The Beautiful Isle of Man 
Gail and I returned to the Isle of Man the summer of 2009, our fourth visit. It is a unique place on earth, steeped in our family history, rich in scenic beauty and a connection for me at least, between the world of our ancestors and the one we live in today. Change takes place slowly on the Isle of Man, and the residents cling to the past. The stone fences of today have been in place for centuries in most cases, and define the farms and cottages once lived in by my family.
Above eft;  Maughold Head, just south of Ramsey.  One can see the lighthouse warning ships of the dangers of entering Ramsey Harbour.  John Lace of Trafalgar perished while trying to assist a ship in distress during a storm, in the waters just to the top of the photo, in 1832.

 Above Right;  A beautiful scene taken from Maughold Head, looking inland to Snaefell Mountain, the highest point on the Island. To the right in the photo, one can see the cemetery where many of our Lace and Stephen ancestors were laid to rest. The photo also describes the progression of good farmland near the coast becoming less productive as one works their way up the mountain.
Above Left;   A view over Laxey Bay, the town of Laxey showing to the right of the photo. Laxey was home to our Brew, Cowin and McKneale families as well as others. It was a mining town for well over a century and we had ancestors who worked these lead, zinc, silver mines.

Above Right;  A closer view of Laxey town. Our ancestors lived and farmed on the outskirts of the village, from just in the foreground to the hills in the upper right hand of the photo.

 Looking south from Maughold Head along the coast to Laxey. These fields have been in their current geometric shape for centuries.

The Lighthouse on Maughold Head peeks just above the crest of the hill. Stories abound about ships that wrecked on these shores prior to the construction of the lighthouse.  Included are stories of evil men lighting fires to attract ships to their doom so that their goods would be recovered for sale, paying no heed to the lives of the men on board.

On the Left above;  Another scene of ancient fields, sheep, the sea and all that has been Manx for 5,000 years.

Looking north from Maughold Head.

And on the Right;  The west coast of the Isle of Man, rugged and undeveloped. The photo is taken south of Peel and the location is called Niarbyl. The film "The Waking of Ned Devine" was partly filmed at this location. The waters in front are the home of the Basking Shark. We saw several of these on this occasion. They are the second largest fish in the world, a protected species.

 An aerial shot taken as we left the island for Ireland. This is the south western tip of the Isle of Man. The small town in the upper quadrant of the pic is Port Erin. The headland just above and left of Port Erin is Bradda Head.

The ancient fields of the Isle of Man. Photo taken in the southern part of the island looking towards Castletown and Ronaldsway Airport.
Above Left;  The north west corner of the island. These fields bordering on the Irish Sea were farmed by the Stephen family from about 1700 to 1820. The farms are the Sertfield lands, the name of a section of the island ( a Treen) from Viking times. The farms came into the possession of the Stephen's by way of a marriage contract between Thomas Stephen and Mary Kewish in 1706.

On the Right;  Two scenes of the Promenade in Douglas, the largest city on the Isle of Man. The hotels along this promenade go back 100 years to the times when the island received close to a million visitors a year. It was a holiday resort for many English families. The entire Promenade and the businesses along it have been renovated in the last 10 years to some of their former glory.
Douglas is now home to the off-shore banking business. Banks such as the Royal Bank of Canada have a bank here in Douglas. Banking is now the primary source of Revenue for the Island.
Historical & Family Photos
Castle Rushen, one of the best examples of a medieval castle in the United Kingdom. First built in about 1200 and home to a Viking King, partially destroyed in a siege by Rober Bruce in 1313,  rebuilt by Sir William Montecute in 1344.  A clock in the castle was presented to the Manx people by Elizabeth 1 of England, in 1597
 The Kerrowdhoo farm in the Parish of Bride in the north eastern corner of the Isle of Man. The Lace family were resident on this site from as early as 1465, the last branch leaving here in about 1880. Our ancestor Daniel Lace, father of John of Trafalgar, was the last of our line born here in 1751. Most of these buildings are of more recent vintage, but parts were obviously used during the last years of Lace ownership.
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