Authorities are divided as to the original name's, Shilaugh, derivation. Most however consider it a corruption of the Celtic Shellag - ”Willow Place” or “The place of the willow trees.” There certainly are Willow trees alongside the waters here. It came to be known as Shiloh almost by accident.
A Baptist Chapel was built here early in the 19th Century. At the Opening/Dedication Service the Eminent Visiting Preacher, who came from another part of the Island, mispronounced the place name as Shiloh. This struck the assembled congregation as an excellent biblical name for their chapel, and as ”Shiloh” was not too unlike the local pronunciation of “Shilaugh”, the place has been known as Shiloh ever since. The chapel is an unpretentious building with little architectural merit, but it continues to flourish with a regular congregation drawn from Kirk Machan and the surrounding scatter of hill farms and cottages.
Following farmers’ complaints of their isolation and lack of transport, the Culdee Fell Railway laid in sidings and provided wagons for a goods service. Business was brisk for a time; but since mountain railway charges are inevitably higher than those of ordinary lines, there were many complaints, and when road improvements had been made by the Island Council, local goods and passenger traffic dwindled away. The CFR disposed of the wagons and lifted the sidings but kept the station. It has a passing loop, and a watertank fed by a leat from the stream. (The Keaullenbeck - the noisy stream). Drivers of Up trains often top-up their tanks here. They have no urgent need to do this, but since more often than not they have to wait for a Down train, by doing so they are likely to be able to save time higher up. Passengers are thus given a chance to stretch their legs and look about.
Shiloh is not at such a height as to make the view extensive, but it is impressive nevertheless. Northward, backed by its range of hills lies Peel Godred with its castle dominating the narrow pass. Culdee Fell towers above to the east, while to the south, over an intervening stretch of moorland, Shane Dooiney (The Old Man) breaks the skyline and a twin peak Shen Venn (The Old Woman) hides coyly behind.
Though local goods and passenger traffic have long ceased, passengers still use Shiloh station. These are ramblers and picnic parties. The waterfall and the lake above it are well worth exploration. They can be seen from the train too, but deserve closer inspection. At Banefoss (White Falls) the water drops some 70 feet from a narrow channel into a series of rocky basins where it is churned to white foam before hastening off to join the Ab by way of Kirk Machan. Further up is Poll-ny-Chrink (the pool on the hillside). A few years prior to 1987, Lord Harry Barrane presented the area to the Sodor Nature Conservancy Trust as a Wildlife Sanctuary. Here can be found plants, wild-fowl, butterflies etc., which can be seen nowhere else. It has had to be fenced off to discourage the depredations of sheep, rabbits, and deer, but this has been done as unobtrusively as possible.
- Its Snowdon Mountain Railway equivalent is Hebron.