Slieau Whallian plantation at St John's is always pointed out as the mountain where the witches were rolled down. There is no actual historic reference to this tale but tradition has it that if a woman was suspected of being a witch she was first thrown into the Curragh Glass, the swamp at the foot of the mountain, and if she floated and remained alive she was placed in a spiked barrel and rolled down from the top to the bottom. Again, if she survived this then the poor woman would have been burnt at the stake. Local people still talk of hearing a ghostly human voice screaming amongst the trees in the wind on a stormy night.
This event would obviously have taken place before the creation of the plantation as the trees would have certainly hindered the barrel from rolling down the mountain.
This forest was started in 1906 by the Manx Arboricultural Society. It has expanded several times and now covers an area of 42 hectares.
It was partly restocked in 1989 with mixed conifers and also broadleaves and it has a good growth rate. It has strong amenity constraints on its' management and as a commercial plantation. It is partly forest roaded. The lower slopes are used for Christmas tree production.
[Source: Manx Glens - A stroll through history]
[Acknowledgement: Suzanne Cubbon]