[From ManxNoteBook vol iii,1887]


In response to the invitation of his Excellency the Lieutenant -Governor and of the Isle of Mann Natural History and Antiquarian Society about 80 Members of the British Association visited us on the conclusion of their Meeting at Manchester. Under the guidance of Professor W. Boyd-Dawkins, F.R.S., they made three most instructive and enjoyable excursions. The first of which, on the 10th of September, was to the interesting coast between Langness and Poolvash. Commencing at Langness, Professor Boyd Dawkins demonstrated in the clearest and most convincing way that the conglomerate was of earlier date than the carboniferous limestone. At the Scarlett Limestone Quarry he pointed out scratches caused by glacial action; a little further on he called attention to the variously constituted volcanic and crystalline rocks, and showed that this mass of intrusive igneous material resulted from the action of a volcano in the carboniferous period. The volcanic rock was traced from Scarlett point, where it is thickest, to Poolvash, where it disappears. At Poolvash, he discoursed about a huge trap dyke, which he had previously mapped on the other side of the headland in Castletown bay, and which he said was of much later date than the other volcanic ashes. The High-Bailiff of Castletown, Mr. J. M. Jeffcott, gave a very interesting description of Castle Rushen and the events with which it had been connected.

On the 11th inst., the runic Crosses at Braddan were first examined, and, after a cursory glance at the aligments in the Wood above the Churchyard, the party drove on to the Crosby Quarry, where there is a remarkable dyke. They arrived next at Tynwald Hill, where Deemster Gill gave a brief account of the constitutional ceremonies anually performed there. At the Poortown Quarry Professor Carvill Lewis, of Philadelphia, noted a scarce eruptive rock, which he thought was y(tbbio, a compound of diallage and labradorite (a variety of fel spar). Peel Island with its various ruins was then visited, and on the way home, the Foxdale Mines, where many interesting points were elucidated by Professors Dawkins and Lewis, and by Captain Kitto, who guided the party. At the small quarry they saw the contrast between the pure and altered granite; and at the great quarry, the granite and slate in immediate contact. It was pointed out thtt the striking feature here was the absence of disturbance in the comparatively soft slate when brought into contact with the granite. This singularly small alteration continues, according to Capt. Kitto, to the very bottom of the mine.

On the 12th inst., the Laxey Mines were visited, and it was noted that they were cut wholly through the clay slate. Captain Reddicliffe conducted the party through the washing floors of the mine, and explained the working of the separating and washing machines, showing how the lead, the blende ore, and the copper came out in three different places. They then climbed the hill to the so-called King Orry's Grave, which Mr. Savage considered to be a very extensive burying place, judging from tlac number of large stones there. Professor Boyd-Dawkins called it a chamber tomb and he remarked that similar erections are found not only all over Europe, but very largely in the East, and that the idea which underlies this kind of burial is that the dead live in these place in exactly the same way as the living live in their own houses He declined to fix its date, but he stated that such graves were first used in the polished stone age. To return to Geology : Professor Lewis pronounced the large markings on the boulders above the beach, which have generally been considered to be the footprints of some extinct animals, to be simply due to the rotting out of concretions or knots. Prof. Dawkins agreed with Professor Lewis, and he mentioned that similar rocks were to be seen in the neighbourhood of Grange and near Black Coombe, in Cumberland, the Rev. S. Gasking called attention to the fact that he had seen these markings at Dalby and Port Soderick. Professor Dawkins also pointed out the " ripple marks " on the surface of the sloping rocks, which, he said, were caused by the waves and not, as Professor Lewis thought by pressure.

On the 13th, most of the party returned to England, leaving some of the geologists to explore the underground workings at the Foxdale and Laxey Mines. We learn that the associates considered the expedition to the Isle of Man to have been not the least instructive and enjoyable part of their autumnal outing, and the geologists especially, were enthusiastic about a locality which Professor Carvijl Lewis declared to be the best in the world to view the " whole genesis of geological formation."

[The Editor regrets that he is not able to devote more space to the proceedings of the British Association when here. A full report appeared in the Isle of Mann Times, of the 10th of September, which was revised by Professor Boyd-Dawkins and Mr. Jeffcott.]


ISLE OF MANN NATURAL HISTORY AND ANTIQUARIAN SOCIETY. -The second excursion of the season to Snaefell and Druidale took place on Thursday, the 15th July. A meeting was held near the Turbary at the foot of Snaefell, Deemster Gill presiding. After the minutes of the last meeting were read and confimed, the President reported that the Society had been presented by the British Association for the advancement of Science with a copy of their Annual Report for 1886 and by Mr. A. W. Moore with several numbers of The Antiquarian Magazine. The following new members were proposed and seconded: Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Kingston and Capt. Tenuant. the President, on behalf of the Sub-Comrnittee appointed at the Annual Meeting on the 3rd March last to obtain information as to a visit to the Island of an excursion from the British Association, reported that they had ascertained from the Organizing Committee in Manchester that an Excursion from the Association would come to the Island about the 9th September; that on the conclusion of the Annual Meeting, his Excellency the Lieutenant Governor had kindly forwarded a formal invitation to the President of the Association, Sir H. E. Roscoe, which had been accepted; that members and friends of this Society had promised to invite from 15 to 20 members of the Excursion to their houses, that arrangements were being made with some of the hotels for the reception of the remaining members of the Excursion, and with the Packet and Railway Companies for tickets at reduced terms.  


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