[From 3rd Report 1911]
In this Parish, which is one of our smallest, only three Keeills are now remembered.
1. Site of Keeill Coonlagh, on the Quarterland of Ballachonly, "Particles."
2. Site of Keeill on Ballachurry, Treen of Lez-Sulby.
3. Ruins of S. Patrick's on the Quarterland of W. Nappin, Treen of Knoc Shewill.
The O.S., IV, 2, (919), marks a tumulus on Ballateare, Treen of Knoc Shewill, as " Cronk Keeilleig," which would mean the Chapel-hill, but there certainly has never been a Keeill here, and the name is not known locally.,
about 470 yds. West of Ballachonley farm-house, O.S., II, 12, 150, has long been ploughed over. Mr. Callister, in showing the site in October, 1910, when the field, some 70 ft. above sea level, was being ploughed, pointed out that the soil there was quite black and rich, and said it made a great difference to the crops in that part. In digging he had met with human bones about two feet below the surface, but no foundation stones or lintel graves or slabs excepting quite small fragments. He remembered that a stone cup, perhaps a Holy-water stoup, had many years ago been taken away, but we were unable to trace it. The broken and flaked slaty stones which were seen, measured about 4 in. by 5 in., up to 6 in. by 7 in., and were certainly foreign to the soil and very distinct from the rolled pebbles scattered throughout the field. The old Glebe-lands lie a few yards to the West, and had no doubt belonged to an early Celtic Church while this Keeill was still in use. That its use and occupation continued to Scandinavian times is shown by the fact that the large Sigurd slab, (Manx Crosses, 93), which had been set up by the field gate at the Parish Church, was remembered by Mr. Callister's father to have come from this site. The Lhen trench, which now wends its slow course 233 yds. North of the Keeill, would in the eleventh century have been here a broad expanse of water up which the Norsemen could easily sail their shallow boats. Mr. Callister told us a family tradition about this place, which, with the difference of names,- is exactly the same as that of the Keeill at Ballacarnane, Michael. About 200 years ago the farm was owned by a family, Conoly, or McConoly, (Manorial Records, 1515), and there were seven sons and one daughter. The sons destroyed the remains of the Keeill and, as a punishment they all died within a year. But the daughter had no part in the destruction, and the property coming to her she brought it to her husband, an ancestor of the present owner, which accounts for the change of name.
O.S., 11, 15, (575). We were told by John Christian, who lives near by, that he remembered the uncultivated area where stood the remains of this Keeill to be much larger than now. The O. S. figures a plan of the "Chapel" showing that its foundations at least were then to be seen. All that now remains is a rough plot about 70 ft. above sea level, measuring about 25 yds. each way, which has never been ploughed ; no sign of building could be seen; we had some trenches dug, but found no traces of walls. Remains of Burial were met with in one place at a depth of about 4 ft., but no lintels ; there were many white pebbles in the grave. A broken granite Quern-stone, with original diam. of about 18 in., and another, thinner and smaller, were found, and a smooth water-worn slab, flat on both faces, with a Linear Cross very finely cut and having each' of the limbs crossed at the end by a bar.-Fig. 11. It measured 142 in. by 62 in. (originally about 12 in. wide) and 2 in. deep. The lines of the Cross are only half a millimetre in width and depth,
Fig. 11. Cross-slab from Site of Keeill at Ballacurry, Jurby.
West Nappin. O.S., IV, 2, (807). These well-known ruins stand on a slight natural elevation in a field North of the highroad about 500 yds. S.S.W. of the Parish Church, at a height above sea-level of some 90 ft. When cleared, it was found to measure about 20 ft. by 11 ft., and we then discovered it to consist of two distinct parts belonging to different periods.-Fig. 12. The East end, built with cement and. rough-cast, appears from the few mouldings which remain, to belong to the 14th or 15th century. The rest of the walling, with clay for mortar, is probably of the date when the building was converted into a school, which may have been about the end of the 17th or beginning of the 18th century ; doubtless, to this period would belong the roofing-slates, of which several were found among the rubbish in the interior. The foundations of the walls at the East end are at a higher level by 12 to 15 in. than those of the rest of the building, and, from some projecting stones in the South wall, there would appear to have been a raised dais here for the altar. No floor-pavement remained. The walls were built almost entirely of shore boulders, but the mullions, jambs and worked stones were all of red sandstone, which may also have been shore boulders. The outside corner-stone at the. S.E. was a smooth ice-worn boulder of purplish finegrained grit, 3 ft. by 2 ft. 2 in. by 2 ft. high, projecting 9 in. from the East face and 12 in. from the South. No trace of the altar could now be found. The upper part of the two-light East window was intact, but the sill-stones were gone and the wall broken below; the line of the old sill could be seen at the sides, and this was about 4 ft. 6 in. above the level of the foundations ; the window was flat-headed and grooved for lead, the moulding on the lintel showing that the glass had been set at a slight angle, with which the side grooves of the jambs correspond. A fragment of the mullion was met with on the floor, and showed the same irregularity of grooving ; this window is clearly of the Decorative period, 14th century. A broken Scandinavian Cross-slab (Manx Crosses, No. 78) had formed the inside lintel of the window till Mr. Kermode, in 1891, obtained Mr. Clarke's permission to take it out and have it cast, figured and described for his work. This may possibly have been a part of the 14th century building and intentionally placed so that its edge, which bears the key-fret design, should serve as an ornamental moulding over the window.*-Fig. 13. At either side of the window was a small' recess about 44 in. above the foundations. In the remains of the gable above it, to the South, the wall was pierced by a rectangular hole like those at S. Trinian's and at Peel. In the South wall, at 5 in, from the East corner, was the piscina which was screened - by a nicely-made arch-Fig. 14 ; this had evidently been repaired, the corners of the arch-way broken and a stone laid on the bottom of the recess, perhaps to serve as a cupboard when the building was used as a school ; the bowl and drain are therefore now lost. This arch, Mr. Cochrane tells us, would. be early 14th century, adding-"it is rare to see such a beautiful head of the decorative period in a small church." The wall behind it had also been broken, and Mr. Clarke, the recent proprietor, had here placed an early Cross-slab found loose in the ruins. (Manx Crosses, 14). Human remains were found at the East end of the North side, passing under the wall, and other graves were found to pass under the East gable, showing that the present structure was not on the lines of the original. The.graves under the East gable were covered about 6 in. deep with. white pebbles, and about a score of such pebbles were found loose in the building. The rest of the walling presented no features of interest ; they were built of the old material, and the North and South were on the lines of the 14th century walls, A fire-place and two recesses had been formed in the West end, and the doorway, into which one or two of the old jamb-stones had been built, made in the middle of the North wall.
*The ends would no doubt be covered by the rough-cast, and present an even and finished appearance.
Fig. 12. St. Patrick's Chapel, West Nappin, Jurby.
Fig. 13- East Gable of St. Patrick's Chapel, Jurby, showing
former position of Scandinavian cross-slab as lintel over the window.
From Sketch by P.M.C.K., 26, XII, 89,-corrected with aid of Photograph by Mr. H. C. BAILEY, Ramsey.
Fig. 14. Arch over Piscina, St. Patrick's Chapel, Jurby.
From Photograph by Mr. G.B. COWEN, Ramsey.
Two broken pieces of the upper stone, of a granite Quern originally about a4in. diameter, were found in clearing the Keeill, and one of a fine reddish grit, Of loose carved stones met with were the fragment of the East window-shaft Sin. long referred to above.-Fig 15; a broken and very badly-worn sill-stone which corresponds with the lintel and evidently had belonged to this window-Fig. 16 ; another sill-stone of a one-light window, not grooved for lead, measuring 17in. by 8in. and from 4 to 7 in. high, and showing by the moulding that the light must have been about loin. wide-Fig. 17; four jamb-stones with a plain chamfer-Fig. 18, two belonging probably to the doorway, two, rather smaller, to a window, and a small roughly rectangular piece 8in. by 7in. and 4½in. high-Fig. 19; this appears to have been the capital of a pilaster at the door, and, from a rebate at the bottom, must have projected i 2 in. from the face of the wall. This fragment shows the toothed ornament met with in Irish Romanesque, and. Mr. R. M. Young thinks, may even be anterior to the tenth century. Below the East window was found a fragment of irridescent glass, tiin. by 4in. and ybin. thick; also a Farthing of James 1. A broken windowshaft, i tin. long, of the same period and with very similar moulding to that of the small fragment, was found loose on the wall of the Parish Church-yard, but might have been taken from this Chapel. We were told also that a small " stone cup " had formerly stood in the piscina but had some years ago been carried away by some one unknown. This may have been the bowl of the piscina itself.
Fig. 15. Section of Window-shaft from the wall of the Parish Church-yard; and of Jamb-stone and Window-shaft, S. Patrick's Chapel, Jurby.
Fig. 16. Flat lintel and broken sill-stone (with suggested restoration) East window, S. Patrick's Chapel, Jurby.
Fig. 17. Sill-stone of one-light window, S. Patrick's Chapel, Jurby.
Fig. 18. Sections of jamb-stones, S. Patrick's Chapel, Jurby.
Fig. 19. Capital of Pilaster, S. Patrick's Chapel, Jurby.
The enclosure, surrounded by the low remains of an earthern embankment from four to six feet wide at the base, now measures about 38 yards from North to South by 25 yards at the widest part which is toward the Northern end. The Chapel stands about the centre.-Fig. 20 A square hollow in the ground at the West end of the building may have been occupied by a portion of the 14th Century Church, a few foundation-stones were found on its North side in line with the wall, and the small rubble on the South and West was mixed with cement similar to that used in the East gable. This would make the measurements just Soft. by 11ft., a likely proportion. Immediately outside the East window, a lintel grave was found, about 6ft. long by 2ft. wide at its West end, tapering to 18in. at the East. The sides were lined, but not the bottom ; on the North, a slab 3ft. 9in. by 8in. deep and 3in. thick overlapped by 7½in. another slab 3ft. 9in. by 11in. by 2in., and on the South was a slab 5ft. 10in. by 7in. by 3in. ; the ends were closed with small boulders of stone and " scrablag," some crumbling bones remained in it, including a portion of the lower jaw showing beautifully-sound teeth of an adult, but nothing else ; the grave, like those within, had been covered to a depth of some inches by white pebbles large and small ; another grave appeared by probing to lie close by on the South. There must also have been a burial place of Bronze Age here, as at about aft. from the S. E. corner we came upon traces of burial, together with charcoal, and Mr. Roeder had, some 25 years ago, found a Cinerary Urn at this spot.
About 250 yards West of the Chapel is the Well known as S. Patrick's, which was visited for sore eyes and other affections. Another Well, known as S. Mary's, 170 yards South of the Parish Church, was also formerly visited for sore eyes ; both have now been filled in and drained. Mr. T. W. Quirk, the present owner, willingly gave us permission to make the examination, and subsequently at our suggestion placed the ruins under the guardianship of the Manx Museum and Ancient Monuments Trustees who have since carried out work of repair and preservation. Mr. Quirk also, for the greater safety of the small piece of sandstone showing toothed ornament, which was very fragile and badly cracked, handed it over to the Trustees for the Manx Museum.
Fig. 20. Plan of Enclosure, S. Patrick's Chapel, Jurby, showing line of probable extension Westward of the 14th Century building and lintel-grave at the East end.
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