|I wanted to include two of my favorite pictures of the church at Maughold that I somehow forgot to include in my previous post. The graveyard at the side of the church contains some of the oldest stones that are fully visible dated in the late 1700's. There are a number of stones in this area that are only partially visible as the largest part of the stones are now buried. The existing church was built sometime in the 11th to 12th centuries. Original chapels existed on this site from the Celtic Era in the 6th or 7th century. Maughold was the site of the first monastery on the Isle of Man with multiple religious buildings rather than a solo chapel. About half of the stone crosses so far discovered in Man have been found here.
The next five photos come from the site of the Castle Yn Ard burial site from about 1800 B.C. The first two pictures are of a family home probably from the 1800's. It is in the farm field at the approach to the neolithic site. The picture of the billboard at the King Orry's Grave Site shows what the site would have looked like in use. I'll let the photos of King Orry Site explain themselves.
The next several pictures show Tynwald Hill. The Tynwald Festival is held each July 5th with a procession of the Governor, Members of the House of Keys, and local representatives from St. John's Chapel to the Hill. The Keys are men that act much like the congress in the US although they originally started as a court of appeals for the tenants of the lands owned by The King of Man. Throughout history they have acted as anything from true representatives of the tenant's rights to corrupt puppets of various wealthy or empowered men of the ruling "Lord" of Man. The delicate balance that the King of Man maintained throughout history to uphold the Island's sovereignty in the presence of the powerful kings of Ireland, Scotland, Norway, and the UK makes for quite a read.
The next three photos come from the House of Mannanin in Peel. I was so busy enjoying the museum that I forgot to shoot pictures of all but the sculpture at the entry and the first room. In case I haven't told you in earlier posts, Mannanin is the early god of the island residents. He is a shape shifter, and controller of the mists, and other aspects of nature. His character sounds like it is very similar to the god, "Old Man", of Native Americans with humor, teaching, unpredictability, and power over nature. One Of the principle confidences that the residents had was that Mannanin would protect the island in a cloak of mist whenever trouble was passing through the Irish Sea. Their past conflicts with Vikings from Norway and all other conquering kingdoms would argue against this when viewed over the last two millennia. I would suggest that there are many kinds of mist. Somehow the island has maintained its status as independent nation under the most trying military and political conditions. Maybe the mist was more in the mind of aggressors and political power brokers than on the sea. There is still something magical about the land and the people of Man. It has managed to escape many of the less desirable aspects of the modern invasions of overbuilding, private ownership and resultant denial of seafront access to the public, and obsession with status and financial gain. In case you couldn't guess, I would recommend a trip to Man for anyone looking for a vacation of quiet, beauty, history, and warmth. Of course I am speaking of personal warmth, not warm temperatures. While it has its good share of brilliant weather, and it does not snow enough to care about, there is also a fair share of cold, rainy weather. Get yourself one of those stylish hi-viz rainsuits and you'll be all set. Oh yeah, the House of Mannanin...the second picture is a diorama of a typical bronze age (pre-Norseman) round house. The next picture is taken inside the next room which was a full scale replica of such a house complete with telling of an early mythical tale by a father to his daughter.
Pictures 19 through 30 are taken at the Castle in Peel. It was closed so I couldn't get any pictures inside, but the view around the castle was pretty amazing. You can see some of the red sandstone that comes from the local lowlands and is unique to the area around Peel. I will let the pictures and captions speak for themselves.
Picture 31 is taken outside the Inn where Anne and I had dinner. We wanted entrees that primarily featured "Queenie's" (scallops), but I had never had kippers (salted and smoked herring which the island is famous for) so I asked if I could just buy one without getting an entire meal. Instead I was given a free kipper which was a pretty good sized fish, and it was delicious. I also forced myself to consume the free samples of the three local beers that they offered. They were very good as well.
I guess that's it for my travel journal. I have a lot of video of my rides through the coast roads, port villages, and southern mountains which I will be editing down so you can see some of the beautiful byways and architecture of the island. I will post the URL when I have finished with the edit.
I hope you enjoyed my ramblings, and I look forward to seeing you all again now that I am home. Have a great day!