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Howstrake
Place Names

 

An account, published in 1873, of the procedures adopted during the course of work by the Ordnance Survey, noted that "..the greatest care [is] taken to obtain the correct orthography of the [place] names...The examiner obtaining the names with the residential authorities.....these are further verified by the superintendent of the party.....who compares the names locally collected with those on the estate and other maps to which he has obtained access..". The information which resulted from the enquiries was recorded in  Name Books which were stored in the Ordnance Survey archives at Southampton. These books might well have provided alternative names, or clues to the origins of names in Howstrake, but they were destroyed in air raids during the 1939/45 war.

Balnehow, Balnahow
These are abbreviated forms of BALLA NY HOWE, Manx for the farm of the headland.

Bank's Harbour   See Onchan Harbour

Bank's Howe
Named after the Bank's family who owned the farm of Balnehow which was later known as Howstrake.

Bank's Point
The cliff top at the highest point of the King Edward Road where the former Howstrake Holiday Camp tram stop shelter is situated. The name appears on a map by Edward Weller F.R.G.S. for the Weekly Dispatch Atlas of 1860.

Brither Clip Gut
"Gut" is an English word meaning a narrow channel or strait. This particular gut separates a large isolated rock from the cliff below Majestic View. Kneen, in his Place Names, states that the origin of "Brither Clip" is obscure but suggests that it may derive from a shipwreck at this spot and, indeed, there is a folk memory of a Dutch ship being wrecked here. The name predates the 1869 Ordnance Survey and is of Old Norse origin. Clip derives from Old Norse Kleppr meaning a rock, (Norwegian - Klippe; Danish - Klippa). The meaning of Brither was obscure. Rev. R.L. Thompson suggested the possibility that Brither derives from Broadra meaning "of the brothers" giving Brothers' Rock.

Professor Marstrander confirmed in his ‘Remarks on the Place-Names of the Isle of Man’, N.T.S. VII (Oslo 1934) that the first two elements represent Norwegian  “BRODRA KLEPPARNER”,  “brother cliffs. He added that BRODRA, “brother” and SYSTRA, “sister”, are used in Norway to describe such rocks.

Groudle
The name derives from the Norse ESJU-DALR, (or old Norse ESCADALA) which in English means CLAY DALE. CLAY HEAD has a similar origin in ESCA NESS. In the 1511 Manorial Roll CLAY DALE had become CRAWDALE. By 1794 the name had been corrupted to CROWDALE and by 1860 to GROWDALE and, eventually,to GROUDLE. Groudle Beach was known as ESCADALA-VIK in Norse, meaning Clay Dale Creek. (Eskdale in Cumbria and Eskdalemuir in Scotland probably have the same Norse origin.)

Happy Valley
The name is a commonly used alternative for Onchan Harbour and derives from a pierrot show, the Happy Valley Arena, which was operated by Charles Dare in 1912 and 1913 on the brows overlooking Onchan Harbour.

Howstrake
Howstrake means the track over the headland and comes from the Norse HOFUDSTROKR. It is assumed to follow the present Groudle Road from St Peter's Church to the beach at Groudle.

Howstrake Farm
The name was used from about 1808 in place of Balnehow.

Lag Birragh
Manx for the hollow with sharp pointed stones or rocks. This is the precipitous inlet on the coast below Bank's Point. The name of the Mansion House, which in 1922 became the Hotel Majestic, was changed to Lag Birragh and in Kneen's Place Names the "sharp pointed stones" are identified, wrongly, as being the coast below the Hotel Majestic.

Lhergy
The word indicates a slope in Manx and was a former name of Port Jack Glen.

Onchan Bay
The title used by the photographer Hough of Port Jack for a photograph of Onchan Harbour which appeared in the Board of Advertising Guide for 1907. The name also occurs in "Beyond the Silver Stream in Manxland" of around 1894 or 1895.

Kirk Onchan Creek
A name used on Admiralty charts to indicate Onchan Harbour.

Onchan Glen
A name occasionally used for Port Jack Glen. The name also appears in "Beyond the Silver Streak in Manxland" where it refers to the brows of Onchan Harbour.

Onchan Harbour
Onchan Harbour was also known as Port Bankes, Port Conchan, Kirk Onchan Creek and is still known locally as Happy Valley.

Onchan Head
The headland between Port Jack and Onchan Harbour where the King Edward Bay Apartments are sited. Formerly the site of the White City Amusement Park.

Onchan Point
The name given for Onchan Head on Capt. Hans Busk's map of 1861

Port Bankes  See Onchan Harbour.

Port Cooyn  See under Port Jack.

Port-E-Vada
The former creek now occupied by the depot of the Manx Electric Railway. The name is a corruption of Port-e-Vaatey meaning the Port of the Boat. The name signifies that it was large enough to accomodate only a small boat and not a large vessel. Sometimes written as Port-y-Artay.

Port Conchan
Another name for Onchan Harbour. Used on 1627 map showing the Watch and Ward sites.

Port Jack
Originally known as Port Cooyn, (Feltham 1798 and Kneale's Guide c. 1860), the narrow port. The present name appears to be a relatively modern English one, although it does date back to before the 1869 Ordnance Survey.

Port-Y-Artay
A variant of Port-e-Vada used by Feltham in 1798 and in Kneale's Guide of c. 1860.

Raad Ny Foillan
This is a modern conception of linking up rights of way to form a walking route around the Island's coast. It is Manx for the Way of the Gull.