[Yn Lioar Manninagh Vol 2 pp 86/89]

EXCURSION TO GLEN ALDYN, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 5, 1893

Leader-Dr. TELLET, F.E,G.S., President.

The third excursion of the season was made on Thursday, 5th. October, to Glen Aldyn, under the leadership of the President, Dr. 'Tellet, Captain of the Parish, etc. Unfortunately, other events clashed with this, and the attendance was small. Walking up the Glen, or Gill, as it is locally termed, the stream was crossed at Ballagarrow, and. the track followed by the Lag-ny-darrag, "Oak-hollow," a deep little glen up which the ambuscade may have been led which took the Manks in the rear at the battle of Scacafell, 1076. About half way up the slope, by the side of the cant, track, there was pointed out a curious concretionary mass of local drift, about 12 feet square, hardened into rock (in the manner of "scrablag") by the presence of iron; sometimes this, which is known as the "Creg lheear," or "grey rock," was spoken of as air odd fort and supposed to be artificial. The streamlet derives its source from the field called Magher-ny-hoaghyn (pron. "mar na hoan"), "Field of the Graves," in which the old Rhuillic, or Burial Ground, was soon, the, outline of the foundations of the chapel being traceable in the grass. In the adjoining field, about 80 yards to the south, was another burial ground ; the remains of a third are to be seen on the opposite slope of the hill, at a distance of about 330 yards; from which, at a further distance northward of about 830 yards, is the site of the ancient chapel in Ballakillingan grounds. If the parish church be on or by the site of another keeil or chapel, it makes an extraordinary number in this immediate neighbourhood. No stones remain on the surface, the dedications are lost, and without excavating one could not affirm positively that they had all been chapels. North of the Magher-ny-hoaghyn was a fine mound, Cronk-ny-keeil bouyr, "Deaf mound of the Church." It was six feet high, and about 30 feet diameter; about 70 yards to the N.E. was another, five feet high, and about 25 feet diameter : the site of a third was pointed out in a line with these, at a distance S.W. of 335 yards. From it a cinerary urn of unusual shape had been recovered some years previously or, rather, what remained of one, for it had got partly broken by quarrying the rock on which the mound stood. A fine specimen of an urn was now recovered; a portion having been exposed by weathering and the rubbing of sheep. It measured 12 inches high, 9 inches diameter across the mouth, and 5 inches diameter at the bottom; the walls half-inch thick, and bottom ,one inch thick. It is very plain and simple in design, without pattern, except for some fine diagonal lines round the brim, which, however, looks as if it had been ornamented with a cross hatch, which had got defaced by rubbing or squeezing while the clay was soft; at intervals of about three inches are three plain mouldings, standing out. 1-16th inch: the colour is reddish brown, darker near the rim. It was set mouth downwards on the soil, and filled with calcined bones; stones seemed to have been built all round to protect it, but so much of it was exposed that in a very short time it would have been broken and probably destroyed entirely and lost. The Leader gave the account from the "Chronicon Manniae," of the Battle of Scacafell, and showed how the Manx, surprised by an ambuscade of 300 men, were entrapped by the river Sulby, swollen with the incoming tide, and Godred Grovan, who had twice before been defeated, was enabled to effect his landing. Of course the story of Godred subsequently assigning a portion of the Island to his followers and another portion to its inhabitants on condition that they should never c1.Ø it as of inheritance, is a fable. With respect to the name, the transition from the old Norse Scacafell, "Woody Hill," to the very tame and modern one of Skyhill is easily to be seen. Scacafell-Scafell-Sca'ell-Skyhill. Returning by another steep and craggy little glen, known as Cartwright's Glen, where, among other things, was noticed a great. piece of rock, so balanced on a rocky ledge, doubtless by the action of ice, as almost to form a "rocking stone," the party came into the main glen at, the "Derry," the name of which, and that of Lag-ny-darrag, seem to imply that the oak was formerly plentiful in this neighbourhood, where, indeed, it still grows without being planted. Proceeding up the stream, the leader presently pointed out a slab of "Grit," passing into diabase, about 12 feet long, and about 2 feet of its width projecting into the stream, in the centre of which it formerly lay. Local tradition connects this with a ghastly murder. "Once upon a. time" a man, supposed to have money about his person, or, as another version has it, one going to recover the amount of a small' bill, was waylaid and murdered, being afterwards "waked" on this stone; hence its name--Clagh-ny-dooiney maroo, "Stone ofthe dead man." In a, streamlet a little further up the glen an intrusive sheet of Diabase, lately being quarried, was examined; it may be the source of the large slab referred to. Passing below the Neary, Glion-ny-billey-gorrym, "Glen of the blue trees"--i.e., Holly, was presently reached, one of the last haunts of the fairies, and the trysting place with his mortal sweetheart. of that unfortunate one who, for not presenting himself at the Ree sollys vooar yn ouyr, "Great Harvest Festival in Glen Rushen," was banished from fairydom and converted into the hairy monster known as the *Phynnodderee ; a, rock on the. side of the hill is known as the Creg-ny-ghoayr, "Goat Rock," and one may imagine the bearded Billy, with his horns and hoofs, being mistaken in the twilight for the *Phynnodderee, and, perhaps, the origin of some of the tales related of him. Another crag is called November Crag-, because after that date the sun does not shine upon it. There is a Drine, or thorn tree, also, which marks the hour, and is known as the Billey Shiaght-ny-Clag, "Seven o'clock Tree." A stoppage was made at the foot of Gob-ny-Meayl, the name of which is interesting. The term Gob, which, in its primary sense, signifies a beak, is applied to a cape or headland in the sea, and this is, perhaps, the only instance of its application to an inland promonotory. The word Menyl (locally pronounced "Merl") is the same as that of the well-known bill near Port Erin, where it is pronounced "Mule" : it signifies "bare, bald" ; the present, like its namesake at the South, is a, bare, rounded top, evidently the effects of glacial action. A narrow dyke cropped up in the streamlet at its foot, and near by, on its N.E. slope, was noted a good example of "roche moutonnee."

*Principal Rhys in his work on "Celtic Folklore," now passing through University Press (April, 1900, uphold,, the spelling Fenodyree, its from fjun-hosur, or some such Scandinavian origin.-Ed.

MEETING.

A short meeting was held here, at which there were present, among others, Dr. Tellet, Rev. S. N. Harrison, Messrs G. W. Lamplugh, W. R. Twitchett, and P. M C. Kermode, secretary. The following were elected members of the Society: -Mr. P. Nevill, C.E., Douglas; Mr.s. J. F. Gill, Douglas; and two others were nominated.

The following presentations to the Library were announced, and thanks voted to the respective donors To the Library:

From the Society : Report :and Transactions of the Cardiff Naturalists' Society. vol. xxv., Part 1, 1892-3.

From Mr. J.K.. Ward : "The Canadian Record of Science." Vol. v., No. 6, 1893.

Some ancient looking foundations on the slope of the Meayl were said to be the remains, of the dwellings of the murderers who waylaid the man down the Glen, and "stretched" him on the Clagh dooiney marroo. Lower down is a curious circular earthwork which, however, is nothing more than an old Limekiln. On their return clown the Glen, members heard the following charm on the shearing of sheep:

Go thy ways bare,
Come back full;
On thy back a good thick
Feece of wood.

If thou see a thief,
Stoop thy head;
If thou see a dog,
Run fast!


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