Snaefell Mining Disaster 1897, Isle of Man

Snaefell Mine in 1870

Snaefell (Manx: Sniaull) is the highest mountain on the Isle of Man (Mannin), at 2,037 feet (621 m) above sea level. To the east the magnificent Laxey Valley sweeps down towards the coastal village of Laxey (Manx: Laksaa) where it meets the Irish Sea. Walking upwards along the track from Laxey, past the tiny settlement of Agneash, a gradual climb takes you alongside the river that flows along the floor of the valley. On a fine day the views are spectacular. As you approach Snaefell you eventually reach the remains of the old Snaefell Mine that lie in the shadow of the mountain. Just above the site nestling behind a group of pine trees there is a beautiful little waterfall. A peaceful and tranquil place to sit and take in the scenery. Nevertheless, there is an air of sadness here, often commented upon even by those without a knowledge of the events that took place at the Snaefell Mine on 10th of May 1897. As if a memory of the tragedy that happened here over a century ago is held within the clasp of the surrounding hills.

Horses in Celtic Mythology

Boudicca

Amongst Celtic peoples the horse has always been highly venerated and seen as a prized possession. Horses were viewed as status symbols, treated with great respect, treasured and well cared for. There was a great bond between Celts and their horses. The esteem in which they were held is not surprising when the impact of the animal on everyday life, survival and battle are considered. The Celts were known as very skilled cavalry fighters and charioteers. The Romans used mercenaries from Gaul because they were known to have these skills. The importance of chariots in battle is recounted in Irish medieval literature that draws on much older ancient folklore. Such stories are told in the Ulster Cycle featuring the legendary Irish warrior Cú Chulainn, son of the god Lugh associated with the pre-Christian Celtic pantheon of the Tuatha Dé Danann.

Dupath Well - the largest and most impressive Well House in Cornwall

Dupath Well

Dupath Well is an almost complete granite Well House built over an ancient spring. It is said to have been built in 1510 by the Augustinian canons of St Germans Priory. It is the largest and most impressive Well House in Cornwall, constructed from grey granite blocks, with a roof made from long stones that run the length of the building, overlapping each another.

Çhibbyr Maghal - St Maughold's Well

St Patricks Well at Maughold

Christianity was brought to the Isle of Man (Manx: Mannin) by Irish missionaries. According to legend, Saint Patrick came to the Island first setting foot on a small island off the Isle of Man that still bears his name, St Patrick's Isle (Manx: Ellan Noo Perick). There are a number of early churches (Keeills) dedicated to Patrick (Manx: Pherick) and two parish churches. There are also a number of holy wells named after him. Although the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick is very important in the Manx Christian tradition.

St Patrick & Maughold

St Maughold

As we approach the feast Day of the Patron Saint of Ireland, the mind reels at the immensity of Patrick's presence in the English Speaking world. No doubt it is rooted in Irish emigration, but what explains this phenomenon? How is it that a Roman Briton came to be an icon of the modern Celtic world?

Revellers who participate in St Patrick's Day celebrations are measured in the tens of millions. Based on published attendance records for Manchester, Dublin, New York City, Philadelphia, Toronto and Sydney, approaching 5 million people will either participate in or attend the parades in these cities alone. The first "official" St. Patrick’s Day Parade took place in New York City in 1848, as the Great Famine raged in Ireland (1845-1852).  The first parade was organised by a consortium of Irish Aid Societies which had sprung up in New York in response to the increase in Irish immigrants to the city, many of whom were survivors of the Coffin Ships. Today New York's St. Patricks Day Parade has the distinction of being the world’s oldest civilian parade and the largest such event in the United States.

Saint Patrick: His Day, His Party and His Myth

Dublin's Saint Patrick's Day Parade

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh (Happy St Patrick's Day)!

To celebrate St Patrick's Day we are re-publishing this popular article.

There is no doubting the immensity of Patrick's presence in the English Speaking world. Without question it is rooted in Irish emigration, but what explains this phenomenon? How is it that a Roman Briton came to be an icon of the modern Celtic world?

As we approach the feast Day of the Patron Saint of Ireland, it is time for the annual nod to the revelers who participate in St Patrick's Day celebrations and to the mythic Saint Patrick himself.  One would like to imagine the throngs clogging the streets of most major cities of the “Anglo Saxon” world are soldiers of Celtic identity, but we know most are there because it is a party.  Participants in St. Patrick’s Day festivities are measured in the tens of millions. Based on published attendance records for Manchester, Dublin, New York City, Philadelphia, Toronto and Sydney, approaching 5 million people will either participate in or attend the parades in these cities alone.

A Welsh and Hungarian connection with the The Bards of Wales - A Walesi Bárdok by János Arany

János Arany

In Hungary, there is a famous ballad from the poem called "A Walesi Bárdok" - the Bards of Wales – written by János Arany in 1857. It tells of how in 1277 King Edward I of England attended a banquet in Montgomery Castle. It was held to celebrate his victories over the Welsh and he called for a Welsh bard to sing his praises. Bards were highly regarded in Welsh society at that time, and were thought to be descendants of the Celtic druids.

The praise of the foreign invading English King was something that the bards refused to do. They denounced him as a butcher with the blood of an entire nation on his hands. So, one by one, the King sends them to be burnt at the stake. Still not one of the proud Welsh Bards can be found to flatter him as their conqueror and he ends up murdering 500 in total. The English King returns to London after ravaging the Welsh countryside in a terrible act of revenge. It is said that the evil King is forever haunted by the shades of the dead bards, spending his days in terror of their torment.

Song of the Celts - The Wolfe Tones

The Wolfe Tones are an Irish band that incorporate elements of Irish traditional music in their songs.

Their name is taken from the Irish patriot Theobald Wolfe Tone, one of the leaders of the Irish Rebellion of 1798. The band date back to 1963 with performers Brian Warfield, Derek Warfield, Noel Nagle later joined by Tommy Byrne.

The Wolfe Tones continue to tour with a band comprising Brian Warfield, Noel Nagle and Tommy Byrne.

The Celtic patriotic song 'Song of the Celts' is sung notably by the Wolfe Tones. It points to the unity amongst Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Manx, Breton and Cornish ethnic peoples and regarded by many as an unofficial anthem of the Celtic people.

Cornish In The Landscape

Everyone must now be aware that there is much more visible Cornish language in the landscape than there was a few years ago.  Thousands of street name-plates have been installed since 2008, with many more to come, and it’s evident in many other ways, too.  While there may be a few grumbles, the general reaction to this has been extremely positive.  Incidentally, bilingual street signs cost no more than a single-language replacement, due to the laser-printing technique, and the use of an expert research panel of volunteers.

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