[From William Cashen's Folk-Lore, 1912]



1 MANNIN BEG MAC Y LEAGHER was the first ruler of Man. He was a mild ruler ; the tribute that he exa(fted from his followers was a bart of leagher glass, green sedge. Most writers have confounded the leagher with the rush, but there is quite a difference ; they are not the same plant. The word leagher is in the Manx dic'Iionary for a person deserving reward, to reward. Mannin acquired the name on account of being a person who deserved to be rewarded, also the sedge for the reason that it was the reward has maintained until this day the name of leagher. Mannin protected the Island by a mist. If, however, his enemies succeeded in approaching the Manx coast in spite of it, he threw chips into the water, which became ships. His stronghold was Peel Castle, on the battlements of which he was able to make one man appear a thousand. So he defended the Island and routed his enemies. He was called Yn Dooinney Troor Cassagh, the Three-Legged Man, and all his people, who were likewise three-legged, travelled about like a wheel, turning round and round. Another tradition speaks of him as yn Manninagh, the Manxman who was the first man in Mann.

1 "Mannin" is the spelling of the word in Cashen's Notes, and he always pronounced the word thus, and not Manannan.

When Parick Noo, St. Patrick, first came to the Isle of Man, he came across on horseback. The Island was under a dense mist, and all the powers of darkness were arrayed against him, and, being hard pressed by a sea-monster of great size that was following to devour him, he put the horse up the steepest place in Peel Hill, and where the horse stood still on the top on firm ground, a beautiful spring of pure water sprang out of the ground, whereby the saint and the horse were both refreshed. The well is called the Holy Well unto this day. And looking down the cliff he saw the monster that had followed him. The saint cursed the monster, and there and then he was turned into a solid rock. The monster can be seen there now with his great big fin upon his back, a warning to all evil-doers that they shall not prevail against the good. Before St. Patrick landed he heard the shrill shout of the curlew and the bleating of a goat whose kid had fallen down the rocks, and he blessed them both. No man was ever to find the curlew's nest, nor to see the goat bring forth its young. The print of the horse's feet is in the cliffs, they say, still, and can be seen still by anyone venture-some enough to go there to see it.

The Holy Well is said to be the first well, or water, where the first Christian was baptized in the Island, and was for ages resorted to as a healing well, and latterly it was called the Silver Well on account of the small silver coins that were left there by persons seeking to be cured of some disease.

There used to be another Holy Well at the top of Peel Harbour, near the railway station. It was closed about forty years ago; Mrs. Caley's house now stands over it n1. Chibbyr Parick, Patrick's Well, was better known as the Big Well. Before the days of the waterworks company, it was this well which supplied the fishing fleet with water. Place names form a valuable record, for, even when the name of Chibbyr Parick will soon be forgotten, the Well-brow, the old place-name of the hill which led down to it would have perpetuated its situation; unfortunately, some years ago, this hill was renamed Station Road, thus losing another link with the old history of Peel.

On Dalby mountain the old Manx people used to put their ears to the earth at Sheean ny Feaynid, the Sounds of Infinity, to hear sounds which were like murmurs. They thought these sounds came from beings in space; for in their belief all space is filled with invisible beings.


n1: 9 Station Road


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