[From 128 Views, c.1907]

Section 15 - Additional images from 150 Views

These views appeared in the c.1910 150 Views which used many of those in 128 Views but added many new views, generally dating post 1905. This page show a number of these. This volume also included a brief guide - reproduced below:

GUIDE TO THE ISLE OF MAN

OF the many charming spots that may be found in the British Isles, perhaps none will charm the roving traveller more than the wild and beautiful home of the Manxman. A right little, tight little island it is, with its mountainous scenery and glorious views, its lovely valleys and romantic glens, and its dear old towns that continually remind one of bygone centuries when the modern and erroneously termed desirable residence was yet unknown to Manx architects. Lonely and beautiful stands the ISLE of MAN, presenting its bold and rugged shores to the restless waves of the Irish Sea, and as we stand on the deck of the steamer which has borne us swiftly and smoothly from Liverpool, we are delighted with the delicately graceful appearance of the island as old Snaefell and his lordly neighbours rise from the morning mists, their summits glistening in the sunlight like mighty pearls flung into the ocean by some fabulous giant. As we approach nearer the picturesque features of the broken shore-line present themselves more clearly, and we gaze with pleasurable expectation upon the old Manx capital snugly reposing under the lea of Douglas Head. Soon the steamer slows down alongside the Victoria Pier, and we step ashore half inclined and wholly willing to believe that we have landed on some foreign shore as we watch the keen dark faces of the Manx people and listen to their strangely intoned voices. All along the pier eager men and women from hotels and boarding-houses offer accommodation to the visitors, and those of the latter who have not taken the precaution to procure their rooms will not do so badly if they place themselves in the hands of one of these enterprising persons. Crowds of sightseers watch the incoming steamers discharge, and innumerable urchins of both sexes sell matches, papers, and three-legged ornaments, which they, with unconscious humour, describe to would-be purchasers as the "Manx Arms." From the pier we come directly on to Douglas town with its busy trams and fine hotels. On our right the waves of Douglas Bay lash the stonework of the splendid promenade, and if we board one of the numerous cars we get a breezy and altogether delightful ride down to the Derby Castle, where we can, if we wish, exchange into another electric car of palatial appearance, which will whisk us through magnificent scenery to the summit of Mount Snaefell. Our second illustration shows us the town viewed from the south, and also the harbour, which we make a point of visiting, for it is not the least interesting feature of Douglas. Here timber vessels from Norway and Sweden unload their freights, black and grimy coal ships discharge, fishing smacks empty themselves of their finny cargoes, and goods of all sorts are landed or taken in for shipment to some distant port. Sometimes one sees a cargo of ore from the Manx mines being loaded up, destined for some foreign market. The halcyon days of Mona's mining industry, however, are past, and she has wisely directed her energies into other sources. Altogether the harbour presents a busy and varied scene, not without its picturesqueness, and certainly excellent testimony to the flourishing condition of the trade of the island.

If we retrace our steps to the Victoria Pier we shall be able to gaze upon a scene of a far different character. To our left three or four miles of promenade sweep round the bend of Douglas Bay. The sea is dotted with the white sails of graceful little yachts, and seawards is the grim Conister Rock with its Tower of Refuge and beacon, placed there years ago by a benevolent lady [sic] to warn ships from steering too close to the islet's dangerous reefs. In calm weather, however, the Conister Rock loses much of its fearsomeness, and during the summer many hundreds of tourists blithely visit its rugged shores in the numerous boats which ply from the pier. Another interesting trip can be made across the mouth of the harbour in a grunting steam ferry to Douglas Head, at the base of which, in a charming and retired cove behind the Battery Pier, is the Port Skillion Bathing Creek, upon the improvement of which considerable sums have been spent by a munificent and public-spirited trader of Douglas. Here the swimmer can take his morning dip in comfort and security. After his swim he will feel all the readier for a good swinging walk along the LOCH Promenade, of which our photograph gives such an excellent view. Here, during the balmy summer time, thousands of pleasure-seekers from all parts of Britain, and especially from the Midlands, throng its entire length and drink in the keen healthy breeze that comes from the ocean and ripples the blue waters of the bay. Charming as is the scene when the sun is shining, there is a spice of romance to be found if the walk be taken on a bright moonlight night when the shimmering waves shatter themselves on the shore in a tireless sequence of silvery flashes of light. But not always is the sea calm and restful, as can be seen from our next illustration. Sometimes the stormy winds lash the waves into mountains of angry billows-then, indeed, is it a time to watch the mighty elements struggle in the bay for mastery, and to thank Providence you are safe on land and not on some ill-fated vessel with a few weak planks between you and certain death. Black is the sky overhead, and the great waves fling themselves on the solid masonry as if they would devour the very stones, rushing over the sea wall and flooding the roadway with swirling foam up to the doorsteps of the hotels along the front. But on the morrow the sea is calm again, and the tripper can venture upon the placid bay in sailing boat or fishing smack, or board one of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company's fast steamers and take a run over to Dublin, or up the beautiful Clyde to Glasgow. His choice, however, need not be limited. He can cross over to Barrow and visit Furness Abbey and the lovely Lake District, or he can take a sea journey to Llandudno. Failing these he can make a trip round the island and admire its rugged coast and magnificent mountain scenery, its quaint old sea towns and objects of interest as they glide past like moving pictures. As the vessel leaves the Manx capital, the impressive beauty of Douglas Head is seen to its full advantage.

Of late years Douglas, like its go-a-head neighbour Blackpool, has made wonderful progress, and although one can still see the charming old churches of Kirk Braddon and St. George's, yet we find that the narrow and ancient streets, once haunted by many a bold smuggler, are slowly but surely disappearing, giving place to wide and well-built thoroughfares with motor trams and electric light-such, for instance, as Victoria Street, shown in our illustration. But by far the finest part of the town is that which faces the sea. Here are the largest hotels, and here are situated two of the great dancing palaces for which Douglas is famed. From an architectural point of view the splendid crescent of buildings round the bay leaves little to be desired. Of this the unlucky person who has not yet visited the Manx capital can assure himself by a glance at our photograph of the Loch Parade. There are in addition the Queen's, the Central, and the Harris Promenades, all known and loved by the vivacious holiday-makers from the large towns in the Midlands. Those of a more thoughtful bent, however, turn from the merry throng by the sea and make their way through the town and over the harbour bridge to the Nunnery Grounds, and stopping for a moment to admire the ivy-clad Nunnery House, continue their walk to the Parish Church of Douglas, with its quiet graveyard and interesting memories. Although a church has stood on the site for some seven or eight centuries, it is regarded as doubtful by local historians whether the present Kirk Braddon dates further back than the seventeenth century. Within are several commemorative tablets, one of which records the death of Deemster Heywood, while another is to the memory of two children who were drowned in each other's arms off the coast of Madagascar. But interest chiefly centres around the monuments in the churchyard, and we reproduce a photograph of some extremely interesting relics of the ninth century. These Runic Crosses were erected by the early Scandinavian Christians, and were designed by one Gant Bjornson, a Norwegian artist, although, as some of the ornamentation is peculiarly Manx in character, it is more than likely that some credit is due to the skill of a native designer. Some-what more curious is the pillar erected to the memory of Captain Quayle, an old servant of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. Upon this appears a bas relief of a steamboat. We will now leave Douglas for a while, and, climbing the steep hills beyond Derby Castle, make our way to the village of Onchan, with its harbour. and caves and beautiful flowers. Here, picturesquely planted amongst the loveliest surroundings, is the church of St. Conchan, or St. Peter's, as it is now universally called. In the burying-ground are the remains of many wanderers from England and Scotland, for it has long been a favourite custom to bury the stranger who dies in Man in this quiet and peaceful resting-place. Leaving Onchan, we soon find ourselves in one of those romantic glens for which Manxland is famous. " Snug down in the clefts of the mountains the Manx glens seem to be the natural haunts of beauty and solitude, as can be readily imagined from our illustration of the Lovers' Walk in Groudle Glen. It is a little gem of nature, as indeed are most of these mountain retreats, with their rushing torrents and picturesque footbridges, their quaint dwellings and wealth of greenery. High up is Groudle Glen Hotel, and if we pass through this we come on to the modern tram line which winds its way up to the summit of Snaefell. At Groudle is the odd little Railway shown in our photograph with its miniature engine and cars-gall made to work," as the hawkers say in Cheapside-on tiny narrow gauge rails.

We also give an illustration of the magnificent Marine Drive along by the sea, but concern ourselves more particularly with the tram line, which we follow till we reach Garwick Glen, another beautiful nook, which perhaps is only less captivating than the neighbouring glen of Laxey. But here the band of man is more in evidence, and an hour or two can be very pleasantly spent in the pretty Laxey Gardens, after which a visit must be made to the famous "Lady Isabella," the mighty water wheel of which Manxmen are so justly proud. The great wheel was erected in 1854 to work the lead mines which have kept many hundreds of men employed for centuries. Its motive power is derived from water brought down from the mountains in pipes and conducted to the top of the pillar, around which the spiral staircase runs, out on to the upper part of the wheel, and so forcing it round at the rate of a couple of revolutions per minute. The diameter of this unique wheel is nearly 73 feet, and its circumference considerably over 200 feet. It is six feet in breadth, and raises 250 gallons of water every minute from a depth of 300 fathoms. A pretty good idea of the delightfully old-world dwellings and picturesque surroundings of Laxey Old Town can be gathered from our photographs. In this retired spot, years ago, John Ruskin, when engaged in his great campaign against steam and mechanism, founded some woollen mills on true Ruskinian lines, using the methods that pleased our forefathers, long before James Watt fell to looking at boiling kettles.

Nearly three miles from Laxey, and so shut in as to be barely visible from the road, is the Dhoon Glen, with its wholly bewitching waterfall. So romantically beautiful is this choice slip of Manx scenery that it is only the reflection that this is but one of Mona's gems that induces us to continue our wanderings. Seven short miles from the Dhoon Glen Hotel is the old town of Ramsey, which, like Douglas, has seen many improvements during recent years. It is pleasantly situated on the seashore, and has a couple of good piers and a fine promenade eight hundred yards long. Of hotels there are plenty, the principal being the Mitre, shown in our illustration. Three miles or more from the town is the Point of Ayre, with its handsome stone lighthouse, from the summit of which splendid views of the Scotch mountains can be secured, and when the weather is clear the Irish coast and the stately heights of Cumberland can be seen. If we make a short excursion from Ramsey in the direction of Ballaugh in view of old Slieu Dhoo (the black mountain), we shall enter another beautiful valley much sought after by visitors to Man.

Sulby Glen is a lovely bit of mountain scenery, and within its limits are many picturesque spots, not the least charming of which is the Olt Water-fall depicted in our photograph. A ramble of a somewhat different. character can be made in the direction of Maughold village, which is reached by turning off the Douglas high-road a little under a mile from Ramsey and bearing towards the coast. Much of interest can be seen on this journey, and by the time we have visited Maughold Head and the famous well, admired the Ballaglass Waterfall and inspected the curious and ancient Cross shown in our illustration, even the longest summer's day will have worn to its close.

We will now take a run to the other side of the island to the interesting and old-world town of Peel, first visiting the lovely waterfalls of Glen Meay, perhaps even more charming than any we have yet seen. It is difficult to imagine a more delightfully fascinating scene than that which meets our gaze as we stand on the picturesque footbridge with the torrent rushing beneath and the wild verdant growth around us. In many respects the crooked and irregular streets of Peel remind us of the older portions of Douglas, but our interest naturally centres itself upon the ruins of its venerable castle and cathedral, both of which are situated in the Isle of St. Patrick, which is reached by means of either a ferry or the bridge at the head of the harbour. The portcullis by which we enter the castle is said to be a thousand years old, although the present building probably only dates from the sixteenth century. The Cathedral is dedicated to St. Germain, and the choir, which is the oldest portion, was erected, according to local chroniclers, by Bishop Simon in the early part of the thirteenth century. In the brief space at our disposal it is impossible to describe these extraordinarily interesting old piles, but the illustrations we have reproduced will serve to convey a very fair conception of their antiquity. From the ancient tower of the castle a fine view of Peel and the surrounding sea and country can be secured. A pleasing sight it is, too, to watch the changing scenes of Peel Harbour with its picturesque fishing boats and vessels from many ports. A more comprehensive view of the town and distant castle is shown in our photograph of Peel Bay, truly a noble stretch of water, fitly set off by the stately height beyond the town.

About a mile from Peel, on the road to Douglas, is Glen Helen and the Rhenass Waterfalls, the favourite pleasure haunts of the tourists who visit the island. Beautiful as it naturally is, man has attempted to add to its charms by laying out its sward, planting more trees, building rustic bridges, and introducing Swiss chilets and bowling greens. Leaving the glen and proceed-ing through some delightful scenery till we reach the straggling village of St. John, we come to the famous Hill of Tynwald, which is close to the church of St. John shown in our photograph. From this historic mound for centuries the laws of Mona have been declared by word of mouth to listening multitudes of silent Manx folks.

Our next illustration takes us to Port Erin Bay, the north arm of which is formed by Bradda Head, a commanding eminence rising sheer out of the sea to the no inconsiderable height of 500 feet. In the foreground of the photograph is shown the ruined breakwater designed by Sir John Coode for the purpose of protecting the shipping in the bay. Its original length was close on a thousand feet, and the cost of building it, together with the low water landing pier, was something like 80,000, practically money lost, as the whole of it has been wrecked by the terrible storms which occasionally visit the rugged shores of the little island, and the huge blocks of concrete, some of which weigh seventeen tons each, are all gradually disappearing under the influence of the forceful ocean. The old fishing village of Port Erin with its romantic surroundings is well known to every visitor to Manxland, many of whom may, perhaps, have had the good fortune to view the grim headland of Bradda at Sunset-an altogether impressive and beautiful spectacle. From Spanish Head we pay a flying visit to the fishing centre of South Man — Port St. Mary — with its quaint streets and old-world houses. And now we come to the oldest town in Mona, and for the matter of that one of the oldest in Britain — Castletown — the ancient home of the Lords of Man, which was a thriving town in the days of the Romans [sic nonsense !], and is dominated by the proud stronghold from which its name originated. Its streets are crooked and narrow, and its grey buildings of the most irregular styles of architecture, but every inch of the town is delightfully picturesque, and the ancient Manx capital seems to wear an air of dignified consciousness of its own interesting and historic memories.

We reproduce an illustration of the Castletown Harbour and Castle Rushen, of which much might be written did our space permit. The town has a handsome but quiet market-place, and along by the sea is a fine promenade. If, too, we climb the cliff and make for the main road to Derby Haven, we shall be able to inspect what may be termed the Manx University - that is, King William's College - an imposing building, as may be seen from our photograph, and first opened in August 1833. Before leaving Douglas the tourist should by all means acquaint himself with the wild and beautiful coast scenery beyond Douglas Head, first visiting the charmingly, pretty Port Soderick. He can either walk or use the railway which swings giddily along the steep cliffs. The shore right round to Spanish Head is worth taking in, and the lover of such scenery as may be met with in Corn-wall will not be disappointed, for he will find precipitous cliffs rising hundreds of feet above sea-level, smugglers' caves, jagged rents and fissures in the rocks, romantic chasms and giant boulders. Of the latter, decidedly the most curious is the wonderful mass of rock known as the "Sugar Loaf," standing oddly out from the grim bulk of old Noggin's Head.

And now our task is done, and we will, not without regret, bid farewell to the pleasing scenes of sweet Mona's island, with some sort of appreciation of the soulful song of the old Manx Minstrel:-

'Tis Mona the lone!
Where the silver mist gathers-
Pale shroud, whence our
Wizard chief watches unseen

O'er the breezy, the bright,
The loved home of my fathers ;
Oh, mannin, my graih, my chree !
Vannin Veg Veen."

[FPC - quoted by Elizabeth Cookson from Hadassah]


 

For those with a CD_ROM click on each image to open a new window with a larger image.

 

The Harbour and Isle of Man Steam Packet Company's Offices, Douglas

The Harbour and Isle of Man Steam Packet Company's Offices, Douglas

The old Imperial Hotel is seen on the right, occupying the site of the old courthouse at the foot of the Red Pier - taken over by IoMSPCo in 1887.

Victoria Street, Douglas

Victoria Street, Douglas

Looking away from the Jubilee clock, on the right is the Villier's Hotel, on the left Yate's wine lodge and a little further down the Grand Theatre.

Strand Street, Douglas

Strand Street, Douglas

The narrowness of Strand Street meant that few photographs were taken.

Ferry Boats, Douglas

Ferry Boats, Douglas

One of the steam ferry boats that plied in the season from Victoria Pier across to the Battery Pier from where a cliff railway ran to Douglas Head.

Broadway, Douglas

Broadway, Douglas

Viewed looking up Broadway from the site of the entrance to the now removed iron pier. Villa Marina is on the left. The large hotel is the Central.

Loch Promenade Looking South, Douglas

Loch Promenade Looking South, Douglas

Harris Promenade and Gaiety Theatre, Douglas

Harris Promenade and Gaiety Theatre, Douglas

The Gaiety is far right, next door is the Sefton Hotel.

JV. 17402 - Victoria Pier, Douglas, Isle of Man

JV. 17402 - Victoria Pier, Douglas, Isle of Man

post 1902

The sequence number would indicate an 1899/1900 date for the photo, however the horse tramway tracks were not taken down to the pier until 1902, a covered arcade supported on cast iron pillars was later erected to run along the side of the central building. Possibly a later photo to replace a by now outdated image ? (see photo in section 1 which is taken from the same vantage point of a window in the Peveril Hotel.)

JV. 51433 - Palace and Grounds, Douglas

JV. 51433 - Palace and Grounds, Douglas

c.1905

Bandstand and chairs in Palace grounds.

Old Church Kirk Braddan

Old Church Kirkbraddan [sic Kirk Braddan]

An updated photo of Old Kirk Braddan from that in 128 Views - little changed except that a tree adjacent to side of church has gone.

Returning from Kirk Braddan [Nunnery Gates]

Returning from Kirk Braddan [Nunnery Gates]

One way of returning from the Sunday open-air service at Kirk Braddan was along the path through the Nunnery Grounds.

House of Keys (Manx House of Parliament), Douglas

House of Keys (Manx House of Parliament), Douglas

One time Bank of Mona building dating from 1854 - the Tynwald chamber is actually the 1894 building immediately to the left of the 'wedding cake' . Currently (2003) they are being extensively renovated.

Central Promenade, Douglas

Central Promenade, Douglas

Young Men's Holiday Camp, Douglas

Young Men's Holiday Camp, Douglas

Cunningham's camp

Howstrake Holiday Camp and Groudle Rocks

[55435] Howstrake Holiday Camp and Groudle Rocks

Howstrake was where Cunningham first established his camp before opening the larger Victoria Road site (shown above) in 1905.
The newly constructed Groudle Railway can be seen as the upper scar across the slope of Groudle Glen.

Port Jack Bathing Creek

Port Jack Bathing Creek

Port Jack is a secluded cove at North of Douglas Bay - used as open-air bathing place for families

Polar Bears, Groudle Glen

Polar Bears, Groudle Glen

One of the tourist attractions at the cove reached via the minature railway

Minature Railway, Groudle Glen

Minature Railway, Groudle Glen

A posed shot of Sea Lion and carriages.

Electric Tram Station and Refreshment Rooms, Laxey

Electric Tram Station and Refreshment Rooms, Laxey

The track on the right is the 3' 6" gauge Snaefell Mountain Railway - that on the left running past the large rustic style Refreshment room is the MER

Round the Band, Laxey Gardens

Round the Band, Laxey Gardens

Laxey Gardens

Glen Faba Bridge, near Peel

Glen Faba Bridge, near Peel

Bishop's Court, Kirkmichael

Bishop's Court, Kirkmichael

Bishopscourt residence of Bishops of Sodor and Man until the 1970s

Parliament Street, Ramsey

Parliament Street, Ramsey

The Mitre Hotel, dating from c. 1840 replacing an earlier hotel of same name, is seen on left.

Market Place, Ramsey

Market Place, Ramsey

Market Square built on reclaimed land - St Paul's Church is off picture to left.

Ramsey Promenade

[JV. 20202] - Ramsey Promenade

Valentine Registration date is 1894 which would fit.

Prince of Wales hotel, re-opened after a rebuild in June 1884. The Albert Hotel visible centre background was demolished in 1900.

Note: All comments are my own and are not in the original which had only the captions shown against each photograph.


 

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Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2003