Sir Thomas Henry Hall Caine was a very famous Manx novelist of the late 19th/early 20th centuries.

Much can be gleaned about his life online and below is just a brief outline.

He was born in Runcorn, Cheshire, England on 14 May 1853 and died at his home in Greeba Castle, Isle of Man on 31 August 1931.

He wrote many novels, books and plays and was recognised as a great writer throughout the world.

The following notes are from a visit made to the grave/monument in 2017.

The Hall Caine Memorial in Kirk Maughold churchyard, Isle of man visited by The Archibald Knox Forum Sunday 23rd July 2017.

To give him his full title Sir Thomas Henry Hall Caine CH KBE, O.O.L (Belgium)

The memorial which weighs 12 tons, is very impressive with the three dimensional Knox designs in high relief. Like Knox’s own gravestone, this memorial was originally white with the tall cross on the front being either grey or black.

Over the years it has become discoloured and is now a grey colour all over.

The photographs below give an idea of the scale, beauty and design genius involved in the memorial.

Hall Caine died on 31 August 1931 and Knox was commissioned to design the memorial. He never saw the completed work as it was carved by many hands including the figures carved by a well-known firm of English craftsmen, H. Hems and Son of Exeter, and was not put in place until May 1935 – over two years after Knox’s death.

The first two photograph are by courtesy of Manx National Heritage and show the monument in the 1930s with handwritten notes regarding the people involved in its design and making.

The work of erecting the memorial on the Isle of Man was carried out under the supervision of Mr. Quayle, mason, of Douglas.

Hall Caine was born in Runcorn in 1853, his father was Manx and his mother was a native of Cumberland. He spent much of his early childhood with his paternal grandmother at Ballaugh but was educated in Liverpool where his parents lived.  At the age of 18 he suffered ill health and came back to the Island and deputised for his uncle as a schoolmaster at Maughold

Five characters from Hall Caine’s novels are depicted on the memorial –

John Storm” and “Glory Quayle” from “The Christian” (on the north side), “The Deemster” and “Dan Mylrea” from “The Deemster” (on the south side) and “Pete” from “The Manxman.”

On the north side of the memorial is the inscription – Dedication of “My Story” – “To my best friend, my wife.”

On the south side there appears the words “Slumbering in the deep stillness of the hills he loved so well.

I thought I would keep you guessing on O.O.L. (Belgium) – it is the Order of Leopold – the equivalent of a knighthood. Hall Caine was also a freeman of Douglas.

Around the bottom at the front of the memorial are some of the words of the hymn “Abide with Me.”

 “I FEAR NO FOE WITH THEE AT HAND TO BLESS. ILLS HAVE NO WEIGHT AND TEARS NO BITTERNESS WHERE IS DEATH’S STING. WHERE GRAVE THY VICTORY? I TRIUMPH STILL IF THOU ABIDE WITH ME.”

Hall caine Memorial in 1930s

Hall Caine Memorial in the 1930s courtesy of Manx National Heritage  via the link at imuseum.im.

Hall caine Memorial in 1930s (2)

Hall Caine Memorial in the 1930s courtesy of Manx National Heritage  via the link at imuseum.im.

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All over the platform below the tableaux are wonderful, but difficult to photograph, Knox motifs

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Part of “Abide with me” below the Hall Caine tableau.