Old Douglas - As Sketched by Frederic Leach - 1913

Printed and Published by LOUIS G. MEYER, North Quay, Douglas 1913.


OLD DOUGLAS! what a wealth of imagination is conjured up by these two words. Those who are nearing the allotted span of life will have many memories, both grave and gay, to connect with these old buildings; others again, like myself, who are fond of listening to the old stories of people and places long since departed, will be able to gather from parents or perchance grand parents, some of the legends and traditions connected with them. At any rate in endeavouring to find out all about them I have been very much struck with the wealth of material lying just below the surface, as it were, ready for an historian who has the gift of imagination to use it.

In my enquiries I have received the greatest courtesy from quarters where perhaps one least expected it. Tales were told to me concerning an older generation of people than most of us have known. An interest was evidenced in my work that was most stimulating, and for all these favours freely accorded to me I am very grateful.

To all those who have assisted me with kind suggestions and advice, and to my publisher Mr. Louis Meyer for the very excellent manner in which he has reproduced my work, I tender my best thanks.


7 Woodbourne Square,
Douglas, December 1913.


Fairy Ground.

The Fairy Ground.

AN interesting portion of Old Douglas. The building in shadow on the right was known as the "Ship Inn." That on the left is as the sign indicates the "Ellan Vannin Arms." Both of these were famous houses in former days.

No. 4 New Bond Street.

KNOWN more familiarly to the older generation of Douglas people as "Matt Cain's Corner." It has been carried on as a baker's business by the Cain's for nearly 100 years, and is still in the possession of the family.

No. 4 New Bond Street
Seneschal Lane

Seneschal Lane.

A DRAWING made from New Bond Street looking into Seneschal Lane. The wall hollowed out to allow carts to pass through is the gable of Cain the Baker's, the subject of another sketch.

Smagg's House, Seneschal Lane.

SMAGG'S was a noted character, by profession a grate setter, and it is recorded by him that to save the cost of light he used to sit and read in the evening in his bedroom by the lamp shewn in the drawing which was in close proximity to his bedroom window.

Smagg's House, Seneschal Lane
Second Hand Shop, New Bond Street

Second Hand Shop, New Bond Street.

AT present in the occupation of Mrs. Rowland. Formerly occupied by one Paddy Macfarlane as a fruiterer, and afterwards for very many years by Mr. Creer, the baker.

Alms House Lane.

BETTER known perhaps as" Thatch House Line." It runs from the left hand side of Mrs. Rowland's shop in New Bond Street into Stowell's Lane.

Alms House Lane
Spittal's Court

Spittal's Court.

SPITTAL'S Court is entered by a narrow lane on the left side of Alms House Lane and was called after Mr. Spittal who carried on an extensive business as a Timber and Wine and Spirit Merchant. It is interesting to note that the late Mr. H. B. Noble was in his young days a clerk in Mr. Spittal's employ.

Bond Street.

THE low house on the left was formerly known as the" Step Down Public House," and at one time stood upon the edge of the shore. The building on the opposite side of the road in shadow is now known as St. Matthew's Hall, was formerly the Grammar School and had as its most distinguished master the Rev. Robert Brown. Incumbent of St. Matthew's and father of T. E. Brown the Manx poet.

Bond Street
Duke Lane - The Old Crown Inn

Duke Lane - The Old Crown Inn.

THE Old Crown Inn stands at the cornerof Duke Lane and Muckle's Gate and there may be some of the older inhabitants of Douglas who re- member to have seen at this point a gate--Muckle's Gate---from which the locality takes its name, certainly the remains of it were there down to within living memory. The building on the opposite corner was known as Mammy Law's Eating House --a noted place in its day. The large building behind the lamp was Billy Sayle's Public House.

Thorn Hill.

LEADS from Barrack Street into Shaw's Brow. In a letter written by George Woods in 1811 quoted by A. W. Moore in his -Douglas 100 Years ago, it is recorded that "Shaw's Brow is composed of new houses all in the modern style. One wonders what the gentleman would say if he could but see Modern Douglas.

Thorn Hill
Big Well Street

Big Well Street.

IS one of the main arteries jor cart traffic into upper Douglas lead- ing as it does from Quine's Corner in- to Peel Road. The building in ruins was formerly occupied by Tom Coole the baker, and the larger house above it by John Gale the sawyer, who was a foreman with Mr. Spittal, Timber Merchant.

The Saddle Inn.

A FAMOUS posting establishment and rendezvous for country people coming into Douglas Market. It stands at the junction of Queen Street and the North Quay, and was kept for many years by a Mr. Cain who had a large livery stable, in connection with it. At one time he possessed the only hearse and mourning coaches in Douglas. The Shop on, the Quay in the left of the drawing at is present occupied by Mr. Cubbon; was formerly a public house known as "Cannell the Liver's" from the fact that it was kept by a Mr. Cannel; who was master of the smack ''Liver.''

The Saddle Inn


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