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> Manx Legends, Fables & Stories from "Ellan Vannin"
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manxman 
Posted: 04-Jun-2004, 02:48 PM
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The gaelic name for the Isle of Man is "Ellan Vannin". I think it translates as "Misty Isle" ? The island is also referred to as Mona's Isle in a lot of manx literature.

It is very often misty around the island, and locals will often say "Mannanin is pulling his cloak in" when the visibilty drops.

Mannanin-mac-lir is the old manx sea god, worshipped by the manx before christianity was introduced by St. Patrick. (No proof of this as far as I know)

The popular story of Mannanin and St. Patrick can be read on http://www.manxman.ch/indexdata/mannanin/mannanin.htm

I'll try and dig out a few more legends in the near future.

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Mailagnas maqqas Dunaidonas 
Posted: 04-Jun-2004, 03:20 PM
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Here's a story about the Isle of Man, from McCulloch clan history--it may be true or it may be legend.
QUOTE
At the beginning of the 16th century, Thomas, Earl of Derby, a young, fiery warlike chief, was Lord, or rather, King of Man. In 1507, he made a furious descent upon the coast of Galloway, and nearly destroyed the town of Kircudbright. For several years afterwards, many of the houses in the burgh remained uninhabited and in ruins.

This successful assault was so skillfully directed and so bravely executed that it called forth the most enthusiastic strains of the Manx bards in praise of "The Earl with the golden crupper" as they termed their young sovereign and his heroic followers. But however gratifying this successful expedition might have first appeared to the inhabitants of Man, it proved afterwards to be the source of much suffering to follow. Cutlar McCulloch, being a brave and resourceful seaman, speedily equipped a predatory flotilla and, assembling his retainers, sailed over the Isle of Man, and repaid the visit with interest, carrying off everything which was "not too hot or heavy" for removal.

Cutlar McCulloch returned again and again, to the point that terrified Manxman made it a habit to eat their meat first and finish with the soup so at least to make sure of something substantial before they were disturbed by the ubiquitous McCullochs.


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manxman 
Posted: 05-Jun-2004, 12:46 AM
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QUOTE (Mailagnas maqqas Dunaidonas @ 04-Jun-2004, 03:20 PM)
Here's a story about the Isle of Man, from McCulloch clan history--it may be true or it may be legend.
QUOTE
At the beginning of the 16th century, Thomas, Earl of Derby, a young, fiery warlike chief, was Lord, or rather, King of Man. In 1507, he made a furious descent upon the coast of Galloway, and nearly destroyed the town of Kircudbright. For several years afterwards, many of the houses in the burgh remained uninhabited and in ruins.

This successful assault was so skillfully directed and so bravely executed that it called forth the most enthusiastic strains of the Manx bards in praise of "The Earl with the golden crupper" as they termed their young sovereign and his heroic followers. But however gratifying this successful expedition might have first appeared to the inhabitants of Man, it proved afterwards to be the source of much suffering to follow. Cutlar McCulloch, being a brave and resourceful seaman, speedily equipped a predatory flotilla and, assembling his retainers, sailed over the Isle of Man, and repaid the visit with interest, carrying off everything which was "not too hot or heavy" for removal.

Cutlar McCulloch returned again and again, to the point that terrified Manxman made it a habit to eat their meat first and finish with the soup so at least to make sure of something substantial before they were disturbed by the ubiquitous McCullochs.

As far as I know the story is true. The Derby family (appointed by the english crown) ruled on the Isle of Man for a considerable period of time and the name Derby is to found in many street names and places today on the island. The island was scene of many disputes between Scotland and England and the island has been ruled alternately by the Vikings, the Irish, the Scottish and the English.

I believe the rights to the Isle of Man were eventually lost by the Derbys in a card game.

During all this time of alternate occupation, foreign rule and battle, the manx have always been fiercely independant and nationalistic. This persists today and even so far as a fringe political party on the Isle of Man who favour total independance from the British government. Their aims can be read at http://www.manxman.co.im/ .

I think they take a dim view of foreigners like me. sad.gif (I'm english born but lived and worked on the island for over 20 years) They probably wouldn't like me using the nickname "manxman" either!

Does anyone have any views on independance for the celtic countries ?

The Isle of Man is a tax haven and has a nominally independant government. Property (realty) prices are very high and this means average young manx couples have practically no chance of being able to buy a house. On the other hand taxes are very low, unemployment is almost zero and state funded medical care is free for all !

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manxman 
Posted: 19-Jun-2004, 05:06 PM
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The Church, the Tailor and "The Buggane"

St. Trinians Church in Marown on the Isle of Man is derelict and has no roof. (picture attached) It is said that a fearsome creature who lives on the nearby mountain will destroy any attempt to erect a roof. This is because the church is built on "Fairy Ground" and may not be used by humans.

The concept of areas belonging to the fairies is widespread in celtic lands. Does anybody else have some information ?

Here's the story of St. Trinians church:
The village past Marown Church is known as CROSBY, a scandanavian word meaning the village with a cross. On the top of the hill is the Halfway House (halfway between Douglas and Peel) and on the descent of this hill, to the right, stands St. Trinians Church, a church that has been roofless for centuries. It was a small abbey built about 1230 on a piece of ground granted by King Olaf, as an oratory where prayers were offered for him and his family. Close by was a hostel for the use of travellers across the island. The Manx legend of the "Buggane of St.Trinians" ascribes the rooflessness to a huge "buggane" or giant who lived in Greeba mountain and who blew off the roof every time it was completed. The only thing that could prevent such a happening was for a tailor to sit in the chancel and make a pair of breeches. The local tailor volunteered to do this and indeed had almost completed his task, which was only short of one button when the thread gave out, and he hurried home to get a last hank. On his way back, the buggane returned and off went the roof once more, and the tailor was never seen again.

(There used to be a pub nearby where the tailor's scissors and thread were on display, or so it was claimed. The pub is now a restaurant.)

Manxman


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manxman 
Posted: 19-Jun-2004, 05:11 PM
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More about the Buggane.

Funnily enough the pub nearby was called the "Highlander". There's a different version of story at http://www.highlander.co.im/1buggane.htm

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Mailagnas maqqas Dunaidonas 
Posted: 19-Jun-2004, 05:21 PM
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Here's a fairy story involving the McCulloch family discussed above.
QUOTE
A similar good fortune befell Sir Godfrey McCulloch on the eve of his execution because he had courteously moved his back door so that his cesspool should not leak into the living-room of a fairy man whose house was beneath his. These are two examples of grateful fairies, who respected generosity, true dealing and courtesy when they met them.
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manxman 
Posted: 20-Jun-2004, 05:11 AM
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Thanks - a good link!

There's also the famous "Fairy Bridge on the Isle of Man. Should you cross the bridge, which lies just past Santon Station on the main Douglas - Castletown road, without saying so much as Laa Mie (good day) to the faries, you cannot be sure of a safe and pleasant visit.

On my first visit to the Island in 1976, I was a member of a band who were to play a summer season in Douglas. This tradition of "saying hello to the fairies" was explained to us, but one of our number was unfortunately rather rude to the "wee folk" as our band van drove over the bridge. The honest truth is, that a few miles later a steering linkage bolt came undone and we were lucky to be able to stop without injury or worse! Co-incidence ? From that day on I ALWAYS say "hello fairies".

A few weeks later we observed a German motocyclist (during the famous TT races week on the Island) who was answering a call of nature to side of the bridge on the river bank. I hate to think of what his fate might have been !

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jimbms 
Posted: 04-Jun-2008, 02:05 PM
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Just to clarify,

The Fairy Bridge your refer to and better known to tourists, is that in the parish of Malew on the A5 road from Douglas to Castletown just below Ballalonna Bridge in Ballalonna Glen on the Santon Burn.

user posted image

The above is the Real Fairy Bridge" is located in the parish of Braddan across the Middle River near to the footpath from Oakhill to Kewaigue You go from the Old Castletown Road, and the track to Fairy Bridge is about 60 yards up the hill, opposite side to Kewaigue School signposted "Public Footpath to Oak Hill". When the track reaches the little bridge to cross the stream, Fairy Bridge is located on the right.

user posted image

Any other requests for history and facts about Mann please feel free to ask. I have studied my local history and folk lore all my life and speak Manx fluently


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Lifes journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways yelling "HOLY pooh!!! WHAT A RIDE THAT WAS!!!"
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