[From 3rd Report 1911]
The Keeills in this parish have nearly all long perished, but the sites of the following are still remembered.
1. Site of Keeill on Ballakillingan, Particles.
2. Site of Keeill on Bellevue, Quarterland of Nappin, Abbeylands.
3. Site of Keeill on Skyhill, Quarterland of Ballakillingan, Particles.
4. Burial ground and-possible site of Keeill on Skyhill, Ballakillingan.
5. Burial ground-onSkyhill, Ballakillingan.
6. Site of Keeill on Ballacuberagh, Sulby, Treen of 11 tst. Sulby."
7. Site of Keeill in Glion Keeill Vail, Quarterland of Ballameanagh, Treen of Brerick.
8. Site of Keeill ny Braga, Intack.
9. Site of Keeill on Corrody, Treen of Carrany.
The site of the Keeill which gives its name to this estate, - a corruption probably of S. Ninian,- is marked by some shrubs in the grounds, about twenty yards E.S.E. of the house, as shown on the O.S., V, 9, (2079), at a height above sea-level of about 56 ft.
Nappin, on the South side of the highroad, about 200 yds. West of the house on the Abbey lands, and 110 yds. East of Ginger Hall, O.S., IV, 12, (1614), at a height of some 75 ft., is the site of this Keeill which has long been demolished and ploughed over. Fifty-six yards E.S.E. is a Well known as Chibbyr y Slaint, Well of Healing.
Almost on the highest part of the saddle-back, about 367 yards S.S.E. of the Parish Church is the site marked on O.S., V, 9, (2207), "Chapel, Ruins of," and reputed to be that of a Keeill. The height will be about 750 ft. above sea-level ; the old road to Pairk ny Earkan passes about 15 yards to the N. E. A few yards from the ruins the rock crops out at a spot known as Creg Keeill Bouyr,-Craig of the Keeill of the Dead. The remains as now seen bear no great resemblance to a Keeill, but the oval shape may be due to the settle ment outwards of the side walls. It measures about 15ft. by 12 or 13ft.; and the surrounding uncultivated area, about 40 ft. by 30 ft., with its long axis N. E. and S. W. ; the aspect is Northerly. We have permission to clear the foundations, which should enable us to ascertain its original form and dimensions.
O.S., V, 9, (224í). On the Southern slope of the hill, and distant about 335 yds. S.S.E. of the last, in an unenclosed space, rhomboidal in outline, marked on the O.S., "Burial-ground," and then measuring about 7o by Soft. Lintel graves are said to have been found here, indicating Christian burial, but no traces of a building have been met with.
About go yds. S.S.E. of the last, another" Burial-ground," oval in outline and measuring about go by 3oft., is known locally as Magher ny hoiran, Field of the graves.
This appears on O.S., V, 13, (2872). These two seem very close together, as well as rather near the one lower down the hill, for us to suppose that they were separate Keeills. It is possible that they may contain burials of those who fell at the celebrated battle of Scacafell (the name now corrupted tamely into Skyhill), fought here in 1079, when Godred Crovan succeeded in establishing himself on the throne of his kinsman and namesake, Godred Sihtricson.
The site of this Keeill is not marked on the O.S.; it is thought to be in the orchard, O.S., IV, 11, (1520), at a height of 120 ft., thence called Magher Keeill. A level sward between the road and the Sulby river, at a lower level, is known as Lheannee fo Keeill, i.e. meadow below the Keeill, (1501), another field on the North is Magher heose Keeill,-" above the Keeill," (1496). The farm name points to its dedication to S. Cuthbert.
We are informed by Mr. H. Goldsmith that in a deed describing some property of his grandfather near the head of Glen Aldyn, one of the boundaries is described as Glion Keeill Vail, i.e. Glen of Michael's Church. This must refer to the little glen formed by a stream from Barrule running Northward from the mountain road, and opening into a larger glen between Ballamenagh and Balleighteragh. We have not been able to identify the exact site of the Keeill which gave the name to this little glen, but it seems to have been O.S., V, 14, (3243 or 3244), or thereabouts. The entry in the Lord's Book for October, 1823, runs "John Christian, 1s. 10d.George Radcliffe, 2d. a parcel from Glan Brafost towards Glan Kill Veal, &c.2s. 0d.-186."
The site of the Keeill from which, no doubt, the farm derives its name, whether a corruption of S. Bridget or that of another Irish saint, Breaga, is not marked on the O.S., but may have been VII, 3, (3279), by the side of a little streamlet running Westwards into the Sulby river, Strooan reagh, Laughing stream, at some 450 ft. above sea-level.
the farm overlooking Thólt-y-Will on the South, are remains of a Keeill marked on the O.S., VII, 7, (3492), at a height above sea-level of some 700 ft. The O.S. shows the enclosure to have been at that time roughly rectangular and about 40 ft: to 5o ft. in diam., lying N.W. and S.E. The field is known as Cronk y Keeillee, and the foundations appear to measure 17 ft. by 9 ft. The doorway is in the South wall near the West corner, and measures 24 in. wide. About 67 yards to the North is a Well, and two others about Zoo yards E. N. E., but there seems to be no tradition attached to any of them. The old highway passed a few yards to the N.E. of the Keeill. Mr. Cowley has agreed to clear the foundations, which will enable us to make a Plan, and to learn more particulars of the building.*
* Since the above was written, we have had the foundations cleared, and at the S.W. corner, found a Cinerary Urn filled with calcined bones. It was inverted, and immediately beneath the floor level, so that the bottom had been cut off. It now measured 7 in. diam. across the mouth, and 64'in. high (the original height must have been about ii in.). The walls expanded to the end of a rim 34in. deep, at which point it was 8jin. wide, thence tapering to 7jin. where broken. It was ornamented only by a curved lip and five slightly rounded, circumferential mouldings on the rim, with two less distinct below. The ashes were carefully examined, but no trace of any ornament or article was found with the charcoal and calcined bones.
The name of a small farm-stead by the stream in Glen Aldyn, Quarterland of Ballagarrow, O. S., V. 14, (3113), is evidence of another, making ten for this Parish. It is variously pronounced Keeill Fooigyn, and Keeill Poogheragh. There is now no memory of a building.
[see continuation in Report 4]
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