Meayll Stone Circle is set on a north facing terrace of Meayll Hill, with views overlooking Ballyfesson, Bradda Head and north to Cronk ny Arrey Laa.
Meayll is Manx for bald and the headland is bare open heathland with bracken gorse and heather. On the top are the remains of a World War Two early warning radar system.
The Meayll stone circle dates from around 4000BC and is late neolithic or early bronze age. It is thought to have originally begun as a central burial mound but was later extended with six stone chambers around an eighteen foot diameter stone circle. The stone chambers or ‘tritaphs’, are arranged in two groups of three with entrances to the centre of the circle at the north and south.
The tritaphs are sunk below the present day surface and are surrounded by tall upright stones of the local slaty schist. The floors are paved with flat stones and they were probably roofed over with more stone slabs. They are all built to the same pattern with two large cists on either side of a longer, narrower cist that extends beyond the diameter of the circle and has an entrance into it.
Each was used for urn burials. The bodies were cremated elsewhere, placed in a pottery urn made from the local clay and placed in the cist. Twenty six urns have been discovered containing ash and fragments of burnt bone, along with flint arrowheads and tools.
Meayll stone circle is signed off the unclassified road running from Port Erin to Cregneash and is reached up a very steep footpath. Easier access is from the old tracks to the early warning station, near the junction with the A31 Sound Road. This is the safer route to descend. The nearest post code is IM9 6LN and the grid reference is SC 189 678.
This is a wonderful stetting and you have to work to get to it, but it definitely repays the effort. Just make sure it is a fine day as there is no shelter up there!
There is a lot more information and pictures about the Isle of Man “here.”:http://wasleys.org.uk/eleanor/man/index.html