King Orry's Grave
Just outside Laxey, in Minorca, is the largest known megalithic tomb on the island, which is over 4000 years old. While it is named in honour of King Orry (viking), there is no direct connection between him and the site. The cairn grave is made of sandstone and is 12 metres by 4 metres. It was built by farmers as a memorial to their ancestors and ceremonies held on the site left traces of hearth and flint that were found during an excavation. The site has paths, maintained landscapes and information signs dotted around.
N.B you can get to the site easily by Manx Electric Railway as there is a stop at Minorca.
Old Kirk Braddan was the parish church in Braddan until the late 19th century, the new church is next door. Built in the 1700s the Keeil houses Celtic and Scandinavian crosses from 600 to 1265 AD. Other relics include the sculptured ornament on the east gable, two windows lintels on the tower (dated 1714), Normanesque mouldings and the original interior fittings of the church.
This is a small, but fabulously beautiful woodland glen with quick changing terrain from mountain to coast. Streams weave through the glen and flow down waterfalls, leading down to a shingle beach.
N.B. This is not the place for a gentle stroll, it is a fairly difficult glen to walk and will make you work to see its beauty. Paths are rugged, there are steep inclines and the ground is often wet.
- Hiking and Walking
In the village of St Adamnan you can see celtic crosses in a shelter built in the corner of the church yard, though only one large cross is still in what is believed to be its original position within the old keeill churchyard.
Based on the oldest cross the site can be dated to the 5th century, when Irish missionaries came to the island to spread the message of Christianity and built "keeills". Later in the 12th century, the small chapel known as Keeill-ny-Traie (the chapel by the shore) was rebuilt. When the island came under English control the land was divided in to parishes and Keeill-ny-Traie became known as St Adamnan, the parish church of Lonan (Kirk Lonan).
Groudle Glen & Railway
Groudle Railway is surrounded by beautiful glens and coastal walks. The railway was built in 1896 and is currently operated by volunteers. You can explore the glen and then stop for a break at the Sea Lion Tearooms.
N.B. Groudle glen is a stop on the Manx Electric Railway so is very easy to get to.
Once the site of a dam serving a mill, the Manx Wildlife Trust cleared the wetlands in the 90s exposing the pond and putting a circular boardwalk around the site. You can see around 100 species of flowering plants here.
N.B the path is suitable for wheelchairs
The present church building was consecrated in the 1830s and inside the church there are six crosses dating between the 7th and 11th centuries. There is also a gable cross which would have been from an earlier keeill. Cased inside the wall near the crosses is a silver chalice from the reign of Charles I. Also encased in the wall is an Irish pewter flagon from around 1700.
Onchan Pleasure Park
Once farmland, the park, built shortly after the Second World War, originally included a grandstand, a cafe, changing rooms, a bowling green, tennis courts, a putting green, miniature golf and a children play area. Since then additions and improvements have been made, including the creation of a boating lake (motor boats and bumperboats for hire) and an indoor soft play centre. There is also a restaurant and coffee shop.
Lonan old church
If Onchan is a suburb of Douglas, the area around Lonan old church very definitely is not. Here you are out in the Manx countryside and even the sound of a single car can be a disturbance. The old church - replaced by a new church in the 19th century - stands isolated and partly in ruin. The west end, probably dating from the 12th century, is the ruined part while the east end has been restored. There are a few cross fragments in a shelter near the church - many Manx crosses have been moved inside buildings to safeguard them from the elements - but in the churchyard Lonan's remarkable 9th century Celtic wheel-headed cross stands where it has always done.
- Historical Travel
The church, its Manx crosses and the old village
Although Onchan is now effectively a Douglas suburb, the original village grew up around the church and nearby are a few of the older buildings such as Molly Carrooin's Cottage dating back about 300 years and the Welch House. Inside the church itself are a number of Manx crosses, this (along with Braddan) being one of the more accessible places to see them if you are staying in Douglas. The two illustrated are a (probably) 10th century wheel-headed cross-slab with dog-headed figures and another (probably) from later in the same century. (All of the Onchan crosses are quite difficult to photograph.) Also in the village is the Church Hall of 1898 by the Arts & Crafts Movement architect M. H. Baillie Scott.
- Historical Travel