A fascinating glen in Onchan with an intriguing story - was Molly Quirk murdered in this glen?
Molly Quirk's Glen in the parish of Onchan stretches in an "L" shape, along Whitebridge Road and backwards to Little Mill, covering about 5 acres. It is joined onto Groudle Glen and Bibaloe Walk. Access is by car (parking is limited to a few spaces), bus, or on foot from Onchan.
There are two entrances to this glen, one on Whitebridge Road and the other on the Little Mill road behind the estate of Ballachrink. Little Mill acquired its name from the mill (the Wellington Mill), which stood at the head of the glen.
The glen is reputedly named after a woman, Molly Quirk, who was known locally to have quite a lot of money and who was robbed and murdered in this glen. This tale naturally gives rise to sightings of her ghost, which is said to wander the glen.
The Forestry, Mines & Lands Board bought this glen in 1955 for £100 from the trustees of the will of Maude Mary Quayle, Stephen Alfred Quirk (a butcher by trade and also a Justice of the Peace) and his wife, Margaret Emmeline Isabel Quirk. It seems likely that this lady was Molly Quirk but just how did she die?
Thieves and vandals have often targeted Molly Quirk's Glen. In 1955 there was much evidence of the theft of trees and branches being carried out on a fairly large scale which if it hadn't been checked would have defaced the beauty of the glen.
In 1964 two youths from Onchan were cautioned for wilful damage to a tree estimated at £5, with the result that the tree had to be removed at a further cost of £10.
In 1972, vandals destroyed a dozen young trees.
The Onchan branch of the Rotary Club, in conjunction with the Highways Board and DAFF, constructed, in the summer of 2001, a new path underneath the Whitebridge road to connect the two glens of Groudle and Molly Quirk's. The original estimate for this underpass was £50,000, but when approached by Mr Ray Kniveton, Onchan Rotary Club were only too willing to lend a hand. The work was done mainly by the members themselves who gave up their spare time over a period of 3 months. The Rotary club had amongst their member's quantity surveyors and builders and they were the ones who developed the project. The Department of Transport supplied all the metalwork, and the wood was supplied by the Dept of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. The Department of Transport member, Onchan resident, Mr Ray Kniveton MLC officially opened the underpass on Monday 10th September 2001. This new bridge, now enables families, dog walkers, joggers and anyone enjoying the glens, to cross from one to the other without risking like and limb trying to negotiate the very busy Whitebridge Road.
Adjoining Molly Quirk's Glen is Bibaloe Walk, which follows the main Whitebridge Road.
[Source: Manx Glens - A stroll through history]
[Acknowledgement: Suzanne Cubbon]