[From Mona Miscellany second series Manx Soc vol 21]


NUMEROUS are the allusions that are made respecting the notion of a land under the waves. Waldron relates a remarkable story of an adventurer in search of treasure off the coast of Man having descended to a great depth in a " bell made of glass," and saw unheard of riches. It is believed by many that there exists a superb city with many towers, and numerous gilded minarets, near Langness, in Castletown Bay, on a place now covered by the sea, and which is sometimes seen to rise up in all its former magnificence. The Manx sailors relate they often hear the tinkling of the church bell under the sea on a Sunday morning.

It is stated that Cardigan Bay was once the site of a submerged city ; that the renowned chief O’Donoghue continues to reside in a splendid mansion under the Lake of Killarney, over which he is seen to glide on May day morning, riding on a milk-white steed. Many other instances might be given of a similar belief " traditions common to many nations which bear upon that of the mysterious western land hidden in the mist, which was once the Isle of Man, and is now to the westward of Man." These are all founded upon incidents which have been woven into popular tales ever since man began to speak.

The septennial appearance of the submerged island near Port Soderick is looked forward to with some degree of interest by many in the Isle of Man. Many a time and oft had Nora Cain heard her old grandsire relate the tradition of this enchanted island at Port Soderick while sitting spinning by the turf fire on a winter’s evening. It was in the days of the great Fin Mac Coul, that mighty magician, who, for some insult he had received from the people who lived on a beautiful island off Port Soderick, cast his spell over it, and submerged it to the bottom of the ocean, transforming the inhabitants into blocks of granite. It was permitted them, once in seven years, to rise to the surface for the short space of thirty minutes, during which time the enchantment might be broken if any person had the boldness to place a Bible on any part of the enchanted land when at its original altitude above the waters of the deep.

On one occasion, it was about the end of September on a fine moonlight night, Nora was sauntering along the little bay in sweet converse with her lover, when she observed something in the distance which continued to increase in size. It struck her to be none other than the enchanted isle she so often had heard of. It continued gradually rising above the surface of the water, when, suddenly disentangling herself from the arm of her lover, hastened home with all the speed she could, and rushed into the cottage, crying out, breathless with her haste, " The Bible, the Bible, the Bible !" to the utter amazement of the inmates, who could not at the moment imagine what had possessed her. After explaining what she had seen, she seized hold of the coveted volume and hastened back to the beach, but, alas I only just in time to see the last portion of the enchanted isle subside once more to its destined fate of another seven years’ submersion.

From that night poor Nora gradually pined away, and was soon after followed to her grave by her disconsolate lover. It is said, from that time no person has had the hardihood to make a similar attempt, lest, in case of failure, the enchanter in revenge might cast his club over Mona also.


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