Burkill's Views in the Isle of Man 1857

This collection of six views was published 1857. Each lithograph is 400 mm x 270mm and has the imprint "J. Burkill Del, J.Needham Lith Day &Son, Lithrs to the Queen. Published by J.Mlyrea, July 1st 1857 Douglas." (Day and Co were successors to Haghe & Day who produced other Manx Topographic Prints)

They must be one of the few set of views to be immortalised in verse:


WHAT fairer views could Genius select
Than here arrest our gaze ? O glad surpise !
With magic touch of pencil, taste correct,
Douglas, and Peel, and Castletown arise,
And Ramsey, that more indolently lies
On woodland plain, 'neath Mona's northern skies.

Marvellous art ! to re-produce at will
Each phase of Nature, - in her various mood
Enchantress alway ! - tempest-tossed or still;
Graceful in storm - how fair when gently wooed.
Strong, beaut'ous Nature !- ever young and new -
Impart thy vital force, our ebbing life renew.

In olden time, like half-remembered dream,
Man'nan's fair Isle scarce won the Tourist's thought!
No Minstrel sang her charm; and who would deem
Her beauty unsurpassed, till Genius brought
His pencil here ? Now. views of Mona rise
Dear as the portrait of a friend we prize.

Elizabeth Cookson Legends of Manxland 1859


Douglas Town, Bay and Harbour



Seen from just south of Ballasalla, the hill is somewhat exagerated - today's view would be very different, assuming for the moment one could stand in the middle of the busy Douglas-Castletown road!. Ronaldsway airport would dominate the foreground to the left.


Laxey Village and Bay

Peel castle (Storm)

Peel Castle Storm

Peel VCastle (summer)

Peel Castle Summer



Viewed from North and probably the least recognisable view today; the left forground would now be filled by Mooragh park & lake. St Pauls is visible centre midground but all of its surrounding buildings were swept away in the great Ramsey clearance of the '60s (without, of course, any decent buildings put in their place). The tower on the hill behind the town is the Albert Tower erected 1847.

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© F.Coakley , 2001