Water Street

Water Street

Water Street was made on land released mid to late 17th century when the glacis around this part of the Castle was removed (some vestige of that is possibly to be seen in the curved boundary to the property to the west of Bank Street). The old walls mentioned in the deeds (and Lib Assed) were presumably part of the outer defence system of the Castle.

The Quay dates from the turn of the 19th century, prior to this the Castle walls gave onto the river bank or harbour which was tidal. Bank Street was created later, c.1820's, when the stone bridge over the river was constructed.

The Redoubt was in the mid 18th Century known as the 'Pigeon House' when James Dinwoody bought a few plots of land, however his purchase appears to have been officially mislaid as a later deeds was needed to clarify matters - this deed noted in South Side Sales, # Malew 1800, from Rev Evan Christian (Vicar of Patrick 1869-1808 and Vicar General) to James Dinwoody starts:

Whereas Robert Eyre of the city of London Esquire late deceased and Susannah Eyre alt Sedden his wife did sometime in the year One Thousand seven hundred and seventy eight for and in consideration of the sum of five pounds currency of the Isle of Man paid by James Dinwoody of Castletown grant bargain alienate and sell ... that plot of waste ground near the Pidgeon House with the old walls then standing thereas of the annual rent of two pence half penny situate in the said town adjoining to the Pidgeon House on the south, to the rent of Mrs Place on the North, on the back part to the garden of Mr Taubman and fronting to the river on the North East . And whereas the said deed of sale was sometime after the execution of the same given to Wm Callow esquire the then High Bailiff of the said town late deceased in order to have the same attested which was accordingly done and John Taubman and John Quayle esquires the witnesses ... William Callow did sometime previous to his decease mislay or lose the said deed .... and whereas the said Robert Eyre and Susannah his wife did sometime ago sell all ... unto the Rev Evan Christian ... and from a principal of justice is minded to affirm and confirm ... the said premises as sold ... 29th June 1799

The entry from the 1760 Liber Assed (Manorial Roll), under Church Street gives the then owners - part of a larger plot of rent 20d:

66 Geo: Stole 2½d (o1783) (inserted 1/10 of 1d Robt Gill m1784) for a dwelling house and garden on the east side of the street joining the towers 4d
  Jane Stole (o1783) ½d
  William Clague 1d  
  Henry lezSquire (? name difficult to read) & Eliz his wife & her children for half the Boggcroft 10d
  John Slater (o1764) for an outhouse on the west side 6d

The two towers are probably two redoubts of the Castle - the other being later demolished to form the site of the Custom house (later Market house and now Bank) at the junction of the Parade and Church street. - quite what is meant by 'street joining them' is unclear but it most likely to have been what is now commonly referred to as the 'moat'. Note the term Bogg croft - as Armitage Rigby well describes the current state of Castle Rushen apparently towering over a town is deceptive as originally it was built on a large boulder raising from boggy ground. John Slater's outhouse probably was attached to the walls of the castle.

A view of 1774 (from Grose's Antiquities) possibly shows this property:

Part of View of Castle Rushen,1774

Note the broken wall joining to the Redoubt, the ground sloping away immediately to the river - it is possible that the wall in right hand foreground is part of the Stole House

The 1704 Composition book has:

fo 36 Henry Lezsquire & Eliz his wife & her children for a dwelling house and garden on the east side of the street adjoining to the Little Tower over agst the Ballcony 4d and for a house adjoining James Callcot's west side sd street 6d compounded for in 1643 by Wm Stoale. fine then was 3s 4d. lives expired so now to pay 0.3.4

Itm for half the Boggcroft 10d being half of the 20d compounded for in 1643 by Jo Stoale, Charles Voase and Thomas Tubman. fine for the said 20d was 3s 4d soto pay in proportion for this 10d 0.1.8 and the other 2d not compounded

The Ballcony is most likely that seen in the above view.

James Dinwoody also bought the rent of Mrs Place and also the adjoining property - the old wash house.

The deed of sale from Jane Place states:

I Jane Place of Castletown Widow ... for eight pounds sixteen shillings ... [to] James Dinwiddie ... a small dwelling house and garden situate ... in Water Street ... adjoining to Henry Killey's rent on one end and the shore on the other end and to Mr Taubman's garden on the back part, the same being of the annual Lord's rent of two pence half penny

... [ however there was another legal hitch in that her son presumably had some legal right but was not available - hence she had to covenant that she had the right to sell] ...

Whereas it cannot be found on the registry that Wm Place surrended his right to the administration of his father Ambrose Place to his mother Jane Place. Therefore the sd Jane Place do hereby further covenant ... the sd Wm Place's rights ... sold by me ... a certain garden adjoining my dwelling house and to the tower

Witness my mark 12 Sept 1774

 The old Wash House was bought off John Caesar of Ballahick - the entries in Liber Assed under Water Street are also interesting:

70 Alexander Battersby 1½ for a house and garden
  Mrs Margaret Thompson ¾d  
  Alexander, Henry, James, Jane & Wm Killey ¼d  
71 Matthew Taubman for a house and garden on the other side of the street
72 Grace Blackburn for a house and garden at the lower end of the street
73 Qry of this (sic!) Robert Caesar of Ballahick (m1763) for the Wash House near the Castle

 The deed of sale for the Wash House (labelled on rear - Castletown Preaching House) states:

I John Caesar of Ballahick ... for two pounds nine shillings ... sell a certain house stead ... adjoining to the Pidgeon House on the one end and to the sd James Dinwiddies rent which he lately purchased from Mr Eyres on the other end and Mr Taubman's rent on the back part and to the shore on the front the same being of one halfpence Lord's rent ...

It is further agreed that if there should be a quay built before the front of the sd house at any time hereafter that the said Mr James Dinwiddie is to pay a further sum of two pounds nine shillings

... 13th April 1779

In April 1792 James Dinwoody sold on this property to the trustees of the Castletown Wesleyan Methodist Society - the deed [SSS Malew #89 1792] starts:

James Donwoody ... with consent of wife Mary .. for eighty pounds ...[sell] to William Cain, Robert Gell & Robert Kelly, ... Wm Corrin and Thomas Callister ... Henry Watterson ... William Fargher and Thomas Quayle ... that lately erected house or tenement ... adjoining to the pigeon house on the one end and to the sd James Donwoody's rent on the other end which he lately purchased from Mr Eyres, and to Mrs Taubman's rent on the back part and to the shore on the front. the same being of one half penny Lord's rent. ....

Nevertheless and it is the true intent and meaning of these presents that out of the special trust and confidence that we have in the sd William Cain .. and trustees .. shall permit an allow such persons .. of the people called Methodists ... to enjoy the premises for the purposes afore mentioned .. that they preach in the sd house at least once every fortnight. ... and further the sd James Dinwoody do release the sd William Cain from the payment of two pounds nine shillings ... on the building of a quay.

The restrictive clauses were the standard restrictions required for all Wesleyan Methodist chapels.

Pickering drew a view of Castle Rushen dated 1832, of which a detail shows the new Quay and houses adjoining the Redoubt - note the corner chimney to the house:

View 1832

A photograph of 1880's shows the building then

Preaching House c.1890
Photo c.1890 - part of larger view of Castle and harbour

Note again the unusual corner chimney. The Preaching House would appear to have only been in use for 10 years as a rather belated deed of sale states:

Whereas William Caine, Robert Gee, Robert Kelly, William Corrin, Thomas Callister, Henry Watterson, William Fargher & Thomas Quayle the new trustees of Castletown Methodist Society for .. sum of sixty pounds .. paid by Robert Gell junr ... some time in 1802 .. that house and tenement .. one part formerly used and occupied as a preaching house and the other part as a dwelling house which premises were purchased from James Dinwoody ... and whereas the said trustees neglected granting a deed of sale ... to Robert Gell jnr at the time of the said purchase notwithstanding the receipt by them of ... money, ... And whereas Thomas Bell, Thomas Cain, Robert Kelly, William Gick, Robert Gelling, Robert Cannell and John Summers the trustees of the said society for the time being ... do absolutely sell unto ... Robert Gell that dwelling house .. wherein Jno Quirk, Hugh Hudgeon, Mary McGray and Christn Stole at present live .. bounded on the North west by the rent of the said James Dinwoody, on the south east by the Pigeon House on the north East by the quay and on the southwest by the rent of Miss Moore ... April 1808

To add further to the story Robert Gell died intestate and in debt - his property was then sold by the coroner Archibald Cregeen to John Gelling - the deed of sale [Castletown Deeds Michaelmas 1814 #4] starts:

Whereas Thomas Clark and Richard Cubbon did on the 10 day of January 1814 obtain the .. judgement against Robert Gell ... for £200 with interest .. from 11th Dec 1812 ... also whereas ... was set into the hands of Archibald Cregeen coroner ... who did appraise and publish for sale a dwelling house ... situate near the new quay ... and did on the 13th April 1814 set up the sale by auction ... whereat ... Edward Gelling ... bid ... sum of £161 15s ... [for] that dwelling house situate on or near the new quay in Castletown now in the occupation of Elizabeth Varley ... bounded on the north by the rent of James Dinwoody on the East by the said Quay on the south by a passage which leads to the garden of Miss Moore's and on the west by the said garden.

John Gelling and wife Sage Ann, apparently mortaged it in Oct 1818 to Joshua Redfern for £120 at 6% pa interest [Castletown Deeds Hillary 1819 #13] - which mortage was cancelled by John Gelling's widow in 1822. (I have not researched how it passed from Edward to John or any subsequent transfers).

The adjacent Property was apparently no longer occupied by James Dinwoody, for in 1822 he 'sells' it for £20 to his daughter Mary Hampton which money to be paid after his and his wife's death to his other heirs. The deed [South Side Sales Malew May 1827 #69] starts:

I James Dinwoody Senior of the Red Gap in the parish of Malew ... with the consent of Mary my wife ... for £20 .. to be paid by my daughter Mary Hampton of Castletown widow of William Hampton mariner deceased after the decease of the longest liver of us ... is to pay to William Dinwoody our son .. £10 and the like sum .. to our son John Dinwoody of the town of Liverpool, nailmaker ...[sell] that dwelling house situate on the new quay ... now in the occupation of John Corris (? Corrin) / Billy Dick / house-carpenter as tenant thereof which .. adjoin certain premises which were belonging to the late Isabella Gelling on the south ...

Dated 16 Jan 1822.

A liitle bit more of the history can be gleaned from another deed of sale from Mary Hampton (grand-daughter of James Dinwoody) to James Mylechreest her step father (second husband of her widowed mother) - as the only child she was joint heiress with her mother. The deed states:

I Mary Hampton ... for sum of £17 10s ..[sell] to James Mylechreest ..(my stepfather) .. £15 of which to go in discharge of certain debts... unto which my half or moiety of the house hereinafter mentioned and sold is subject ... that moiety of that cowshed situate on the new quay which was purchased by my late father William Hampton deceased from James Dinwoody and Mary his wife .. by deed 3 Sept 1813 .. which premises adjoin the said quay on the north east, the rent of the Castletown Friendly Society on the northwest and the rent of the said James Mylechreest and Mary his wife on the southeast and southwest. And also all my half or moiety of that certain small plot or parcel of the backyard adjoining the dwelling house of James Dinwoody nailmaker on the Bank in Castletown aforesaid which my said father Wm Hampton purchased from the said James Dinwoody nailmaker and Ann his wife and Richard Dinwoodie his son and heir by deed of sale 1 Nov 1821 .. and which ... moiety of the said cowhouse and backyard descended to me as the heiress-in-law ... Reserving nevertheless the right of way & passage or doorway as in the several deeds of sale is particularly reserved

dated 22 Feb 1822 (signed her mark)

 The Castletown Friendly Society may well be the Old Castletown Friendly Society (wound up by 1835) which like many other benefit societies invested some of its funds in property for rent. However the location of the cowshed is not immediately apparent - the small parcel of land could possibly be between the buildings facing onto Water street and the Castle walls. The James Dinwoody is a son of James and Mary.


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Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2001