Fire in Isle of Man Folklore

Fire in Isle of Man Folklore

The importance attributed to keeping the Manx home-fires burning reappears in the apocryphal “law” believed to regulate squatters on other men’s land.

If, after sufficient materials for four walls and a roof have been collected in readiness, a dwelling-house can be run up between sunset and sunrise, and smoke sent out of the chimney, the house belongs to the man who, with his friends’ help, has built it; but if and when the fire fails to be continuous, the site reverts to the owner of the land. Only the stones of the building then belong to the tenant, who may take them away if he chooses.

A cottage in Ballarragh village, Lonan, now stands empty and unrepaired on account of the uncertainty created by this belief.


(source: A Second Manx Scrapbook by WW Gill (1932); photo)

Bernadette Weyde

Bernadette Weyde

I'm a web designer, amateur historian and keen gardener and I enjoy bringing Manx history, folklore and poetry to a modern audience.


Tags assigned to this article:
folk talesmanx life

Related Articles

The Skeab Lome

The curse and ritual of the Skeab Lome (Besom of Destruction) does not appear to have an exact parallel in

George Henry Borrow

One of the greatest masters of English literature, George Henry Borrow, visited Man in the year 1855 and wrote a

Mrs Gilrea of the East Nappin

This photograph is of Mrs Mary Gilrea spinning outside her sod house on the East Nappin in Jurby on the

No comments

Write a comment
No Comments Yet! You can be first to comment this post!

Write a Comment

Your e-mail address will not be published.
Required fields are marked*