[From Yn Lioar Manninagh Vol 3 pp502/3]
JULY 20, 1899.
Leaders-Rev. A. J. HOLMES and Mr. G. PATTERSON. ..
On Thursday, July 20, there was an excursion to St. Mark's and Ballasalla, under the leadership of Rev. A J. Holmes and Mr. G. Patterson. There were present during the day eight members and six visitors.
Gathering at the Foxdale Mines, the road was taken by Dreemlang, with a short stop at the farmhouse to admire the beautiful prospect which is said to have suggested to Martin, the celebrated picture, " The Plains of Heaven." .
At Ballachrink, a field was crossed to view the site of a chapel and burial ground. An uncultivated corner of a field remained, as shown on the Ordnance Map. About the centre of the space, a slight mound and some stones in position, appeared to indicate the foundations of a small keeil lying about S.W. and N.E. No appearance of graves, headstones, or carved stones of any kind were seen.
At Ballanicholas the horses were put up, and another site of chapel and burial ground examined in the Corner of a field still called the ' 'Chapel Field." In this case also a small space had been left uncultivated, and the foundations of the chapel were preserved. They measured (inside) eleven feet by seven. No name or dedica-tion was now known, but that of the farm itself might give a clue, as possibly it had been derived from the chapel.
South of the house the point of a field forms a little peninsula, with the Santonburn flowing at the foot of a declivity on the west and south. In this naturally strong position is a very fine mound which, in part at least, is artificial. The Ordnance marks it " Tumulus," but it seems more likely that it was a small place of defence. At the house some iron cannon balls were exhibited (7 lb. and 91b.), which were said to have been found in this place, and it is locally known as " The Cashtal."
A little to the E.S.E. of this is an undoubted Fort or Camp, known as "The Ring," of a type similar to that at Ballacraine, near S. John's. It is situated in a marsh, and consists of two well-defined concentric mounds, measuring about 50 yards diameter to the outside of the circles.
Returning to Campbell Bridge, the party were met by several members from Castletown, and, seats being resumed, the road was followed to S. Mark's.
At Knockrhenny the site of a chapel and burial ground was shown, but it had been completely obliterated by the plough.
In a field to the south of this were two fine Tumuli. The southernmost one, which was the largest, had been opened, and Mr. Holmes related how some strangers from across the water had, a few years since, excavated till they had come to a stone cist in which were human bones, and outside of it the bones of a horse. Some Pottery was also supposed to have been found. It is unfor-itunate that no record of this appears to have been preserved.
After lunch the " Black Fort" was visited. It has been frequently ploughed over, and can now only just be traced.
" Godard Crovan's Stone," a large granite boulder that stood by the little stream " Awin Ruy," south of the Fort, was broken up and used in the building of the parsonage.
As it now came on to rain heavily no further stoppages were made till Ballasalla was reached ; but in passing Ballakilley a portion. of the gable of the old keeil was pointed out.
At the Sycamores, Ballasalla, Mr. and Mrs. Patterson offered a hearty welcome, and after tea a meeting was held.