Having arrived somewhat later than planned, we picked up
our hire car “Audrey” and headed south a few miles to
Port St Mary which is a quiet seaside / port on the south of the island not too far from the airport. Above is a picture of the Promenade and the houses along it were used as an Internment Camp during WWII.
Within the row is a B&B called Aaron House where we stayed for our first three nights on the island.
Aaron House models itself on a Victorian B&B and hence the furniture and decor in much of the house is Victorian. It is worth reading its reviews on TripAdvisor if you are looking for somewhere to stay on the island.
and this is the view on the night of a full moon.
Legend has it that the Isle of Man was created when the Irish giant Finn MacCooll threw a chunk of earth from Ireland’s coastline towards Scotland, when in battle, which promptly landed in the Irish Sea and became the Isle of Man.
To us, the island that he created looks rather beautiful and very much like Ireland in many places.
This was the first section of coast we saw just south of St Mary’s, then at the southern most point of the island, we saw
The Isle of Man National Trust run many of the historical sites around the island and there is a fee to visit most of them. You have the choice of either paying a fee at each site you visit; or buying a holiday pass for £20 which covers all of the sites; or showing your English National Trust Card and getting in free - we are doing the latter.
The first we visit is Cregneash which is only a few miles away from where we are staying. This is a village within which many of the
original houses have been preserved (both inside and out).
This building was the Blacksmiths / Carpenters and inside is the original equipment,
here the Blacksmiths Shop
and here the Carpenters Shop.
This is Ned Beg’s Cottage with a reed roof.
The roof is tied down to prevent it blowing away in the rather strong winds. Nowadays, rope is used but originally Suggane (hand twisted rope made from straw) was used.
In another house, a front room was laid out as it would have been many years ago, with a fire blazing away in the hearth
In another house, a person was making “Bumbles" out of reeds.
“Bumbles’ or '‘Bumble Cages’ can be made in a matter of minutes. The story told about them varies a little depending upon who tells you the story but in essence, in centuries past the folk on the Isle of Man were very much believers of Fairies, and other mystical creatures. Children were brought up being told of the mischievousness of the little folk and also that bumble bees were in fact bad fairies who had been transformed into insect shape. So what do you do with a bad fairy? You build a ‘Bumble Cage’ to trap them in (follow the link for a video and another version of the story). It’s like a little rattle made of reeds and when it’s nearly finished, you pop a bumble bee inside and seal it up. Bumble bees are more fortunate these days in that pebbles serve as a substitute!
Weaving was one of the ways people made a living and the oldest loom on the island was in one of the houses.
One of our priorities was to see a Manx Cat and we were able to do this here. Sitting down, it looked just like an ordinary cat
But as soon as it stood, its tail-less state
The village has a number of four horned sheep,
this one had to be photographed from the back in order to see its horns. Apparently there are also some (rare) six horned sheep.