Eary Cushlin is an area of outstanding beauty on the South Western coast of the Isle of Man. The only buildings in the area are an old farmhouse now used for holiday lets via Manx National Heritage and the remains further along the coast at Lag ny Keeilley of an old Celtic church. The area is one of the few untouched places on the Isle of Man and has escaped the scourge of development because its ownership is vested in the Manx National Trust (or Manx National Heritage)
The story of its status is a curious one and involves a Liverpool man, the Church of Scotland, a wealthy Manx woman and the Manx Museum and National Trust.
Colby Cubbin was from Liverpool although reportedly his parents had Manx links. The name Cubbin is well known in the Isle of Man but is more commonly spelled CUBBON. Cubbin was an eccentric recluse with business interests in the Isle of Man and UK and lived here in the 1920-30s. At the outbreak of war he bought the farmhouse and 328 acres to the West of Cronk ny Irree Laa in the area known as Eary Cushlin. Ironically Cubbin’s attempt to avoid the threat of bombing proved ill-judged because only one set of bombs dropped by Gernman aircarft on the Island in WW 2 and they were dropped just 1000 yards from his farmhouse ‘retreat’.
Eventually after Cubbin’s death and that of his widow the property was bequeathed to the Church of Scotland. The Manx National Trust then purchased it using part of a bequest of £6000 from a wealthy Peel Lady Miss Kate Morrison MBE.
The farmhouse was used for some years as an outdoor resource for young people before being converted to its present role of holiday let.
The Cubbin left other charitable bequests. Colby Cubbin’s steam yacht the ‘Glen Strathllan’ was gifted to a UK Merchant Navy training school and also funded four RNLI lifeboats two which were based in the Isle of Man and the other two at Barra and Malliaig in Scotland.
Cubbin is also credited with having helped save from extinction the indigenous and distinctive Manx Loaghtan sheep.
Colby Cubbin and his wife are buried in a grave a few hundred yards from the old farmhouse at Eary Cushlin.
I visited the grave site which is sadly neglected recently (see pic)
The Farmhose (now holiday let):
AGS Celtic League (7th April 2023)