[From Manx Soc vol 5, 1860]


"In accordance with an Act of Vestry, that church has been well repaired, as far as regards the exterior of the building. About a third part of the wall was taken down and rebuilt, on which there has been placed an excellent roof.

"During the dismantling of that ancient building, said by some to be nearly 900 years old, a variety of curious things were observable. Two stones forming steps to the gallery were found to be old crosses, laid with their faces downward: one was about five feet in length by nineteen inches broad, on which the artist's chissel had cut a cross and two monks at its base, each sitting in an arm chair opposite to each other. The other stone, which was not quite so large, had the representation of a cross alone.

"In two places in the wall there were two small windows, or more probably doors, in the Gothic form, above eighteen inches long by nine inches wide, very much, I should think, like the confessional. That this church and village in which it stands were at one time of considerable importance is evident from several circumstances which yet appear. In the church wall, about three or four feet from the foundation, were found loop holes, such as may be supposed necessary for protection and for the annoyance of an enemy, and in corroboration of the church having been a garrison as well as a temple, there may be seen still the remains of a deep trench round the inside of half the church yard, and the foundations of several erections on different parts of the grave yard are still visible.

"There was also found in the wall a piece of hollow silver, that may have been once in the head of a walking stick, but of little value.

"There were also some glass beads found when clearing away for rebuilding the walls, which furnish us with a clue to the origin of those found in the barrows as well as in the kist vaens.

"Let me also tell you that I have recorded upon parchment a great variety of insular facts relative to the present ecclesiastical and civil position of the Island, which I put into a bottle, corked and sealed, and embedded it in the wall, which will probably be found some 150 or 200 years hence and be considered a curious relic."

"A very important discussion was entered upon at a meeting of the Manx Society,' Nov., 1860, relative to the desirability of forming an archaeological branch, in order to preserve the numerous Scandinavian relics with which the Island abounds. As this question is a very comprehensive one, involving considerable outlay, it was left for the consideration of the annual meeting. We should ourselves be glad to see such a section formed, as we are satisfied that it is as much a legitimate part of the Manx Society as literary antiquarianism, or any of its collateral branches. Most of our readers are aware that during the recent repairs in Kirk Maughold Church, the workmen came upon several interesting relics of the past, which through the zeal and assiduity of the worthy vicar, have been carefully preserved. We are indebted to the Rev. W. Kermode for the following description of them : - ' First, a stone discovered in the chancel, containing the figure of an animal resembling the elk, having branching horns, - probably intended to commemorate some old Scandinavian hero of the chase. A somewhat similar animal is said to be occasionally met with on some of the older Scotch and Irish crosses, and is, I believe, technically called an elephant. Second, two beautiful crosses, evidently of very ancient date - probably the tenth century - cut in the common schist stone of the neighbourhood. They were discovered on removing some stone steps, and have been set up against the wall near the old Norman porch. On the lower part of one of these stones, on each side of the cross, are two monkish figures seated, the chair being distinctly traceable in the case of one; whence we conclude they wore intended for two bishops - probably St. Patrick and St. Maughold. Underneath these figures on either side, is what appears to be a man on horseback; but unfortunately owing to the soft nature of the stone, it is nearly obliterated. The last discovery is on the lintel over the west door of the church. This has evidently been an old Scandinavian bauta, or memorial stone, as several Runic characters are traceable on the inner edge. These are but a few of what would be brought to light, were an archaeological section established. "It was only last week we heard of a Runic stone having been buried by the peasantry near Peel for its bewitching the cattle! Steps are being taken to recover it." - Manx Sun.

"Having sent to the Rev. J. G. Cumming a description of the old walls of St. Maughold's Church, and also rubbings of the different monumental stones which have lately been found in and about that church, I received the following reply, which may be interesting to some of your readers

"Your account of the square holes 2 in the old wall of the church are particularly worthy of notice, as they seem to correspond with those in the old church of St. Trinian, with which several antiquaries to whom I have mentioned them, are much puzzled.

"I see a greater similarity between these crosses and the Scotch than any which I have noticed on the island, and this especially is the case with that which has the two monks seated upon it, and also the one bearing a resemblance to the so-called 'elephant of the north-east of Scotland."'


* Remains of the ancient sanctuary at Maughold.

2 In most of the old Manx dwellings in country parts rectangular holes or niches similar to those are constructed for domestic convenience, perhaps for penatic purposes of old - ED.


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