[from Yn Lioar Manninagh Vol 4 pp120/121]


September 24, 1903.

Leader—Mr. W. POTTS, C.T.C., J.P.

On Thursday, 24th September, members joined in an Excursion to Peel, under the leadership of Mr. Potts, attended by sixteen members and six visitors.

Upon assembling at the Peel-road Station, the party was met by the leader, Mr. Potts, who pointed out the hollow known as Close-y-Garey, where the fine specimen of Irish Elk had been exhumed by the Society, assisted by a committee of the British Association, a few years previously. The large quarry at Poor town was then visited. Mr. Lamplugh, in his recently published Geological Survey Memoirs, describes this as a handsome dark green porphyritic rock, crowded with Augite crystals, and mentions that two hundred yards further east, are smaller quarries on both sides of the road, of much finer grained material, found in contact with baked flintery flags. and that the field evidence favours the view that it is simply the more quickly cooled margin of the coarser mass.

Mr. Harrison having briefly described the peculiarities of the rock, the leader took the road to Peel, and, in passing Cronk-ny-Keillane, Mr. J. Cain was called upon to give his recollections of the stone cists exposed about sixty years previously, at the time the road was lowered to its present level. Ascending the gorse-covered hill, the remains of the foundations of the little Keeil were pointed out, and it was suggested that the gorse and fern should be burnt and a plan made of the foundations. Mr. Cain did not remember to have seen any fence around the burial ground, but, that it had extended across the road was evident from the fact that the ends of some of the lintel graves were still visible in the bank opposite. These were undoubtedly Christian, but, at a lower level were larger stone cists somewhat similar to that seen by the road-side, opposite Tynwald Hill, which may have been of Neolithic age. He remembered to have seen the bones in some of the cists, showing that burial had been by inhumation, not incineration, but upon exposure they had crumbled away. According to the Ordnance Survey the dedication of the Keeil was to S. Mary, possibly the name of the Cronk was a diminutive form. Referring to the name Poortown, Mr. Kermode thought it might have been derived from a member of the De La Poer family. Sir James Gell had told him that this family had owned property in the Island, and there was a place on the Castletown-road formerly belonging to them which had borne the same name.

By way of the Brewery-road, passing the site of Carran’s, formerly Cowell’s Brewery, and that of Radcliffe’s Mill, and the old mansion house of Ballaquane, the party was conducted to the Naval Battery, where members were received by Chief Divisional Officer Newnham. Here they inspected the guns (a 4.5 Maxim, five-barrel Nordenfelt, 3 lb. Hotchkiss, 9 in. firer, 7 in. R.M L. gun), which were explained clearly and enthusiastically by that popular officer.

Members then proceeded to the Castle, which, by kind permission of his Excellency the Lieut. -Governor, they were permitted to enter free of charge. Mr. Quine was called upon for some remarks on the Cathedral, and explained in detail the approximate dates of the different portions of the ruins now existing. The chancel, he thought, was founded about 1193, its construction being similar to that of Inch and Gray Abbeys in Ireland ; and the light-coloured stone obtained from the quarries of Bangor. The interesting collection in the guard-house was exhibited by Mr. Cashen, the genial custodian, who added information about the ruins generally.

A visit was then paid to the Clothworkers new school, the leader conducting the party over the fine buildings. Here an interesting collection of flints and polished stone implements, coins, and other antiquities had been arranged by Mr. Keig and Mr. Cowley, who exhibited and remarked on the various objects. Here tea was provided by the kindness of Miss Morrison, and, having enjoyed the rest and refreshment, a meeting was held.


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