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Bradshaw’s Guide

Ramsey

A pleasant little port at the mouth of the Sulby, on a wide bay, across which stretches the Bahama sand. One of its churches is in ruins. The Deemster of the north division of the island has a court here. Hence to the Point of Ayre, and round to Kirk Bride and Kirk Andreas is a wide flat.

Ramsey to Peel and Castletown, past Kirk Clorist Lezayre (under the north Barrule), and the seat of Deemster Christian, a descendant of the traitor of that name, at Milntown; to Sulby on that stream which comes down from Snafell It has good trout fishing, and a waterfall, in a pretty glen near the village. At Kirk Andreas, to the north, are barrows (burial places of some chief), and a runic cross.

Kirk Ballaugh is in a low marshy spot where the bones of an immense elk (now at Edinburgh) have been found. About 5 miles north-west is Kirk Jurby, near Jurby Point, whence there is a vast, prospect of the sea and the three kingdoms. Bishop’s Court, under a hill, is the seat of the Bishop of Sodor and Man (Hon. H. Powys, D.D.); the oldest part is a tower of the thirteenth century, the rest having been modernised by Bishop Wilson and his successors. Formerly this island was but part of a diocese, which took in also the western Islands of Scotland then called the Sodoreys or south glands (as distinguished from the Orkneys, etc.), thence the present designation.

In Kirk Michael, which is the bishop’s church, is a monument to the excellent Bishop Wilson, with the words, “Let this island speak the rest.” He held the diocese 56 years, and among other benefits he procured an act of settlement abolishing vassalage, and established parish schools and libraries. Mark Hyldersley succeeded Bishop Wilson in 1755, and under his auspices the Manx version of the Bible, began by Bishop Wilson, was completed. He was a Manxman as also was the good Bishop Wilson. Two very old runic pillars with unintelligible characters are to be seen. Passing the old chapel of Kiels, near Kirk German, you reach

Tynwald Hill, where the roads cross. It is an artificial hillock, a few feet high, ascended by steps, whence the laws passed by the estates are made public every 5th July. The estates of the island consist of an upper House of 10, including the governor, bishop, deemsters, &c., and a Lower House or House of Keys composed of 24 freeholders elected for life. They meet at Castletown.

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