Sulby Glen

A Heaton Cooper - Sulby Glen and Snaefell
Sulby Glen and Snaefell

The road from Old Sulby through the long glen along the Sulby River towards Snaefell is well described by Canon Quine in 1902 Many views along Sulby Glen were depicted on postcards as the drive along it, though growing popular in the 1880s it became a significant tourist attraction after the opening of the Mountain Railway in 1895 - however the road was not always a smooth passage as can be seen by the following memorial presented to Tynwald Court in November 1890:


The Tynwald Court sat to-day. There were present:-In the Council: His Excellency the Lieut. -Governor (President), the Clerk of the Rolls, Deemster Gill, the Attorney-General, the Receiver-General, and the Vicar-General. In the Keys: The Speaker (Major J. S. Goldie- Taubman), and Messrs G. H. Quayle, W. Farrant, T. Fisher, J. Joughin, R. Penketh, D. Maitland, H. J. Watterson, J. Burnyeat, D. Cormode, D. Teare, W. B. Stevenson, T. Allen, J. R. Cowell, A. N. Laughton, R. S. Stephen, R. Corlett, J. Spittall, and J Quayle.


Mr COWELL read the following memorial:-To his Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor, the Honourable the Council and Keys in Court assembled.

The Memorial of residents in Lezayre, Sulby Glen, and adjoining districts, and of the car-proprietors and car-driver, of the Island generally, Sheweth,-That your memorialists, having heard that the opening of some new roads has been contemplated for some time, most respectfully pray that the much needed improvements and repairs of the existing roads herein referred to should first receive attention, and that a special grant be made to put them in a thorough state of repair to meet the rapidly growing traffic.

That the whole of the mountain road from the Keppel Gate to the Corrony Iron Gate be thoroughly coated with stone,, and formed to throw off the water, which at present after a day's heavy rain in the summer season, with the large vehicular traffic, makes the road almost impassable, and a cause of great discomfort not only to your petitioners but to the visitors, with whom the drive to Snaefell Mountain, and through Sulby Glen and Lezayre to Ramsey, has become so very popular.

That to those engaged in agriculture in the northern parishes the improvement of this road, giving easy access to the mountain turf beds which lie close by it, and by also providing a short road to the Douglas markets, would be of inestimable value, in the latter case reducing the distance to Douglas by several miles.

That the widening and malting thoroughly safe of the present very narrow bridge forming part of the roadway in Sulby Glen (which is not wide enough to admit of a pedestrian and vehicle at the same time) be proceeded with before another season opens, as well as the widening, face fencing, and coating with stones of the road through Sulby Glen from the bridge to Lezayre Road, this being a much-needed work, owing to the road being dangerously narrow in parts for two vehicles to meet (which constantly occurs during the summer months, especially in this portion of the road, when conveyances from Douglas meet those from Ramsey and district, and from railway station, proceeding to the head of Sulby Glen), the only protection from an almost perpendicular fall of in some places between 100 and 200 feet, being a low sod fence, which in many places scarcely exceeds a foot in height.

The consequences of any accident from the breakage in a vehicle, or from a restive horse, cannot be over-estimated.

This work is the more urgent that the magnificent scenery for which Sulby Glen is so famed has made the drive so popular, that from a few hundreds that visited it in 1880, it has been estimated that between fifty and sixty thousand visitors and residents from Douglas, Ramsey, and other parts of the Island, drove or walked through Sulby Glen during the season of 1890.

That the present mountain roads are yearly becoming more popular, and necessarily require more work to keep in repair, and that in the opinion of your memorialists the first sum of money granted for roads should be expended in putting them in thorough order and coating with stones before next season opens, and thus not only confer a great boon on that industry especially (the car trace), which pays so large a proportion of the road taxes, but upon their passengers-the visitors, and also to a great degree tend to the internal development of the Island.

Wherefore your memorialists respectfully pray that your honourable Court would take into consideration improvements so urgently needed, and vote such money as shall be deemed necessary for the carrying out of the same.

Fred. S. Tellet, C.P.,(Nappin), Lezayre ; John C. LaMothe (Ellen Bane), Lezayre; Robert Cowley (merchant), Ramsey; F. A. Worrall (Glentrammon), Lezayre ; Wm. C. Worrall (Ballaehree), Lezayre : Jae. Kneale (Balla-leaney), Andreas; James Hardie, J.P. (Loughen-e-Yeigh), Lezayre ; L. A. Brereton, Major-General, and J.P., Riversdale; Alex. D. Thellusson, J.P., Mount Auldyn; A. C. Kayll, C.P. (Bay View), T. Southward (Sulby Mills), T. J. Southward (Sulby Mills), Thos. Fargher (Old Village, Sulby), F. Christian (Glen Moar), John Cowley (Crammag), Thomas Cowle (Glen Moar), Edward H. Quayle (Ballaskella), Margaret Quayle (Balla-skella), William Craine (Tholt-e-Will), Thomas Cowley (Creggan), John Kinrade (Killabraga). Thos. W. Cowell (Ballacubragh), John Craine (Sulby Glen), James Mylrea (Sulby Glen), Thomas Kewish (Sulby Glen), Daniel Cowley (Close Moar), Daniel Quirk (Narradale), Wm. Corlett (Kerrowmoar), William Dawson (Belle Vue), John Quayle (Blockeary), John Quayle (Kerrowmoar), John R. Stevenson (Kerrow-moar), all of Lezayre ; John Lindsay (car-proprietor), Ramsey ; James McWbannell Glenduff), Lezayre ; William Henry Surridge (car-proprietor), Ramsey; Hugh Kneen (Sulby Glen), Lezayre ; W. L. Wild, Ramsey ; H. E. Bishop (Riversdale Cottage), Lezayre; Robt. Edward Garret (Ballagawne), Bride: John Thomas Kaighen (Ballamin), Bride; Thomas Cottier (Ballamanagh), Lezayre; Casar Kelly (Grange), Lezayre ; William Anderson (Sulby Glen Hotel), Lezayre; John Kaighen (Balla-moor), Jurby; William Killip (Sleanmenaugh), Lezayre; A. H. Smith (Sub-postmaster, Sulby), Lezayre ; John Kelly (Berrag), Jurby : James Creer (Ballacaine), Jurby; John Goldsmith, baker (Sulby Glen), William Kneale (steward), Robert Curphey (steward), John James Cain (Ballamanagh), Edward Cain (Narradale), Thomas Kelly (Sulby Bridge), John Killip (Narradale), William Sharpe (Narradale), John Henry Quayle (Narradale), W. Cain (Sulby Bridge), John Roberts (Sulby Bridge), Thomas Radcliffe (Sulby Bridge), John J. Kneale (Sulby Village), John Radcliffe (Sulby Bridge), Thomas Corlett (Kerrowmoar), James Kneale (Kella), Thomas Cain (Sulby Bridge), Edward C. Corlett (East Kella), Wm. Fayle (West Kella), Robert Fayle (West Kella), John Christian (Sulby Bridge), Thomas Cowley (joiner), E. J. Curphey (Kella Mills, Sulby), John Stephen, Coroner of Ayre Sheading), William Cleator (Clanagh), John James Cleator (Clanagh), John Gawne (Clanagh-road), William Allen (Clanagh), William Cowley (Eary Vane), Robt. Cowley (Clanagh), Thomas James Cowley (Clanagh), Benjamin Comeish (Clanagh), Eliza Fargher (Clanagh), John Killip (Close-e-volley), Daniel Kewin (Sulby), all of Lezayre; Edward Corlett (Golane), Jurby; Thomas Caley (Clanagh), John Caley (Clanagh), William Corlett (Clanagh), John Caley (Close Beg), Philip Lace (Curragh), William Southward (Sulby), all of Lezayre ; Edward Dawson (car-proprietor), Ramsey: Ellen Corlett (Ballamanagh) Lezayre; Robert Corlett (car-proprietor), Ramsey; J. J. Corlett, Ramsey; John Kelly (Abbeville), Lezayre; William Colquitt (car-proprietor), Ramsey; Letitia Jane Kneale (school-mistress), Sulby Glen; John Craine (car-driver, Sulby), Jane Boyd (Cooilbane), John Killip (Clanagh), Wm. Bannon (Ballacley), Wm. Kewley (Sulby Glen). all of Lezayre; Edward Curphey (West Craig), Andreas; Peter Rubens (steward), John Corlett (Ling Close), Ceasar Cowley (Ballacaley) all of Lezayre; Walter Shimmin (car-proprietor), Parkes (butcher), William Joseph Gawne (car-proprietor), Robert H. Collister (car-proprietor), Robert Corlett (car-proprietor) ; David Kelly (car-proprietor), Thomas Shimmin (car-proprietor), John Dickinson (butcher), John Rooth (butcher), Andrew Caley (23, Circular-road), Mr Carran (14, Bridge-road), Wm. Thomson (Eastfield), William Clague, Alfred Clague (car-proprietor), John Duff, John Langhlin, John Creer, James Gribbin, William J- McMullin, John J. Craine, Thomas Hughes, William Cretney, William Sayle, Robert Quayle, T. Clague (Burnt-Mill Hill), Thomas Maddrell, Thomas Cowin, Thomas Corkill, John Jones, John Russell, Thomas Jones, Frank Cringle, Bedan Holding, Thomas Boswell, William Craine, Frank McLinden, Beniamin Kewley, all of Douglas; James Greenshields, Snaefell Commons; E. Kerruish (Cardle Moar), Maughold ; Wm. Christian, Ballacorey ; Henry Kelly (Ballaquenney), Rushen ; John Collard, Douglas; Chas. Craine (Glen Moar), Lezayre; J. R. Quayle, Balla-varran; Wm. Graham (car-proprietor), Douglas; William Corlett (East Nappin), Jurby; John Kneale (Ballacregga), Kirk Bride; Robert Cowin (Sulby), Onchan ; Hy. Eason. Mount Tarbrec; Joseph Dagney (car-proprietor), Douglas; William Magee (car-proprietor), Douglas.

Mr COWELL : I may say that this petition is very influentially signed. The first names I notice at the head of the petition are the names of the captain of the parish Dr Tellett, John C. LaMothe, Esq., High-Bailiff of Ramsey, Mr Robert Cowley, timber merchant, Mr F, A. Whorral, Mr W. C. Whorral, Mr John Kneale, Mr James Hardie, and a great number of resi.dents in Ayre Sheading and the town of Ramsey, and a large number of ear-proprietors. I am told that the petition is signed by 44 car-proprietors in Douglas, six car-proprietors in Ramsey, and over a hundred farmers resident in Ayre Sheading. I beg to submit that memorial to the Court.

The CLERK of the ROLLS : May I ask what the object of it is?

Mr COWELL : The prayer of the petition is that the Court take into consideration the improvements so urgently needed on this road, and vote such sum as may be necessary for carrying out the work. That is including the widening of the road at Tholt-e-Will, and the improving of the road to the Keppel Gate. It more particularly refers to the road from the Keppel Gate down to Sulby.

The petition was laid on the table of the Court.

The road, now the A14, is still narrow and impassable to coaches because of the very sharp hairpin bend at Tholt-y-Will.




Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
© F.Coakley , 2018