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Port Jack

 

The origin of this relatively modern name is not known. Kneale's Guide to the Isle of Man of about 1860, published in Douglas with the benefit of local knowledge, referred to this creek as Port Cooyn, narrow port, and describes an excursion from St. Peter's Church as "..a road conducts from the Church to the pretty creek of Growdale: another leads to Onchan Harbour, whence we can proceed, by a path along the cliffs to Derby Castle...The other creeks are Port-Cooyn and Port-y-Artay..". This latter name is probably a corruption of Port y Vaatey, (the port of the boat), which was filled in to build the coast road. However, the twenty-five inch to the mile Ordnance Survey of 1864-69, and only a decade later, uses the name Port Jack instead of Port Cooyn.  It would appear that "Jack" is indeed someone's Christian name as no corruption of a former Manx Gaelic name has been suggested. The area inland of the shore at Port Jack, now Port Jack Glen, was formerly known as the Lhergy, a Manx word meaning slope. The glen was occasionally referred to as Onchan Glen.

Port Jack was made readily accessible following the construction of the tramway and associated road to Groudle in 1893. Saunderson's plan of proposed new roads of about 1891 included the coast road from Derby Castle to the bottom of the existing Harbour Road over land to be reclaimed by the building of sea walls at Port e Vada and at Port Jack. Proposed also on this plan were Belgravia Road, Royal Avenue West and the section of the Royal Avenue which borders on Port Jack Glen.

In June 1937 Port Jack and Royal Avenue formed part of the course for the R.A.C. International Car Races.