April 12 – I had a long list of things to see and only a day to see them. So I was off pretty early, driving south first and then driving around the island. First up was The Braaid, a 9th century iron age round house and 2 rectangular ones. It was way out in the countryside (as was most of the sites I went to). It was cold as heck, the wind was whipping up, and no sun so I was shivering even with 2 layers on but the views were spectacular.
Then since I was close to a location that I’d tried and failed to find yesterday, I gave it another go and was able to find it. Cronk ny Merriu was a Viking cliff-top fortification high above the Port Grenaugh beach. It was just me and the sea gulls but I loved the views again.
The Ballakelly chambered tomb was impossible to get to. It’s on private land and although I was able to find a place to park (always a problem on Man), there was no open or unlockable gate. So I only saw it from a distance.
I also stopped at the Balladoole Viking heritage site to look at the boat burial site. There was also a keele there.
Since it was getting later and the threat of rain was increasing by the minute, I drove to Meayll Hill Circle. I was able to park fairly easily at the bottom of the hill, but the climb up the hill was hard, steep, and muddy. Also the temperature had dropped, the wind was howling, and at this point, I had 3 layers on and it wasn’t comfortable at all. But the site was amazing!!!! Six narrow Neolithic/Bronze age tombs high on the top of a steep hill, situated around in a circle. Locals call it Druid hill but no Druids there. The views were spectacular yet again even though just as I was done, it began to drizzle. The temperatures dropped further so I left.
I decided at this point to mix it up a bit so I went to Peel Castle which was out on a promontory with lots of harbor boats around. Ruins, of course, and quite extensive. Since I had a National Trust membership, I got in for free. Lovely castle and I was very glad I went. As a little aside, some guy was wandering around and I swear at first he looked just like Tennant’s Doctor Who, with the same hair and raincoat. I had to get pretty close before I could see that it wasn’t Tennant (not that I thought he was since David is doing a play in London) but I thought it was great that the Doctor would be wandering around ruins!
The Ballaharra Stones were right next to the road with easy parking nearby (finally). So a quick stop there and I walked over to the Giant’s Tomb which was in the wall in a road just up the street.
It was raining and miserable but I pressed on. I was going to try a garden estate but decided I’d rather see more archaeology since I can see gardens anywhere. And the best was next!! It was hard to find parking as it was a one lane road but there was a little layby close so I was able to walk up to Cashel yn Ard. And what a site! Neolithic chambered tombs, in a clear line plus lots of upright stones. No one there but me and the sheep. This was the best archaeological site on the island, imo. And the sun came out and it was nicer and much warmer although certainly not warm enough for me. But I did linger since the site was so lovely.
On the way out, I stopped at the Ballaglass Glen for a quick walk. It was very lovely with lots of little waterfalls and no one in sight. I lingered a bit soaking in the quiet.
At this point, it was getting late but there was still plenty of sunlight left so I backtracked a bit and went to Kirk Maughhold which was a working church but there were keeills (early Christian chapels) and lots of early Christian Celtic crosses just outside. They were all pretty worn but I could still see some of the carvings so I was happy.
Last on my list was King Orry’s Grave. Easy to find parking! There were two locations just across the street from each other. They were pretty impressive. The stones were quite large and there were chambered Neolithic tombs. This was probably my second favorite after Cashel – and a lot easier to get to.
Then I gave up and drove to Douglas to my hotel. I think I saw quite a bit!
The Braaid( Read more... )