Harry Kelly's cottage and Woodturner's workshop in Cregneash
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Cregneash or Cregneish (Manx: Creneash) is a small village and tourist destination in the extreme south-west of the Isle of Man, about 1 mi (2 km) from Port Erin. Most of the village is now part of a living museum run by Manx National Heritage. There are also a number of private homes in the village, but their external appearance is controlled to maintain an older look. The village was also home to prominent Manx language speakers, Edward Faragher and Ned Maddrell.
Much of the village forms a "Living Museum" dedicated to the preservation of the traditional Manx ways of life. Officially opened in 1938, the Cregneash Folk Village shows the typical way of life of a small Manx village in the 19th century. Many original Manx cottages have been preserved and exhibit Victorian farming and fishing equipment. Historically most of the cottages were thatched, and this is reflected on many of the cottages.
A central museum holds a wealth of historical information, whilst many of the cottages in the village allow visitors to see rural activities performed by museum workers in traditional dress. Harry Kelly's cottage in the centre of the village typifies a Manx villager's home, where weaving or knitting often took place in the living area. In the workshop a blacksmith demonstrates some of the tools and techniques used to make horseshoes and other metal equipment of the time.
Edward Faragher's (known in Manx as Ned Beg Hom Ruy or simply Ned Beg) cottage holds an exhibition about the Manx language, as Cregneash was an important location in the survival of the language around the start of the 20th century.
St. Peter's Church in the centre of the village was built in 1878 and still holds regular worship services on Sundays.
Manx as a community language disappeared on most of the Isle of Man in the late 19th century. However it "lingered longer in the more remote areas, such as Cregneash" Many of the last remaining native speakers of Manx that were recorded in the mid-20th century were raised in Cregneash and the surrounding areas.
Manx language poet and author Edward Faragher was born and raised in the village, and wrote extensively about his experiences there, particularly focusing on the practices and attitudes of the older generations of the 19th century:
I think it a great shame to Manx folk that cannot speak their native language. No doubt the old people of Cregneish were not like some others of their neighbours in the little sea-port towns, with the perery bane, keeir-lheeah knee breeches and carranes, but they were more innocent and kinder to one another; they all used to help one another to get the crops down, and in the harvest helped each other to cut the corn and stack it. There was no word about pay.
Ned Maddrell, sometimes called the last native speaker of Manx, was brought up in the village. In the summer of 1947 Irish Taoiseach Éamon de Valera visited him at Harry Kelly's cottage in Cregneash as part of his trip to the Isle of Man. As a fluent speaker of Irish, he had a conversation with Ned Maddrell, the youngest of the last remaining native speakers, with Maddrell speaking Manx and de Valera in Irish. Maddrell explained his views on the Manx language to de Valera: "I am a Manx nationalist…I don’t mean that we should cut adrift from the Empire, but I think we should preserve what is our own…”
In the media
The historic village backdrop has been used in film and television shows. Waking Ned Devine was filmed on the Isle of Man and village scenes were shot in Cregneash, which stood in for the fictional Irish village of Tulaigh Mhór (Tullymore).
Harry Kelly's Cottage
Cummal Beg Visitor Centre (right) and Creg y Shee Tea Room (left)
Ned Beg's House
The Joiner's workshop
St. Peter's Church
Interior of St. Peter's Church
A Cregneash Loaghtan sheep
Church Farm House
Cottage interior, Church Farm
Manx Cottage Gardens
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