[From Yn Lioar Manninagh Vol 3 pp504/6


Leader-Rev. C. H. LEECE, Vicar of Rushen.

There was an excursion of the Society to the Sloc, Rushen, on Friday, September 8, 1899

The Rev. C. H. Leece, Vicar of Rushen, had been selected as leader, and met his party at Colby on arrival of the 11 a. m. train. There were present during the day fifteen members and twenty visitors.

At Bellabbey Canon Kewley pointed out the site of the ancient Keeil, of which no trace remains. The Holy Well was close by. S. Catharine's Fair was held here on the 25th November, and if any one got the worse for liquor that day he was said to have plucked a feather from S. Catharine's hen !

Near Keeil Pherric a stoppage was made to see the old sill, or threshold stone, recently brought from the ancient keeil and built into a roadside wall. It was of limestone, and measured about three feet by twenty inches, and five inches thick.

A little further on was seen a stone pillar of the local clay slate, smoothly rounded and tapering. It was three feet above the surface of the ground-thought to be buried about three feet deep by ten to twelve inches diameter. This had been one of a pair which stood before the entrance to the keeil. Of the latter no trace or remains were now visible, the stones with many gravestones, having been removed about forty years ago and used in the mine buildings near by. The Clogh Ard, at this mine, may possibly mark the remains of a chambered Tumulus.

A cross-cut was now made to the " Standing Stones," of which only two remain, the larger one measuring nine feet above the surface, by four feet wide and twenty inches thick-an unhewn block of the local rock. Mr. Jeffcott has recorded seeing a third upright stone, and had been told of another standing before his time. When perfect the monument may have consisted of twelve,or more forming a circle. Mr. Harrison called attention to three or four rounded white quartz pebbles (from two to four inches diameter) at the foot of the large stone, similar to those met with in the Mull circle and other burial places. An Urn is recorded as ;having been found close by.

With some little difficulty the traces of the old earthwork "Fort" -were found in the field adjoining. Part of a double ring could be distinguished as shown on the Ordnance Sheet, but it is fast disappearing under the plough.

After luncheon, seats were resumed in the cars, and a short drive brought the party to the place known as the Sloc. This is the hollow on the south side of the Baare-mooar.1 Here a little stream-let falls in a cascade to the sea, separating it from Cronk-ny-Irree-Laa. On the other side of the rocky prominence known as the Baare-mooar, and between it and the Baare-meanagh, at the very head of the valley sloping down towards Colby, are numerous small ,circular hollows, about nine to ten feet internal diameter, supposed to be the foundations of pre-historic dwellings. About two dozen were counted. A ridge above shelters and protects the site on the west ; towards the south-east a commanding view is had across Langness. The so-called " Causeway" on the ridge appears to be nothing but the foundation of a former wall. Mr. Jeffcott has recorded the name of this spot as Clogh-yn-daa-hoit, or the stone of the two settings. Curious lines of upright stones, as on the Mull Hill, apparently mark ancient boundaries.

The Cronk was then ascended, and a fine view of the Island and surrounding coasts rewarded the climbers. Black Coomb, Anglesea, Mourne, and the Mull of Galloway, all were visible, the Welsh coast being particularly clear. The rounded top of Snaefell stood boldly in the midst of the Manks hills, the two peaks of Barrule appearing faint in the distance beyond. Northwards lay the town of Peel, and the low coast trending away to that other Cronk-ny-Irree-Laa, at Jurby. To the south-east the land swept down from South Barrule (Wardfell) to Derbyhaven and Castletown, with the curiously shapen Langness. The bold cliffs of Gob-y-Veinney, Bradda, and the Calf, stretched away to the south, and a few yards west of the Cairn, the Cronk itself sloped precipitously into the deep sea. Far below, the site of the ancient Keeil and burial ground at Lag-ny-Keilley, was pointed out, but a flourishing growth of bracken prevented anything of the low ruined walls being seen.

Returning to the summit, the Crow-berry, was found in fruit. Two small boulders of Foxdale granite were picked up, one close by the Cairn. Another, about two feet in diameter, was met with a short way down the eastern slope.

The cars were in waiting at the Round Table, and, seats being resumed, the road was followed to Ballayelse. Here stands a good example of our ancient Keeils, almost all of which have unfortunately been allowed to fall so completely into ruin. It lies N.W. and S.E., and the internal measurement is 19 feet 6 inches by 10 feet 6 inches, the walls being from two feet nine inches to three feet thick. The inside height is six feet. An uncultivated space. around of five to six yards marks the ancient burial ground. A doorway appears to have been near the east end of the south wall; there is no trace of any window, nor were any signs of carving observed.

A last stoppage was made at Ballacross, where Canon Kewley pointed out the site of the Pre-historic burial ground and the Cist in which was found the curiously shapen Urn described at a former meeting.* The Urn itself was also shown. Near by was the Holy Well, water from which was until very recently always used for baptism in the parish church. The cross from which the farm is supposed to take its name stood upon a mound above, through which the highroad is now cut. Its position is marked by two thorns in the hedge.

1 See Vol. L, P. 148.
Vol III p479



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