In the smuggling days of old, one of the Radcliffes of Gordon in Patrick, the heir, was engaged in the trade. In one of his journeys to Ireland he married a beautiful Irish Papist, and brought her home to Gordon. His family strongly disapproved of the bride on account of her religion.
Soon after the wedding, Radcliffe’s boat foundered at sea, and he and all his crew were drowned. When the news reached Gordon, his brother built a one-roomed hut down near the cliffs, as far away from the house as possible, and drove the widow out of Gordon to live in it.
Tradition says that when she was turned out of her husband’s house, she went down upon her knees in a field behind it, and as she looked on the house she prayed that never an heir might ever inherit it and that the house might be divided against itself.
It is said that she lived for many years in this hut, supporting herself by field labour till she died.
The foundations of the hut may still be traced in the field, which is known to this day as “Magher-yn-thie-Paabish” – field of the Papist’s house.
Her prophecy came literally true in every sense, the latter part being fulfilled in our own day. About twenty years ago, after a lawsuit, the house itself was divided equally in two by a wall which runs in a straight line from the centre of the front door to the back wall, and from garret to ground floor.
On Glen Meay beach there is a cave, said to have been used by Radcliffe for storing the smuggled goods. On its walls, the letters H.R., in a circle, with the date 1677 below, may be seen scratched on the rocks. These initials are believed to be Henry Radcliffe’s, cut there by himself before his last voyage.
(source: Yn Lioar Manninagh Vol 4 (1901-1906) by Sophia Morrison; photo http://bit.ly/1RLeEDy)