[From Quiggin's Guide, 1841]
Returning to Kirk Patrick church, and taking the main road you very soon arrive at Ballamore, the property of Mr. Richardson. Here is occular proof that timber of every description will grow on the Island if properly cultivated. A little beyond Ballamore, on the right, is the residence of the Rev. T. Stephen, beyond which is Ballacosnahan, Mrs. Gelling, and Ash Lodge, Miss St. John.
Arriving a second time at the Tynwald Mount, you proceed on the route for Ramsey, by taking the left hand road when you come to the four cross ways, the first part of which, for about two miles, lies through a deep and solitary glen. It is a most hermit-like solitude; steep, lofty, barren, and desolate. In the bottom runs a narrow rivulet, above which the road is cut on the side of the hill. A little distance from the main road is the romantic and beautiful cascade of Rhenass, which leaps down the mountain from whence it takes its origin, till it approaches the last and steepest stage, from whence with much rapidity it casts itself into the vale below. The fall is from a considerable height, and its picturesque beauty and wild melody receive an additional effect from the solitude of the surrounding scenery. The spot is difficult to be found, but a guide may be obtained at the watering house at the foot of the hill.
After ascending a tiresome hill, upwards of a mile in length, the country appears more humanized, and continues to improve until you arrive at the pleasant village of Kirk Michael; at the entrance is the Mitre Tavern, kept by Mr. Gee, near to which is a small and neat court-house, wherein the Consistory court is held the last Thursday in every month, and in which the northern Deemster occasionally transacts business. This village is rendered interesting as having been the home scene of Bishop Wilsons active benevolence for half a century, and no one will surely pass through it without paying a visit to the earthly remains of so much excellence. The church is in the midst of the village. This is a newly erected building, the expense of which was mostly defrayed by funds collected in England for the purpose.
In the church yard the first thing that attracts attention is a plain tomb, railed in with iron, on which is the following inscription: "Sleeping in Jesus: here Lyeth the Body of Thomas Wilson, D. D., Lord Bishop of this Isle, who Dyed March the 7th, 1755, aged 93, and in the 58 Year of his Consecration. This Monument was Erected by his Son Thomas Wilson, D.D., a Native of the Parish, Who in obedience to the express Commands of his worthy Father, Declines giving him the Character He so Justly Deserved. Let this Island Speak the Rest." Bishop Hildersley, Phillips, Mason, and Crigan are also buried in this church yard, where are many reliques of great antiquity, amongst them is a stone cross with the following inscription :
"ULEIFAN FUENTRE GUDAN NOM ILEAN RENTI CRUND: SON SFSTR MEL WUTUR FUNTRE MUS TOLIRLUF CETLAN CONE IN E."
This ancient Cross which cannot but be highly interesting to every Antiquary, contains the most perfect specimen of the Runic character, to be found, perhaps in her Majestys dominions. And just by the church yard gate is another runic pillar of blue stone, curiously sculptured, from the base to the summit, with devices singularly involved with each other, and bearing the following inscription:
"JUALFTR:! UJNR: THURULF!: EIN!: RAUTHA: RI TI! KRU!: THONO: AFT: FRITHU; DUTHUR:! JAO-+"
It has been translated by those eminent antiquarians Sir J. Prestwich and Mr. Beaufort, but their translations being as wide as the poles asunder, we will insert neither, but substitute instead two verses from Lovell and Southeys poems, which we deem very appropriate
"Thus oer some antique ruin, time defacd,
The Sons of science oft delight to stray,
To trace th inscription on the desert waste.
And pierce times dark veil by its lucid ray
But vain the labours of th inquiring sage,
If thence the mind no moral truth sublime,,
Nor learns from heroes of a distant age,
To love their virtues, and to shun their crime,,
The living is a vicarage in the gift of the crown. The present incumbent is the Rev. Joseph Brown. Episcopal Registrar.
About a mile distant is the Episcopal Palace. or Bishops Court as it is more commonly called; an extensive domain of more than 300 acres; it is an old structure, and was mentioned in history as far back as the thirteenth century, but has been repaired, enlarged. and modernized by different diocesans, particularly by Dr. George Murray, the present Bishop of Rochester. when presiding over the diocese, who attached a very neat chapel. The house is in the centre of some venerable trees planted by Bishop Wilson. nod from one part there is a picturesque view of great extent and beauty; the gardens and walks are pleasing, and the detached offices convenient. In the grounds are two posts, erected by Bishop Hildersley, in 1760, to commemorate ass action fought off that place between some vessels of France and England, which powers were at that time at war with each other. It appears that the French Admiral, Thurot, who had been making incursions on some of the small islands, was fallen in with by Captain Elliot, off Bishops Court, who, though far inferior to the French Admiral in number of guns and men, attacked, and gained a complete victory over him, Thurot being killed, and the captured ships taken triumphantly into Ramsey bay.
About a mile beyond Bishops Court is the village of Ballaugh; the rectory is in the gift of the crown. The present incumbent is the Rev. Thos. Howard, in every respect qualified for the important duties.
The old church, which contained only 350 sittings, was 1½ miles from the village, but a new one in the early style of English architecture, with a lofty embattled tower of three stages, strengthened with buttresses and crowned with pinnacles, and capable of containing 700 sittings, has lately been erected, the expense of winch, beyond the sum raised by subscription in the parish, was defrayed by money collected in England for building churches for the poor in the Isle. At the end of the village on the right, is the neat residence of Cronk-ould, Mrs. MLean.[For a description of the soil, &c. from hence to Ramsey, see pages 35, 36.]
About two miles north of Ballaugh is seen the church of Jurby, on very high ground, which affords an extensive view over the channel to the opposite coast, and is about a quarter of a mile from the point of land bearing that name. Pursuing your road, the village of Sulby with its romantic glen is passed, a visit to which would diversify the ride; up it is a fine waterfall which issues through a beautiful natural bridge, and the scenery is magnificent. Crossing the river by Sulby bridge, on the left there is a road to Kirk Andreas, Kirk Bride, and the Point of Ayre, being the northern extremity of the Island. Sulby is in the extensive parish of Lezayre, which may be considered as the garden of the Island; the soil is fertile, the produce is abundant, and amply repays the exertions of the agriculturists; the sides of the mountains are prettily wooded, and many residences belonging to Manks gentle men are passedon the left, Coolbane, R. Harrison, Esq., Ellenbane, F. Lamothe, Esq., Glentrammon, J. J. M. Corlett, Esq., Ballakillinghan, W.. Farrant, Esq. ;on the right, Staward, Capt. Bacon, Glenduff, L. MWhannel, Esq., and then the parish church of Lezayre, which is in the gift of the crown, and is dedicated to the Holy Trinity; the present incumbent is the Rev. Henry Maddrell.
new church has recently been erected, which will contain 850
sittings, in the early style of English architecture, with a tower
surmounted by a spire. Beyond Lezayre is Milntown, the elegant seat
of Deemster Christian, after which you soon enter the town of
in the parish of Kirk Maughold; the town is irregularly built, but the streets are wide, clean, and well paved, and great improvement has recently been made by enlarging the market-place. The surrounding country is picturesque, and in a high state of cultivation. The neighbourhood is remarkable as the scene of numerous battles fought between the Danes and Scots, when the latter had possession of the Island. The harbour, accessible to vessels of 100 tons burthen, has been greatly improved by the construction of an additional pier in 1830, the depth of water being thereby increased more than three feet. The quay, on which is a light-house, is very commodious, the bay is spacious, and the anchorage good. In the centre of the town is a court-house in which the Deemster for the northern division occasionally holds his court, and the High Bailiff every Saturday. The parish church is nearly three miles distant from the town, near Maughold head.
A chapel dedicated to St. Paul is situated in the market-place, md was erected in 1819, by suhscription, with a grant of £300 from the Incorporated Society ror the enlargement af Churches and Chapels, in consideration of providing free seats for the poor; it is a neat edifice, with a tower, and contains sittings for 500 per sons; the old ruinous chapel just without the town is used now only as a burying place for strangers. There is also a small chapel dedicated to St. Peter, which is at present closed, and places of worship for Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists, and Scotch seceders. The Grammar School was founded by Mr. Charles Cowell. There are two National Schools, on Dr. Bells system of education, for boys and girls, supported entirely by voluntary contributions. There are several good inns in the town, the principal one is Heeliss Hotel, directly facing the bay,at which place packets between Glasgow and Liverpool call several times a week.
In passing through Ramsey, the antiquary who is acquainted with the history of the Island, feels a wish that the spot could be ascertained where good King Olave was assassinated by his villainous nephews, and that a monument was erected to perpetuate his memory. King Olave, may with great propriety be denominated the Manks Justinian. He was educated at the court of Edward I., and was a Prince of a peaceable disposition. Prior to the reign of Olave, the natives were little better than savages, he did much to raise them on a scale of civilization; and were the excellent deeds of that excellent Prince fully known, every Manksman would cherish his memory with respect and veneration, as one of the greatest benefactors to his native Isle.
From Ramsey there is a very pleasant ride to Kirk Bride and Kirk Andreas; the former is about five miles from Ramsey; the living is a rectory in the gift of the crown, the present rector is the Rev. John Nelson. The church is dedicated to St. Bridget, and contains 250 sittings. Near the road is a high mountain, surrounded with stones, called Cronk-e-vowlan, a sepulchral tumulus, where
"in his narrow house,
Some warrior sleeps below."
In this parish is the Point of Ayre, the northern extremity of the Island; the land is low, and the shoals, which extend to a considerable distance from the shore, have occasioned many shipwrecks. On it is a light-house 106 feet above the level of the sea, with a revolving light, showing alternately a red and white colour, which attains its greatest brilliancy every two minutes; the white light may be seen at the distance of four or five leagues, but the red light is not visible at so great a distance.
Nearly four miles from Ramsey is Kirk Andreas, a rectory in the gift of the crown, the present incumbent is the Ven. Archdeacon Hall. The church was rebuilt in 1802, and contains 650 sittings; in the interior is a handsome marble font, which formerly belonged to Philip I. of France, and, being confiscated at the time of the revolution, was presented to this parish by Mr. Corlett. Near the entrance gate is an ancient cross, with runic inscriptions. On the estate of Ballacurry, in the parish of Andreas, the property of J. M. Christian, Esq., stands a fort, which was erected at the commencement of the civil wars, with a view to protect the north of the Island, in the event of its being invaded by the Cromwallians. There are four noble bastions at the four corners, and it is surrounded by a wet fossé. The internal square for the troops to encamp upon is a fine level piece of ground sunk so much below the bastions and curtains as effectually to secure those within from any outward attack by fire arms. At the time when this earthen fort was erected, one Capt. Sayle was the proprietor of the estate. A division of the parliamentary forces, consisting of about 800 foot, under the conduct of Colonels Duckenfield and Birch, landed on the Island and passed by the place, where a number of the inhabitants were collected together to defend themselves against the enemy. One resolute Manksman was about to fire a cannon at the enemy, but was prevented by another, on whose head the bump of cautiousness was more fully developed, who came behind, seized him, and flung him away among the crowd. The enemy passed along, the officers saying one to another, it is only a heap of sand, it is not worth expending our ammunition upon it. Capt. Sayles kiln, where he was drying his corn at the time, was set on fire by an ill-disposed soldier, and that was all the mischief done. From hence they marched through Sulby, went up Bair-jiarg-Charrin, and passing over the mountains in a direct line for Castletown. Some barrows have been opened in this parish, and found to contain urns and other relics of antiquity.
On leaving Ramsey, you proceed along the road towards Douglas, with the lofty mountain of North Barrule on the right hand. After ascending the hill about a mile from Ramsey, by taking the road along the shore to the left, and passing Folieu, and the villas of Bell Vue and Lewague, you arrive at the rural and antiquated Kirk of St. Maughold, situated in a spacious area containing at least, three acres of consecrated ground, which was formerly a sanctuary for criminals.
The ancient font, which is very large, evidently made for the total immersion of the infant, has been removed from the interior of the church and placed on one side of the entrance. In the church-yard are numerous monuments, among which is a very handsome one to the memory of Captain Hugh Crowe, a native, and commander of several merchant vessels; oppossite to the church-gate is a Danish cross, and near it a column consisting of a circular shaft about five feet high, surmounted by a cubic block of stone, on one side of which is sculptured a representation of our Saviour on the cross, with the arms of the Isle of Man beneath; on the opposite side, the Virgin and Child; on the third side, a figure in the attitude of supplication, supposed to represent St. Bridget; and the fourth side, which is totally defaced, is supposed to have been a representation of St. Maughold himself. The chancel windows of the church represent the only specimen of tracery to be found in the Island. Mr. Allen, a protestant clergyman, who fled during the persecution of Queen Mary, from the city of Norwich, found an asylum in the Isle of Man. He was the first protestant clergyman on the Island, and kept a school in Castletown, and in the family there has been a regular succession of clergymen from the days of Queen Mary to the beginning of the 19th century. The descendants of Mr. Allen were Vicars of the parish of Maughold for several generations. This information the writer had from the late Thomas Allen, Esq., of Ballavarry.The Quakers or Society of Friends had a burial ground in this parish, and formerly a distinct portion of the church-yard, which was not consecrated, was appropriated to their use, yet there is no monument or tablet to perpetuate the name of a single individual. It is, however, many years since any of that persuasion resided in the parish.
Maughold Head is a bold promontory, terminating in a precipitous and lofty cliff, and forming the most easterly point of the Island; on the summit are tiers of moss-cl-ad rocks. Under one of these rocks is a fine-spring called St. Maugholds Well, which was formerly resorted to for its supposed medicinal virtues. The water was imagined to derive additional efficacy if drank sitting in the chair of the Saint. Further on, at Ballaglass, is a waterfall surrounded by woodland scenery, forming the highest and most picturesque cascade in the Island : it arises from the obstruction of the rivulet Dhoon, on the coast between the boundaries of Maughold and Lonan.
Passing on towards Laxey, Snaefell rears its venerable head and invites the traveller to a glorious view from its summit of the majesty of nature. It is deemed the centre of the British Isles, and on a clear day affords a remarkable and extensive prospect of the coasts of England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, as from it can be seen the mountains of Cumberland and Lancashire, in England; of Arklow and Morne, in Ireland; of Galloway, in Scotland; and Carnarvonshire, in Wales. Beneath this stupendous pyramid of nature are the romantic hills, vales, and glens of Mona, beautifully interspersed with their woods, waters, villages, and towns spread out like a map at your feet. On the summit of this mountain the famous Cowley wrote his Poetic Vision, deploring the miseries and calamities of civil war, without reflecting on the quiet and serenity of the place on which he was.
"When I go," said the Earl of Derby (who was beheaded in the civil wars) "to the top of Snaefell, and see England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, I think shame so fruitlessly to see so many kingdoms at once (which I think no place in any nation that we know of under heaven can afford such a prospect of,) and to have such little profit by them." [actually he said it of S Barrool]