Kirk Lonan, Isle of Man

Historical Description

Kirk Lonan, a parish in the Isle of Man, on the E coast and on the Laxey river, 7 ½ miles NE by N of Douglas. It contains the village of Laxey, which has a post, money order, and telegraph office. Acreage, 9423; population, 2970. Laxey Bay indents the coast between Clay Head on the S and Laxey Head on the N. Clay Head has an altitude of 393 feet; Slieu Roie, 1 ¼ mile NNW of Laxey Head, of 840 feet; Cairn 'Gharjohl, on the W border, of 1461 feet; and Slieu Choar, on the extreme NW border, of 1809 feet. The Laxey Glen has fine scenery. Lead and copper mines are on the heights to the N, and at about a mile from Laxey they have been worked for more than 300 years and employ about 600 hands. The famous Laxey Wheel is an overshot 72 ½ feet in diameter and about 217 feet in circumference, and is capable of raising from a depth of over 300 fathoms 350 gallons of water per minute. There were paper mills formerly in operation at Laxey, and there is now a woollen mill. Two tall stones, called the Cloven Stones, stand about a mile NW of Clay Head, form part of a stone circle and cairn which were tolerably complete in the 18th century, and are traditionally said to mark the .grave of a Welsh prince who reigned in Man about the 8th century. A cairn, called King Orry's Grave, stands on a hillside half a mile NE of Laxey, and is traditionally said to mark the grave of an early Manx king who founded the House of Keys. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Sodor and Man; net value,, £152 with residence. Patron. the Crown. Two ancient crosses stand at the old church, and one of them is 5 ½ feet high and has a wheel sculpture richly carved with knot-work. The new' church presents no feature of interest The chaplainry of Laxey is a separate charge.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1894-5