Tholt-y-Will Glen

Points of Interest
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A14, Lezayre, Isle of Man, | Directions

Tholt-y-Will Glen at the foot of Snaefell mountain runs along the Sulby River, the largest river on the Isle of Man


Tholt-y-Will is situated in the centre of the Island at the foot of Snaefell mountain, Slieu Managh and Mount Karrin.  Close by is Sulby reservoir.  The glen is contained in 28.6 acres.  The glen descends in winding paths alongside a tributary of Sulby river.


Access is by car only.  Limited car parking is available at the top of the glen along the road.  Parking is also available at the reservoir and by the the new Tholtan Café/Bistro and Craft Centre.


The name is probably a derivative of the Celtic Tolta yn Woalilee meaning "the hill of the cattle fold".




Visitors to this glen in the 1800s would have had quite an excursion.  They would have taken either the electric tram to Laxey and then changed to the mountain railway, alighting at the bungalow and travelling by horse drawn vehicles down to the glen, or more usually they would take the steam train from Douglas to Sulby station and then take a horse drawn car up to the glen.  The cost of this horse car was sixpence per person.




It came into the hands of The Manx Electric Railway Company in 1926 by a deed of conveyance from Gavin Brown Clark and other trustees of The Royal Liver Friendly Society.


This was, in fact, the first Manx National Glen when it was purchased in 1952 for £2,250 from The Manx Electric Railway Company, excluding the hotel and grounds.  Also included in this agreement was Ballaglass Glen.


In 2002 the members of Forestry Advisory Committee planted Three Giant Sequoias near the Tholtan to mark '50 years of the First National Glen'.




One of the attractions is the picturesque Alt Waterfall which cascades for 10m (30 ft) down through a moss covered gorge.


The Restaurant


The restaurant was originally constructed in 1897, replacing a snack shed, and large tearooms were added in 1907.  This restaurant was burnt to the ground in 1983 despite fire brigades racing to the scene from Ramsey, Peel, Douglas and Kirk Michael.  The owners had a lucky escape when they were woken by their pet Doberman dog "Jake" alerting them to the fire.  The restaurant and hotel was rebuilt the following year.  This new building enjoyed many years of success as a public house until the crackdown on drink driving made it unviable.  It is now a private house.




The bridge, which carries the road across the stream at the foot of Tholt-y-Will, is called "Droghad y Cabble" or "Bridge of the Chapel" and it takes its name from the little converted chapel, which stands alongside it.


[Source: Manx Glens - A stroll through history]


[Acknowledgement: Suzanne Cubbon]