[From A Manx Scrapbook]
Patrick has no town, two villages and a hamlet, a nominal railway, few roads, and few people to use them. For these shortcomings she makes up with her abundance of wild land overlooking the sea and Ulster. The ruined Cathedral on the islet of her saint is cartographically in the next parish, but the ruins of her mines unbeautifully remain to her, and her chief river is slowly recovering from their poison. She has a seaboard second in wild loveliness to that of Rushen towards which it ascends, and between it and her mountains a belt of farmland narrows Southward to vanish where they become the cliffs of the Big Bay. Her two ports are ports no longer, and the fishing industry she shared in at Peel is a recent addition to the list of her ruins.
The magazine Mannin for May, 1915, records a number of coast-names as far North as the Niarbyl, and the Ordnance map is more copious than usual from Glen May to Peel ; though the names in the latter section must have been well known at the time of the Survey, 1870, some of them are now forgotten. It would be interesting, for example, to learn something about the name Ellan ny Maughol, and to hear it pronounced, Dreem Long, too, might help to explain the Dreem Lang of the inland parish of Marown. The first place on my list, however, though so remote and unvisited by practical-minded people (or perhaps for that reason) has kept its Manx name and its reputation for sanctity through a considerable number of centuries.
Lag ny Keeilley (Ordnance map), " Hollow of the Churchyard "-keeillagh-is the traditional burial-place of King Orry, or of the entire Orry line ; " of the Danish kings," was how Dr. Oliver heard it sixty years ago. Several other spots in the Island compete for this honour, and I have faithfully registered their claims under their respective headings. Perhaps this place is even more ancient as a cemetery than as a chapel; at any rate the cemetery seems to have been deemed the more important feature, for the local lore relates largely to burials. It is also linked therein, in various ways, with Ireland towards which it looks, and which it sees across the waters in clear weather. "The Irish used to come over to be buried there, thinking they'd get to heaven quicker." " A monk came there from Ireland, and he was preaching and reading prayers to the people, and converting them." " A persecuted monk used to live there and take offerings from the people." " People used to worship there because it was safe and out of sight." (Do these beliefs, volunteered by separate individuals, refer to the dissolution of the Irish monasteries ? There was no religious persecution in Man at the time of the Reformation, and such traditions, however perverted from the truth they may be, can hardly reach back to the influx of Scandinavian paganism.) Interments have been made at Lag ny Keeilley without prejudice on the score of race or sex. A mermaid which was found dead on the shore below was buried here. An unchristened baby buried here haunted the spot with a light in its hand until the ghost was sprinkled with sea-water and given a name. (According to Miss Sophia Morrison the ceremony was performed near Gob yn Ushtey a mile away, and not, as would have been more convenient had fresh water sufficed, at Chibber y Vashtee, the Well of Baptism, close to the keeill.) A woman who died at Eairy Cushlin (the nearest dwelling-place) was buried at Lag ny Keeilley half a century ago or more ; the bier was carried by the bearers along the narrow and difficult path, and was rested according to custom on a certain rock which those who know the path will recall as almost barring the way at one point. I have not been fortunate enough to hear the name of this rock, but trust someone will rescue it in time. When the brig Wilhelmina was wrecked on the Calf, some of the bodies, which had drifted Northward, were buried here ; a place was levelled outside the keeill, and they were " put under without any stones at them." And so on. Strange lights which are seen from the sea to be moving about the cliffs of this part of the coast, especially in bad weather, are vaguely connected with its interments. There is also a tendency to associate St. Patrick with the spot, as with others along the South-West coast ; I am not sure that he is not hiding behind the " monk " in some of the foregoing scraps of tradition. There are patriotic enthusiasts among antiquaries who hold that he did indeed visit the Isle of Man in person, and it is to be hoped that evidence will arise someday to vindicate their faith ; in the meantime I have been assured in the parish which bears his name that he came to the Island twice. The first time he came he found it all in darkness, which he dispelled. On his second visit he drove out all the reptiles and monsters. He will come again for the third and last time, and then he will send away all the mud. (In Cornwall the last-named service is to be performed by the cuckoo, which similarly in the Sussex folk-song " picks up the dirt in the spring of the year.")
A more circumstantial legend than any of these strikes me as being the queerest of them all, in its way. My informant had it from his grandfather, who often spoke of the affair. About eighty years ago, when one Phil Moore (who seems to have left his name on a small branch of Glen Rushen) lived in Eairy Cushlin, two strangers carrying knapsacks came up to him one day as he was. working in the fields ; they told him they were Irishmen, and had come a long distance to see the spot where the Irish kings were buried. He guided them along the cliff-track to Lag ny Keeilley. On the way thither they offered him their flask, telling him not to spare it, for there was plenty more where that came from. He was not a man who was teetotal. When they got to the keeill the two strangers began digging with the little shovels they had brought with them, but Phil, whether the liquor was naturally potent or had been drugged, fell into a deep sleep. When he awoke he saw they were still digging, and, so far as he could make out in his drowsy state, were putting something into their two satchels from time to time. When they noticed he was awake they gave him more drink, which sent him to sleep again for the rest of the day ; but before it quite overpowered him he saw them going away, and both their satchels were bulging full. Moore's nephew, who saw the old man go off with the strangers and return late in the evening, added to this story the information, relevant or otherwise, that there was a stone (about two feet long by nine inches wide, according to my informant) " with letters on the flat of it, both sides, which no person could read." It used to lie about the fields near the house, and may be there still, overgrown with turf. The marks were shaped like letters, not like ogams or runes (which I figured for him) ; and the stone had come from Lag ny Keeilley.
When Sir William Boyd Dawkins dug trenches through the keeill and the surrounding ground about 50 years ago he found nothing whatever to suggest burials. Mr. P. M. C. Kermode has dated the keeill to the 6th century by tombstones found there. But whether it is due to the belief that interments did take place there or to a temporary use of the chapel itself in comparatively modern times, an unusual degree of reverence is still accorded to it. For many years a protective Bible lay in a nook of its ruined wall. A small stone or a slip of vegetation from its precincts has at least a sentimental value for its possessor, beyond that of a mere souvenir of an arduous journey. In more than one garden in the South grow descendants of the holly-bush and the other shrubs which add a natural grace to the sacred spot.
Cring Wee, " Yellow Gorsy or Bushy place," overlooks the rocky beach at the foot of Lag ny Keeilley.
Oagh ny Ghoayr, " Cave of the Goat," is at the bottom of Glion ny Ghoayr, on Eairy Cushlin.
Creg yn Eeym, " Rock of the Butter." A friend has given me this name from a Foxdale source for a rock in Niarbyl Bay, together with a tradition that butter was placed on top of it for the benefit of someone or something which came out of the sea. The name is not known, or not acknowledged, locally ; but there is a flat -topped rock with the very natural name of Creg yn Eayn, "Rock of the Bird," on the Cregganmooar coast, South of the Niarbyl, which is more or less busy with sea-fowl all day long.
Niarbyl (yn Arbyl), " The Tail," well describes this long reef jutting South-Westward like a crocodile's back above the surface of the water. Though it consists of little more than 400 yards of almost bare rock, half a dozen spots on it are distinguished by names ; names too trivial and commonplace to be worth writing down, but each serving to identify a ledge or point which may be profitably fished from or an inlet where a boat may be moored. For the piece of water which this promontory shelters, considering it as the harbour which it was before certain natural changes occurred, no other name is now used but " the Niarbyl," or more fully Purt ny Niarbyl (for Purt yn Arbyl.) Purt Mooar was formerly an alternative. An old name, dimly remembered, is (phonetically) Purt Vezhool, with the stress on the last syllable. It is said to mean " Harbour of Refuge "-i.e. for fishingboats in a North-Westerly gale. So the place undoubtedly was, but whether that is the English equivalent of " Vezhool " is not so certain. In William Cashen's Manx Folk-lore it is written Purt Mashool.
" The " Niarbyl, with its magnificent South-Westerly outlook, is a favourite resort of the few summer visitors who penetrate to that out-of-the-way spot, but the local people do not take much interest in it summer or winter, excepting on tolerably fine Good Fridays. On that day it is their custom to meet there on the shore. Nothing special happens ; cakes, sweets and " pop " are consumed, perhaps shellfish-flitters and so on-are gathered, or were till recently ; the people merely walk about, sit if it is warm enough, and chat; not only Dalby people, but outsiders from as far off as Peel. The habit suggests that some sort of a fair was held there once, even as Periwinkle Fair was held on the shore near Strandhall in Malew.
As befitted its romantic situation, the Niarbyl " was a great place for the fairies, and they used to be seeing a lot of mermaids coming ashore there once, or so they say." Such is the guarded testimony of a Peel man of 70, for sixty years a fisherman in these and other waters. Seals still appear occasionally at certain points up and down the Southern coast of Patrick ; the last one that landed, or was stranded accidentally, by daylight, was promptly killed ; that was during the war, a time when more unusual things than seals or even walrus were apt to be seen. So far as I am able to judge, however, I do not think the mermaid tradition in the Isle of Man originated in the visitations of seals of any species ; but it is not easy to say exactly what was understood by " mermaid " a century or so back. The term seems to have included much queerer creatures than the picturesque lady from the sea with fish-tail and tresses, mirror and comb. The following paragraph is a copy of a newspaper cutting dated 1810, on which the title of the paper unfortunately does not appear.
" Two merchildren were lately discovered by three respectable tradesmen of Douglas, Isle of Man, during an excursion on the Calf of Man, in quest of sea-fowl. Attracted by a sound somewhat resembling the cries of a young kitten, they found, on searching among the rocks, two small marine animals, exactly resembling in their form that species of creature so often described and known by the name of the merman. One of them was dead, and much ulcerated [lacerated ?] by the violence with which it had been driven on shore, during a violent gale of wind on the preceding night; the other was, however, conveyed to Douglas, where it still remains, and seems likely to do well. It is one foot eleven inches and three quarters in length, from the crown of its head to the extremity of its tail ; five inches across the shoulders ; its skin is of a very pale brown colour, and the scales on its tail are tinged with violet ; the hair, if it may be so called, on its head, is of a light green cast, it is attached to the crown of the head, only hanging loose about the face, about four inches in length, very gelatinous to the touch, and somewhat resembling the green seaweed commonly growing on rocks; its mouth is small, and has no appearance of teeth. It delights much in swimming about in a large tub of sea-water, and feeds chiefly on muscles and other shellfish, which it devours with avidity: it also now and then swallows small portions of milk and water, when given to it in a quill." It is regrettable that the merchild should not have delayed its appearance until the institution of a Manx museum.
The well-known legend of the child found on Eairy Cushlin shore cannot fairly be compared with this foundling of the Calf, and the nearest thing to a merman that I know of, outside Roeder's Manx Notes and Queries, figures in a story localized at the Niarbyl. It runs to the effect that an old man with long white hair, seated in a boat which seemed to be part of himself, so that they couldn't tell where one ended and the other began, used to be seen off the Niarbyl, coming from Fleshwick way; and he sang such beautiful music that the people used to gather on the shore to listen to him. The tune he sang, or one of his tunes, known as the Arrane Ghelby, " the Dalby Song," has been republished in the Folk-song Journal, No. 28, from the first number of the magazine Mannin, but the contributor to the latter, the late Miss Sophia Morrison, omitted the apparently trivial and nonsensical detail of the seeming unity of man and boat. It is nevertheless of great interest as reproducing a deeplyrooted belief formerly held from the Shetlands down to the Southern Hebrides, as well as in Scandinavian countries, and not yet, I think, quite extinct. The late David Mac Ritchie has frequently utilized it in his attempts, by no means wholly unsuccessful, to find an ethnical basis for an important section of Scottish folklore. Particularly in his Testimony of Tradition he would explain the world-wide legend of mermen and mermaids by this belief in " Finn-men " who frequented the coasts and were supposed to have paddled their canoes across from Norway single-handed. From my copy of Wallace's Description of the Isles of Orkney, which is dated 1700 (Mac Ritchie says it was first published in 1693 and contains the earliest explicit reference to the subject) I quote the following (page 60)
" Sometimes about this Country, are seen these men they call Finn-men. In the year 1682, one was seen in his little Boat, at the South end of the Isle of Eda, most of the people of the Isle flocked to see him, and when they adventur'd to put out a Boat with Men to see if they could apprehend him, he presently fled away most swiftly. And in the year 1684 another was seen from Westra ; I must acknowledge it seems a little unaccountable, how these Finn-men should come on this coast, but they must probably be driven by Storms from home, and cannot tell when they are any way at Sea, how to make their way home again; they have this advantage, that be the Seas never so boisterous, their Boat being made of Fish Skins, are so contrived that he can never sink, but is like a Seagull swimming on the top of the Water. His shirt he has is so fastened to the Boat that no Water can come into his Boat to do him damage."
Brand's Brief Description of Orkney, 1701, supplements Wallace's statements : " his Boat is made of Seal-skins, or some kind of Leather, he also hath a Coat of Leather upon him, and he sitteth in the middle of his Boat with a little Oar in his Hand, fishing with his Lines. And when in a Storm he seeth the high surge of a wave approaching, he haih a way of sinking his Boat, till the wave pass over, lest thereby he should be overturned."
Mac Ritchie in a pamphlet, The Kayak in North-Western Europe, finds earlier traces of these centaurs of the sea than are embodied in the above quotations, harking back even to the tradition of the Mountain Lapps that their race reached Sweden from the Continent by means of small skin-boats. Wallace's mention of " fish-skins " was, it is scarcely necessary to say, as purely a flight of fancy as the popular belief that the speed of the Finn-men's canoes was such that when they pleased they could cover nine miles at a single stroke of the paddle. The material employed to make of man and boat one water-tight self-propelled being was seal and other skins stitched cunningly together, as in the present-day Eskimo kayak, and to this extent was justified the confusing of him with seals of a supernatural sort which could doff their skins and come ashore. These again have tended to merge into the mermaid tradition ; but whereas the Finn-men were disliked by the fishermen of the Northern Isles because they heralded a scarcity of fish, the appearance of the mermaidin the Isle of Man at leastwas an omen of a good catch ; for she was not seen only in proximity to the shore. One detail in Brand's notice reappears in the legend of the sea-god Manannan, who could stay under water for the length of nine waves and come up again with the tenth, and no wet on him at all.
That there was once a race of people who lived on, in, and under the sea as ordinary beings do on land and in boats, and sometimes ventured near the shore or were driven there by the weather, is an article of faith not yet wholly abandoned in the Isle of Man, though now seldom openly acknowledged. I have heard them called " fish-people " ; they talked among themselves, sang and whistled. They are not, so far as my experience goes, associated with seals, nor do I sense a strong supernatural flavour in the belief, for it is held that " whatever there is on land is to be found in the sea too " (also a Hebrew belief, though the Jews excepted the fox) ; but I am aware that there are stories which imply the contrary, both in print and floating ungathered. To the latter class belongs one transmitted to me at second-hand from the parish of Bride; in this a " seal-woman " used to come ashore in human form, and the men used to leave their homes to meet her in the night-time, "some hearing music and following it on their feet, and some lying quiet in their beds, but telling in the morning how they had been travelling after her all the night, and were mortal tired." This sounds very much like a variation on Waldron's theme of " Tehi Tegi," unless both are portions of a more complete legend, dismembered before or after it reached the Isle of Man. Waldron's fragment runs that a foreign enchantress of that name so fascinated the Manxmen that they neglected their daily tasks to follow her ; she " led them into a deep river, which by her art she made seem passable ; and when they were all come a good way in it, she caused a sudden wind to rise, which driving the waters in such abundance to one place, swallowed up the poor lovers to the number of six hundred in their tumultuous waves." Having done this, she flew away in the form of a bat, and her white palfrey in the shape of a sea-hog or porpoise plunged to the bottom of the stream. The torrent which swallowed the gallant six hundred is variously said to-day to have been the Sulby river and a river in Kirk Michael. That Castletown was the charmer's headquarters is deducible from Waldron's statement that " she pretended one day to" go a Progress thro' the Provinces."
The essentials of the foregoing two stories are seen to be recombined in a legend quoted by T. F. Thiselton Dyer in The Ghost World, page V4 : " Gayarre, in his Louisiana, says that mysterious music floats on the waters of the river Pascagoula, particularly on a calm moonlight night. It seems to issue from caverns or grottoes in the bed of the river, and sometimes oozes up through the water under the very keel of the boat which contains the traveller, whose ear it strikes as the distant concert of a thousand Aeolian harps. On the banks of the river, close by the spot where the music is heard, tradition says that there existed a tribe different from the rest of the Indians. Every night when the moon was visible, they gathered round the beautifully-carved figure of a mermaid, and, with instruments of strange shape, worshipped the idol with such soul-stirring music as had never before blessed human ears. One day a priest came among them and tried to convert them from the worship of the mermaid. But on a certain night, at midnight, there came a rushing on the surface of the river, and the water seemed to be seized with a convulsive fury. The Indians and the priest rushed to the bank of the river to contemplate the supernatural spectacle. When she saw them, the mermaid turned her tones into a still more bewitching melody, and kept chanting a sort of mystic song. The Indians listened with growing ecstasy, and one of them plunged into the river to rise no more. The rest-men, women and children-followed in quick succession, moved, as it were, with the same irresistible impulse. When the last of the race disappeared, the river returned to its bed. Ever since that time is heard occasionally the distant music, which the Indians say is caused by their musical brethren, who still keep up their revels at the bottom of the river, in the palace of the mermaid."
Water, especially the moving waters of seas and rivers, provides, it seems, a partial answer to the much-argued question of the origin of folk-song. Tunes of songs and dances are caught by fiddlers and pipers from the voices in the upland streams. Mermaids win lovers from among the landsmen by enhancing their personal attractions with marvellous music. A Lonan Lannanshee, who was alnost certainly a wellwoman, sang all night to a mountain-man whom she had taken a fancy to, as I have noted in my chapter on Wells. The singing of the old man in the boat, which is the essential feature of the scanty Manx legend, has no counterpart in the stories about Finn-men; but it would have pleased Mac Ritchie had he known of it, for it clearly links the canoe-man of the Niarbyl with the singing mer-folk of Northern Europe, and perhaps with the Sirens of the Mediterranean, although the latter partook of the nature of birds. The remarkable length of his hair may be compared on the one hand with that of the orthodox mermaid, which keeps her busy with comb and mirror, and on the other with the long-haired little people of the North whom Mac Ritchie would identify with the mound-dwelling " Pechts " of Scottish tradition and with the fairies, thereby bringing us back to a Finnic or Mongoloid population, from whom the Ainos of Japan and the modern Eskimos are descended. He does in fact (Testimony, page 25) discover representatives of this squat Ugrian race in " the Mer-women of the Isle of Man and the Hebrides," and " the Finn-women of the Northern Isles," his Manx reference being doubtless to the several notices of mermaids in Waldron. But his assumption that the Manxman's Lake near Kirkcudbright owes its name to its having been frequented by mermen from that island cannot be accepted. True, it was haunted, and nocturnally, by shy visitors from thence, but they belonged to a different type of Manxman-smugglers to wit. As regards the matter of hairiness, rón, literally " seal," is used in Ireland (Joyce, i., 300) as a nickname for a hairy man.
In the following story no place or individual is named, but it pertains to the present topic, and would be more fittingly located at the Niarbyl than anywhere else except perhaps Fleshwick, which was an equally favoured rendezvous of the sea-folk. A Manx farmer had heard great talk of the beauty and charm of the mer-women, and would have no other kind of bride; so he sent a man-servant to the beach till he would catch one and bring her to him. The servant went and watched them nine times before he could get hold of one without her skin or covering, whatever it was she had. When his master took possession of her, people warned him to take care she would not get the skin back again, or he would lose her for ever. So he hid it away in a room that was kept locked and never used. But years after, when they were spring-cleaning, the story says, the covering got turned out, and she found it and put it on, and vanished into the sea. This is in its main points a type of story common in Scotland and elsewhere, but it is the only Manx one of its kind I can recall, outside the covers of Waldron's little book. The sending of a proxy to obtain the bride is an unusual feature of such anecdotes, though it occurs in a story of a different genre, that of the sending by Cuchulain of his charioteer to Fairyland on a similar errand. The lady he brought back was the wife of the sea-god Manannan.
It may be remarked that the Manxman's sea-born bride was not a mermaid. That creature, like the Fenoderree, always appears singly, but the servant watched them nine times ; his captive evidently belonged to that clan of the sea who in Orkney are called " selkies," seals ; and these again are by the best-instructed in those islands distinguished from " Finn-folk." That the man had to watch so many times before he could lay hold of one was doubtless because the seal-folk only transform themselves and leave the water in certain propitious circumstances of tide, weather and moon. A belief that according to the direction from which the wind is blowing the seal's coat is rough or smooth (phocine or human ?) may perhaps embody part of these circumstances.
That the mermaid of convention ever had a real existence is more than I should care to assert. Half white-skinned and half rough-scaly, she is rather to be regarded as the symbolic representation of an imagined or real race of people, half marine and half terrestrial ; and a voyage in search of these would call for the opening of a fresh logbook.
The Niarbyl's connexions with the Other World have not lain entirely seaward. At a cottage on the shore, where now is only a garden, the S__ family (whose name at least was represented locally in 1513, but is now extinct in the district) possessed a child who was understood to be a changeling ; he had the wizened visage characteristic of his kind, kept shaking his head from side to side all day long, and when anybody took notice of him he would look up the chimney.
Though he was quite old enough to speak no person ever heard him say a word. Someone who was travelling about the roads advised his parents to burn him, and when the fairies would be hearing his screams they would take him away and bring back the child they had stolen. The family had built up the materials for the fire out of doors in front of the house, and were just taking hold of him in spite of his struggles; when some of the neighbours came out and put a stop to it.
Branching off the road from the Niarbyl up to Ballacallin village is the Bayr Corrag, " Broken or Dangerous Road," near the fork of which was seen by a child some fifty years ago the Arkan Sonney or Lucky Piggy, " a beautiful little white pig " which is believed to bring good fortune to those who see it. She tried to catch it, and called to her uncle, who had gone on ahead, to come back and help her; but he replied that it could not be caught, and she was to leave it alone. Before he reached the spot it had disappeared. The account of the affair given me by the woman who had been favoured with a sight of the creature was quite circumstantial.
Beeal n'Oagh, " Mouth of the Cave," at Baie ny Ooig (O.S. map), " Bay of the Cave," South of Dalby Point, is the name given to the cave itself.
Creg Ushtey, " Water Rock," is a stretch of cliff or broo above the shore near the junction of Ballelby and Ballacallin farms.
Cas Struan, " Stream Foot," is the waterfall by which the Ballelby river reaches the shore.
Lhoob Mooar, " Big Bend or Inlet," is the small rock-sheltered cove at Ballelby. Lhoob in some instances is applied also to the curving path which often follows the line of such inlets.
Purt Veg, " Little Harbour," on Ballaquane, possesses the remains of a windlass, mooring-rings, etc., but has long been innocent of boats.
The Wine Shore (Traie Fheeney) on Ballaquane, is said to have got its name from the casting-up of liquor from a shipwreck ; but the rocks and large cave here must have offered irresistible facilities for smuggling. Connected with the spot is a story of an old man living in a small house now a ruin on Cronk Mooar a quarter of a mile away, who found on this stretch of sand a keg full of spade-guineas. He carried his find home after dark, and said in Manx to his wife as he entered the door, " I 've done it to-day, Mistress ! " When she saw the money she cautiously replied, " Maybe it's the worst day's work thou ever did." He is said to have been so tenacious of his treasure-trove that he was able to give each of his six daughters £200 as her marriage-portion. His great wealth, however, did not mollify his character so far as to tolerate the unorthodox religious opinions of his only son, who at the age of 37 joined the newly-formed sect of " the Wesleyans " who worshipped in the little chapel which still stands by the roadside below. This building is said to have been the first Wesleyan chapel in the Isle of Man, and to have owed its inception to the preaching of John Wesley at Peel, in a house which is still in use.
Kay's Borrane is the name given to a grassy eminence on the cliffs at the foot of Glion ny Traugh. Unlike the other two Borranes a little farther South, the Southernmost of which is so-named on the Ordnance map, this shows no trace of an earthen wall. In none of the three is there any sign of rock, which the word borran connotes in Irish place -names, as in "the Burren," Co. Clare, and the name here is probably a diminutive of barn, top, summit.
The two walled Borranes have been called promontory - forts. Without venturing to traverse expert opinion, I merely note that a possible alternative is suggested by an incident in the Eyrbyggja Saga, where a dead man is taken to a little headland and buried there, a high wall afterwards being built across the neck of it. Admittedly, in this case there was a special reason for burial in such a spot, for the man's ghost was causing his neighbours a good deal of trouble ; in the end they had to dig him up again and burn him on the beach below.
Oagh Wooar (local pronunciation of the Ooig Wooar of the map), " Big Cave," on Raby shore, is the scene of an anecdote or two. A boat's crew passing the mouth of it one fine evening heard beautiful fiddling and singing coming out, first one tune and then another. When they lay on their oars to listen, there was great calling and whistling for them to come into the cave. This they did not venture to do, but one of them, a Patrick man, shouted a request for his favourite tune, " the Wind that Shakes the Barley," and was promptly and politely obliged.
Creg y Jaghee, " Rock of the Tithe," is a tidal rock near Contrary Head (Kione Roauyr) ; there are several others around the coast, all of them places formerly appropriated, it is said, to the ecclesiastical tithe of fish. In old Norway it was the king who got this tithe, a state of affairs characteristically Scandinavian. " The Kings of Hálogaland have given up all fish-gifts (taxes) from all capes and all fishing-places, except that men shall give to the King five fishes." -(Frostathing, xvi., 2, quoted in The Viking Age, i., 483.) But the Manx clergy had their fingers in the pie at a quite early period, though it was not the Manxmen's fish they pulled out then, nor did they long retain their perquisite ; for Bishop Thomas, who died in 1348, " was the first who exacted all strangers' tithes respecting the herring fishery from the rectors of the Island. "-(Chron. Mann.) The first of the Manx Spiritual Laws, at the beginning of the 17th century, provided that the Bishop should have a fishing-boat working for his benefit, as the Abbot and Prior had before the Dissolution. The rocks called Creg y Jaghee were reserved for the tithes of the parish minister, and there should therefore be a place of the kind-not necessarily a rock-in every parish except Marown. It is still believed by some fishermen that they ought to pay a halfpenny to fish at these rocks. So late as 1740 the Lobster Tithe, then apparently in dispute, was ordered to be paid.
Gob ny Sharray (Ordnance map). Sharray (sharragh) is to be understood, in the many place-names in which it occurs, as meaning a cairn or boulder, not literally " foal," in the same way as cabbyl, literally " horse," is applied to innumerable rocks on the Southern coast.
Thistle Rock and Thistle Head (Ordnance map) suggest a verbal kinship with the rocky islet in the Sound with the obscure name which is pronounced Thusla and Tushla.
Several sea-caves about here are the subjects of anecdotes and scraps of topographical lore. One under Peel Hill is or was believed to communicate by an underground passage with the neighbourhood of the Cloven Stones near Laxey. Another on the Knockaloe shore penetrated in a South-Easterly direction as far as Castletown. Of the former a story has gained currency of two men who entered it from a boat at low tide with the intention of loading her up with the timber which had been washed in from a wreck, but an enormous hand reached out from the mouth of the cave and would have dragged one of the men inside if he had not been able to shake himself free in the nick of time.
Cronk y Caitnys, " Hill of the Waste-land," is the old Manx name of the Horse Hill on the South side of Peel Harbour, with the Horse Rock at its foot. It is now abandoned to horses, geese and visitors, but boasts the vestige of a structure which has been called a fort and attributed to General Fairfax, Governor under the Parliament from 1649 to 1660. Thwaites in his account of the Island says (page 291) that " a fort was begun in 1648 on the Horse Hill, opposite the Castle."
The inland places in this parish which I have to mention may conveniently be divided into those belonging to the Glen Rushen region, those which are not classifiable geographically, and those lying on the Western border.
Glen Rushen. This long valley extending from Cronk yn Irree Lhaa to the sea at Glen May has various names in its different reaches. A popular etymology for the latter name is Glion Mooie, " Outer Glen " (which does certainly approximate to the older pronunciation but has little else to recommend it), the part above the fall being in contrast, on this theory, Glion Sthie, " Inner Glen " ; but the last name has no other existence. From Glen May-more correctly Moy -to the bend at Ballacottier is Glion Mooar (" Big Glen "), as in the Ordnance map. The next section is the authentic Glion Rushen, " Brushwood Glen " ; the next is Glion y Can, whatever Can may stand for. The next is Glion ny Brack, " Glen of the Trout " ; this is mapped, perhaps correctly, as a small branch of the main glen. Above Dalby Bridge is Glion ny Ghoayr, " Glen of the Goat," which ends, or rather begins, in the marshy ground called Chibbyr Pooyl Sallagh, " Muddy-pool Well."
There is an old proverbial saying, " Glion Rushen ny Sleityn, Glion Reeagh Rushen, as Glion Rushen ny Cheayn, are the three Glen Rushens of the Isle of Man " ; that is to say, Glen Rushen of the mountains, the sportive, or ruttish, Glen Rushen, and Glen Rushen of the sea. It would be hard to explain why they should thus be celebrated in a once-popular triad when so many other glens and other features of the landscape bear names in common without having passed into proverbs. Only one Glen Rushen is now known ; did the saying refer to three different glens, or does it merely characterize the single valley now marked on the map as Glen Rushen, Glen Mooar and Glen May in its three natural sections ? My own belief is rather that Glion Reeagh Rushen, famous in the legend of the Fenoderree, was the higher portion of Silverdale Glen above Ballasalla, which village, or the place where it now stands, was called Russin in the 12th century. Edward Callow (Legends of the Isle of Man) writing about 50 years ago, says it was in " the Southern part of the Island, near Ballasalla," and his illustrator follows him by placing the Abbey in the background, perhaps not with topographical exactitude. Kennish, the inventor and poet, a man of intelligence and familiar with his native land, states in a note to his " Old May Eve " that it was in Kirk Christ Rushen, i.e., Rushen parish, and " famed for being the resort of all kinds of supernatural beings " ; the latter part of his observation is more credible than the former, but it is clear at least that he did not think Glen Reagh Rushen was in Patrick. There is, certainly, a spot in the South side of Glen Mooar called "the Fenoderree's Hole," but whether this appellation is not due to the accepted legend may be doubted.
Cronk Fedjag (O.S. map), partly in Patrick and partly in Malew, is " Plover Hill." There is a notion abroad that its name has to do with magic or fairydom, presumably by association with feathag. There is another hill of the same name in German. A man digging turf on this one happened to look up from his work and saw in the distance a great grey cloud moving swiftly towards him. As it came near it solidified into the shape of a hag (caillagh) with teeth as long as his forearm. " What in God's name 's this ? " he cried, and at the word she melted back into the form of a cloud. She is known as the White Lady of the Cronk, and belongs to the neighbouring height of Cronk yn Irree Lhaa.
Miss E. C. Watson, relating items of Highland folk-lore in vol. v. of the Celtic Review (page 65) mentions Feadog among half a dozen names given to the Caillagh in Scotland; the term is interesting as being common to the Scottish weather-hag and the Manx Caillagh ny Fai'ag (Faihdeag), but there does not seem to be sufficient ground for seeing this word in " Cronk Fedjag."
Glion Maarliagh (O.S. map) is a branch of Glion Rushen. It is the " Robber's Glen," where, according to local testimony, " they used to skin the stolen sheep and hide the remains." There are other glens with names of similar import in Lezayre and Michael, and a Lag y Vaarlee on the Howe, Rushen.
The Gold Stone is a conspicuous quartz crag near Keeill Woirrey above the slope called the Lhiackan or Laggan at the seaward end of Glion Mooar. " Gold " was obtained from it for a few years and exported to gild china vessels. There are mounds, reputed to be burial mounds, just above this rock, and at least one lintel grave has been discovered there. In the second field up from the river in this direction, not near the keeill, is " the Churchyard," believed locally to be an ancient burial-ground.
Phil Moore's Glen is the only name now obtainable for the valley descending from Raby Mooar to the main glen. The herb lubber-lub or bogbean grows plentifully at the top of it, and was gathered to make a decoction for the blood, and perhaps for other purposes.
Between here and Glen May lie
Gob y Lhingan, " Point of the Little Pool," where the ground dips and the rocks overhang;
Booilley Hoghtey, a roadside field above the first houses, evidently the intack called Boallne Houghty in the Compositions of 1703, and to be translated accordingly " Place of the Hill-slope," ughtagh ; and
Cron y Lheeaney, " Hill of the Water-meadow," which is skirted by the footpath above the plank bridge across the Glen Rushen river.
Glion Chaltun (O.S. map), " Glen of the Hazels," has been quite forgotten as a name since the time of the Survey. The Glen Coulter of the Composition Book, 1703, is probably the same place, with more definite reference to a holding. In a small meadow enclosed by trees there is still a vestige of a dwelling-house. The lower part of the valley is now called " The Sound." Near the top of the Sound road where it approaches Doarlish Cashen are the ruins of what was probably the last of the old Manx potteries. It was owned and worked by one Quilliam y Can, so-named perhaps from his having lived in Glion y Can, Glen Rushen. To his pottery the women came long distances leading horses, ponies and donkeys with straw mullans (fish-creels) hanging on either side of them, which were to be loaded up with the coarse-textured crocks and mugs, for immediate use or to sell again to neighbours. Hence this track up the East side of the valley got the name of Bayr yn Pashedey, " Road of the Potter." The clay was dug out of the bank above the river. It must be fifty or sixty years since the manufacture ceased, and it is not likely that any specimen of it survives.
Lower down the valley, at the junction of the two streams, are the remains of the old Sound house, which, after its last agricultural tenants had quitted it, was used for a brief period as a school; an out-of-the-way corner for such an establishment, even when the surrounding hills were inhabited. The reason for the name is not clear ; there is of course the Sound farm near the Sound in Rushen parish, and there is a nook of the same name in the upper part of Peel.
The narrow ravine which comes in here is
Glion Darragh, " Oakwood Glen " ; under its trees, which include a line of planted firs, runs
Awin Jim Billy, " Jim-Billy's River," presumably some bygone tenant of the Sound farm; but the presence of the old Manx word awin suggests the possibility that the latter part of the name may be corrupt Manx. Near the Sound end of the wood the water has cut a deep and narrow channel which is called
Dubbar y Bunt (" Double-y-Bunt Pool of the Butt-end," a name also given to the field adjoining it on the East side. The hill above the West side of the river is known to a few as
Slieu Darragh, " Oakwood Fell," a sheep-pasture, now pronounced " Slidherry." The lower part of the Sound valley, where it joins the bottom of Glen Rushen, is known as
The Gut. Between the upper extremities of Glion Dayragh and Glion Chaltun lies the rough pastureland of
Doarlish Cashen (O.S. map), " Cashen's Gap." The owner has told me that in the title-deeds, his copy of which dates to about eighty-five years ago, the farm is called " Doarlish Cashen alias Cregganashen," to which latter farm in Glen May it therefore probably belonged as intack land. In the same way land on the hill of Arrosey, a little to the North, is called by the name of another Glen May farm, Ballakerka. Subjoined are some of the field-names on Doarlish Cashen and adjoining farms (per the owner and others) spelt as nearly as possible according to their sounds, which are much corrupted. The first seven are on Doarlish Cashen.
Shen Thalloo, " Old Land," near the mountaingate. A house once stood here, which fact may explain the name.
Thalloo Noa, "New Land."
Lag y Loghan, " Hollow of the Little Lake."
Slot Eairy, " Shealing Cleft "-sloc-adjoins the road to the Sound, as does
Phund Dan. The latter term seems to be used sometimes for a steep track ; the former is the English " pound."
Cronk y Vate.
Tur Veg. Tur may mean anything standing up conspicuously, such as a small mound, a clump of bushes, or a heap of stones.
Willya Wooar, Ballelby gill. Probably Booilley Wooar, " Big Fold," a dropped article having caused aspiration of the initial, as in the same name in North Lonan.
The Byaggan. There are two fields of this name on the Ballaquane side of Ballelby gill-" the Steep Place " or something approximate, as in the similarlynamed places in Lonan and Port Erin.
Some men digging here many years ago unearthed a flat stone covering a funerary urn which contained black ashes. They buried it in the hedge-bank. A long time afterwards, and not extremely long ago, a young man hunting rabbits with his dog (" Paddy," whose name, in the interests of historic accuracy, shall be placed on record), thought he saw a rabbit bolt into the hedge. He began pulling away. the stones and soil, and while doing so he felt something invisible pushing him back. When this happened a second time a sudden fear took him and he ran down the hill-side till he reached his home. A white stone in the hedge still marks the spot where the urn was buried.
Unrelated to Glen Rushen and its tributary valleys a few places, mapped and unmapped, deserve notice.
Cronk Vane, " White Hill," is the summit of Barrule Veg.
Mullagh Vane, " White Summit," is a boss of rock below Cronk Vane and above the Bayr Mullagh Vane.
Cronk y King, " Hill of the Head, or Heads,"names a mound, field and house at Lower Foxdale. Skulls are said to have been dug out of the mound.
Slieu Whallian (O.S. map). A tradition of a form of capital punishment which consisted of rolling down the side of this hill in a spiked barrel, and the consequent haunted state of the locality, has clothed itself in various and discrepant details. The more hackneyed versions may be omitted. A Guide-book to the Island printed in Warwick in 1876, and now a rarity, gives it in the following form. " Near Peel a dreadful murder was committed ; after many weeks suspense no trace to the horrible crime could be found, at last suspicion fell on one Molly McNana, she was tried, and sentenced to be placed in a barrel with sharp-pointed nails all round the inside, Molly and the barrel to be taken on the top of a mountain and rolled to the bottom. Before Molly was placed in the barrel she said she was innocent of the crime, but most willing to suffer. Her last words were, if she were innocent her voice should be heard for evermore, and true to this day the moans of Molly McNana are heard every night, at a distance of three miles from the Mountain of Torture."
William Harrison's account of the matter in Mona Miscellany gives the role of the executed person to a young man, and the old woman's moans are consequently increased to yells which are heard as far as Dalby. To be rolled down a hill in an internally-spiked barrel was an old Norse form of punishment, and such stories as these may be a survival of a feature of the Norse rule which would impress itself deeply on the minds of the Manxmen. In the version commonly current, which is to be found in most Guide-books, the journey in the barrel is dovetailed into the once-usual test for witch- craft by ducking, and the culprit, having presumably survived the descent, sinks or floats in the Curragh Glass at the foot of the mountain.
Mount Sinai " is the name of a hill opposite Ballachrink,
St. John's," according to The Denham Tracts. It is also referred to in
Harrison's account of the spiked-barrel business and elsewhere as Mount Sion,
and seems to be at the North end of Slieu Whallian. Is this an attempt at rendering
a Manx name ? Sithean, fairy mound, sometimes becomes " Sion " in Ireland
(see Power). Other points at this extremity of the mountain are
Gob ny Beinnee, " Beak of the Mountains," used as a fishing-mark, and
Gob ny Cleigh, " Beak of the Hedge."
California is on Ballafaragher quarterland beside the Foxdale river near St. John's. I do not know whether this is a Manx word corrupted, but its owner, now deceased, told me half a dozen years back that " an old woman who died at the age of 80 twenty years ago said her father always called it by that name." A simple sum in arithmetic will show that the name, on this evidence, considerably antedates the " gold-rush " to California, U.S., which attracted a number of young Manxmen and made the word familiar in the Island. I have also heard it stated locally that the name is " over 200 years old," which is a way of saying that it has not been bestowed during the speaker's lifetime. There is another California in the Braddan Abbeylands, of which I know nothing.
Mwyllin y Cleigh (O.S. map), " Mill of the Hedge or Bank," is said to have been named from the Cleigh Mooar, a great earthen hedge or dyke which is believed to have crossed the Island from coast to coast and to be still visible in certain places ; a Manx version of the Roman Wall, perhaps. The old house here, with the outside staircase leading to the upper chamber in Cumbrian fashion, was once a Courthouse. This is fairly well-known, but the popular account of it adds that courts were held here before they were held on the Tynwald Hill across the valley. The courtyard or farm-yard formerly contained a " round," i.e., a stone five feet high surrounded by a platform, which was used for mounting horses, but was not built for that purpose. By this stood a great tree, usually said to have been an elm ; when this fell or was felled it knocked the stone over and broke it. Parts of the whole structure were eventually built into neighbouring walls. There were also a number of smaller stones, white ones, in the round, and in front of the big stone and the tree was a sort of flower-bed. These particulars seem trivial enough, but as they were related of a place of some importance in bygone days by a man who had them from " the grandfather of a man now dead ; it may all have been a hundred years ago," they are inserted on the chance that they may have some significance. Another local informant, then aged about 76, recollected having seen the stones when he was a boy. His account differed and was fuller in its details. There were three chief stones in a row facing the entrance of the farm-yard, all about five feet high, or one a trifle higher than the others. They were of grey granite, such as is quarried at the Granite Mountain, and were surrounded by a circle of slate slabs fixed in the ground, all from two to three feet high. He spoke vaguely of the spot having been called a Giant's Grave. The house, he said, was about 200 years old ; the Court used to be held in the upstairs room. He agreed that the stones as he described them could not have been used for mounting horses. It may be added that there is a well in the middle of the yard where the tree and the upright stones stood ; also that the previous farm-house stood between the Courthouse and the present comparatively new farm-house ; its flooring-stones are still visible like a fragment of paving in the soil.
The Courts held here were, Moore says, the old Vicar-General's Courts ; but the house, with its commodious upper chamber, was put sometimes to more genial uses. In August, 1794, after the holding of a special Tynwald Court at St. John's, " his Excellency and suite retired to Mullen-e-clee, attended by the Officers of State, etc., where an elegant dinner was provided, and the evening spent in the greatest harmony and social mirth."- (Fargher's Annals.)
Shuinagh, " Rushy-place," is rough land lying on the hill behind Ballaspet house. In the Bishop's Book, circa 1686, is an entry relating to the sale of part of the estate of " Ballaspick, commonly known by the name of Shoanar and the Broagh situated above the high-road."
Trowley-Pot or Trowl-Pot is a miniature gorge in the hills where the river between Eairy Bane and Ballamooar has cut through rock for about 80 yards of its course. The greatest depth from the brink to the top of the water in summer is about 14 feet, the width from bank to bank averaging four or five feet. The name is applied particularly to the deep rounded holes in the river-channel, and generally to the locality, where a small collection of houses once stood. " Pot," the old Norse term for a rock-hole in a river, is the usual word in the North of England for such effects of a rapid swirling current of water ; the word which precedes it here seems to contain either troll or thrall, which are identical in origin and difficult to distinguish in Manx place-names. In Trollaby, Marown, the latter is the more probable, but here, and perhaps in Trelja, Patrick, the supernatural being may have had a home. Trowley-pot, with its rumbling torrent deeply sunk in the gloom of a narrow cleft shadowed by bushes and small trees, must have generated beliefs in lurking demons and other malign influences, but the stories of their doings have been erased from the memories of the people, perhaps by the aforesaid settlement of which only the vestiges now remain.
Returning now to the Southern extremity of Patrick, the remainder of the places
I wish to speak of at present are ranged alongside the Bayr Mooar and
Bayr Noa, which do not widely diverge after their first conjunction at
Dalby. The course of the former has been described in the chapter on " Roads,"
and the Bayr Noa or New Road which superseded it from Dalby Northwards
is marked on the maps. As they belong, under those names,
wholly to the parish of Patrick, this is a convenient opportunity to run a lens
over them from their separate incomings between Barrule and the Cronk down to
their joint exit into the parish of German at Glenfaba Bridge. The Round Table,
which stands at the boundary-line, has been dealt with under " Malew." Three
quarters of a mile farther, by means of
Dalby Bridge, the Bayr Noa crosses the upper part of Glen Rushen. The name illustrates the extensive application of the word " Dalby."
Narruy, or possibly Yn Errooid, in reference to tillage, is the name of a couple of cottages, now in the last stage of ruin, above Droghad Ruy and on the East side of the road. With the name compare Narwe in the Papal Bull to Furness Abbey,1153-Monumenta, ii., II.
Droghad Ruy, " Red Bridge "-but " ruy " is perhaps related to the foregoing name-makes a sharp and dangerous turn, gloomy with fir-trees. Here the Bayr Noa crosses a fork of the Lag Mooar which is sometimes called the Fairy Glen. The bridge formerly consisted only of a couple of " dales " (deal planks) over the gully. A woman told me she was gathering blackberries near here one afternoon, now about ten years ago, when a sudden mist came on, and she saw a shape like a man running down the upper part of the ravine towards the road who " looked as if he was coming loose, all falling to pieces." She felt he was not" right" (canny) and hurried with her half-filled basket of berries to the nearest house, a considerable distance away.
This may have been a misconception of some quite natural human figure, and due to sudden alarm; but the course of the Bayr Noa from the mountains down to Ballacallin is undeniably shadowed by uncanny influences. Of these the following story is a comprehensive example.
A man was going home one night from Ballacallin village (now called Dalby) up the Bayr Noa, and when he got past where the postman's but is (or was until a few years ago, and where an ale-house once stood) he began to feel something near him which kept pressing him into the hedge all the way up the hill. At last he got middling frightened, and turned into a house below the Mountain Gate (now only a pair of massive pillars, the scene of a vision of the Death Coach which I have described on page 343 ; the house would be the Narruy, where Jimmy Clery then lived) ; he was thinking that if he stopped there awhile " it " would have gone away. But when he set out again a couple of hours later it was still there, and when he got beyond the Gate he began to make out faces and forms in the darkness. One was that of a man he knew who had died not long before ; but it was not so much him he was afraid of as of those that were with him. They had come from no good place, and the man himself whose shape he recognized had not led a good life. He was so frightened that he stopped, and drew a circle on the roadway with the point of his knife and stood in it till morning. The shapes were going round and round him, but they couldn't get at him because of the circle. After daylight broke he went on to his destination, the Shen Mooar by Dalby Bridge near the top of Glen Rushen.
The Bayr Mooar, remarkable in its upper portion for its spaciousness, is now devoid of habitations until it it reaches the Cregganmooar on the Lag river. In the lower part of its course here it falls steeply over naked rock ; but when it was in a better state one of the Gawnes of Kentraugh, Rushen (the same who afterwards haunted that neighbourhood), used to send down it, drawn by horses or mules, barrels of beer from his brewery at the Smelt to the numerous public-houses which then enlivened Dalby. This same Gawne kept a " pack of dogs " which he brought over to the Dalby side once a year or so to give the farmers " a bit of hunting." He would have his beer in a booth on the hill-side above the river, and people would be gathering from all parts and chasing the small game till some of it went over the cliffs and the dogs after it, and in this way more than one dog was lost.
Beeal Cronk yn Illioo or Beeal Cronk Illioo, " Mouth, or Opening, of the Hill of the Flocks," lies adjacent to the junction of the Bayr Mooar and the road going North to the Round Table, and is geographically part of Cronk yn Irree Lhaa, which latter name, a Manxman once told me, is the English for Cronk yn Ilhoo. Since I acquired this philological information, I notice that a Cronk illoo is included in Dr. Clague's list of the haunts of the Glashtyn (more probably the Fenoderree) among his folk-song manuscripts published in the Folk-song Journal, No. 29.
Cronk Carran, " Cairn Hill," or possibly from the local surname Karran, lies to seaward of the Bayr Mooar. In Stanford's map the name is attached to a hill on the other side of the Lag.
Cronk y Vayrd (Cronk ny Vayr), " Hill of the Road," lies below the road and forms the upper part of the Lag.
Lag Mooar, " Big Hollow," or Dalby Lag; its Northern branch is called " the Fairy Glen "-query, whether a modern name or an old one translated ?also " the Borrane Glen " from the farm of that name. There is said to have been " an old church " on the West side of the Lag, opposite to the Borrane farm and close to a disused fold, but I have not found any trace of it. But there is certainly a curative spring in that locality, the water of which was highly prized by sick people who did not expect to recover. I have gathered the impression, without attaining positiveness, that to drink it was believed to facilitate the passage of the soul to heaven. In Stanford's map of the Island a tumulus is marked at a point approximate to the situation of the alleged church or keeill, which may account for the statement, for there is a tendency to call a field containing such remains " the church-field " or " the chapel-field."
Among the Field-names in Dalby Lag are the following:
Lag y Macheayn, " Hollow of the Sea-field," magher-cheayn, on the Borrane farm ; not actually adjoining the shore, but on the way down to it.
Magher Pherick, " Patrick's Field," next to the foregoing, and also skirting the Bayr Mooar.
Eelya Phooyl Mooar, across the road on the Cregganmooar. As I do not know what the first word is, I have spelt it as nearly as possible according to its sound.
The Rowlands, steep ferny ground, formerly cultivated, on the Borrane farm. At this unlikelylooking spot was once a shop kept by a Mrs. Kneale from the North, who used to travel to Peel with her little donkey-cart to purchase stock. The ass is now so despised that " a person would take shame to be seen using one " ; yet they can be observed trotting briskly through Piccadilly. By so much is the Isle of Man in advance of London.
Garey Phundail (stressed on last syllable), " Pinfold Garden," is a small enclosure on the North side of the ford over the Lag river on the Bayr Mooar. Of the bridge here which was washed away only a pier remains.
Borrane. Though there are three hillocks thus named in the Dalby district, two of them at least with walled summits, nothing of the kind seems discoverable on the farm called Borrane.
The Kellya as pronounced (Ordnance map " Killey ") " The Wood," whence the Kellya river and the Kellya house which formerly stood on a little wooded bluff above the meeting of the two streams. The other Kellya house, at the top of the Lag, became a fire-claim a few years ago. The lower house was at one period of its existence the scene of terrifying disturbancesflying crockery and utensils, self-shifting furniture and unaccountable noises; a full poltergeist programme. The cause of the manifestations was a Scaa Olk or spirit of a living man (literally " malevolent shadow ") which haunted the place to get possession of a chest or bag of money. The occupant nailed two pieces of iron crossways on the door, but this device was not powerful enough to keep out the intruder. Use was then made of steel in some way which was not clearly explained to me, perhaps because it was not clearly remembered or comprehended; but seemingly it was placed about the door, the windows and the fire-place while the disturbances were going on. This made matters worse, for it prevented the Scaa Olk from getting out again. All night it was rushing about the house " like a great blast of wind, upsetting and smashing everything," but invisible. At daybreakor cockcrow-it went away. The man, who I think lived there alone, was advised by a wise person whom he consulted to thrust out behind him thrice, the next time he was bothered, with some sharp-pointed steel instrument, being careful while doing so not to turn his head. The next visitation happened when he was in bed, but he had a knife ready and carried out the instructions. Silence followed. On the morrow news came of the death of a man living not far away, who had been suspected as the author of the disturbances, and there was no more trouble thenceforth. All this occurred well over half a century ago, but part of a grotesque song in Manx among Moore's Manx Ballads which describes the same kind of manifestation must date to a considerably earlier period :-
" What would'st thou do if the pothooks and the hanger
Should rise up together in a wild battle,
The potstick and all the dishes
Banging one against the other ? "
The potstick and the round tables,
Lamp and noggin, dish and plate,
Struggling and scuffling tumultuously,
Till they would have thee struck to the floor," etc.
The song, which is entitled " Arrane ny Ferrishyn," the Song of the Fairies, continues with threats of the spotted Water-Bull, the Glashtin, the shambling Fenoderree, and other non-human islanders, as though these were connected with the rebelliousness of the furniture; but the trouble at the Kellya was not ascribed to fairy influence. It is believed that the spirit of a living man can be externalized unconsciously by a strong desire or passion, so that it is seen at a distance from its owner ; it becomes what the gypsies call the " living mullo." Books dealing with such subjects state that by the practice of magic art its detachment can be effected at the owner's will, and this appears to be the explanation ascribed to the Kellya phenomena. Here we approach the belief in witchhares and other animal forms assumed for unhallowed purposes. Examples of such hauntings in human shape are common to all ages and countries, from the nocturnal visit-whether voluntary or the contrary is not statedof the anxious Curoi to his Kerry or Wexford stronghold while actually far away from Ireland, down to the appearances at their homes of Manx seafarers in moments of severe stress. If they are dripping wet, so as to leave a pool of water where they have been standing, news will follow of their death by drowning; if dry, they are in danger but will escape. Such an apparition was seen by a relative of the man in question, leaning on his garden-gate in the upper part of the Bayr Cronk yn Yemmel. The original of the wraith was at the time in peril during rough weather off the North Irish coast, and no doubt wishing he were safe at home. Similar apparitions have been seen in other parts of the Island, and may be classed as one of the commonest of its visions ; also as one which is so deeply rooted in time and in human psychology as to be independent of the classifications " Celtic " and " Scandinavian." In The Viking Age, vol. i., ch. xxvi., there is an ancient Norse version of it which differs but little from the Manx. " Thorad and his men were lost at sea; the wreck was cast ashore, but no bodies were found. During the areel, or inheritance feast, they walked into the hall, all wet. A good omen, for that they had been well received by Rán " (i.e., in her ante-room to the palace of her consort Aegir or Hler). Roeder, in his Manx Notes and Queries, pages 35 and 36, relates several stories of spirit-visitations, voluntary and involuntary.
Tom Kellya (Cain), whose house was the scene of the disturbances, lived so simple and remote a life that he kept his calendar by the Crusoe-like method which one hears of in other tales of old times, namely, by cutting daily notches on a stick. The same way of counting was practised till recently by Manx fishermen in keeping the herring-tally, and by a few among the elder generation of Downland shepherds in the South of England.
Dalby, " Dale Farm," named the two treens of Dalby and Alia Dalby in the Roll of 1513, at which date each treen contained four quarterlands. In 1703 Dalby treen consisted of Ballacreggan (now Cregganmooar), Balladha, Borrane, and Kerroodhoo ; Alia Dalby treen comprised Knock Kishty (now Ballacooill) together with a croft on it called Thalloo Quislin, Kerrow Keale (absorbed into Ballacain), Carrick Lea (Creglea), and Ballacallin ; still four quarterlands to each treen. In the printed version of the Lord's Composition Book, 1703, a Ballelby is included in Dalby treen, but this appears to be due to a misconception of the fact that the owner of that quarterland (Thomas Querk), which lies in the Abbeylands, owned some intack land in the treen. Through the granting of rights to the- Irish abbeys of Bangor and Saul the name of the treen extending from Ballacallin to Glen May has been lost, but it seems probable that land equivalent to the present four quarterlands of Ballahutchin, Ballelby, Ballaquane and Balnylhergy belonged to an integral Dalby treen, assuming that a treen-division existed here prior to the grants to the Abbeys ; the bounds of a Dalby territory may even have reached as far as Glen May, and have included the six quarterlands (seven in view of the sub-division of Ballachrink) belonging formerly to the two monasteries. The term Dalby now covers a tract enclosed by the upper part of Glen Rusben as far as Dalby Bridge and by the Northern slope of Cronk yn Irree Lhaa. Exactly how far it extends in modern usage towards Glen May is uncertain, but probably the farms as far North as Balnylhergy inclusive would be thought of as in "the Dalby district," rather than in that of Glen May.
The word " alia " points to the partition of an original treen in the early days of the Stanleys.* As the treen of Dalby lay to the South of Alia Dalby, and the only " dale " there of any importance is the Lag Mooar, it may be supposed that that valley gave rise to the name, and that a nucleal farm called Dalabyy lay somewhere in the neighbourhood of the present Cregganmooar and Borrane farms. Why Ballelby, which is presumably Balla-ghelby, "Dalby farm," should, though situated at some distance from the Lag, be the only estate to exhibit the treenname, is a question to which the answer is probably lost. There may have been a transference of the name for reasons connected with inheritance ; that is to say, there may at one time have been two Ballelbys, in the same way that other Manx farm-names are duplicated in each other's neighbourhood.
A tradition exists that some of the men of the Loyal Manx Fencibles who were sent to Ireland in 1798 to assist in quelling the rebellion there, brought back Irish wives to Dalby. It is safe to say that the belief rests on a very slender basis of fact, if indeed it has any foundation at all. On the other hand, there are among the land-owners, tenants and cottagers in the Dalby and Glen May districts, people whose surnames correspond with the names of land-holders under the Stanleys over four hundred years ago ; the modern forms of McKae, McGell, McWater and McKerron are still familiar in the South-Western part of the parish. If we come down a hundred years, we may add to these the names Quirk, Kermeen, Quane, Radcliffe and Hutchin or Hudgeon, representatives of which were then living on the farms between Ballahutchin and Ballachrink.
* All the treens which have been sub-divided bear Scandinavian names, although the proportion of Scandinavian to Celtic in the whole list is about equal, and so generally do the treens containing an unusually large number of quarterlands. "These would be the first to be delimited, at a time when the Island was less populous than it was later, and were, perhaps, based on personal or family holdings.
Besides the principal tenants, small crofters and squatters formed a considerable subsidiary element of the population, as in other parts of the Island. Some of these paid rent direct to the Lord, others to the chief tenant either in money or labour, or in a combination of the two ; some were freeholders. Local memory, or a tradition not more than one generation old, reports " over seventy people living on Ballelby "-nearly a dozen households, that isand forty or so on Ballaquane. The last representative of the class on these two adjoining farms died four or five years ago, but the names of some of the subdivisions are not quite forgotten, and are used to identify the fields which were thus occupied. An example of which the history can be traced to some extent is
Thalloo Culshlan, " Cosnahan's Land," the former name of a piece of ground near the shore which is now a part of Ballacooill ; " a name seldom heard to-day " is the local comment. A tract of the same name was compounded for as a separate holding in 1703, and appears among intacks as " Tallow Quishlin, a parcell of quarterland in the treen of Alia Dalby " in the Lord's Rents for 1722, where it is stated that it " fell in the Lord's hands, Liber Vastarum, 1646, afterwards sett to John Cown a Scotchman abandoning it, it fell to the Lord again in 1651 and has lain waste ever since. Now let to Mr. Seddon and Deemster Moore. In regard of the barrenness of the land, no fine was ever paid . . . no person would take it upon the rent since 1651." The part of Ballacooill in question, however, has no particular defect except wetness, and the foregoing account better befits what is now known as Eairy Cuishlan, an inspiriting piece of scenery lying in the direction of Lag ny Killey, on which nothing has ever thriven but goats, rabbits and seagulls. It is certainly the latter tract which is alluded to in the Lord's Rent Books circa 1840 in an entry regarding a parcel (of intack) " lying between Tallow Question and Lagna Killey." The name Thalloo Cuishlan must therefore have belonged to two distinct holdings.
Ballaphurt, " Port Farm," was in the same way a croft on Ballacooil, I am told. Balla should imply a quarterland, but it occasionally represents other topographical terms corrupted , in this case perhaps beeal, approach.
Doarlish Mooar, " Big Gap," names the first cottages on the Bayr Mooar Northward of the Cregganmooar.
Knock Kishtey, " Hill of the Chest," later Knock Usgey, now Ballacooill, may perhaps have taken its name from the great block of stone with a smaller one facing it which borders the Bayr Mooar near the farm-house. Squarish boulders are often thus called, and are sometimes distinguished with a story of magical treasure ; Coan ny Kishtey in Lonan is an eminent example. The only unusual property of the Bayr Mooar specimen, so far as I have heard, is its ability to turn round three times when it hears the cock crow. Apart from the sly joke which depends upon the word " when," a sufficient number of turning stones could be found in the British Isles alone to compose a revolving mountain such as the one in Anglesey mentioned in the Irish Nennius. I do not, however, recall another in the Isle of Man. One in South-West Somerset which performs the same feat every New Year morning and is therefore called " the Cock-crow Stone " has the reputation of hiding beneath it a great crock of gold. A team of horses, it is said, has been unable to shift it, and the opinion is that it is rooted in the bottom of the hill and that the crock of gold is in safe keeping.-(Tales of the Blackdown Borderland, page 101.)
Ballahutchin has the distinction of harbouring in its barn a moddhey dhoo, which has been seen more than once in recent years, and is still regarded with respect.
Ballelby, in addition to the fine cross standing in its farm-yard, had for many years a holed stone lying in the granary, which, like the cross, had been found on the farm, but it seems to have been lost or mislaid. The threshing-mill by the stream was in use up to about thirty years ago, but with others of its kind has been superseded by the travelling steam-mills. At the South end of Ballelby Bridge (which is hardly more than a culvert) stood-though there is no trace of it now-a smithy on the bank of the stream. The site of the former Ballelby house, now marked only by a rectangle of trees, was " a fairy place," like many other abandoned scenes of human activity. Also it was haunted by a humming sound resembling that of a big wheel, the queeyl mooar which was worked by treadles for weaving, and for twisting the jeebyn of the nets, a much bigger machine than the ordinary domestic spinning-wheel. Such a wheel was used in the old house by the family which owned the farm for many generations until quite recently.
The recollection of this implement reminded my informant-who must be held responsible for the digression-of a sound she heard one Sunday morning in a Laxey house where she was visiting about forty years ago. She thought it was a spinning-wheel in action, and when she came downstairs to breakfast she asked with surprise whether they had been spinning on a Sunday; but what she had heard was a kind of bellows which her hosts said was worked by turning a handle. They promised to show it to her, but it got forgotten. The description fits a bellows with a revolving crank at the side which I have seen in a house at Scravorley, Patrick, though that seemed to be a copy in miniature of the old type of bole-shidey rather than a practicable utensil, and was kept as a curiosity. These old Manx bellows were made by the local smiths, but they have given place to the ordinary shop-article. A Dalby fisherman has described to me something of the same kind which he saw in his youth at Kinsale or Berehaven, but that, he said, blew air through a long pipe into the grate sideways.
Well-hidden in the depth of Ballelby gill is
Spooyt Vane, " White Waterfall." The part of the highway lying between Ballelby gill and Ballaquane, known as the
Mullagh Woar, " Big Summit," not being a hill itself has evidently got its name from the knob of rough ground above it. The persistence of a name for which there is now no necessity suggests that it formerly belonged to the roadside houses of which the foundations remain.
Ballaquane. The field-names on the part of the farm which lies below the road are not of interest, nor are many of them Manx. The only high ground inland from the cliffs is called Cronk Ree ; the latter word, as pronounced by those who have no Manx, cannot be rendered into English with any certainty. In this case, " smooth " would suit the nature of the ground. Up the Doarlish Cashen road and overlooking the top of Glion Chaltun is "the Church Field" containing a low mound with a few large stones grouped on it. Local people call the spot a " church," but it appears to have been a cairn or similar memorial of interment, judging by the plentiful fragments of white spar visible around it after ploughing. It is only in the last half dozen years that it has been touched by the plough. This mound seems to have been attributed hitherto by archaeologists to the adjoining farm of Ballelby, if I do not mistake their references.
At the farm-gates lies what has been called a hut-circle. Modern road-making has almost covered it up, but when the surface becomes sufficiently worn away the top of a section of what might be a circle of small stones appears to view. A woman living not far away, my informant, was when a child shown by her elder sister a stone here, nearly in the middle of the road but a little towards the upper hedge, and told that people used to worship it. The road was then less frequently macadamized, if it ever was.
Vestiges of the dwellings of the old type of cottars are numerous in this vicinity. In one which faced the road a couple of hundred yards South of the " circle " lived old Chalse y Creen and Jinny Pherick his wife. When the weather was fine enough Chalse used to sit in his garden in his home-made chair with its seat of interwoven straw and briar, making straw thatches for the bee-skeps which he sold for half-a-crown the pair. His old-fashioned, very tall hat rose above the hedge-top like a landmark and irresistibly tempted the boys to throw stones and sods at it, as is wellremembered by the local historians. Here also dwelt, I believe, the actual Illiam Kodhere of testamentary fame in the drama of the Island.
Manx field-names have a natural tendency to repeat themselves, but there is
one on the upper part of Ballaquane which I do not recall having met with elsewhere
in the Island ; written according to sound it is
Cronk Eurin, and is locally given its literal meaning, " Hell Hill." Joyce says this epithet, ifrionn, is sometimes bestowed in Ireland on land hard to work or infertile; and Rhys, Celtic Folklore, page 205, mentions " a pretty hollow running inland from the railway station at Bangor," called Nant Uffern, the " Hollow of Hell," adding the question, " can it be that there was a supposed entrance to the fairy world somewhere there ? " Kelly's Manx Dictionary has " Eurin, a goat of two years old," which, though it does not seem to be known now, may possibly be the word here in question. The lower part of the hill, adjoining the Doarlish Cashen road, contains old foundations, a well, a cup-marked boulder, and other large stones which may have belonged to buildings.
Kay's Bridge crosses the high road at the upper Balnylhergey farm-entrance. It is, or was, haunted by a white fairy or ghost a little smaller than human size, who followed people along the road, as I have mentioned in a previous chapter. The next rise in the road, " Caesar Gill's Top," is similarly named from some bygone owner or tenant.
Crosh Pharlane or Vallane, " Parlane's (or Mary Magdalen's) Cross "-Parlane is said to be equivalent to Bartholomew, and is at any rate the Irish Partholan -is a name now belonging to two contiguous fields on Ballachrink and Cronk Mooar. The foundation of the keeill from which the name originated was rooted up many years ago and the stones placed in a wall. A portion of the land here, below the roadway, passed by purchase from Ballachrink West to Q__ of Cronk Mooar, hence the sharing of the name by the two farms.
Claghyn Baney, " White Stones," is an overshadowed bend at Ballachrink ; the stones, whatever they may have been, are no longer visible. In one of the ruined cottages under the trees the children here had the good fortune four or five years ago to see fairies climbing in and out of the windows, " little men in tail-coats and little hats " which seemed to be of the cocked or three-cornered variety. The spot is also haunted by a moddey dhoo of the usual description, which opinion connects with something of the same kind " taking " in the sunless chamber below, into which the river falls from a height of many feet. The moddey dhoo is far from extinct in the rural districts ; in fact, I saw one myself at the Claghyn Baney on a dark night by the light of a bicycle lamp. I have no doubt he was purely canine ; but it is such accidental coincidences that help to maintain the reputations of haunted spots.
It is said that the Insular Lunatic Asylum at the Strang owes its foundation to the confinement of a mad person in an outhouse of which the wall at least remains at the side of the road nearly opposite here. A man possessing a good deal of public influence as well as public spirit happened in passing the spot to hear the outcries of the unfortunate prisoner, and was stirred into removing the evil of private confinement of such patients.
On the lower part of Ballachrink farm close by, as in many other places in the Island, flax was formerly grown for weaving linen, and was steeped in a pool near the farm-house.
The Fairy Broo--its Manx name has been forgotten, if it ever had one--is a steep, narrow field, wet like most fairy haunts, which slopes to the river from the Glen Rushen road at Glen May.
Glen May, in the 15th century and till recently Glen Moy, has, as a name, provoked a good deal of speculation, but there does not seem to be any reason for looking further than the obvious magh, cultivable land, not necessarily level or plain -like, a word extremely common in a secondary form as magher, a field. Though many maghers have lapsed into pasture or waste, their name shows that at one period they have been ploughland. In this example the reason for the name is clear to anyone coming down, or looking down, from the heights which border Glen Rushen, barren on the South side and grassland on the Northern or Arrosey side.
On the South bank of the river begins the land formerly belonging to the great monastic foundation of the Ards on the opposite coast. To what extent the Abbey of Sabal shared it with Bangor is not clear in the absence of records, but the Sabal influence was probably the lesser of the two. Their territory, whether held jointly-as the two abbacies were occasionally united in one man-or whether consisting of two separate portions, began with Ballachrink and included what are now the quarterlands of Cronk Mooar, Balnylhergy, Ballaquane, Ballelby and Ballahutchin, the first-named farm being divided into Ballachrink East and West; but all these would probably not exist as quarterlands at the time the grant was made to the abbeys, nor would the names of those existing, if any, correspond with their present names. The headquarters of the monastic representative or representatives were probably at Glen May.
Comparatively little is recorded of Bangor's foreign missions from its foundation by St. Comgall between 550 and 560, probably for the use of a Pictish community. It suffered the inevitable ravages by Vikings, began to decline in the 11th century, and in the 12th lay for a long time waste. At a Tynwald Court of 1422 the Abbot was summoned, together with the Abbot of Sabal, to appear and justify their title to the Barony within forty days. There is no record of their having complied, but the Abbot of Bangor may have acknowledged the supremacy of the Stanleys in person or otherwise, for a document in the English Record Office, endorsed " Spiritual lande in the Ards and Clandeboye," and dated 1487, details " the some off the religious houses in the ards. Fyrste the abay of Bangor hath belonginge to yt temporally and spiritually lxx plowelands item lxx granges belonging to the same . . . item i grange in yle aman, item i grange Scotland. . . ." About 1541 also " according to several inquisitions, William O'Dornan, the Abbot, held in the 32nd year of Henry viii a townland in the Isle of Man called Clenanoy [sic for Glenmoy as in Durham's map, 15951 on condition that he should attend the King of that Island at certain times."- (O'Laverty, Diocese of Down and Connor, ii., 70.) The townland in question, if the term is to be taken in its literal and restricted sense, must have been what is now Ballachrink ; to this may be added perhaps the chief mill of Glen May, since we find mention of " the Baron[y] Mill-race." At the Dissolution Bangor possessed, according to Reeves, only 34 townlands and the tithes of nine rectories or chapels, a striking diminution of its pristine power.
Lanigan, Ecclesiastical History of Ireland, 2nd edn., ii., 128, says that Saul (Sabal) was not reckoned among the Cistercian monasteries, but seems to have belonged to the Canons Regular of St. Augustine after it was erected and repaired by St. Malachy. Malachy was Abbot of Bangor also ; there are other instances of a tendency towards unification, and as the two foundations appear to have been closely associated in Ireland they may have held their Manx property in common.
Though Glen May has forgotten the days when half of her belonged to Ireland, she has a rich fund of memories of a less historical nature. .Some of these have found their way into other chapters of this miscellany, but my mention of the mill called Cringle's Mill or the Big Mill-" the Great Mill in Glenmoy " in 1703-reminds me that the ruined house just above it, once an inn or ale-house, was the scene of a murder early in the 19th century, so nearly as the date can be fixed. Owing to the steepness of the river-bank the offices at the rear of the house were situated underneath the floor of the front part. Just outside them a man living in the village was struck or knifed and pushed over the brink on the rocks or the water below, by a stranger from the North who had come into the neighbourhood to trade. The two sisters of the victim, at home a quarter of a mile away, heard and recognized his death-shriek (by a kind of supernatural audition, it seems to be thought) and cried out in the presence of witnesses, e annirn, e annim ! "his soul! " So their words are reported, but the once-common ejaculation my annim sounds more probable. Blood is said to be visible still on the remains of the back door.
Two men sleeping in the loft of a house, now razed, behind the present forge at the top of the village, woke and saw a light shining through the chinks of the flooring. One got up to find out what it was, although the other advised him not to. He went to the top of the stairs or ladder and saw below him an old man and an old woman, human size or rather bigger, sitting one each side of the remains of the fire, and a young girl standing between them and cooking something over it in a pot. The man who was looking at them called out some phrase like " Lord save us! " or " in God's name ! " (probably in Manx, though the words were given to me in English) and the light and the figures suddenly vanished. This anecdote may be compared with one related of the Lhergy Veg, Lonan, in the present chapter, but the most remarkable feature of the latter is lacking, for it is not stated that the intruders wore anything unusual on their heads.
About five years ago a number of strange reddish lights were seen, two and sometimes three at once, moving about a man's garden adjoining the Claddagh, " as big as the rear lamp of a trap." Sometimes they floated up over the roofs of the row of houses. They caused a good deal of uneasiness to the people living there, and were anxiously discussed in the village. On making enquiries, I found that someone had been moving stones out of the bed of the river, which at that point is rather shallow and sluggish, and is bordered with gravelly soil.
Such " lights " are believed to be omens of death, except when they are attributed to those who are already dead. A woman in Kirk Patrick village looked out of her " skylid " one moonlight night and saw three lights like little stars go up in succession out of the ground of the old churchyard. Next morning she heard of the death of a young child in a house close by, who was afterwards buried at the exact spot from which the "stars " had risen.
The following story only has its termination in Glen May, for it is attached to the Bayr Mullagh Vane, "the Road of the White Summit," which leads in from Barrule Quarries. A quarryman living near the Cross Vein had occasion to murder his wife with a pickaxe, and buried, or concealed, the body under a heap of stones or slag not far from his house. A short time afterwards a Glen May man on his way home from the quarries noticed, when he was a little way past the spot, that he had been overtaken by the figure of a woman, whose features, for some reason, he was unable to discern. As she uttered no word in response to his greeting, and her feet made no sound on the road as she walked beside him, he concluded there was something " not right " about her, and quickened his pace in order to shake her off, until he was fairly at a run. She nevertheless kept up with him without difficulty until he crossed the river at the footbridge by the old pottery to gain the back door of his house. She then vanished. For some time afterwards he was not his usual self at all, either in body or in mind.
To another tale of which the scene lies just outside the village the teller added the comment, " that 's the oldest tale of all, a thousand years old." A man who was walking home from Peel late one night, and alone, saw a horse standing under the shadow of the trees at the foot of Raby hill. Thinking he might as well finish his journey by riding, he swung himself on the creature's back. Away it went at a gallop, but as the man leaned forward on its neck to avoid being scraped off by low branches, he was startled to see that its ears, instead of being a horse's, were human ears. Knowing by this that there was something wrong, he threw himself off in the nick of time, for the horse leapt the hedge and bolted down towards the river. Its rider escaped drowning or worse at the cost of, I think, a broken leg. This cabbyl ushtey, whose aural peculiarity I have not met with elsewhere than in this anecdote, is a perfect converse of the Brythonic King March-the Arthurian Mark-whose name means in English " riding-horse," and of the sailor-king of Leinster, Labhraid Lorc, two legendary monarchs the secret of whose equine ears was so miraculously made public. They were men with the ears of a horse, the Glen May creature was a horse with the ears of a man. It might therefore be used in support of Rhys's surmise (Celtic Folklore, page 435) that the water-horse conception explains the tradition of such fabulous personages as March and Labhraidh ; but it would be necessary to carry the explanation back to an early Hellenic age, to account for the ass's ears of King Midas. Personally, I should prefer to find the nearest resemblance to all these royal throw-backs in the God Pan with his fauns and satyrs, distinguished as to their.heads by the ears of goats. Rhys indeed mentions a Serbian version of the myth where the ears are those of a goat. But there is much which is obscure in the whole extensive subject of the exchanging and the commingling of human and animal forms. It seems that when transformation occurs in either direction, or when a being which is neither animal nor human takes one of these forms, the disguise is never perfectly flawless and impenetrable ; some physical detail or other betrays the masquerader's true nature. The Devil shows his cloven hoof, his sprouting horns or his barbed tailsometimes he flies the whole set of warning signals ; seal-people when they doff their skins and come ashore keep the webs between their fingers and a horny place in their palms ; a bird-man has little feathers among the hairs of his head ; when a witch takes an animal shape she cannot alter the human expression of her eyes. (Conversely, a hare-lip is thought to be a vestige of the hare-shape assumed voluntarily or through bewitchment, either in the owner's lifetime or in that of a parent.) I have heard the phrase used in the Isle of Man, " that dog has a fairy eye," which brings a third species into the question ; but the ears are the most usual signs of a fairy nature, as of an animal nature. Fairy cattle have red ears ; so had Bran, Finn's fairy hound, in addition to her ability to speak Irish ; the Welsh " dogs of Annwn," which are broadly equivalent to the Manx fairy dogs, are white, with red ears ; the Manx water-bull has something queer about his ears which comes out again in the calves resulting from his visits to the cows of the farm ; the Manx fairy lamb is white, with red ears ; the fairy pig has been described to me as wearing a little red hat, a description which may have been due to a hasty and imperfect observation of a pair of red ears, albeit the Twrch Trwyth carried more unlikely articles between his ears than a hat.
Rhys, in discussing further the unkingly excrescences of March, Labhraidh and Midas (page 575), says truly that " they raise a variety of profoundly difficult and interesting questions," and that " nobody has found a sure key to their meaning." As our water-horse transposes some of the data of the problem, I shall content myself with an observation not too remotely connected with these mysteries ; it is the physiological commonplace that malformation of the ear is one of the surest signs of human degeneracy or atavism, lust as, in another direction, abnormally large or small ears accompany imbecility and mania respectively.
In my next tale of the cabbyl-ushtey of Glen Maya tale which is widely dispersed with slight variationshis form is understood to be human ; but it is likely that he had the hoofs or ears of a horse, though I have not heard this stated.
Spooyt Wooar, " Big Waterfall," is a cauldron of mystery and " deep blue gloom divine " between the village and the shore ; it was spoilt fifty years ago, in the opinion of T. F. Brown. The Buggane who lives here has been seen by many people in time past, and not very long past ; he was usually shaped like a big black calf, which sometimes crossed the road and jumped down into the pool with a sound as of chains being shaken. In a more human form he came to a house at the Glen May end of Glen Rushen, picked up a girl who was working near it, slung her over his back, and carried her down to his place under the dub into which the spooyt falls. But just as they were coming to it, she, having a sharp knife in her hand with which she had been slicing up turnips, managed to cut the string of her apron and get free. This is a favourite story in the district, as well as in other parts of the kingdom, Scotland especially.
Trelja farm (which has been spelt in innumerable ways) supplies a brook to the Glen May river a little distance below the Spooyt Wooar, and it would be pleasing to be able to connect the two by translating the name as " Troll's River " ; but it is more probably " Thrall's River," a term which is seen in a mixed Celtic and Scandinavian form as Abhainn Thraill in West Ross-shire, and in its pure form as Trelde in Denmark.
Ballakerka. " Ballakirkley," the map-form, which would mean either " Round Farm " or " Farm of the Circle," seems to have been in fashion in the 19th century ; it occurs in various documents, and in the Ordnance Survey Name Books is vouched for by Captain R. Quirk, Wm. Watterson and Jas. Bridson, responsible persons at that time. Nevertheless it was written Ballacarkey in 1703, and the true etymon is probably kiark, not in its modern sense of a barndoor fowl, but some bird or other of the gallinaceous order ; as there are two Struan ny Kiarkey as well as a Glion ny Kiark in the Island, the word must have been used sometimes to denote a waterside bird. In Scotland and Ireland it often means " grouse."
Raby. The Manx Field-names on the principal Raby farm, as verbally communicated by the kindness of the owner, are :
Cowan Mooar, " Big Hollow."
North Rheeast, South Rheeast, " Waste."
Magher Rhullick, " Graveyard Field," which contains the keeill, the well which was once reputed curative, and the cemetery. Cists are still being uncovered in ploughing. One I inspected struck me as not appearing very ancient. It is said that at least one person - a woman - belonging to the neighbourhood was buried here within the last half-century or thereabouts.
Creg ny Veeagh, " Rock of the Ravens." Magher Conney, " Gorse Field " ; this was formerly four fields.
Croit Thalleyr, " Tailor's Field." The Tailor family held 12 quarterlands on Raby treen in 1515, which may explain the name ; or it may be simply that of a tradesman.
Lheakerrow Mooar and Veg, " Big and Little Grey Ploughland."
Traie Vollachs, " Shore-of-the-Road (Field)." The track to the shore passes through it.
Maghey ny Dubberyn, " Field of the Little Pools," is still true to its name in rainy weather. The form taken by the plural is interesting.
Naaie Haul, " The Distant Pasture."
The Cronk and Cronk Bedn are on the steep ground East of the high road ; Cronk Bedn (bane, white) when ploughed is particularly conspicuous from across the road on account of its light-coloured clay soil.
The Rocky Lhergy of four acres has a flat rock on it where it was customary to winnow the corn by shaking it in a sailcloth when the wind was blowing. This field was also called
Maghey ny Fasnee, " Field of the Winnowing." Bwoailley Carmane or Camane. Nicholas McKemayn, who is put down for one tenement and the sixth part of a quarterland (4s.) on Raby treen, in the Manorial Roll, may have belonged to the family which stamped its name on this fold and the field containing it.
Lag Eevl (as pronounced), Gordon. If this is not a mangled word, which is much to hope for, the English meaning is probably " Pleasant Hollow " - Gaelic aoibheal, aoibheann. The adjective has not survived in Manx, but the favourite feminine name Eunice, though not included among Woulfe's Irish Christian names, may represent the noun aoibhneas from the same stem, rather than the Greek word. Aoibheal, the fairy queen whose name remains on a number of places near Killaloe in Munster, derived her epithet from the same source. If we meet with her here it is her only appearance in the Isle of Man, unless she changed herself into the sea-lady Teeval in order to get across.
The spot called Lag Eevl is a rough wooded corrie on the West side of Shen Whallian, with a pool in it; a trial boring for a mine goes a little way into the hill. When Themselves made their Grand Tour of the Island which is celebrated in the " Song of the Travelling Fairies "-I have not heard a Manx title, but the Manx words as well as the air were once well-known in Peel-they spent a night in each of the following places Rumsaa (" Ee uss Rumsaa," etc.), Doolish, Ballachashtal, Port le Murra and Purt Iron. Thence hope and hunger urged them swiftly over the mountains into the cornucopian parish of Patrick and down to Gourden, where they rested contentedly under the overhanging rock of Lag Eevl, enjoying the haggish which the hospitable benainshtyr of Gourden cooked for them. The Gourden ones knew well how such guests should be treated, for did they not often give shelter to the Fenoderree himself in the little wood by their house ? And from Gourden the tourists went on to Ballabennoo in Foxdale, where again they got good feeding of all kinds of bread and cakes, arran corhey and arran oars and arran eurnaght and arran praase and berreen and borenag and everything they liked best, as might have been expected at a place called the Farm of the Blessing, and there was a man's greatest blessing in it, a good housewife, to do the baking for them. Then from Ballabennoo they wandered on happily to Purt ny Hinshey, and what they did there I do not know, but in the end they all went to earth again at the spot where they started, well pleased with their trip round the Island.
Gordon (O.S. map). To the better-known feats of the Fenoderree attached to this farm a couple of trifles may be added. When John G__ left his stocks out with rain threatening, against his wife's advice and his own better judgment, the Fenoderree came in the night-time and gathered in the whole crop and stacked it for him. When lazy John went up next morning in the rain he could hardly believe his eyes. Another man expressed a wish that he could find time to whitewash his little house (which still stands by the roadside near Gordon) and behold ye, during the night it was done, and well done too ; and who else could have done it only the Fenoderree ?
Creeloch, " Shaking-ground," is a field on the East side of the road at Gordon, now fairly dry, and sedgy. The name is not common, but it is attached to an intack in Andreas (Lord's Rent Book) and to a field on Baljean, Lonan. Joyce, ii., 367, gives an example of it in the Queen's County.
The Creggans is the ridge of rock which runs seaward at the South end of Knockaloe Mooar from the main road, on which it names the Creggans Hill. A story belonging to this part of the road has been published in the brochure Manx Tales, but as it contains points of resemblance to one of the cabbyl ushtey tales from Glen May, I will summarize it here for the sake of comparison. A Wesleyan local preacher, after holding a revival service at the Shore Road chapel in Peel (the building in which Wesley himself made so many converts) took what he supposed in a bad light to be his old white mare out of the stall to ride home to the other side of Glen May. At the foot of the Creggans the mare surprised him by her unwonted restiveness, and after leaving the top of the hill she took the bit between her teeth and made a savage plunge through the bushes in the direction of the cliffs. The old man thought the Devil had entered his steed, and cried aloud, " Lord help me ! " At these words the animal swerved so violently that he was thrown on the grass unhurt, while she disappeared over the cliffs into the sea. When he reached home he found his own mare standing quietly in her stable, for the groom had forgotten to bring her to town. Though the story does not specify exactly where the preacher's queer mount began to run away with him, the conservative habits which prevail in the Other World make it likely that their difference of opinion arose just short of Ballacallin ; for that is where the modern road first diverges from the old Bayr Mooar, which inclines more towards the coast. The point of separation is now hardly noticeable.
Gob ny Creg or Gob ny Creggan, " Beak of the Rock," is the termination of the before-mentioned Creggans. The buggane who lurked about here is no longer seen, and nothing very definite seems to be remembered of his nature and doings.
Gob Breck, "Speckled Beak," is a spur of the rocky ridge on Knockaloe Beg.
Glion Keeill Croagh, taking its name from the vanished keeill at Droghad Keeill Croagh, joins the Neb a little distance above the reputed ford at the Raggatt. Up it, according to local tradition, fled the vanquished in the Santwat battle between the North and the South.
The Raggatt. Here a disused road, forking as it approaches the bank, goes straight down to the river from the present road, which turns sharply towards Glenfaba Bridge. The past state of affairs at this spot is not easy to understand. There is presumptive evidence of the former existence of a ford connecting the road from Glen May, Dalby and Rushen with Peel, but of any continuation on the North bank of the river there is no trace, although the ground has not been cultivated. It may also be inferred that a track continued from the present bridge to Peel Castle, otherwise it would have been necessary to cross the stream twice. Of this there appears to be no vestige either, but the presence of a house and its surrounding grounds makes it impossible to speak positively. The ford and stepping-stones which existed a short distance above high-water mark, near where the lower bridge now stands, are approached by a road, but it comes from the direction of the Castle, and was no doubt used partly as an alternative to crossing the mouth of the harbour. In some support of the theory of a ford across the Neb, there is the tradition, just referred to, that the domestic battle of Santwat was fought in the vicinity of Glenfaba and the Raggatt ; the opposed leaders are recognizable, by their names recorded in Chronicon Manniae at 1098, as representing respectively the Anglo-Celtic interests of the South and the more Scandinavian Northside element. The question of the distance to which the tide formerly penetrated, whether it reached, in historic times, so far as the narrow gully at Glenfaba Bridge, rendering the river navigable for small boats up to the inland lake or marsh which existed until comparatively recently, must be handed over to the geologists ; the answer might shed much light on the history of the locality.
In following another line of inquiry it is possible to attain greater exactitude. Just above a new house which stands beside the road there is a streamlet inside a gateway, more or less concealed by bushes. Here it was that a boy of twelve who was being driven from Dalby to Peel was delighted by the sight of a strange-looking little white pig wearing a red hat. One of his adult companions remarked to the other in Manx, " that's one of Themselves," and touched up the horse, telling the boy to take no notice of what he had seen ; meaning doubtless that he was not to chatter about it, or try to catch it if he should ever see it again. For this was the Arkan Sonney, the little Fairy Pig, an omen of great good fortune, if the seer is content with seeing.
Glenfaba Bridge, Mill, and House (O.S. map). The first-named was at one time called Camerill's Bridge, from an occupant of the house. Much ingenuity has been exercised upon the word faba without any satisfactory result being reached hitherto. Part of the difficulty lies in the uncertainty as to the position of the true Glenfaba. Present-day local opinion gives the name to the shallow fold in the ground which conducts the Ballaterson stream into the main river at the mill, and this was the information supplied to the Ordnance Surveyor sixty years ago. Local opinion in such matters deserves great respect, but it is undeniable that names can and do wander from their birthplaces. Not only does the Glenfaba of the map fall short of the Manx and the general notion of what a glen should be, but it presents no features which might explain how its name came to be conferred upon the sheading in which it stands, and that the premier sheading of the six, containing the Tynwald Hill and Peel Island with its appurtenances, any of which was more likely, one would imagine, to entitle the sheading. As regards the objection that Glenfaba does not fulfill the definition of a glen, it is possible that glion may have been used to denote the little stream itself. Otherwise, the strath which at its Eastern end narrows near the Union Mills, opposite Glenfaba Mill contracts to a gully of a few dozen feet in width and does not broaden greatly until it reaches the top of the harbour ; and if this steepsided narrow valley, much more deserving of the term "glen," is the original locus of the name, we may perhaps point to a ford at the head of it (referred to under the Raggatt), as a river-crossing of the first importance in bygone days, a vital link between the South-West and Peel. Even if the existence of the ford can not be proved, the cutting or gully over which the bridge has been thrown is at the least a critical point of the boundary between the natural halves of the sheading as it was constituted before the inclusion of Marown. This gully, though now altered to carry the bridge, and the railway beneath it, is, together with the ravine which begins here, still remarkable enough to suggest that it gave the locality its name, in which case the Gaelic fadhbh, a cutting, may be the stem required. Its modern pronunciation, of course, does not enter into the question. Power, Place-names of Decies, gives nearly a dozen examples in the SouthEast of Ireland of fadhbhair, which he explains as " a natural water-worn trench," a definition which alternatively and on a smaller scale would not be wholly unsuited to the stream-bed of the accepted Glenfaba. There is only one departure, so far as I am aware, from the spelling faba, and that occurs in a document dated 1379, preserved at Knowsley Hall near Liverpool and catalogued by A. W. Moore in I.O.M. Nat. Hist. and Antiqn. Soc. Transactions, 1898. Here the name of the sheading is spelt Glanfaban, a form which, if correctly transcribed, is the earliest on record.
Knock na Heary la (Knock ny hlrree Lhaa, " Hill of the Day-rise ") in John Corris's plan of Peel, 1784, is a name attached to the side of Peel Hill opposite the Herring-houses. Irree is always made a feminine noun in this rather common place -name. As the hill-side faces due East and overlooks the town it catches the first light of morning. Besides this, the citizens had another natural clock ; a perpendicular white band about ten feet long and a foot broad, painted at the main entrance to the Castle, served as a time-indicator (when the sun shone) by the incidence of the shadow of the gateway. The " White Line " is still visible, or was a few years ago.