Home Manx LifeLandscape Crosh Molley Mooar & Poyll Vill

Crosh Molley Mooar & Poyll Vill

by Bernadette Weyde

These two places – the former meaning the ‘great deceiving cross’ and the latter ‘the honey pool’ – are situated a little south of the stone circle on the Mull, up the way to Cregneish. The stone circle itself is called in Manx, LHIACK NY VIRRAGH meaning a sharply pointed pile of stones. I was very anxious to obtain the proper spelling and sounding of the name and examined a great number of old men from the Darrag, Ballahowe and Cregneish and I am perfectly satisfied that the above rendering is the only correct one, which exactly describes the place.

In the paper ‘The Excavation of the Neolithic Stone Circle on the Meayll Hill’, 1894, by Prof Herdman and Mr PMC Kermode, it is quite wrongly given as LHAG NY BOIREY = the hollow of trouble! The legends which cluster round CROSH MOLLEY and POYLL VILL, taken in conjunction with the stone circle that crowns the height of the cronk, are of great importance – the spring just above, called CHIBBYR NY GABBYL (not Chibbyr by garval) – or the horse well, is also haunted by fairies. The CROSH MOLLEY may have stood as the first of the big upright monoliths forming the long avenue running from west to east outside on the south side of the Circle’ the CROSH has disappeared but the traditions are still known to the old Mull people.


I never knew why it was called so nor ever heard of any settlement, but there are traces of ruins near to it, It was said the fairies called it so. There was another man of our gathering, from Surby, telling one time he was coming to Cregneish up Port Erin way at a late hour one fine bright night to see his sweetheart, and when he was coming up at Crosh Molley Mooar, he heard great laughing and sport up near Poyll Vill, and as he got near the company he saw a great crowd of gentlemen and ladies dancing in rings, and others playing ‘kiss in the ring,’ and others jumping, and they were all dressed very fine. He stood for some time to get a good view of them, and they kept dancing, and jumping, and laughing, and shouting away; they did not seem to take any notice of him. So he came on his way to Cregneish and they got on with their merriment until he was out of hearing.

There was an old man on the Mull (Meayll). He was on his way home from Port Erin, and when he came to Crosh Molley there was a great crowd there, and they took hold of him, and he was obliged to go with them, and when they came to Pooyl Vill they met a very big man, and he found fault with them for taking the man away with them. “Let the decent man go,” said he, “right before the wind.” So they let him go, and he got away before the wind as fast as he could. Many of the old people used to see fairy crowds at Cosh Molley when the were near it, but on arriving there they had vanished, and I fancy that Crosh Molley took its name from that, because the “crowds” always disappeared and they were deceived or disappointed.

Returning from Port Erin — it was one night in the winter — we got on very well till we came to Crosh Molley Mooar, and we could not tell where we had got to, and could see nothing. We were climbing precipices on our hands and knees, and more than once we walked into deep pools of water, taking us up to our knees. But after a little while we saw a bright light and made towards it, and found it to be our own. If we were on the Mull all the time it was very strange how we had to climb such places and walk into such deep pools of water.

I was coming home from Port Erin alone one night, about thirty years ago, and it was moonlight, with a full moon in the sky. When I came out on the gate that leads to the Mull I could see the road very plain before me going towards Crosh Molley, but I went on. walking for a long time, but could not find Crosh Molley at all, and could not tell where I was going, but all of a sudden I found myself at the gate again, and started towards Crosh Molley again, and got past it without any difficulty.


A man from the Mull was coming from Port Erin at a late hour, and when he was near Poyll Vill he heard a hand bell tolling just beside him at a great rate, and he stood to listen and look about to see who it was, but he did not see anyone, and the ringing ceased, but as soon as he began to walk again the bell ringer commenced to ring again, sometimes at his right side and sometimes at his left, and it kept on until he was very near Cregneish, but he never saw anybody.

Seventy years ago some of the men got a new yawl built at Port St. Mary, and they carried her in a cart to Cregneish. She was a boat to fish in the Sound of the Calf; they put her down in the mountain above some house until it would be fine to take her to the Sound to fish. She lay there more than a week, and the people that were passing Poyll Vill in the night were saying that the fairies had her in Poyll Vill every night sailing away. I suppose they were not getting many fish in the Pool, but I have heard of an old man that was engaging a crew in the public-house to go with him to fish PENPROCK in Poyll Vll. I think they are called crayfish in English.

A young woman was coming from Port Erin. It was Pancake Night, and she was going to the farmhouse in the Sound to make pancakes. She was coming at Poyll Vill, and some darkness came over her, and she did not know where she was going, but walking all night and did not see or feel a hedge; but she must have gone over hedges, for when daylight came she was in Ballahowe mountain, in the middle of the cliff above Ghaw ny mooar!

(source: Manx Notes & Queries edited by Charles Roeder (1904); photograph of Meayll Circle (Mull Circle))

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