Malew locator map

Parish dedicated to St Lua, Malew, probably once the most important parish as it includes Castle Rushen and the erstwhile Island capital Castletown whose churches are covered separately.
The parish also contains the remains of the once great Rushen Abbey.

See Parish Index page for description, links to 19th century directories etc.

Kirk Malew (St. Lupus or Lua)

Kirk Malew

What all the old Manx churches were like before Victorian restoration; outside a white-washed rectangle in fields; inside box-pews and Georgian fittings. North transept 18th century.[JB]

Kirk Malew - Interior

Looking down church from West Gallery - organ and pulpit on southside, north transept opposite organ.

Grid Reference SC268694


Probably the finest of the Parish Churches - being the Parish Church for Castletown, the one time capital, it contains a fine selection of memorials (mainly to the Goldie-Taubman's) and mostly 19th century stained glass.

Some earlier church furniture has survived including a 12th century crucifix (replica mounted on wall) and medieval lantern.

A selection from the early Parish Registers was given in Manx Note Book Vol 6 p72 et seq

St Mark's

St Mark

St Marks from Bp Ward's Appeal
Sketch in 1834 seats for 200

Intended to provide a more convenient Chapel of Ease together with a parish school for those from the outlying mountainous districts. Hugh Cosnahan (of Kew)and Thomas Fargher (of Shenvalley) appeared to be the instigators of the foundation. Consecrated 1772 by Bishop Mark Hildesley hence the dedication to St Mark though Kneen states that there was an ancient church near the site which was probably dedicated to St Mark as the fair was held around May 12th (Old style).
It was the Rev John Thomas Clarke, vicar from 1827 to 1864, (sometime styled " Patriarch of St Marks") who did most to develop the parish.

Grid Reference SC295740


W. Harrison Records of Saint Mark's Chapel in the Parish of Malew... Manx Soc vol 28 1878

St Mary - Abbey Memorial Church Ballasalla

St Mary - Abbey Memorial Church

Built from local limestone in a plain early English style. Foundation stone laid June 1895 by Lady Ridgeway; consecrated 1896.

Current proposal is to cease services at Kirk Malew and concentrate on St Mary's.

Grid Reference SC279703




Built as a mission room, opened June 1898 and also licenced for Baptisms.
Now converted into a private dwelling.

There is reference, in 1857 Slater's directory, - 'a building has lately been purchased by donations procured by the Rev, G. Harvey, Chaplain and Bursar of King William’s College, to be converted into a school house, and to be used on Sunday’s for divine service.'

Grid Reference SC284677


King William's College Chapel

King William's College Chapel

Dedicated to St. Thomas
Original chapel was in the tower block of the main buildings. The new chapel was built in 1878, consecrated 28 Jan 1879. Designed by local architect James Cowle. Has fine scissor-braced roof with canopied stalls. Two side windows commemorate T.E.Brown, an old boy of KWC. E.C. Owen discusses some of its shortcomings in his account of KWC

Grid Reference SC277679


St Michael's Chapel - Langness

St Michael's Chapel

Norse-Celtic, probably early 12th Century prior to establishment of insular parishes. Roofless for at least 300 years, J.R. Bruce puts its good preservation to its situation on non-agricultural land and subsequent use as a burial ground by Roman Catholics during late 18th/early 19th Century.

Grid Reference SC295673


First mentioned in Chronicle of Man when a battle took place in 1250 at insula Sancti Michaelis, Blundell in c.1648 mentions 'a handsome church with a spire steeple' - the spire steeple being an exaggerated description of the bell-turret then a feature unusual in Manx Churches. Daniel King's vignette view of 1651 shows a roofless building with high gables with the western gable containing a bell turret. Some repairs, and a (in some aspects confusing) survey by Armitage Rigby, undertaken in 1907 when taken over by the Museum and Ancient Monuments Trustees; further repair work undertaken in 1928 when the bell cote was rather crudely rebuilt.

(see also the legend reprinted in Manx Soc vol 21 pp239/247)

A Rigby Ruined Chapel on S. Michael's Island Proc IoMNH&ASoc vol 1 pp415-420 1907
J.R.Bruce Manx Archaeological Survey - Sixth Report pp.20/7 Manx Museum & National Trust 1968, gives a full description
The Ancient and Historic Monuments of the Isle of Man Manx Museum & National Trust 1958 (+ subsequent editions)


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