Isle of Man
Once the site of an early Celtic monastery, there are
the remains of three keeils in the churchyard as well as one of the
largest collections of Manx crosses
is a small settlement of a few well cared for houses around a green. It
is sheltered from the sea by the mass of Maughold Head with its
lighthouse. The church is one of the earliest churches on the island was
the site of a large Celtic monastery.
St Maughold arrived here in the C5th after being expelled from Ireland by St Patrick and lived in a small cave in the cliffs. St Maughold’s Well set on the hillside just below the north west corner of the churchyard was probably used for baptisms. St Maughold is said to have blessed the well and endowed it with healing powers. It became a site of pilgrimage.
An important monastery was established here with three keeils and their remains can still be found in the churchyard.
Many crosses were found in the local area and are now displayed in the cross house in the churchyard.
The present church dates from the C12th and may have been commissioned by King Olaf 1. It has been enlarged over the years and and was restored by the Victorians. The churchyard is full of C19th and C20th graves and is one of the largest on the island.
The church is typical of all early Manx churches with a small nave and chancel with a bell cot at the west end. Some of the original C12th stonework can be seen on the north wall on either side of the war memorial and in the two small windows in the south wall.
The inside is equally as simple with beamed ceiling, whitewashed walls with panelling round the base. The gallery at the west end is reached by an external stair on the north wall. The organ came from Port St Mary Church and was installed here in 2001 as a Millennium project.
Set into the west wall is an ancient stone font.
The Victorian stained pews have four churchwarden staffs. These were used to keep order in the church but are now only used during church processions.
The two small C12th windows at the back of the south wall contain C19th stained glass with images of Jesus as the Good Shepherd and Roolwer, the first recorded Bishop of Man who was buried in the churchyard. His cross is in the cross house.
The open carved wood pulpit is on the north wall by the chancel.
The chancel is reached up a couple of shallow steps. The east wall is painted and has the inscription “Come unto Me and I will give you rest’.
The stained glass east window was installed in 1901 and commemorates former vicars. In the centre is the cross with the crown of thorns and the ‘true vine’ with bunches of grapes. On either side are lilies. The smaller windows have roses.
At the back of the church is the Pillar Cross. Originally every parish church had a cross near the churchyard gate. This is the only one to survive and has been moved into the church to prevent further weathering. Each of the four sides is carved. There is the Virgin and Child, a kneeling knight and the Crucifixion with the Three Legs of Man below, the oldest carved symbol of this.
The church is open daily 8-4. The nearest post code is IM7 1BF and the grid reference is SC 493 917.
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