trailr
Were so dismayed as Deloraine;
His blood did freeze, his brain did burn,
Twas feared his mind would neer return;~
For he was speechless, ghastly, wan,
Like him of whom the story ran,
That spake the speetré hound in Man."
A SUNSET AND MOONLIGHT VISIT TO PEEL,CASTLE, AND ITS ANCIENT CATHEDRAL
By. G. H. Wood, Esq..
There is not a spot in Monas isle
Has purer charms for me,
Than yonder lonely mouldering pile,
Which beams in the bright suns parting Smile,.
Ere he sinks in the western sea.
Tie a hallowd spot, with its turrets of light
That gleam in the glassy wave,
Where its image is mlrrord so calm and bright,
You would think itthe Work of Enchanters might,.
Raisri up to the oedadS~iave ~ ~ :~
There beams each hoary time-worn tower,
All bent with the weight of years,
Like goodly Age in his dying hour,
Whilst sunny Hopes triumphant power
Dispels his doubts and fears.
There stands the holy, inouldering fane,.
Where rest the sleeping dead,
Where they for ageslong have lain,
And slept the sleep that knows no pain,.
Each in his grasssy bed!
But roofless now is that holy pile,
And its arches rent and riven;
Yet, I love to tread its lonely aisle,
Where the foot-fall only is heard the while,.
And muse on the things of heaven;
For who could cherish dark thoughts of gloom
In a scene so bright and fair,
Where the sunbeams lighten the place of the tomb
And gild the wild flowers that around us bloom,
Which offer their incense there?
But let us explore the ruins around,
And the Castles lone dungeon cells,
Where the royal ladyt lay fetterd and bound, and lingering death her chains unwound,
Accusd of dark magic spells
And the room near the dim portcullis door,
Where the night-watch oft was scard
By the " Spectre Hound," so famd of yore,
As told in his Lay of Minstrel lore,
By Scotias brightest bard.
Then haste from these scenes of doubt and dread
On the battlements heights to roam,
And gaze on the ocea&s tranquil bed,
Where the sunsets purple hues are shed,
Hisruffied by billows foam;
Where the littlé pinnace, with white sails furld,
Seems asleep on the cairn seas breast,
When not a breath the waves has curld,
One lonely speck on the wMer~ world,
Like a living thing at red.
And watch the suns declining ray,
AsweÑ eu g15 gray mound,
Until the sweet hour, when twilight grey
Casts her dim mantle oer tower and bay,
And the ruind heaps around;
And the lengthening shadows begin to fall,
Ånd the lone bat wings his Sight ;
And the dismal owl begins to call,
And bout to his mate from the Castle Wall,,
Deep hid in the dim twilight.
1~hea innse on the years long past away,
When these walls echod sounds of glee,
~n gallant knights and ladies gay,
Sweet minstrels harp and roundelay,.
And feasts of chivalry.
And linger still, tilthe lamp of night
Is sparkilng oer the deep,
And holy fane, and turret height
$~.m slumbering in the pale moon-light
In a calm and silvery sleep.
The harbour of Peel, affording shelter to vessels of considerable burthen, is formed by a pier 400yards long and varying from 7 to 10 yards in breadth, at the extremity of which is a harbour light. A jetty, 40 yards in length, was erected in 1830, at an expense of £550. There are 70 herring boats, from 16 to 30 tons burthen each, belonging to this harbour.
The town has in its appearance nothing prepossessing; the Northern Deemster holds his court here occasionally, and the high Bailiff every Saturday for the recovery of debts under 40s. The parochial church, dedicated to St. Peter, is not distinguished for its architecture; it will accommodate 600 persons. The living is a vicarage in the patronage of the Bishop, and the present vicar is the Rev. J. L. Stowell.
A Free Grammar School was founded in 1746 by Philip Moore, Esq. who endowed it with £500, directing the interest to be paid to a master qualified to teach the "Latin language, and such other learning as may prepare youth for the service of their country in church and state ;" the Bishop and the Keys are trustees; the Rev. B. Qualtrough is at present master, salary £30.
A Mathematical School was founded in 1763, by the Rev. James Moore, of Dublin, who bequeathed the ground rent of three houses in that city, producing then £20 Irish per annum; he also ordered his books to be sold or exchanged for mathematical books and instruments for its use. John Stevenson, Esq., of Ashley Park, in the county of Surrey, bequeathed £100 for the instruction of two additional boys; and Caesar Corris, Esq., in 1826, gave also £100 for the instruction of two boys of his own kindred, or in default of such, for any other boys of the town; the school premises which were left by Sir George Moore, are in a dilapidated state, no funds having been appropriated for keeping them in repair. Joseph Dodd, master, salary £25.
Philip Christian, Esq., in 1652, left two houses in Lovells Inn, Paternoster Row, London, to the master and wardens of the Cloth Workers Company, in trust for the yearly payment of £20 to two poor boys, natives of the Isle of Man, as apprentice fee of £10 each, with an order that if there should not be a free school in the town of Peel, the money should be paid towards the establishment of such a school; £18 of which sum to be paid to the master, and £2 per annum to be appropriated to the purchase of books. Thomas Quine, master, salary £20.
Bishop Wilson bequeathed £50 for the instruction of poor girls, and Mr. Wm. Cain left a small piece of land for teaching children.
The Peel Castle Hotel, which is the principle one in the town is kept by Mr. Frizelle.
On leaving Peel, you pass the spacious mansion of John Llewellyn, Esq., the High Bailiff, delightfully situated at the end of the town; a little farther on, on the right, is a building which has the appearance of a landmark, on the top of a very high hill, and which was erected upwards of 30 years ago by an eccentric character, who lives at the foot of it, of the name of Corrin, and which still goes by the appellation of Corrins Tower, or Corrins Folly; after it was erected he caused the remains of his wife and child, which were deposited in Patrick church yard, to be exhumed, and removed to the top of that hill where they were re-intered, and over them were laid two black stones with the usual inscriptions engraven thereon. On the right hand is the Ragget, the resilence of the Misses Bridson, and a little farther the church of St. Patrick; the living is a vicarage in the gift of the Bishop. This parish was united to St. Germans till 1714, when a separation took place, and the present church, containing 320 sittings, was erected, chiefly through the exertions of Bishop Wilson, who gave £50 towards the augmentation of the endowment. Mr. Thomas Radcliffe, of Knockaloe, bequeathed £5 per annum on an estate called Gobbreek, to the master of the parochial school, for teaching children from the former place. The Rev. T. Stephen is the vicar.
By keeping straight forward about a mile and a half you arrive at the beautiful waterfall of
formed by a rivulet, which descending from the mountains, winds through the vale, and enters the glen, the banks of which are richly clothed with trees and shrubs. The stream, murmuring gently through the various obstructions in its course, falls down the precipitous banks of the glen with a pleasing effect; the adjacent scenery is strikingly picturesque. The glen is surrounded by bills; on the north bank is a lofty rock, partly concealed by the ivy that overspreads it; and the south bank is richly wooded. Here it may be truly said
Rocks and forests, shrubs and mountains grand,
Mark the true majesty of Natures hand.
The vale winding round the hill, presents a view of the sea, into which the river, after a circuitous course, gently glides.