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The Smelt, Bay ny Carrickey Keeill and Burial Ground

Period: Medieval

NGR Easting: 221460

NGR Northing: 468670

Description: Medieval chapel and burial ground.

The Manx Archaeological Survey (1968) notes that the site lies within the landholding of Kyrke Sansan, and that the old name for the neighbouring shore, Ennaug, may indicate the former existence of a fair or assembly place. On the strength of this, and the traditional regard in which the area has been held, the Survey suggests that a chapel may have existed on the site.

More certainly, the repeated discovery of lintel graves through ploughing, cattle poaching and the erosion of the soft cliffline behind the modern houses, indicates the presence of a medieval burial ground.

The existence of a burial-ground on the gravel platform bordering the coast was known to the older inhabitants long before any published account of it. Roeder (1897) records local knowledge amongst older inhabitants of the presence of burials; a lintel-grave was uncovered by ploughing in 1918; and another burial was found in 1926, this time marked by quartzite boulders rather than the more usual protective slabs.

The Survey noted that, due to active erosion of sand from the scarp, several lintel graves were exposed from 1961 onwards, and subsequently in 1963 surveyed the three graves visible at the time. The Survey later commented that many more graves appeared to have been lost without record when the modern houses were built, and that erosion of the sand was liable to expose more.

At present (2016) the slope has stabilised and revegetated.

View map location on Archaeology Data Service

Site & Monument Type: chapel; burial ground

Category: National Monuments Record: Archaeological Sites [multi-site]

Site ID number: 0023.00

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