Cross Four Ways - Malew

Part of 25"/1m O/S sheet XVI.7 1869
Part of 25"/1m O/S sheet XVI.7 1869
Postcard c.1910 - the Street Cross-four-ways Ballasalla
Postcard c.1905 - the Street Cross-four-ways Ballasalla
(courtesy Gillian Skinner nee Mylchreest)

The photo, originally a coloured card, though a b+w photo, was probably specially posed as the man by the gate appears in other cards in this series, is taken from within the yard looking Northwest.

Michael Bridson points out that the name of this hamlet may reflect more than its location as the wardens and minister of Malew give in reply to Bishop Foster's visitation

Alsoe their is a Crosse in ye mids of Foure wayes within or pish, at wch we heere that some use to lay their sick children, to what purpose we know not.

the name Cross-four-ways seems to be of reasonable antiquity - Kneen gives an early reference in a South Side Sale deed Oct 1723 36 (dating 1721/2) which mentions Edward Quay of Cross-of-four-ways.

The Edwardian postcard shows two small thatched cottages (those near the .128ac indication) in this hamlet a mile or so to the west of Ballasalla - the road to the right leads on to Ballasalla, that to the left, 'the Street', to Ballabeg (Arbory) and on to Colby, that to the south past Malew Vicarage to Malew Church and onto Castletown and that to the north past the extensive Billown lime quarries and Ballahott and on through Ballamodha to Foxdale and St Johns. The large house might be that at one time owned by Wm Mylchreest who acquired it via his marriage to Margaret Bridson (second daughter of Wm Bridson who reserved it in his marriagecontract for eldest dauaghter).

Mathieson describes the Public House, the HARP, as a small and now dilapidated, two-storied building with an unkempt grass plot in front of it, which still stands (no longer an inn) at Malew Cross-four-ways, on the left-hand side as you go towards Castletown. Though in a good position for an inn — near the church and on the direct road to what was the principal town of the Island —it has not had a licence since about 1920.

The Primitive Methodist report for 1840 states that a house was used for meetings.

Kneen in his discussion on Manx Fairs states: a fair was held at Cross Four Ways on St. Matthias' Day, February 24th; Laa'l Mian, in Manx. .. This fair is mentioned by Feltham in 1797 and was last held in 1834. It is almost certain that there was formerly a church dedicated to St. Matthias in the neighbourhood of Cross Four Ways.


Michael Bridson "What's in a Name?" Journal IoM Fam Hist Soc Dec 2002;

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Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
© F.Coakley , 2010