Keppel Gate, Isle of Man

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Keppel Gate
Keppel Gate IMG 0209.jpg
Keppel Gate Isle of Man TT (Mountain) Course Sign on the A18 Snaefell Mountain Road with a south-east aspect looking towards Slieau Ree mountain and Keppel Gate.
Coordinates 54°12′50.9″N 4°28′47.1″W / 54.214139°N 4.479750°W / 54.214139; -4.479750Coordinates: 54°12′50.9″N 4°28′47.1″W / 54.214139°N 4.479750°W / 54.214139; -4.479750
Built 1864–1866, 1894-1896 1921-22, 1992, 2015
Keppel Gate, Isle of Man is located in Isle of Man
Keppel Gate, Isle of Man
Location of Keppel Gate in Isle of Man

Keppel Gate, Isle of Man (archaic| Kippal Gate)[1] is part of a former UK Crown Receiver estate including a series of former highway gates is now Common land in public ownership and is one of three purpose built section of the A18 Snaefell Mountain Road used for the Isle of Man TT races. The area of Keppel Gate including a nearby private residence of Kate's Cottage at the adjacent 34th TT Milestone road-side marker[2][ambiguous] is located between the 4th Milestone and 5th Milestone road-side markers on the primary A18 Snaefell Mountain Road[3] in the parish district of Kirk Onchan in the Isle of Man.[4]

Location and description[edit]

The ridge line of Keppel Gate[5]is part of a large area of former Crown Commons grazing mountain land known as 'Slieau Lhoost.'[6] It is an area of uncultivated upland Mountain Land adjacent to the mountain summits of Slieau Ree (Manx: Mountain of Heather)[7] at a height of 316 metres (1,037 ft) above sea-level and the nearby hillside of Slieau Meayl (Manx: bare, barren mountain).[8]

The area of Keppel Gate and Slieau Ree mountain consist of acid grassland, heath[9][10] and hillside fell with views of Baldwin Valley in the parish of Kirk Braddan and the nearby Beinn-y-Phott Mountain.[11]

Area of Special Scientific Interest[edit]

The Isle of Man Wild Life Act (1990) permits order the foundation of different types of "Areas of Special Scientific Interest" in the Isle of Man for wildlife, land, coastal or marine environments. This includes sections of the North Atlantic sub-montane heath found on different sections of Mountain Lands in the Isle of Man as a European Union community "priority habitat",[12] as described by Annex 1 of the EU Habitats Directive[13] and also the UK Guidelines for Selection of Biological Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI's).[14]

The heath and heather moorland of the Northern Uplands[15] of the type found at Keppel Gate, including Slieau Ree Mountain and Kate's Cottage is an Area of Specific Scientific Interest (ASSI) and further nearby sections of mountain land at Keppel Gate are defined as a "biodiversity" and a upland conservation "hot-spot."[16]

Origin of the name[edit]

There are a number of alternative etymologies for the meaning of the name for Keppel Gate. The name may have originated from (Old Norse: Kapel Gata) "....the road to the summit...."[17] or Old Norse: Kapal Gata 'the Horse Road'[18] from Kapall meaning a horse or nag from Late Latin 'caballus' or Manx: cabyl.[19]

Additional meanings is that the name Keppel Gate originates from the Scandinavian for Old Norse: Kappafjall (The Champion or Hero's mountain).[20] or old Norse Old Norse: keppa-fjall) "Kippal Gate, 'big-trunk, stock, post hill, or looked like a tree-stump'"[21] The name 'Gata' is adopted from Scandinavian meaning a farm lane, path or road.[22] It is also found in Northern England as '-gata' as a street name from Middle English such as Deansgate in Manchester or Micklegate in the city of York adopted as the homonym 'gate' meaning a street, road or land for grazing.[23]

The Isle of Man TT race winner and journalist Ray Knight gave an explanation that Keppel Gate "....was known as Hero's Gate in the years gone by...."[24] on the Isle of Man TT Mountain Course.

A18 Snaefell Mountain Road[edit]

TT Race Marshal's Shelter at Keppel Gate with an old stone gate-post

The section of the A18 Snaefell Mountain Road from Keppel Gate to Park Llewellyn near the Gooseneck corner, Ramsey was built on former Crown Commons and Commoners allotments mountain grazing land. This land was purchased by the UK Crown following the sale[25] of the feudal rights held by the former Lord of Mann, the 3rd Duke of Atholl after the Act of Revestment in 1765 and sale of remaining property and manorial rights passed on to his son John Murray, 4th Duke of Atholl for £417,144 in 1824.[26]

The A18 Snaefell Mountain Road reflects typical 19th century highway and railway construction practices. Built over a period of time in the Nineteenth century from a number of horse paths, ancient rights of way of the Regiam Viam (Royal Way)[27] (archaic|Manx: Bayr-yn-Ree) and a series of pre-existing carting-tracks and incomplete stone mountain paths which traversed mountain land, peat bogs and hillside sections.[28] The Keppel Gate section is situated between the 4th milestone and 5th milestone markers on the A18 Snaefell Mountain Road of the small and larger metal Garrow type of markers from the period of James Garrow as Survey-General of Isle of Man Highways and Roads.[29]

The Disafforesting Commission of 1860[30] allowed for the sale of parcels of land in 1863 for the purpose of building and fencing of new mountain road sections on Crown Common lands partly financed by the land sales and by a financial contribution from the UK Crown Receiver. The new purpose built Keppel Gate section of A18 Snaefell Mountain Road was constructed in the period from 1864 to 1866. This included a new section of road from near the former Cold Clay Methodist Chapel on the C22 Little Mill Road to "O'Donnell's" corner near to Gob-ny- Geay farm creating 'Telegraph Hill.' A further new section of road including a Cutting near to Gob-ny-Geay farm in the parish of Onchan and by-passed the former 'White Lane' creating the new 'Creg-ny-Baa Corner' and the nearby 'Keppel Gate Inn'[31] was built on the site (c 1883). The Ordnance Survey of 1867-8[32] shows a further section of road built in the period of 1864-66 from the Creg-ny-Baa corner that traversed the steep 'Keppel' or Slieau Ree mountain which dominates this area of the A18 Snaefell Mountain Road[33] to the site of a former Shepherd's Hut near to Kate's Cottage. The new 'Keppel Gate Road' by-passed a section of the former right of way (Manx: Creg-ny-Bayr)[34] now part of public footpath to the Windy Corner on the A18 Snaefell Mountain Road.

The Crown Commons land at Keppel Gate (known as 'Slieau Lhoost' or the Cairns) of 1,165 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 two mountain gates at Keppel Gate for the 1934 Isle of Man TT races.[35] The remaining Crown Common lands were purchased by the Isle of Man Common Lands Board for the Isle of Man Government in 1947.[36] The tenancy for hill-sheep grazing at Keppel Gate was operated by the Mountain Shepherd G. Rhodes Tate from 1926 including a further grazing tenancy at Beinn-y-Phott mountain and with his wife Gladys Tate occupied Keppel Gate Cottage or 'Tate's Cottage,' now known as 'Kate's Cottage.'[37]

Motor sport heritage[edit]

The Keppel Gate section of the A18 Snaefell Mountain Road was part of the 52.15 mile Highland Course (revised to 40.38 miles in 1906[38]) used for automobile racing including the 1904 Gordon Bennett Trial and the RAC Tourist Trophy car 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 car races held in the Isle of Man between 1908 and 1922.[39]

In 1911 the Four Inch Course was first used by the Auto-Cycling Union for the Isle of Man TT motorcycle races.[40] This included the Keppel Gate section[41] and the course later became known as the 37.73 mile Isle of Man TT Mountain Course for motor-cycle racing which has been used since 1911 for the Isle of Man TT and from 1923 for the "Mountain Course" for the Manx Grand Prix races.[42]

Keppel Gate and Keppel Park showing the 2015 landscaping.

Keppel Gate redevelopment 1921–1922 and the Isle of Man TT races[edit]

The Auto-Cycle Union proposed in 1921[43] to move the Isle of Man TT Races to the Continental Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. After an offer made by the Belgium Government the move was considered by the Auto-Cycle Union due to financial reasons, organisational problems and criticism of the Isle of Man TT Mountain Course.

In response to the problems with the Isle of Man TT Course highlighted by the Auto-Cycle Union,[44] the Isle of Man Highway Board redeveloped large sections of A18 Snaefell Mountain Road. This included the often criticised very narrow section of road from the Windy Corner to Keppel Gate. The old stone mountain track from near Slieau Lhoost Quarry adjacent to Windy Corner across the mountainside to Keppel Gate was subjected to substantial redevelopment and landscaping during the period 1921-23 including the removal of the old Keppel Gate corner for the 1922 Isle of Man TT Races.[45]

Road safety[edit]

The section of A18 Snaefell Mountain Road from the Thirty-Third Corner to near Keppel Gate was widened and road-side fence post relocated below road level for the 1947 Isle of Man TT Races[46] after a fatal accident to Peter M. Aitchison a competitor during the 1946 Senior Manx Grand Prix.[47] A road-works construction scheme by the Highways Division of the Isle of Man Department of Highways, Ports and Properties occurred 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 early 1920s.[full citation needed]

The Keppel Gate section of A18 Mountain Road was subject to road re-surfacing work during the winter of 2006–2007 with a high-grip 'Shell-mac' road surface for road-racing by the Isle of Man Department of Transport.[full citation needed] In August 2009, before the 2009 Manx Grand Prix, a section of grass bank was removed from the southern side of Keppel Gate to provide a run-off area after an evening practice crash by the Australian Isle of Man TT race winner Cameron Donald[48] and a further incident involving a TT Travelling Marshal, John McBride, during the 2009 Isle of Man TT races.[49] In April 2015, the Highways Section of the Isle of Man Department of Infrastructure instigated a programme of landscaping at Keppel Gate corner, including the removal of a section of grass bank on the north-eastern side of the corner, road re-profiling, re-structuring and re-surfacing work.[50]

Sources[edit]

  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 402 Kirk Connchan 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 "Keppel Gate (Mtn gate)" ['kɛpɘl'] ("gate across the road here") OD1991….Kippal Gate CS 1851, the Keppel Gate CS 1871, Keppel Gate CS 1881, 1891, Keppel Gate (is now the entrance of the Ramsey mountain-road into the Crown Commons…") Gi/I 144: Applies to the site of a gate on the Mountain Road at 5732 in SC3882 ONB 1956 At Kate's Cottage."
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ A Gazetteer of the Isle of Man page 243 & 258 Leslie Qulliam RBV The Manx Heritage Foundation - Eiraght Ashoonagh Vannin (2005) Quine and Cubbon Ltd ISBN 0 951 4539 12
  4. ^ Place Names of the Isle of Man by John J.Kneen MA (1970) Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh The Scolar Press – Map Kirk Onchan page 238, pages 241–242 and pages 202–203 Sheading of Garff
  5. ^ The Journal of the Manx Museum page 131 Volume 86-87 The Manx Museum and National Trust
  6. ^ Isle of Man Examiner page 4 Saturday 2nd February 1902 "CROWN LANDS To be let from the 19th October, the GRAZING on the mountain land, known as SLIEU LHOOST near the Keppel Gate, comprising 1,165 acres or thereabouts (Late in the occupation of Mr Boddan), together with convenient House and accessories, including excellent Sheep Dipper. – Apply to the CROWN RECEIVER"
  7. ^ 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 Connchan 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 "….Mx. slieau reoaie, G. slibah fhraoich."
  8. ^ 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 Connchan 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 feature ct 9757 in SC3982 ONB 1956 Mx: G slibah + moal."
  9. ^ Isle of Man Ecological Habit Survey – Phase 1 1991 -1994 Final Report May 1995 page 29 T. Sayle MSc, J. Lamb MSc, A.. Colvin BSc, B. Harris BSc (DAFF) (1995) Isle of Man Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - Rheynn Eirinys, Eeastaght as Keylljyn
  10. ^ 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 200 m contour."
  11. ^ Jenkinson's Practical Guide to the Isle of Man page 119 by Henry Irwin Jenkinson (1874) Edward Stanford, London. "….When the Keppel Gate is reached, the open fell is entered, and on gaining the summit of the Slieu Ree ridge, a glimpse is had of the East Baldwin valley, with a mountain range on the opposite side, including Pen-y-Pot, Carraghan, Colden, Shea Reay, and Greeba; and farther distant South Barrule."(sic)
  12. ^ A Report on the future of Manx uplands - Final Report page 18-19 Professor J. H. McAdam The Uplands Strategy Steering Group (2014) Isle of Man Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – Rheynn Chymmyltaght, Bee as Eirinys (DEFRA)
  13. ^ Interpretation Manual of European Union Habitats - EUR28 European Commission DG Environment Nature ENV B.3 (April 2014) 4030 PAL.CLASS.: 31.2 European Dry Heath page 49, 4010 PAL.:Class 31.11 * Northern Atlantic wet heaths with cross-leaved heath Erica tetralix page 48, and 4060 PAL.Class.: 31..4 Alpine and Boreal heaths Page 50-51
  14. ^ Guidelines for the selection of biological SSSI's Part 2: Detailed guidelines for habitats and species groups 9 UPLAND HABITATS 2.2 Acidophilous dwarf shrub heath and scrub, Acidic and calcicolous grassland & 2.6 Blanket Bog page 5-6 Joint Nature Conservation Council (2007)
  15. ^ House of Keys Official Report - Recortys Oikoil Y Chiare page 784-785 & Map page 785 Tuesday 14 March 2006 Hansard Office of the Clerk of Tynwald © Court of Tynwald 2006 The Copy Shop Limited. "Heather moorland and semi-natural habitat – DAFF and public owned land."
  16. ^ 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 107-8 The Isle of Man Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - Rheynn Eirinys, Eeastaght as Keylljyn (2008) (DAFF) "Table 4.7.a – Manx upland conservation "hotspots" SC3982, SC4082, SC4083, SC4084 East of Kate's Cottage, west of Conrhenny plantation, and north and south west of Glenroy. SC3781 A portion of the south western slope of Slieau Ree"
  17. ^ The 1965 International Tourist Trophy Isle of Man June 14 : 16 :18 Official Programme and Guide page 32 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
  18. ^ A Manx Scrapbook. Number One of the Manx Scrapbooks page 144 page W. Walter Gil (1929) J. W. Arrowsmith, Bristol
  19. ^ The surnames & place-names of the Isle of Man page 283 A. W. Moore MA (1890)
  20. ^ Place Names of the Isle of Man page 241 by John J. Kneen MA (1970) Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh The Scolar Press. "....Kappafjall, 'champion or hero's mountain,' or 'Kappi's mountain.' This was probably the old Norse name of Slieau Ree and Slieau Meayl.
  21. ^ Place Names in the Isle of Man page 126 by George Broderick ISBN 978-3-484-40130-3
  22. ^ A Manx Scrapbook. Number One of the Manx Scrapbooks page 121 page W. Walter Gil (1929) J. W. Arrowsmith, Bristol
  23. ^ West over The Sea page 443-460 by Gillian Fellows-Jensen (2007) The Northern World Brill ISBN 9789047421214
  24. ^ Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Rider's Guide page 106 by Ray Knight (1991) Philips OS Publishing ISBN 1855321173 "Keppel Gate. After a couple of hundred yards, it is a heavy braking job as you enter the easy right hander before Keppel Gate proper...."
  25. ^ 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 The Manx Experience
  26. ^ BIBLIOTHECA MONENSIS A bibliographical account of works relating to the Isle of Man. page 237-256 William Harrison The Manx Society Douglas MDCCCLXXVI "1824.—An Act empowering the Lords of the Treasury to Purchase all the Manorial Rights of the Duke of Atholl in the Isle of Man, 6th Geo. IV., Cap. 34. 10th June."
  27. ^ The Isle of Man by Train, Tram and by Foot page 118 by Stan Basnett (1990) Lily Publications ISBN 1-899602-72-0 Walk 22 - Millennium Way Ancient ridgeway Cronica - Regum Mannie et Insulaum
  28. ^ Here Is the News : A Chronicle of the 20th Century page 135 editors Terry Cringle & by Gordon N.Kniverton 1st edition (1999) Mercury Asset Management, The Manx Experience ISBN 9781873120460
  29. ^ Manx Milestones page 56 by Stuart Slack (1st Edition) (2003) The Manx Experience ISBN 1-873120-58-3
  30. ^ 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
  31. ^ Mona's Herald page 4 Wednesday 13 May 1885
  32. ^ Ordnance Survey Six-Inch England and Wales – Isle of Man Folio X Surveyed in 1867-8 by Captains Melville and White R.E. Engraved Colonel Cameron R.E. 1870 Ordnance Survey Office, Southampton and Published by Major-General Sir Henry James R.E. F.R.S Superintendent 30 Sep 1870 Crown Copyright Reserved
  33. ^ TT Special page 15 Editor G.S.Davison 16 June 1933 "....The view is perfect; not only can we see Kate's Cottage at Keppel Gate, but also the outline of the Snaefell Hotel...."
  34. ^ A Manx Scrapbook. Number One of the Manx Scrapbooks page 144 page W. Walter Gil (1929) J. W. Arrowsmith, Bristol
  35. ^ Legislative Council page 603-604 Tuesday 28 March 1933 Hansard (1933) Tynwald Court "LAND PURCHASE BY COMMON LAND BOARD."
  36. ^ Isle of Man Times page 7 Saturday 21 June 1947
  37. ^ Rough Landing or Fatal Flight - A history of aircraft accidents on, over and around the Isle of Man page 127 by Steve Poole Amulree Publications (1999) ISBN 1-901508-03-X, 6 September 1953 Avro Anson T20 VM418 (A) "One man, who knew the Island's hills like the back of his hand was shepherd Mr C Rhodes Tate of Keppel Gate."
  38. ^ 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
  39. ^ 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
  40. ^ 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
  41. ^ 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.
  42. ^ The History of the Manx Grand Prix page 7, 8, 9 by Bill Snelling and Peter Kneale Amulree Publishing(1998) Manx Heritage Foundation ISBN 1 901508 04 8
  43. ^ Motocourse History of the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Races 1907–1989 page 26 Nick Harris (1991) Hazelton Publishing ISBN 0-905138-71-6
  44. ^ 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
  45. ^ 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
  46. ^ Isle of Man Examiner page 1 Friday 3 January 1947
  47. ^ Isle of Man Times page 5 Saturday 7 September 1946
  48. ^ TT News 2009 – Issue 2 page 12 Isle of Man Newspapers Ltd (2009) Johnson Press Publishing "CAMERON DONALD UNOFFICIALLY BREAKS LAP RECORD BEFORE CRASHING OUT IN FINAL PRACTICE. Wednesdays gallop….Donald's time of 17m 13.25s unofficially the first 131 mph lap. It all went sour a day on from that when Donald missed a gear at Keppel Gate and came off his GSX-R 1000 Superstock machine as he ran-on at the left-hander. He was flipped off his machine, landed heavily in the heather and dislocated his shoulder"
  49. ^ TT News 2009 – Issue 3 page 20 Isle of Man Newspapers Ltd (2009) Johnson Press Publishing "Travelling marshal airlifted to UK. Former regular Manx GP competitor John McBride, who has been a travelling marshal for approximately 15 years was airlifted to hospital after coming of his Yamaha 1000 R1 at Keppel Gate between races on Tuesday."
  50. ^ Manx Independent – Manninagh Seyr page 4 Isle of Man Newspapers Ltd (2015) Johnston Press Publishing  – Newsprint (Knowlsey) Ltd   4 April 2015 ISSN 1358-4391

External links[edit]