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St Bridget’s Day and the old Caillagh

On the Isle of Man every ditch had to be full of rain or snow on St Bridget’s Day so that the old Caillagh, or hag, could not gather brasnags or faggots (sticks) for firing. If she could lay in

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Strange Red Lights

In the 1920s a number of strange reddish lights were reported, two and sometimes three at once, moving about a man’s garden adjoining the Claddagh, “as big as the rear lamp of a trap.” They caused a good deal of

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The Cholera Epidemic 1832-33

The incubation period of cholera can be as short as a few hours, the time it takes for the ingested vibrio cholera to get to its natural habitat, the human intestine, but it can also be as long as a

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John Henry Teare

Mention the word ‘cycling’ and ‘Isle of Man’, and many people will automatically think of Mark Cavendish and Peter Kennaugh, two modern day sportsmen who have achieved amazing success to date. But there is someone else who deserves recognition in

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Wells on the Isle of Man

Every parish in the Isle of Man had its wells, wells that in the distant past played an important part in the lives of the community. Many of them were sacred and many of them are credited with curative properties.

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Life in Ballaugh in the 1840s

By Ellie Shimmin. February 28th, 1915. Today is my birthday, seventy-four years. I was born in the year 1841 in the parish of Ballaugh. I was baptized and catechised for confirmation by our beloved Rector, Thomas Howard, and was confirmed

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All About Katie

I had a very good childhood with brothers and sisters and a good mother and father. We lived in Tynwald Street in Douglas where I was born in 1925. I went to Tynwald Street school but I could not start

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Manx Fairs

In pre-Reformation times and for many years afterwards, the feast of the patron saint of a church or parish was observed by a religious service in the church, often an elaborate event, and the feast was accompanied by a fair.

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Mud Cottage, Cranstal

An attempt has been made to encompass all aspects of life in the Island but one may be led to think that the old body of tradition is more truly found in the cottages and small farms of the countryside.

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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 Isle of Man in 1897. In the northern parishes where building stone was scarce, crofts and other small houses were

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