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File:Sidecar at Rhencullen, Isle of Man.jpg
Sidecar crew approaching Rhencullen 3 in 2003

Rhencullen (from Manx: Holly Ridge previously Orrisdale South)[1] including Birkin's Bend is situated between the 15th and 16th Milestone road-side markers on the Snaefell Mountain Course between Kirk Michael Village and Bishopscourt on the primary A3 Castletown to Ramsey road with side-road junction of the tertiary C19 Orrisdale Loop road in the parish of Michael, Isle of Man.

File:John McGuinness at Rhencullen - geograph.org.uk - 461512.jpg
John McGuinness mid-way through Rhencullen in 2011

This series of bends was part of the Highland Course and Four Inch Course used for the Gordon Bennett Trial and the Tourist Trophy car races held between 1904 and 1922. Rhencullen is part of the Snaefell Mountain Course used since 1911 for the TT and Manx Grand Prix races.

The area is dominated by the farmland at Ballarhenny and the manse of Bishopscourt, including Birkin's Bend, Cloudy Lane and Rhencullen Hill. During an early morning practice session for the 1927 TT, Archie Birkin swerved to avoid a fish-van travelling to Peel and crashed fatally. The corner at Rhencullen on the A3 road where the accident occurred was named as 'Birkins Bend'. From 1928 onwards, practice sessions for the TT races and Manx Grand Prix were held on closed-roads.

The Rhencullen complex of bends including Birkin's Bend was subjected to road widening and reprofiling during the winter of 1953/1954 for the 1954 TT races.[2]


  1. Place Names of the Isle of Man by John Kneen MA pp446 (1970) Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh The Scolar Press
  2. Isle of Man Weekly Times dated 29 May 1954

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