[from Proc IoMNH&ASoc vol2 #3 1924]


20 AUGUST, 1921.

The company, numbering thirty-five, met at St. German's Station at 11.15 a.m. Mr. W. Cubbon was the leader. The following features were inspected on Upper Lhergydhoo, viz., the stone circle of quartz. boulders, two cairns, the cronk, and the Crosh Moar. The ridge road from Lhergydhoo, known as 'Bar ny Oolyn,' through Bwooillee Cowle to Mannanan's Chair, was travelled. Here Miss Mona Douglas, the Secretary of the Manx Society, read some deeply interesting notes on the Mannanan of Manx folklore. She referred to the position that the ancient figure Mannanan held in Manx tradition; the quaint stories of his skill as a wizard; his protection of his people, the pre-Celts, the original inhabitants of the Island; his activities as the first ruler in Mann, who gave, she declared, his name to the Island. She gave a number of instances in which Mannanan has still left traces of his influence. as far away as Maughold and around Barrule.

Mr. Cubbon, in his remarks, said he believed that Mannanan took his name from the Island, and not that he gave his name to it. It was, he said, the general opinion of Irish antiquaries that Mannanan was a real person, famous for his exploits as a sea rover and coloniser, and that he ultimately became deified as the 'god of the sea.' He referred to what is known as the 'Traditionary Ballad of Mannanan Mac y Lir,' and said he thought that. the Keamool there referred to in the following verse: -

'The rent each (landholder) paid out of his land was a bundle of green rushes;
Some went up with the rushes to the great mountain up at Barrool ;
Others would leave the grass at the feet of Mannanan over above Keamool '

was the Treen of Cammall, upon which Cronk Urleigh, the old hill of Tynwald, in Michael, stands. The district around 'Stoyll Mannanan,' as the place where they stood was always called, seemed to be more closely associated with Mannanan than any other. The Staarvey road was called Raad Mannaghyn ; the tumulus at Ballacraine, not far away, was called `the Grave of Mannanan Beg.' At Lambfell he had heard stories descriptive of the 'great fight' which occurred in the field where they now stood 'between Mannaghyn and the Devil,' and the field was still known as 'Mannaghyn.' There might even be some connection between the traditionary hero and the common saying 'That beats Monnaghyn, and Monnaghyn beat the Devil.'

It was remarked by several of the members that the remains of what had been 'Mannanan's Chair,' a huge earthwork of circular form, were being rapidly reduced in size. When the Ordnance Survey was performed in 1869, the circle was three-quarters complete, now there is only a small vestige left. It was resolved to suggest to the owner that it was advisable to give the pre-historic monument some sort of protection or it would altogether disappear.

From this point the walk was continued over Lambfell-beg and Lambfell-moar to Rhenass, one of the wildest and most fascinating of the remote places in the Island. The site of Rhenass old mill was pointed out in a romantic spot near the junction of the Little London stream and the stream coming down from the northern slope of Shen Ruy. There were evidences that the mill had originally a horizontal and not an upright wheel.

The remains of two early Celtic chapels were seen, the first on Ballahymyn, the home of the Shimmins of German, and the second on Earey-moar, the latter being built of quartz boulders. Mr. Cubbon declared that the name Glen Helen is derived (not from the name of a modern lady, as is generally accepted), but from that of the holder of the adjacent land, whose family name was MacNellen. Jenken MacNellen had owned the place in the year 1515.

The Rev. P. Campbell., M.A., B.D., Douglas, and Mr. and Mrs. Flower, Ballasalla, were elected members of the Society.


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