[From A Manx Scrapbook]




Bride is sand under a thin mask of green. Even her smooth, strange-looking hills are but dunes blown inland and overgrown. Remotest and least of the parishes, she has through centuries been reshapen by the sea, which is still adding barren acres to her Northern extremity in derisive return for the drowned farmlands off Shellack. Like the other wholly rural parishes she has sent more sons into prosperous exile than she has kept at home; among them she owns a bard whose lusty praise of her is heard across the Atlantic.

The Church of Bride seems to have belonged in the 14th and 15th centuries entirely to the Monastery of Whithern in Galloway, according to a document (No. 461) in the Registrum Magni Sigilli Regum Scotorum. "Apud Edin., 1st July, 1451. Rex confirmavit Roberti Regis, qua concessit et confirmavit priori et canonicis Candida Case Premonstraten. Ordin. omnia ecclesias, terras, redditus, possessiones, picarias, et libertates subscriptas, viz., . . . ecclesiam S. Brigide in Lair in Manne, quam habebant ex donatione Tho. Ranulphi Comitis Moravie, domini Vallis Anandie et Manne, nepotis dicti Regis . . . etiam . . . libertatem tenendi in liberam baroniam cum furca et fossa etc. omnes terras quae [sic] tenebant de Comiti Moravie infra insulam Manne—quasquidem libertates dictus frater vegis et comes predictus concesserunt."

The witnesses to the original grant, dated at Arbroath, 10th May, 1326, included Gilbertus, Bishop of Sodor (Gilbert McLellan, died 1328). The other churches mentioned in the Confirmatio were mostly in Galloway. The last clause may be taken as including the barony of St. Trinian's.

Moore, History of I.O.M., page 351, says that Whithern had tithes in Lezayre, but it is probably the treen name, Le Ayre ("Lair" in the foregoing excerpt), which is concerned, and the reference was to Kirk Bride and not to the parish or churchtown of Lezayre.

Cronk ny Vowlan (O.S. map) is pronounced locally " Voalan." Variants in Oswald's Vestigia, pp. 62 and 80, are Cronk na Bullen and Cronk y Vallan. Bullan signifies a rounded, swelling piece of ground. It occurs also in three field-names on Ballavair in this parish ; see Mannin, No. 7, page 435.

Cronk Bouyr, " Deaf Hill " or " Hill of the Deaf " -query, the dead ?-is a burial-mound on Ballacregga. There is another mound with this curious name on Skyhill, Lezayre, which see for further remarks on the word bouyr.

Cronk Villey, " Tree Hill," on Ballacree, was also a burial-mound. The tree was probably a venerated one. Yn Lioar Manninagh, i., 183, says the hillock was levelled about 1860.

Glen Unjin, " Ashtree Glen," is the shallow valley below Kionlough.

Samson's Stone or Castle is a remarkable erratic glacial boulder on the top of a grass-grown sandhill at Shellack Point-which is no longer a Point-whither Samson tossed it across Ramsey Bay from Maughold Head ; the effort was so severe that the imprint of his hand remains in the boulder.

Citten (O.S. map). This quarterland was " The City " from the 17th to the 19th century, and it would not be surprising to hear that it is still occasionally so-called.

(Balla) Yonaigue, " Young John's Farm." " William Christian als. Jo. Aig in Kyrke Bryde," 1662.(Illiam Dhone and the Manx Rebellion, page 33.)

Field-Names on Ballavair :-The Reelaughs, places where the soil is thin-a mere " sifting " ; The Ochtaughs, " the Breasts " or steep places. The Fanks are the grazing-land extending from Kionlough to Claghbane. For the names see Mannin as above.


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