[From A Manx Scrapbook]

CHAPTER IV

THE PARISH OF GERMAN.

German oversteps her natural boundary Southward and her ecclesiastical boundary Northward. Though without a parish church by reason of being a sub-division of Patrick [sic ? St German's Cathedral + St Peter's Peel ?], this spiritual shortcoming is atoned for by her physical charms; they are as numerous as her appearances in history, which discovers her seated in her islet at times, but more often at her moot-hill. This last, intermediate between Bishopscourt and Castle Rushen at the spot where the Central Valley cuts the only gap in the mountain barrier — at the triple intersection, that is, of two natural lines and one artificial line — stands as the focus-point of the Island.

Passing from East to West, with an excursion Northward, on the Marown border of German lies
Greeba
(O.S. map). The name of this mountain is doubtless derived from the Norse gnipa, a rocky peak. The same word occurs among North of England placenames. But it is noteworthy that Chaloner in his account of the Isle of Man (1653) calls the mountain " Cubgreve " ; was the full Scandinavian form " Cunbgnipa," beak-rock, or does Chaloner's name represent a Manx " Gob y Greeba," snout of Greeba ? Perhaps the latter is the likelier alternative, since there is at the present day a Gob ny Creg on Creggyn Greeba. Moreover, the simple form is found long before Chaloner's time in the " Balygniba " of a 13th-century grant referred to on page 134. Creggyn Greeba, Greeba Rocks, lie on the Marown side of the boundary. On the opposite or North-West slope of the hill, and in German parish, is a farm entered on the Ordnance map as Kerroo ny Claghagh (Ploughland of the Stony-place) ; it is now usually called
Kerroo ny Glogh, " Ploughland of the Stone," and was Keyyoo Clough in the 17th century. The slope of its land to the Awin Dhoo, now called "the Dark River," near Greeba Mill, has produced or attracted a story. The wife of the farmer-this was long ago, of course-took some of their calves down to the river-side to graze. After a while she suddenly missed one of their number, but a thorough search revealed nothing more than some tufts of hair scattered about the bank. She drove the rest of the calves home and told her husband of the loss. Next day he took the calves out himself. When he was passing the same place he heard a sound of splashing and trampling, and on looking round he saw a monstrous creature come out of the water, seize a calf, and begin to tear it to pieces and devour it. After this the calves were always kept away from the river. A few weeks later the couple's only child, a girl in her teens, went out one evening to do some small task on the farm and did not come back. A thorough search revealed nothing, and she was never seen or heard of again ; but no calves were missed afterwards.

The creature, though not specified in the story, would be the greyish Cabbyl-ushtey rather than the darker and commoner Tarroo-ushtey, which is more given to increasing the farmer's stock of cattle than to diminishing it ; but his progeny is always distinguishable by its peculiar ears. He himself resembled, according to current accounts, the bochaun or extinct Manx breed of cattle, in that he was small and black; but there is a fragment of native song which calls him spottagh, spotted.

Garey Feeyney, " Wine Garden," is thus described in the Ordnance Books : " a small rock, the top of which is very flat and square and covered with a beautiful greensward, giving it the appearance of a garden. The Southern face of the rock overhangs and forms a small cave." Need it be added that this was a haunt of the fairies ?

Beary Mountain (O.S. map) gives its name to Beary Farm on its Western side, in the order usual to such duplications. An early form is lacking, as for most of the Island's natural features. What use, if any, has been made of the curious raised plateau on the summit I have never heard ; but a story resembling one which has been published concerning the neighbouring height of Carraghan is told of the mountain at large. A shepherd and his two dogs, who were looking for sheep not far below the level top of Beary, saw — all three of them — a little old woman seated at her wheel a-spinning. The dogs went up to take a sniff at her, but " she put something on them that frightened them back." The shepherd, too, had a feeling that she was not "right" (canny), and he and the dogs were astray up there for two days and two nights. After getting home he was unwell for some time; both the dogs "took sick," and one of them died. The apparition is not said to have worn the red cloak which is a distinguishing note of the Ben Veg Carraghan ; on the other hand, the latter is not thought to bring misfortune on those who are privileged to view her — rather the contrary, I understand, so long as they remain at a respectful distance.

It was up the Western slope of Beary that the fairies were seen taking their departure from Glion Mooar, the continuation Southward of Glen Helen, and what frightened them away was the disagreeable noise made by the new fulling-mill near Ballig Bridge. The mill is now old, and has long been roofless and silent, but the fairies never came back, or I must surely have seen them when I lived next door to the former source of the sounds which offended them. At present the valley is suffering another temporary access of minor industralism.

Port y Candas at Ballacraine Corner, half a mile East of Tynwald Hill, though not a map name is well known to the inhabitants and to the Post Office. It is applied to a croft containing a couple of houses, a shrunken pool among trees, and three fields to the West of them which are separately called " The Rhynes," and now belong, I think, to Ballaspur. Porter's Directory, 1889, gives " Port Cauda " as Ballaspur land. " Rhyne " is apparently the Irish rathin, diminutive of rath, a circular mound or entrenchment, and if so must refer to the neighbouring earthwork, unless a smaller one has been destroyed. A local tradition runs to the effect that Port y Candas was given to a Ballacraine farm-servant in lieu of his year's wages, amounting to £3, which the farmer was unable to pay him. The man then went to Peel and earned enough money " by working on the Breakwater, which was then being made," to build himself the first house on the property, of which only the gable now stands. It is remembered as having contained a stone oven of remarkable size with an extensive fire-place of the old type underneath it. As the successor to this house is said to be over 90 years old, the transaction between the farmer and his " boy " must be dated to a much earlier period than that of the construction of the present Peel Breakwater ; possibly the quay was meant. A wage of 3 per annum, with lodging and food, was a rate ruling about the middle of the 18th century. The other house on the spot, still inhabited, is evidently a much older structure than the one just mentioned as rising 90 ; perhaps that is why " the fairies used to come into it at night." Opinions conflict as to whether they came from the little wooded pool or out of a tumulus across the road called Cronk y Vannin ; there seems to be no sound reason why they should not have come from both places, but if they did they would be two different kinds of fairies, and good luck to them all.

The name Port y Candas is by some persons applied to a low mound of earth with the vestiges of a double bank partly encircling it, which lies in a swampy place on the North-West side of the road from Ballacraine to the Hope, and is marked " Camp " on the Ordnance map. The Name Books describe it as " the remains of an ancient encampment or enclosure in an almost perfect state of preservation. The high-road bisects it and has destroyed a portion of the inner circle and central mound. Dr. Oliver states this place of meeting to be an ancient judicial or 'Thing Hill' analogous to Tynwald Mound. In its original condition a small streamlet encircled the space between the inner and outer circumvallations." It is shown as completing its circle on the opposite side of the road, but nothing of the kind is now visible in the driest weather. The top of the mound has been lowered, by local accounts, and altered in appearance by the digging of turf from it, and by ploughing. In it was found a round stone a couple of feet in diameter, described as hollowed out in the centre into a deep basin large enough to contain a man's fist. Another informant tells me that in ploughing he removed " a lot of stones and small boulders " lying on and under the turf ; there was a good deal of black ash present with the stones. Jenkinson in his Guide (1874) noticed " a spot called Port-e-Candos, near an existing morass, the remains of an ancient lake " ; but it has not, so far as I know, ever been subjected to serious investigation from an archæological point of view. His further remarks imply that the word Port is to be understood in its ordinary English sense, and as relating to a time when the sea flowed thus far inland ; but port and portach are used in Irish place-names for a bog as well as for an embankment or landing-place. It may be suspected also that in the Isle of Man the word fort is liable to become port, — there is, for example, a spot on Shen Curn, Ballaugh, called The Port, which is the kind of earthwork commonly known as a fort. Whatever may be its significance in the present case, the boggy ground on the opposite side of the road, comprising part of the " Camp " according to the Ordnance Survey, is now called by the local people The Pot. Pot, though not in the 'dictionaries, is a Manx-used word, of respectable antiquity, for sedgy ground ; it occurs in the Pot-mine Curragh of the Abbey Turbaries and in the mountain name Pennypot. In meaning it contrasts with moainee, dark peat-land.

It is evident that a good deal of material must have been removed from the central portion of the " Camp," for it is no higher than the now dry ground to the South-West, which was undoubtedly at one time swamp; when this was submerged the " Camp " and its encircling banks, at their present altitude, would have been submerged also. The only alternative would be that they were constructed subsequently to the subsidence or draining off of the marsh-water. "The Camp," though an interesting if inconspicuous object, is not unique in the Island, and has been compared with " The Ring " at Ballanicholas, Marown.

Close by Port y Candas, at the South angle of the cross-roads, stands what is left of
Cronk y Vannin, an old burial-mound locally associated with Manannan Beg, who is said to have "held his Courts there." It was formerly more extensive, but has been cut into by ploughing on one side and road-making on two others. It has probably suffered a good deal of surface-change also, since in the past cists have been observed protruding from it. With its name may be compared that of the Follagh yn Vannin road below the Tynwald Hill a short distance away.

Tynwald Hill. The derivation is of course from the Norse thing, assembly, and völlr, field or enclosure. " Very probably thing (German ding) originally meant 'word ' ; i.e., anything we may chance to speak of, and was identical with the Old Latin dingua for lingua. Adelung conjectured long ago that the German ding originally meant `speech.' " - (Fox - Talbot, English Etymologies, 1897.)

Tynwald Hill is said traditionally to consist of equal quantities of earth brought from each of the other 16 parishes, with the ground of German parish for a base. Sconiana, anon., Edinburgh, 1807, page 10, quotes a legend that when Bruce was crowned in 1306 the Barons reared the Mote-hill of Scone by casting down earth from their lands, which hill afterwards "by the auld laws of Scotland" was reckoned a microcosm of the whole country. There was a proverbial saying that when a man had walked over this hillock he had walked over all Scottish land.

Another account of the composition of the Manx hill says that it, or its crown, contains three sods from the three chief mountains of the Island. Their names, and whether " chief " means highest, I have never been able to ascertain; but Waldron (1744, page 115) has a reference to Snaefell, Barrule and Carraghan in the order of their height. " Under these, they tell you, lie the Bodies of three Kings," to whose burial the mountains owe their origin as being cairns raised during the ages by the contributions of passers-by-rather a fine bit of mythical geology or geogeny ; so imaginative that one fears Waldron confused the mountains with the cairns on their summits. Under Snaefell " we may suppose, either the greatest, most ancient, or most beloved Monarch lies." Waldron is not likely to have been precise about altitudes, and these are not in fact the three highest points ; but if the Southern Barrule is intended, they do represent the North, the middle and the South of the Island, and might fittingly be those of the Tynwald tradition.

Whether for these reasons, or on account of its kudos as the centre of governing power, the Hill is regarded in the light of a fetish, and to walk three times round its base sunwise is believed to bring good fortune. Nine circumambulations were employed in the more complicated machinations of witchcraft, and the earth at the centre of its top round must have been a source of temptation to practitioners generally.

Cronk Grianagh, immediately East of Tynwald Hill, as spelt on the Ordnance map would mean " Sunny Hill," but the local tendency to call it Cronk Chreeney or Cronk y Chyeeney suggests a more satisfactory explanation. Creeney is a word often applied to places of low, scrubby vegetation-gorse or other small bushes. In the Highlands of Scotland it is used for small sticks suitable for firewood, the Manx brasnag.

On the North-West side of Tynwald, in the steepsided hollow of Glen Mooar with its old Mill-house, lies the land formerly called Balnyhowin, " Farm of the River." Immediately Northward, on Ballachrink, is
The Cambel, a well-known riverside field skirted by the Neb, interesting on account of its name and for other reasons. The explanation of the name, as of Cammall in Michael and Cyonk Pty Gammall in Arbory, may perhaps be found in the Gaelic camoil, used in Scottish and Irish place-names in the sense of " curving stream." Still going Northward,
The Court is outlined and so-named on the 6-in. Ordnance map, but even with this aid nothing is now discernible, from the ground, of any remains. Here, as in many other places, an aerial photograph would be of value. As the site did not attract the attention of local antiquaries in time, we must be satisfied with the following description of it as it appeared sixty years ago to one who was not a specialist in such matters

" A square mound of earth on the farm of Lhergydhoo. . . . . About fifty feet square on the summit and about fifteen inches high, defended on the South and East by a ditch or moat, now filled up but still distinctly traceable, and on the North and West by a small river or stream, as no trace of any works can be seen on those two sides. It is something similar to the square mound in the interior of Peel Castle, and it is supposed, as the name indicates, to have been a judicial Mount. On a small eminence immediately North of The Court an urn containing human remains was discovered. Mr. Cain removed a great quantity of stones from two heaps a little North of the said eminence, disclosing several clay urns. Two small mounds still mark the site." — (O.S. Name Books.)

Claveg. Cumming, Isle of Man, page 201, says a stream of this name runs from Lhergydhoo to the sea, which would seem to be the one partially enclosing The Court. If so, Cleigh Veg, " Little Bank," might possibly refer to the earthwork. I have not met with the name elsewhere than in Cumming.

Crosh Mooar, " Great Cross." " A circular heap of stones and earth, principally the former, about sixty feet in diameter, and four feet high. The interior has been nearly removed for building purposes. Stone cists and urn found. Up till about fifteen years ago a large slab or stone stood upright near its centre. . . . No portion of it is now to be seen." — (O.S. Name Books.) The old by-lane, here called Bayr ny Ooillyn, forms a right angle in avoiding the Crosh before joining the deserted hill-top highway to Michael, known as the Raad Manachan, at a point close to

Manannan's Chair, or Stoyl y Manannan or Manachan. The two latter terms are used interchangeably, and Manannan MacLir is occasionally called Manachan in Ulster also ; but both the Manx and the English name of the earthwork give me an impression that they are comparatively modern inventions. The " Chair," a large but eroded rampart, is said to have formed a complete ring originally, but only about two-thirds of a circle now remain, and that is steadily perishing. Up to about 60 years ago there was an object of some kind within the vallum, but the evidence differs as to both its character and its position. " Mr. John Quirk of Ballabooye states that before recent improvements took place on this eminence a peculiar earthen mound in the form of a seat or chair stood in the North-West corner, from which Manannan MacLir is supposed to have dispensed the law, hence the name, pronounced in this locality 'Mánachan.' " — (O.S. Name Books, circa 1869.) A tradition that this misty monarch of the Island not only held his Court here but was buried within the enclosure has not yet quite died out, but it may easily have been suggested by the name. Moore, Place-names, says " . . . . this 'seat ' . . . was a cromlech. It has now disappeared." I have seen a third reference to this mysterious object, but cannot at the time of writing lay my hand on it. The disappearance of a mound or cromlech from the North-West " corner " of the ring might be accounted for by the presence of the hedge. Possibly it was never a circle, but a crescent-shaped work like the Lhieh Eayst, " Half Moon," in Maughold and the destroyed earthwork at Ballanard, Conchan. The field in which the " Chair " stands is called Manachan, evidently by transference from the monument.

On the West side of the Island a proverbial saying is current, " that beats Manachan, and Manachan beat the Devil," a formula found in England and Ireland, but with nominal substitutes for the two leading actors. In England " he caps Bogie, and Bogie capped Old Nick " ; in Ireland " Bogie " becomes " Banagher," which may have suggested the Manx " Manachan " so far as the proverb is concerned. "That bangs Banagher, and Banagher banged the Devil " most likely takes its origin from the Banagher in Co. Derry (there are several others), the sand from whose sacred site was a powerful antidote to witches, the evil eye, and similar unwelcome influences. Is the " Banaghan " of Court Banaghan earthwork, said to stand above Glen Cam, an intermediate form, or simply " hillocks " ? Personally, I have never been able to find this monument of antiquity, but my enquiries locally have elicited the opinion, right or wrong, that it is " the same as Manannan's Chair."

Returning Southward, at the foot of the hill-range stands the farm of
Ballalough (O.S. map), " Lake Farm," which is said to have once possessed a " cross of stones " with rabbits and birds carved on their edges, and my informant used to play around it when a boy. A farmer took the stones to make lintels, but a murrain came on his cattle, and in a panic he buried the stones in the sandy soil, where Manx antiquaries occasionally look for them. (This tale of buried stones is well distributed about the Island. At Gretch in Lonan they were " covered with moons and stars.") The same man, who is both a blacksmith and a student of history, and has evidently swallowed but not digested much learning from Guide Books and talkative strangers, tells of numerous great battles in various places round about. Everywhere, indeed, the existence of an old burialground is taken as evidence of a. battle; nothing less than a great one was ever waged. Though topographically out of its place here, which does not matter much, the following military event may be cited as a specimen from the conglomerate of apocryphal Manx history, since it seems to blend the tradition-as distinct from the record-of the conflict at Santwat into the Chronicle's account of the Skyhill battle, plus a hint of the struggle with Irish invaders on South Barrule also recorded in the Chronicon Manniae. Somewhere between the years1100 and 1200 there was a great battle between the Irish of the North side and the Manx of the South side. After they had been fighting a long time the Irish began to give way, and at last were driven in disorder up Sulby Glen, where they mysteriously disappeared and no trace of them could be found by the victorious Manxmen. " The Sulby river then went out at the Lhane," which my historian seemed to think an important element in the strategy of the day. His theory was that the vanished Irish took refuge in the hills around Sulby Glen, where their descendants flourish to this hour, as he proved by their surnames.

This inexplicable disappearance of the vanquished is a reflection from oral accounts of the battle of Santwat, which is dated therein to prehistoric times ; whether that has been handed down verbally from the era of the event or was a later offshoot from the record in the Chronicle I should not care to have to decide. I prefer to offer the more historically authentic fact that Ballalough used to harbour in its bogs at the base of " Cronk Lammag " a Tarroo-ushtey of considerable ferocity. In the days of its decline its reputation overawed naughty children now grown up into exemplary members of society ; since then it has emigrated or shrunk to invisibility and inaudibility with the shrinking of the bogs. During the floruit of this monster the isolated eminence now called
Cronk Lheannag (O.S. map) was the meeting-place and camping-place of some of the Northern and Western companies of the malcontents instigated by Illiam Dhone. In papers relating to the affairs of the time (Illiam Dhone and the Manx Rebellion, page 17) it is stated that Thomas Crain of Ballaugh, Captain of German parish, overtook Sam Radcliffe of Gourden on their way back from Castletown, and Radcliffe told Crain that a Cromwellian fleet was on its way to the Island to reinforce them, and bade him assemble his company at Knocklanech in German. Radcliffe did so, but afterwards dismissed it. Subsequently, however, the same party, with the aid of other parish bands, ventured to lay siege to Peel Castle.

The present pronunciation of the name of the hill is " Cronk Lammag," with the explanation "Snail Hill"; and it certainly has from the South the aspect of a giant snail carrying its shell. But the 17th-century form must be preferred to this and to the spelling of the map, and lanech probably stands for the Gaelic clannach in its sense of " bushy." Clanner (O.S. map) in Santon, correctly Clannaugh, retains the initial.

Between Cronk Lheannag and Ballalough farmhouse is
Creg ny Gat, " Rock of the Road," just East of Cronk Keeillane, or forming part of it. No rock is now visible.

Mullagh Dawson, " Dawson's Summit," was formerly the name of the hill which is now occupied by Peel Cemetery. Dawson has been a local surname for nearly three hundred years.

Cronkbreek means " Speckled Hill " literally ; but breck, at any rate in its Gaelic form breac, seems to have had a secondary meaning approximating to " sacred," or devoted to special use in some way, and such may have been its original implication in the present case. " A few chains North-East of Cronkbreek Cottage the remains of a mound are still visible ; on its summit was a stone cross. The mound has been used as late as the early part of the last [18th] century for legal purposes, such as the proclamation of Chancery and other decrees, announcements of Coroners' sales, fodder juries, and Foresters' fines. So says Mr. C. Crellin of Cronkbreck." — (O.S. Name Books.)

Butt a Joe. " A prominent ridge extending from near Ballashimmin South-East for upwards of half a mile. So called from a person named Joseph being found dead on it." — (O.S. Name Books.) Butt certainly is " ridge," probably from the Gaelic buta rather than the English word, but of Joe I do not feel so sure. The word occurs in two other place-names in Rushen parish.

Peel. Taking the year round, to get the visiting industry in correct perspective, and the centuries round, to average the fluctuations of the fishing industry, now dormant, the sea may be called the life-blood of Peel, and the harbour its main artery. If the simile must be continued, the speech-centre of the quay, so long as the weather is bearable, is Munn's Corner; for other conditions there are interior refuges, but the Corner has the inestimable advantage of a good look-out seaward across the bay, and the annual quantity of tobacco consumed, yarns exchanged, and gossip circulated along its narrow wall-backed bench has never been computed. As the Biological Station at Port Erin fosters fish and other specimens of marine life, Munn's Corner fosters stories, fishy and otherwise : so does it catch them or hatch them, so cultivate them, promote their growth and multiplication, study their beauties from every angle, and finally turn them afloat for the benefit of humanity. Of the inn formerly kept at this point by the Munnis only their name and this social habit survive ; Munns there may be in the Island yet, though I have met none, but certainly their blood runs in Peel veins to-day. Angus, who was probably the first of the clan to arrive from Scotland, died in 1792, after marrying into his adopted town through the person of Leonora Callister, who died in 18o8. The pedigree of their descendants is extant in MS. down to 1846, and could be continued almost to the present date without much difficulty, if the genealogist invoked the aid of Munn's Corner in full session.[? has Gill mistaken Weatherglass Corner, a little nearer the quay, for Munn's Corner ?]

The various names under which Peel has passed are inseparable from the history of its castled and cathedralled islet, and their consideration must yield first place to matters of greater moment. An old Ballaugh woman knows a good deal about these. She says (1927), that " big fairies were seen walking about among the ruins of Peel Castle, and fairies were heard shouting on the broos when the fishing-boats were going out. If a man's voice was heard shouting it was known bad weather was coming, and they put back. Once they were going out, and the Man at the back of Peel Castle shouted to them there was a storm coming and they were not to go out, but they went, and the fleet was lost off the Calf." Another tale of warning, from the parish of Patrick, says that " the Peel boats were fishing at the Wart off Spanish Head. The weather was looking bad. A mermaid appeared among them out of the sea and shouted 'shiaull er thalloo ' — ' sail to land.' Some of the boats hauled in and ran for shelter ; those that stopped there lost their tackle, and some lives were lost as well." Bishop Wilson's diary records, on the 3rd March, 1721, a very similar incident. Two Ballaugh boats were at sea together, but out of mutual hearing distance. The men in both boats heard a voice repeating very distinctly the words chuyy hood, " weigh anchor " — (sic). They obeyed, and thus preserved, in all probability, their lives from a violent storm which arose within half an hour of the warning. The Bishop adds, " This is well attested." In other cases the warning has been delivered by the visible shape of a man in the neighbourhood of the boats when at sea. All these anecdotes of admonitory apparitions have a strong resemblance to one another, and seem to describe a kind of collective second sight and super-audition.

On one occasion at the least, the kindly guardian of seafarers sent a messenger ashore in a shape which, though long and conspicuously associated with Peel, is not as a rule highly thought of anywhere. The skipper of my informant's boat was expected by his crew to join them at the harbour one evening for a night's fishing, but he failed to turn up, and consequently they did not put out. Next day he told them that after leaving his house near the Reservoir he was faced at the top of the town by a big black dog which would not let him pass it. He went back home and got a thick stick, but all his threats were disregarded by the animal, and whatever way he tried to get round to the quay the dog was there before him. Finally he came to the conclusion that it was a " sign," and returned home for good. Early next morning a heavy gale sprang up with great suddenness, through which the boat, if it had been caught in it, might not have lived.

" The three great losses of the Peel herring-fleet " were: in the Mooir ny Fuill, the Sea of Blood, SouthWest of the Calf ; at " the Wart," a fishing-bank close to Spanish Head; and under the landslide of the Garroo Clagh, North of Fleshwick. Each of them was the consequence of neglecting a warning ; in the third case the message was not supernaturally conveyed, but was merely a clerical warning against fishing on Sunday. The first and worst so impressed the mind of an old woman who was " not quite right in her head," or " a bit astray " or " clicky," and got the best living she could by "going about on the houses," that she commemorated every anniversary of the disaster by wading barefoot into Peel Harbour at low tide, facing South-West towards the place where it happened, and " saying something to herself " while standing there. The spot where she used to wade in, called " the Gut," was filled up when the railway station was built. The calamity which impelled her to this pious act was foreseen by another woman of Peel — a Wise Woman this — in a basin of charmed water. A different account says it was actually caused by some such means, and that the guilty witch was afterwards rolled down the Northern slope of Slieu Whallian in a spiked barrel.

Not only was Peel Castle the abode of a giant who is sometimes said to have been Manannan himself, and to have stridden habitually across the strait between the mainland and his islet, but on one occasion a crew of fishermen leaving the bay had a surprising view of innumerable fairies climbing up and down the Castle flagstaff. Did these bear any relation in a folk-lore sense to the climbers of the pole in the Crammag river, referred to on page 275 ? If not, they are without a parallel in my experience. Another adventure which befell Peel men suggests that the Man of Peel Island sometimes took a trip across to Ireland. The crew of a Peel fishing-boat lying in an Irish port, either Ardglass or Drogheda, but anyway " the nearest port to the Isle of Man," saw about 10 or 11 o'clock of a clear summer night a man twice the size of an ordinary man appearing and disappearing on the quay ; he kept looking down into the water and shouting in a tremendous voice which seemed to shake the buildings, but the men were not understanding what he was saying. (They must have been on the quay themselves, because) no one would dare to go down into the boat to make it fast. At last one volunteered to do it. Afterwards a policeman came along and they told him what they had seen and heard, but he knew nothing of the matter and could not explain it. Nobody but the Manxmen had any knowledge of it. So far as is now known, nothing bad-no accident to the boat or unusually severe weather-followed what is commonly considered to be a warning of impending danger. Possibly it was a practical joke on the part of their protector, whose whimsical nature is portrayed in other island stories.

The Vraney (brainagh, a grinding-mill), is mentioned in Isle of Man Charities, page 69, as an estate in the parish on which a school was built subsequent to 1781 and was in use in 1831. I do not know where it was.


 

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