Bymacan Friary

William de Montecute, Earl of Salisbury, (King of Man) petitioned Pope Urban V to allow the introduction to the Island of the Friars Minor proposing to assign a place for the labours and use of these Friars in the village of St Columba. The Pope agreed to the construction of a church or oratory, with a bell tower, bell, cemetery, houses and other necessary offices. Why the Earl introduced these friars, who came from Ireland rather than England, is unknown, possibly to counteract the influence of the Cistercians. The friary, dedicated to St Francis, was built around 1373, on an older Celtic site, and dissolved by Henry VIII at the reformation. Little else is known of the work of the friary which never seemed to have much influence though did give the Island one of its Bishops.


Friary Chapel - Bemaccan In my copy of Manx Soc vol15 (Antiquitates Manniae) are pencilled notes by Henry Cadman who writes:

In 1868 - The old chapel of Beimaken Friary, then used as a threshing Mill stood in the farmyard of the Friary Farm at Arbory, the gothic windows were walled up, but showed the original shape visible. There was still in this time the place for Holy Water &c & some other curious recesses - the roof I think had been renewed.


J.K.Barratt The Franciscan Friary at Bymacan Journal Manx Museum VI #80 pp209/213 1964




Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
© F.Coakley , 2000