[From Yn Lioar Manninagh Vol 3 pp434/5]


Mr. A. W. MOORE, F.R.H.S., &c.


These were first discovered in the Isle of Man by Professor Babington, at Oatlands, in Santon, during the excursion of the Cambrian Archaeological Society in 1865. On the same occasion some other " cups " were found in the enclosed ground above Kirk Braddan Churchyard. As these and other cup markings in the Island were described by Sir J. J. Simpson, who was one of the " Cambrians " then visiting Man, in a book which is now scarce1 it is, perhaps, worth recording his descriptions in our Magazine

In his remarks upon the Oatlands circle, he says : " Of the outer circle only four stones remain. On the outer surface of a stone belonging to the inner circle are some eighteen cup markings, arranged in five rows. . . No artificial markings have been discovered on any of the other stones of this sepulchre." Again : " The cist at Oatlands or Ballakelly, with a capped stone standing near it, is short also, being two feet three inches in breadth and between four and five feet in length."2 Two plates of this stone are given in vol. xv. of the Manx Society’s publications.

In reference to the Kirk Braddan markings he says : " In the wood situated immediately behind the churchyard of Kirk Braddan . . . is an ancient city or town, with an angled portion of its strong double encircling walls still standing and faced with large upright stones. On the sides of the largest outcrop of rock standing within this circuit, Prof. Babington and I traced, after the removal of a covering of old moss, a number of round cup excavations, two sets of them conjoined together by groves or guttered lines, six or seven inches long, as represented in plate xxvi., fig 4, from a sketch made by my niece, Mrs. Blyth, of Kentraugh. The rock itself, like that forming the Oatland circle, is a very compact felspathic greenstone, extremely difficult to cut or break. One of a great group of massive stones placed on the northern border of the wood has between twenty and thirty cups cut upon it—some of them arranged in rows and others placed circularly round a central cup. Two only are conjoined by gutters. Three or four stones within or near this interesting site of an ancient Manx community appear also to show artificial straight sides and markings"3. Oswald refers to this work in his Vestigiae (Manx Soc., vol. v., pp. 96 and 190.)

Other markings, all in the parish of Santon, are described as follows : " Upon Ballaglonnay, a farm above a mile from the Oatland circle, Mrs. Blyth has found two large granite blocks, one showing six or seven cups of the usual size." The second with eleven cups and a circle eight inches by nine, and having joined to it, but not included in it, two smaller and more faded circles. . . . On the side of Grainach Bay (Port Greenock), is a large felspathic block with one cup mark on it. This stone lies below the anomalous earthwork known under the name of Cronkny-Myrrhiou, on Seafield."

On the high ground above—near the Parish Church of Santon, Mrs. Blyth has found another cupped stone ; and on a primitive heavy old block built into the angle of a cottage, in the farm of Ballycrink, near the Oatland circle, I have seen a row of three cups. "3

As regards later discoveries we may note that, in 1883, some members of the Isle of Man Natural History Society found a group of five cup markings on a large stone on the farm of BallacarnaneMoar in Michael, which is just above the railroad on the south of Glen Moar, and on the east side of the upright stone. These markings are connected with a guttered line. On the surface of the rock to the south-east of the stone, there were also faint traces of similar markings.

1 Archaic Scuipturings of Cups, Circles, &c. , upon stones and rocks, Edinburgh, 1867.Ibid—p. 22.

2 Page 131.

3 Page 56.

4 page 69


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