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Road sign for the 'Fairy Bridge' at Santon

Date made: late 20th century

Description: A metal road sign for the 'Fairy Bridge', at Santon. Traditionally it is considered to be good luck to say hello to the fairies or 'Themselves' when crossing the Fairy Bridge on the Douglas to Castletown road. Ignoring them or being impolite is seen to bring bad luck, such as one's car breaking down. Coach drivers and taxi drivers will always tell visitors to say hello to the fairies as they cross the bridge for the first time and many local residents and visitors will relate tales of what can go wrong if 'Themselves' are not correctly addressed when crossing the bridge.

The object is an official road sign and has the Isle of Man Government arms over the placename 'Fairy Bridge'. It was replaced in 2002/03 with a new road sign with an updated Government coat of arms.

Fairy belief was an important part of Manx folklore and many of the Island's fairy tales relate to specific places on the Isle of Man, such as the Fairy saddle at Saddlestone, near Douglas or the Fairy Hill, near Port Erin. The Fairy Bridge on the Castletown Road is not the only Fairy Bridge on the Island, another Fairy Bridge can be found at Kewaigue. The importance of being being polite to 'Themselves' was an important aspect of Manx fairy belief, as fairies were seen as potentially difficult creatures who could bring good or more likely bad luck if not treated correctly.

Measurements: overall: 53 x 57.5 cm

Materials: metal

Object name: sign

Collection: Social History Collection

ID Number: 2003-0316


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