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ÁN

ACCOUNT

OF
THE ISLE OF MAN.

BOOK I.

CHAPTER Í.

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Situation and Extent of the Isle of Man. Etyo mology of its Name. A Sketch of its Mineraa

logy. M AN is an island in the Irish Sea, distant from St. Bee's-head, in Cumberland, thirty nau. tical miles; from Burrow-head, in Scotland, sixteen miles; and from Strangford, in Ireland, twenty seven miles; the latitude of the middle of the island being fifty four degrees and sixteen minutes north. Its length rather exceeds thirty miles, and its mean breadth ten.

Etymologists are not agreed respecting the derivation of its namé. Bishop Wilson sup

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posed it to be an abbreviation of Manning, its present Manks appellation, signifying, in that language, among ; this isle being surrounded by other territories. Some suppose it to be derived from Mona, a word which they imagine, but without sufficient authority, to have been used by Cæsar to denote this island.* Mona and Monoida are classed by Ptolemy under the head of Irish islands : Pliny informs us that Mona and Monapia lie between Ireland and Britain:t and the Mona of Tacitus is undoubtedly Anglesey; since he relates in his Annals the circumstance of the infantry of the army of Suetonius crossing from the main land in flatbottomed vessels; and of the horse partly fording the passage upon the shoals, and partly swimming over. And, again, we are informed, in the life of Agricola, that the army under the

* Alterum (latus Britanniæ) vergit ad Hispaniam atque occidentem solem: qua ex parte est Hibernia, dimidio minor, ut æstimatur, quam Britannia : sed pari spatio transmissus, atque ex Gallia est in Britanniam. In hoc medio cursu est insula quæ appellatur Mona: complures præterea minores objectæ insulæ existimantur.

Cæsar, de Bello Gallico, Lib. 5, Cap. 13. + Inter Hyberniam ac Britanniam, Mona, Monapia, Ric.. nea, Vectis, Silimnus, Andros. Plin. Lib. 4. Cap. 16.

command of that general crossed the straits without the assistance of any vessels, and so frightened the inhabitants by the boldness of such conduct, that they sued immediately for peace.

Perhaps the words Mona and Man may both of them be derived from the ancient British word món, accented grave in Owen's dictionary, and signifying what is isolated.

This island is divided into two unequal portions by a chain of moderately high mountains, running from north-east to south-west, broken at one part, between mount Kreevey and South Barrule. The most considerable summits are Snawfel and North and South Barrule, the two last forming its extremities. The height of Snawfel, as taken by the barometer, is five hundred and eighty yards above the level of the sea ; and the two Barrules are inconsiderably lower.

The high land between North Barrule and Mount Kreevey gives rise to several rivers, the chief of which empty themselves into the sea at Ramsey, at Laxey; and at Douglas.. Ramsey river is the largest; and the flat country, through which it finally runs, permits spring

tides to produce their effect upon it two miles from the sea. The northern branch of Douglas river rises on the western side of Mount Garrahan. The northern side of South Barrule contributes a portion of its waters to Peel river, and another to the river of Glenmay. The southern side sends forth a streamlet, one of the branches of Castletown river, which joins the other branch, a little above Athol bridge, running nearly south. All the streams are very shallow; and smaller ones, not large enough in summer to turn a mill, are very frequent.

The northern portion of the island is a light sand, resting on a bed of common clay: the greatest portion of the island consists of a barren soil, resting on grey wacké-slate, and on clayslate: a small portion around Castletown is composed of lime-stone of transition: and the mountains are formed chiefly of strata of clayslate, much intersected by veins of quartz, and which seem to rest on mica-slate, a mineral that occurs on the sides and summits of several of

them, and which probably rests on granite. • The dip of the strata, whether of slate,

of lime-stone, or sand-stone, is almost invariably sonth-east. The chief metallic repositories are

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