Ballalona Fairy Bridge is perhaps the most famous of the Manx fairy sites, at least for non-natives. The custom is to greet the fairies while crossing or risk a breakdown or an accident: the experience of a bluff Yorkshire painter and decorator may be instructive for those who don’t take the warning seriously. More ancient legends tell of fights around the bridge. An interesting modern development has been, instead, the leaving of gifts at the bridge. Singe Pike describes her own pilgrimage there (her book includes a long visit to Man in search of fairies).
An ancient-looking bridge, fully intact, arched across the stream to my right. Orange silk lilies had been wound into the greenery that cascaded down from the top of the overgrown bridge. I could hardly take it all in – everywhere there were gifts and offerings. On the well-trodden bank beneath the bridge there were artfully arranged ceramic teddy bears, miniature statues of faeries, beach shells, coins, buttons, hand-beaded necklaces, gnomes, origami cranes, and even a Spider-Man action figure. There were iron faeries perched on sturdy rock ledges. There was even a canister of ashes, and nearby a laminated note: Here lie the ashes of our mum and dad… may they rest in peace in this beautiful place. Above the bank overlooking the bridge, someone had hung a sturdy green hammock, weaving more silk flowers into a mesh (2010: 176-177).
A marks the bridge on this map.