Windy Corner, Isle of Man

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Template:Use British English

Template:Infobox historic site

The Windy Corner, Isle of Man[1] (Slieau Lhoost Template:Lang-gv) [2] is an area of common Mountain land, located in the Northern Uplands of the Isle of Man.

The Windy Corner is located between the 5th Milestone and 6th Milestone road-side markers on the primary A18 Snaefell Mountain Road[3][4] with the road junction of the old Glen Roy pack-horse road, the tertiary Green Lane, U31 Nobles Park Road. [5] The Windy Corner including the surrounding moorland and open common-land of Nobles Park[6] and “Slieau Lhoost” is situated in the parishes of Kirk Onchan, Kirk Braddan, Kirk Lonan and also the Sheading of Garff in the Isle of Man.[7]

Description

The 'Windy Corner’ is an area of heather moorland and uncultivated acid grassland located in the Northern Uplands Massif of the Isle of Man including the former UK Crown commons grazing land of Slieau Lhoost, Nobles Park and Creg-ny-Cowin.[8][9] The Windy Corner is adjacent to the A18 Snaefell Mountain Road and is linked to Glen Roy and Laxey by a former “turf road”[10] to the north of Laxey valley and the U31 Nobles Park road to the south of the valley. The public right of way of the “Creg ny Bayr[11] old road, connects the Windy Corner with the nearby former Slieau Lhoost quarry, now a rifle range, with the Keppel Gate and Creg-ny-Baa road junction.

The nearby Slieau Lhoost mountain to the Windy Corner is one of 28 summits on the Isle of Man above 1,000 feet (305 meters) [12] and at the summit there is a stone cairn known locally as Cairn Gerjoil (Template:Lang-gv)[13]

The Windy Corner section of the A18 Snaefell Mountain Road navigates the summit of a predominant ridge-line or col [14] at the summit of the East Baldwin Valley in the parish of Braddan in a north-westerly direction along the southern slopes of the adjacent summit of Mullagh Ouhr mountain at a height of 495 m above sea-level to the 32nd TT Milestone, the nearby Brandywell Corner and B10 road junction. The A18 Snaefell Mountain Road travels from the Windy Corner in a southerly direction along the western slopes of Slieau Lhoost mountain, height 445 m, in the parish of Onchan to the 33rd TT Milestone, the Thirty-Third Corner and the Keppel Gate. The north-eastern slopes of the col at the Windy Corner include the Glen Roy Valley, Baldhoon Valley and the village of Laxey in the parish of Lonan.

The UK Crown Commons mountain land at the Windy Corner and Keppel Gate (known as 'Slieau Lhoost' or the Cairns) of 1165 acres was purchased from the UK Crown Receiver by the Isle of Man Government for a price of £2,000 in 1933 for the purpose of fencing of the A18 Snaefell Mountain Road and the removal of mountain gates for the 1934 Isle of Man TT races.[15] The remaining crown mountain lands were purchased by the Isle of Man Common Lands Board for the Isle of Man Government in 1947.[16]

Area of Specific Scientific Interest

The mountain land near Windy Corner, including part of Glen Roy valley and Slieau Lhoost is an Area of Specific Scientific Interest (ASSI) and upland conservation “hot-spot”[17] The Windy Corner area of land is of archaeological and scientific interest including a site of medieval Shieling and summer pasture situated in the Glen Roy valley near to the Windy Corner. [18]

A18 Snaefell Mountain Road

The section of the A18 Snaefell Mountain Road from Keppel Gate to the Gooseneck corner near to Ramsey was built on common grazing land that were transferred to the UK Crown following the sale [19] of the Islands feudal rights by the Duke of Atholl after the Disafforesting Commission of 1860. [20] It is a purpose built road in the Isle of Man and it reflects typical 19th century highway and railway construction practices.[21] The Windy Corner section of Nobles Park was constructed in the period 1864-66 from a number of pre-existing turf roads, carting-tracks and horse paths.[22] The Windy Corner is situated between the 5th milestone and 6th milestone markers on the A18 Snaefell Mountain Road of the smaller metal Garrow type of markers from the period of James Garrow as Survey-General of Isle of Man Highways and Roads.[23]

The old Glen Roy packhorse road (U31 Nobles Park Road) was built in the 1860’s under the terms of the Disafforesting Act [24] and served as access to the Great Laxey Mine [25] and the nearby Snaefell Mountain Road at the Windy Corner [26] which provide a major Isle of Man east-west transportation route via the B10 Beinn-y-Phott Road, the A14 Sulby Glen Road and the A3 Castletown to Ramsey Road. A nearby mine at Glen Roy was operated by the Great Laxey Mining Company from 1834 and finally abandoned in 1882.[27]

The distinctive name of the Windy Corner[28] and the surrounding area is a reference to the prevailing South-Westerly wind direction. The distinctive Isle of Man micro-climate in the Baldwin Valley[29] causes the area of the Windy Corner ridge-line to be subject to strong cross-winds which gives this area of the A18 Snaefell Mountain Road its name.[30]

Motor-sport heritage

The Windy Corner section of the A18 Snaefell Mountain Road was part of the 52.15 mile Highland Course (revised to 40.38 miles in 1906) [31] used for automobile racing including the 1904 Gordon Bennett Trial and the RAC Tourist Trophy automobile races held between 1905 and 1907. The course was modified again in 1908 as the 37.50 Mile Four Inch Course for the RAC Tourist Trophy automobile races held in the Isle of Man between 1908 and 1922. [32]

In 1911 the Four Inch Course for automobiles was first used by the Auto-Cycling Union for the Isle of Man TT motorcycle races. [33] This included the Windy Corner and the course later became known as the 37.73 mile Isle of Man TT Mountain Course which has been used since 1911 for the Isle of Man TT Races and from 1923 for the Manx Grand Prix races. [34]

Windy Corner Redevelopments 1921-22 and the Isle of Man TT Races

Following the proposal in 1921 by the Auto-Cycle Union[35] to move the Isle of Man TT Races to the Continental Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.[36] The often criticised very narrow section of A18 Snaefell Mountain Road at the Windy Corner[37] was substantial redeveloped during the period 1921-22 allowing the Tourist Trophy motor-cycle races to be reinstated.[38] This included road widening with the installation of a stone macadam road surface and the Windy Corner road junction of the A18 Snaefell Mountain Road and the U31 Nobles Road was moved and re-positioned.[39] Further redevelopment and landscaping occurred at the Windy Corner including the realignment of the section of road from the Windy Corner to the 6th Milestone near to Brandywell Corner on the A18 Snaefell Mountain Road.[40]

This was followed by further road improvements by the Isle of Man Highway Board during the winter of 1932/33 for the 1933 Isle of Man TT races with road widening from the Windy Corner to the nearby Nobles Park Corner entrance to the Slieau Lhoost quarry[41] and the adjacent 33rd milestone on the A18 Snaefell Mountain road.

Fatal accidents

During practice for the 1948 Isle of Man TT the South African competitor Johan Erik van Tilburg crashed fatally at the exit of the Windy Corner. [42] Also, during the 1974 Manx Grand Prix, the competitor Nigel Christian died in an accident at the Windy Corner following a collision with another competitor during an evening practice session. [43]

Road safety

This section of primary A18 Snaefell Mountain Road from the 32nd Milestone to the 33rd Milestone including the Windy Corner was widened and re-profiled during the winter of 2005–2006 by the Highways Division of the Isle of Man Department of Transport. After a series of road traffic accidents the re-profiled Windy Corner included a slightly banked section and a constant radius curve as a safety improvement. [44] This followed a previous road scheme by the Highways Division of the Isle of Man Department of Highways, Ports and Properties during the winter months of 1991-92 when the A18 Snaefell Mountain Road was closed between the Windy Corner and Keppel Gate to replace the tarmacadam foundations built during the 1920’s.Template:Full

Mountain bikes

The Windy Corner forms part of the St Luke's & Windy Corner (cross country loop) a mountain bike trail of 17 miles, following part of the A18 Snaefell Mountain Road and U31 Nobles Park Road and is classified as a red difficult route. [45]

Gallery

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References

  1. Place Names of The Isle of Man – Da Ny Manninee Dooie Volume Four Sheading of Garff (Kirk Maughold & Ramsey, Kirk Lonan and Kirk Connchan) page 423 Kirk Connchan by George Broderick (1999) Manx Place Names Study, Max Niemeyer Verlag Tübingen ISBN 3-484-40138-9 (Gesamtwerk) 3-484-10132-X Druck: Das Weihert-Druck GmbH Darmstadt, Eiband: Siegfried Geiger, Ammerbuch "HS 1991 Windy Corner"
  2. Place Names of The Isle of Man – Da Ny Manninee Dooie Volume Four Sheading of Garff (Kirk Maughold & Ramsey, Kirk Lonan and Kirk Connchan page 351 Kirk Lonan by George Broderick (1999) Manx Place Names Study, Max Niemeyer Verlag Tübingen ISBN 3-484-40138-9 (Gesamtwerk) 3-484-10132-X Druck: Das Weihert-Druck GmbH Darmstadt, Eiband: Siegfried Geiger, Ammerbuch "....'burnt mountain' Mx; G. loisgte...
  3. "National Geographic Top 10 Drivers' Drives". National Geographic Online. http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/top-10/drivers-drives-traveler/. Retrieved 22 November 2014.  " No 8. A18 Snaefell Mountain Road – The Isle of Man has been a leading motorsport destination since 1904, when racing was legalized on public roads. This 15-mile route between Douglas and Ramsey is the motorcycle-racing circuit used for the Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) and the Manx Grand Prix. The road skirts the peak of Snaefell, the tallest mountain on the island at 2,035 feet (sic). A key attraction for many: The Isle of Man is one of the few British territories with no national speed limit."
  4. Classic Motor-Sport Routes page 57 by Richard Meaden 1st Edition (2007) AA Publishing Ltd ISBN 978-0-7495-5225-1 Oriental Press Dubai – Isle of Man TT Course;- "....you'll notice that once you get beyond Ramsey and the tight left hand hairpin bend to begin the climb onto the Mountain Road, most Manx drivers don't tend to hang about. The sense of freedom given by the liberal road traffic laws and the brooding, mountain and moorland terrain makes driving here an invigorating experience....",
  5. International Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Races and Production Machine Races 3 June 5, 7 & 9 1972 – Official Programme and Guide FIM The World Championship Road Races page 72 Auto-Cycle Union (1972) Fleet Studios London – Charles Frost Ltd
  6. The Isle of Man by Train, Tram and by Foot page 57 by Stan Basnett (1990) Lily Publications ISBN 1-899602-72-0 Walk 10 - Abbeylands and Nobles Park to Laxey
  7. Place Names of the Isle of Man by John J.Kneen MA (1970) Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh The Scolar Press – page 173-175 and Map Kirk Braddan page 199, page 209-210 and Map Kirk Onchan page 238, pages 241–242 and Map Kirk Lonan page 271 and pages 202–203 Sheading of Garff page
  8. A New History of the Isle of Man Volume 1 – The evolution of the Natural Landscape pages 317, 346 & 391 Edited by Richard Chiverall and Geoffery Thomas(2006) Liverpool University Press ISBN 978-0-85323-577-4
  9. Manx Uplands and Steering Group – Issues and Opportunities page 4 & map page 13, (Scale 1:200,000) page 43, 53–54 (April 2014) Isle of Man Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – Rheynn Chymmyltaght, Bee as Eirinys (DEFRA) – "Defining the Manx Uplands....all areas of ‘AML’ defined land(“Above the mountain line”, 250m above sea level), all land above 200m.... all areas of heathland, woodland and water catchment contiguous with the 200m contour."
  10. Holiday News page 10 'Enjoy Your Walk' Saturday 9th July 1960
  11. A Manx Scrapbook – Number One of the Manx Scrapbooks page 144 Chapter II Old Roads and Road-Lore W. Walter Gill (1929) J.W. Arrowsmith, Bristol
  12. ”Isle of Man Summits. Easy Walking of 28 Summits above 1,000 feet.” page 9 by Alan Cooper (2016) Lily Publications Ltd ISBN 1-91177-05-0
  13. Place Names of The Isle of Man – Da Ny Manninee Dooie Volume Four Sheading of Garff (Kirk Maughold & Ramsey, Kirk Lonan and Kirk Connchan) page 262 Kirk Lonan by George Broderick (1999) Manx Place- Name Survey, Max Niemeyer Verlag Tübingen ISBN 3-484-40138-9 (Gesamtwerk) 3-484-10132-X Druck: Das Weihert-Druck GmbH Darmstadt, Eiband: Siegfried Geiger, Ammerbuch . “….Applies to the rocky outcrop….parcel of pasturing in the Mountain…”
  14. The Isle of Man by Train, Tram and by Foot page 116 by Stan Basnett (1990) Lily Publications ISBN 1-899602-72-0
  15. Legislative Council page 603-604 Tuesday 28th March 1933 Hansard (1933) Tynwald Court "LAND PURCHASE BY COMMON LAND BOARD."
  16. Isle of Man Times page 7 Saturday 21 June 1947
  17. Guidelines for the selection of biological Areas of Special Scientific Interest (ASSIs) on the Isle of Man Volume 2: Detailed habitat and species criteria page 108 The Isle of Man Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (2008) (DAFF)
  18. Medieval Shielings in the Isle of Man page 168 & fig 63 by P.S. Gelling (1962) Academic Journal Offprint from – Medieval Archaeology 6
  19. Tholtans of the Manx Crofter – Recounting the way of life of the Island's crofting Community and introducing Mike Goldie's Collection of Tholtans page 13 by Gordon N. Kniverton and Mike Goldie with Dr Larch S.Garrad – 1st Edition (1989) Manx National Heritage – Eiraght Ashoonagh Vannin The Manx Experience
  20. A New History of the Isle of Man Volume 5 – The Modern Period 1830–1999 page 68 Edited by John Belcham (2000) Liverpool University Press ISBN 0-85323-716-6 – HM Commissioners of Woods and Forests "....the greatest improvement in revenue which can be legitimately obtained....more than 26,000 acres, which still, lies waste and unenclosed" Howard to Massey 28 May 1857 Parliamentary Papers 1859-2
  21. Isle of Man Examiner page 5 dated 5th June 1969
  22. Manx Milestones pages 13–17 and pages 57–58 by Stuart Slack (1st Edition)(2003)The Manx Experience ISBN 1-873120-58-3
  23. Manx Milestones page 56 by Stuart Slack (1st Edition)(2003)The Manx Experience ISBN 1-873120-58-3
  24. The Isle of Man by Train, Tram and by Foot page 60 by Stan Basnett (1990) Lily Publications ISBN 1-899602-72-0
  25. The Great Laxey Mine page 15 by Andrew Scarffe 1st Edition (2004) Manx Nation Heritage – Eiraght Ashoonagh Vannin ISBN 0-9547 180 2 X
  26. Tholtans of the Manx Crofter – Recounting the way of life of the Island's crofting Community and introducing Mike Goldie's Collection of Tholtans page 13 by Gordon N. Kniverton and Mike Goldie with Dr Larch S.Garrad – 1st Edition (1989) Manx Nation Heritage – Eiraght Ashoonagh Vannin – " Tholton Cly Clough(SC399848) is situated high up in the hills above Glen Roy. In fact so high up it is nearer to the Windy Corner on the TT Course than it is to Glen Roy"
  27. The Great Laxey Mine page 184-186 by Andrew Scarffe 1st Edition (2004) Manx Nation Heritage – Eiraght Ashoonagh Vannin ISBN 0-9547 180 2 X
  28. Isle of Man Times page 12 RATEPAYER’S ASSOCIATION Saturday 11th December 1886
  29. ”Isle of Man Summits” page 9 by Alan Cooper (2016) Lily Publications Ltd ISBN 1-91177-05-0
  30. Manx Sun page 4 19th May 1906 "....I was taking some stores out to the men in a trap. when we got to a place called the "Windy Corner" the wind blew the trap right over...." Telephony in the Isle of Man. NATIONAL TELEPHONE JOURNAL
  31. TT Pioneers – Early Car Racing in the Isle of Man page 22 Robert Kelly, Mercury Asset Management (1996) (1st Edition) The Manx Experience, The Alden Press ISBN No 1 873120 61 3
  32. The Manx Experience. A Souvenir Guide to the Isle of Man. page 66-67 Gordon N. Kniverton, 8th edition, The Manx Experience (1987) Mannin Publishing Ltd
  33. Round the TT Course with Harold Daniell R.R. Holliday Motor Cycling (c1947) Castrol Oils That Lap at 91! Harold L.Daniell, TT Record Holder. Tells How it was done.
  34. The History of the Manx Grand Prix page 7, 8, 9 by Bill Snelling Amulree Publishing(1998) Manx Heritage Foundation ISBN 1 901508 04 8
  35. Motocourse History of the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Races 1907–1989 page 26 Nick Harris (1991) Hazelton Publishing ISBN 0-905138-71-6
  36. Here Is the News : A Chronicle of the 20th Century page 78-79 editors Terry Cringle & by Gordon N.Kniverton 1st edition (1999) Mercury Asset Management, The Manx Experience ISBN 9781873120460 “1921: Saving the TT: A dashed near Thing: ….The A-CU, argued, meanwhile, that the latest 500 cc machines had outgrown the Manx course. The roads were too narrow and there were too many intricate corners…. ”
  37. TT Special page 7 ‘MY FIRST T.T.’ G.W. Walker edited by G.S. Davison (1934) Friday 15th June 1934
  38. Isle of Man Examiner page 7 8th October 1921
  39. Motor Cycling page 103 31st May 1922
  40. The 1965 International Tourist Trophy Isle of Man June 14 : 16 :18 Official Programme and Guide page 35 Introducing the Isle of Man to Visitors of the Tourist Trophy Race Meeting - The Venerable E.H. Stenning The Auto-Cycle Union (1965) C.Baldwin Ltd
  41. Isle of Man Examiner page 8 'Highway Board Finances' Friday 7th July 1933
  42. Isle of Man Examiner page 5 dated 4 June 1948
  43. Isle of Man TT & MGP Memorial 1907–2007 page 109 by Paul Bradford (2007) The Copy Shop ISBN 978-0-9560151-0-5
  44. TT News 2006 – Preview Edition page 2 Isle of Man Newspapers Ltd (2006) Johnson Press Publishing ISSN 1471-7905
  45. Isle of Man Mountain Biking Guide – 8 complete self-guided routes page 6 Visit Isle of Man (2014) Isle of Man Department of Economic Development – ".... follow the B10 east towards the Mountain Road (TT Course). At the Mountain Road turn right and head south for ½ a mile to ‘Windy Corner’ where a chevroned bend swings round to the right. Here, look for a track through the wall on your left, but don’t take too long as its not called Windy Corner for nothing!"

External links

Template:Mountain Course Template:Isle of Man Racing Circuits