[From William Cooper's Castletown]

Arbory Road

Cooper's Text Notes by Eva Wilson
The first house [1 Arbory Rd] was rebuilt by Mr. W. H. Cudd.
He was a retired draper and this happened when I
was about eight years old. I do not remember the old house
but I remember going up the foot-go. The masons used this
for getting up their building materials. Mr. Cudd left it to
Mrs. Usher, one of the Billown Moores. She married Mr. R.
C. Cretney, who was manager of the Manx Bank. It now
belongs to Mr. Moore, Billown.
The house would have been rebuilt in about 1878. In the 1881 Census
Mr Cudd, Harbour Commissioner, and his wife are living here. In 1884,
William Henry Cudd was elected as one of the five first Castletown
Commissioners and was appointed vice-chairman.
The second house [3 Arbory Road] was occupied by the
Rev. E. Ferrier, Chaplain of St. Mary's Church, and his
widow. After she died it was sold to Miss May Gawne, who
afterwards married a Mr. Murray from New Zealand. When
she died it came into the possession of Miss McHarrie, who
married, and is now living in it.
In my young days it had posts and chains in front which
were later replaced by railings. Mrs. Murray called it
3 Arbory Road. This house has now lost its rendering and it can be
seen that the three-storyed part of it may be older than a later two-storyed extension. In a different context Cooper mentions that this part
of the house was added at about the same time as the rebuilding of Mr
Cudd's house next door.
Canon Ferrier was Government Chaplain to St Mary's in Castletown
from 1855 to 1896
The third [5 Arbory Road] was owned by Mr. W. Kneen of
Ballacreggan who put dormer windows in the roof and built
a small bathroom, etc. at the back. The first tenant I
remember was Mrs. Kirkpatrick, sister of the Misses
Clague, Bakers, who kept borders. It was later occupied by
Mrs. Clague and daughters, after they gave up the butcher's
shop, and until they went to California. It is now occupied
by a Mr. Bridson, a retired official from Douglas
Cooper records that the Misses Clague and their sister also at one time
ran a boarding house at 35 Arbory Street.
The fourth [7 Arbory Road] was occupied most of my life
by Mr. H. E. Gelling, lawyer, and when he moved to Port
St. Mary was sold to Mrs. Kneen, widow of Deemster
Kneen. Later [it was occupied] by her daughter, Mrs.
Butler, and when she moved to Colby it was then occupied
by Mr. Stanley Cubbon, butcher.
Westend House. Henry Evans Gelling, Advocate. His offices were in
Parliament Square.
The fifth [9 Arbory Road], the small house adjoining the
last, was a separate house in my young days and was
occupied by my great uncle Dan Karran and my aunt Ellen
Cooper. When the Christians were evicted out of Scarlett
House they came to live in half of it. Mrs. Christian was a
ladylike person and used to read to the children, sitting
round the fire, the adventures of Tom Pippin out of a paper
called The Penny Pictorial. The floor was lower than the
street and we youngsters used to sit on the step listening to
her. Mrs. Christian was a Miss Quirk who married the
shepherd. Scarlett was at that time owned by the Quirks,
two sisters and a brother, and the yarn was that Mr. Quirk
got into debt and the Court ordered the estate to be sold and
his share taken to pay his debts and the balance divided
between his sisters. One sister married and went to America
and Mrs. Christian refused to take her share, saying they
had no right to sell it, and lived in poverty all her life.
Scarlett was then bought by the trustees of Miss Lucas who
mortgaged Knockrushen to buy and repair it about 1878.
Westend Cottage. In deeds of 1838 this was stables to the big house
next door. It has undergone many changes. The cottage received its
present outward look when H. E. Gelling adapted it as storerooms and a
workroom for his son Robert whom Cooper, in another context,
describes as 'a good amateur cabinetmaker'. High praise from Cooper,
himself a highly thought of carpenter.
The sixth [13 Arbory Road] was owned by Mrs. Woods,
Westwood, and was occupied by her gardener-coachman,
Mr. Ned Clague. When Mrs. Woods daughter died about
1891 it was sold and bought by the Misses Clague, baker,
and was left by them to Mrs Clague, butcher, who sold it. It
was then bought by Capt. Squires of the I.O.M. Steam
Packet Co's. cargo-boat, who repaired it and put on a new
roof and when he died it was sold again.
The number of this cottage is now 12A. After recent refurbishment it
was for a while holiday accommodation, which may account for this
superstitious change.
The seventh [15 Arbory Road] was occupied by the Misses
Wilson, their brother and his daughter. Mr. Wilson married
again and went to England and it later came into the
possession of her half-brother and sister who sold it a few
years ago.
The first person I remember living in the eighth house [17
Arbory Road] was a Mr. Cunliffe, who was School
Enforcing Officer, and has had several tenants since. I think
this house and the buildings adjoining and Farrant's Flatt
was someone's croft. My father used to say that in his
young days the Flatt was divided into several small fields. It
was owned at that time by a Mr. Gelling, who went by the
name of Bun Gelling. When I was a lad he used to stay at
the George Hotel and would have the lads running races on
the Market Place. He was rather fond of drink and I have
been told that he was left a sum of money if he joined the
Church, which he did not want to do, and he kept studying
but not trying to pass. I do not know what became of him
but all his property about here was sold.
The houses above here, except the Windmill House, were
built in my time. The land was divided into plots and sold.
All the plots were taken up and there was supposed to be a
terrace of the same design. The land belonged to Mr.
Quilliam, Stonecutter, and was sold by his executor. The
first to be built was by Mr. G. E. Kewley at the top end. He
used two plots for his house and afterwards took another for
his garden. It would be built about 1882.
(Additional note to the house belonging to Mr. G. Kewley)
[Brownedge]. When this place was sold his garden was
bought by Mr. Mead who owned Cronk my Chree before
Mr. Pratt. When he died it was bought by Mrs. [Deemster?]
Kneen who put up a wooden garage on it. When she moved
from here, she sold it to Mrs. Anderson, who built a
bungalow using the garage as part; she also converted the
hen house and storeroom at the back into a sitting room.
When she died it was bought by a Miss Collins who died
lately. It is now owned by Col. Collin who lives at
Balladoole House.
The terrace was never completed, but Mr. Kewley's house, Brownedge,
was clearly intended as an end of terrace. The design of this house, with
two angled bays and dormers above each bay, is repeated in the
semidetached houses built at the Farrants Way end, Westfield and
Ormly. The terrace, if completed, would have been very grand.
Mr. George Edward Kewley, Bank Manager, was the son of James
Kewley, for many years Chief Clerk in the Rolls Office.
The first of the two at this end [Westfield] was built by Mr.
James Clague, Mr. Quilliam's son-in-law, and it had several
different tenants. One was a curate at St. Mary's Church,
his mother and sister. When his mother died there, they
padded her up in her coffin with shawls. After them Mr.
Tom Fisher of Balladoole farm and then Mrs. Alma
Roberts, daughter of Mr. J. M Jeffcott, High Bailiff, until
she died. After that by the wife of Mr. Gell, who was an
officer in the Merchant Service, and went to the U.S.A. It
was left by Mr. Clague to Mrs. J. E. Quayle and when she
died it was sold. It now belongs to Mrs. Milne-Smith who
has converted it into two flats.
The second [Ormly] was built for the Misses Llewellyn
who went by the name of Miss Walker and Miss Talker.
When they died it was sold to Mr. Faragher, farmer, who
lived in it until he removed to the Great Meadow. Then it
was again sold to Mr. Lyon-Smith and after his death to Mr.
Wheeler who lives in it.
Of the other two houses, the first built [Norwood] was for
Mr. Bramwell Cubbon, retired farmer, and when he died he
left it to Miss Gell who lives in it. It was built about 1910.
Mr. Cubbon bought two plots to build the house on and
afterwards bought another to enlarge the garden.
The bungalow [The Haven] was built by Mr William
Clucas after the First World War on two plots and it is now
occupied by his widow.
The remaining plot was bought by my father and is now a
builder's yard.
A three-bay modern house with dormers, an approximate copy of
Norwood, has been built on this site and was completed in 2004. It has
been named Ty'R Barilwr.
The Southern Local Authorities Swimming Pool and Castle
Rushen High School are now in the space between Mr. Kewley's
house and garden and Tower House and the Windmill. The school
began in 1948 on a site 'which comprised seventeen acres of fields with a
long dividing wall, and a miscellany of scattered single brick buildings,
which had been used by the Royal Air Force and Fleet Air Arm for initial
war time training.' 2
In my young days the Windmill House, or Tower House, as
it was called, was empty for a long period and I and a lot of
lads got into trouble for breaking the windows. Shortly
afterwards Mr. E. Martin bought it and lived in it until he
died. His widow [lived in it] until she died, when it was sold
and bought by P. C. Quayle who lived in it until he was
moved to Douglas. He let it to Mr. Kinvig who still lives in
In the 1901 Census the house is named Tower Hill, and as Martin was
the Enumerator of this area of the census he should know! Edward
Martin was an accountant who also held various offices in Castletown.
He was Coroner of Rushen, Deputy Registrar and Honorary Clerk, Rate
Collector and Sanitary Officer of the Commissioners. The
Commissioners first meetings were held in his office in 22 Arbory Street.
The Windmill yard and some of the buildings were
occupied by Mr. W. Cooil, who went by the name of Buller,
as during the Boer War he kept saying "Hold on until Buller
gets to them". He kept horses and did carting and some
farming. He worked his horses hard but fed them well. He
did a lot of carting to Port Erin, timber etc., for Mr. Joseph
Qualtrough, until Qualtrough started doing his own carting.
When Mr. Cooil died it was taken over - the house part and
stable - by Mr. T. Watterson, who put a man on it when he
removed to Scarlett farm (Balladoole) that was. The first
man was a smith and he went off to the First World War.
The next man was Mr. Tom Moore and, when the
Wattersons got more land at Scarlett and gave up the
Redgap land, he took it over and Mr. J. Kennaugh took over
The large barn at the Windmill is now a `Witches'
Kitchen' and the house is occupied by the proprietor. I have
heard my father saying that at one time the old windmill
was supposed to be haunted, but the ghost turned out to be a
woman walking in her sleep.
In the 1950s the old Windmill (built in 1828) and associated buildings
became a Museum of Witchcraft and soon after, now owned by Dr.
Gerald Gardner, the Witches' Mill, with a collection of objects
associated with witchcraft and a café. When Dr. Gardner died in 1964,
he left the Mill to 'The White Witch of the North' at that time, a Mrs
Wilson, who came to live there with her husband and daughter. They
formed a coven in Castletown which caused a sensation and much
disapproval. When she left in the early 1970s Gardener's collection
went to America.
The conversion and development as a residential enclave of the old
Windmill, the farmhouse and outbuildings, was undertaken by Mr. Tony
Petty and completed in 1998. He subsequently bought Tower Hill and
erected a row of cottages in its garden fronting to Windmill Lane.
The row of houses and cottages, from Westview to Red Gap House
have suffered some changes reflected in Coopers notes about them.
It has been suggested that the hamlet got its name from the red bricks
supplied to many eighteenth-century buildings in Castletown from brick-
works in this area.
Westview was built, according to my father, by Mr. John
Taggart, grocer, for his father and mother when they gave
up farming at Poolvaaish. It was only a small house but
was enlarged later and occupied by a Mr. Pyne, a master at
K.W.C., and for a long time afterwards by Mrs. Moore-
Lane and family, widow of an Indian official. It is now
owned by Miss M. Kennaugh who lives in it.
The next two cottages were thatched but were raised and
slated when I was a lad. The first was occupied by Mr.
Harry Kneale, a quarrier at Scarlett, for a good many years.
The second was occupied by Mr. John Cringle, a skipper of
a nickey, also for a good number of years from the time
they were slated.
The next house was built for Mr. H. Cubbon, the baker,
when he retired, but he did not live long and it was sold and
bought by Mr. T. T. Callow, brewer at the Brewery. After
his death it was again sold and it belongs to one of the
The plot on which the house is built was Mr. Abraham
Champion's garden.
3 Red Gap. Mr. Cubbon may not have lived here very long, but his
name is on a small plaque on the door. Abraham Champion, a political
refugee from France, lived in Queen Street.
The site of the next two cottages in my young days was
overgrown with brambles and weeds with ruins among
them, but the site was cleared and the two cottages built by
Mr. Bridson of Strandhall and are now owned by Mr
Collister, his nephew.
The next two were occupied by Mr. Fayle and Mr. Creer.
When Mr. Dodd built Cronk-my-Chree he turned one of the
cottages into a stable and coach house and the other into a
house for his man, Mr. Thomas Clague. It is now owned by
Mr. Clague's son Sam.
The cottage is named Red Gapp!
Red Gap House: the first tenant I remember was Mr. W.
Preston who moved to Poolvaaish and then Mr Sansbury
who had a corn-store in Malew Street, and later Mr. T.
Watterson who farmed the land until he removed to
Scarlett. The house was owned by Mr. Ambrose Woods and
when he died it was sold and bought by Mr. J. Kennaugh,
whose son Alfie now lives in it.
The farm was left to the longest liver of the Woods family
and when she died the daughter sold it to Mr. Pratt.
The substantial farmhouse was demolished for road widening some
years ago. Part of the farm buildings are now the present home of Mr.
Alfie Kennaugh's daughter.
Cronk-my-Chree was built by Mr. Tom M. Dodd about 60
years ago. He built a lot about here, Milnes and Athol
Terrace, stabling in Hope Street, the two Arches and
Storerooms in Arbory St., and started the Golf Links Hotel,
all of which were sold.
Tomas Milner Dodd (1858-1912). Born in Manchester, Dodd was
brought up by his uncle, John Taggart, grocer, of 19 Malew Street. He
took over the business when his uncle died and expanded it to become
a major grocers, wine and spirit merchants, taking in the additional
properties of 21 Malew Street, 18 and 26 Arbory street and the areas
between, where a mineral water and bottling factory was located.
Among his many other concerns was the initiating of the Castletown Golf
Links and the building of the Fort Island Hotel.
Westhill was occupied by Mr. R. Crellin who was the last
Comptroller of Customs at Castletown. After his death his
widow and two daughters and son lived in it. His son was
the manager of Dumbell's Bank, Port St. Mary. Then it was
let to an Irishman named Somerville, who lived in it for
some years. Afterwards Mr. W. A. Stevenson, whose wife
was a daughter of Mr. Crellin, came to live in it from
Ballakaighen House. When he died in 1919 Mrs. Stevenson
moved out and Sur[geon] Gen[eral] Stevenson moved in
from Lorne House. When Balladoole Estate was sold the
General bought the house and moved there and sold
Westhill to Col. Webb-Ware, a retired Indian Army Officer.
Westhill was a fine Regency villa, originally owned by the Quayle family
from whom Robert Quayle Crellin was descended.
Eddie Clague went to work as an apprenticed gardener at Westhill in
1919, then owned by Surgeon General Stevenson. He continued to
work for Colonel Webb-Ware and for Mr. Tongue, Secretary to the
Harbour Board in Singapore, who bought the house for his retirement
and for his parents. It was he who laid out the garden. When his parents
died in 1938 he moved to Switzerland. Westhill became the Buchan
School for Girls. Eddie continued to look after the garden for another
fifteen years - this included the kitchen garden which ensured a superior
standard of food which was enjoyed by pupils and staff during the war
Westham House was occupied by Mr. Newton and his
daughter. After his death Miss Maclellan came to live with
her and, after Miss Newton's death, let the house furnished.
The cottage is now occupied by Mr. Craine. This cottage
was originally the stables, harness room, and part of the
coach-house and hay-loft. The stables were made into the
cottage for Mr. Varley, gardener and coachman when I was
a very small lad, but the coach-house was altered at a much
later date, and lowered a storey. The first tenant of the
cottage I remember was a Mrs. Cochran, and I think also
that the Varleys had the use of part of the cottage, as I have
often played with them on the gravel plot in front of it.
They had a large family of ten or eleven children and there
would be hardly room for them all in the small cottage.
Westham. For many years the house was occupied by Lt. Col. Gordon
Ponsonby MacClellan. After whom the Manx Regiment Museum in
Tromode is named.
There is now a development of four modern houses on Westham land,
Westham Lea, with a private access road between The Vicarage, built
in the 1960s, and Westcroft


2 Atkinson J. Callister W. C. 1998 Castle Rushen High School 1948-1998. A Celebration of 50 Years. "Thiat myr toilliu" Quine & Cubbon 1998.

3 From notes and tapes taken during conversations with Eddie Clague in Abbotswood Nursing Home shortly before he died in 2000.

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