Centrally located in the Irish Sea, the Isle of Man possesses a rich cultural heritage. In many ways uniquely Manx, it is nevertheless clearly related to Mann’s place as a cultural crossroads, a nexus where diverse impulses met and merged. The long-term dynamics of Manx culture are reflected in its saints’ dedications: the evidence of the dedications themselves, the medieval dedication sites and their successors, and the communities, past and present, associated with those sites.

Of particular interest are the medieval ecclesiastical sites with dedications to Patrick, Apostle of the Irish. The Manx instances are part of a broad northern distribution of such dedications in the British Isles, outside of Ireland. The distribution area includes the Isle of Man, northern Wales, northern England, southwest and central Scotland, and Scotland’s western isles (Crawford 2014: 60) (Figure 1). The dedications in that area are overwhelmingly, but not exclusively, associated with secular communities. Such secular associations are not inevitable. A southern pattern of Patrician dedications is based on large monastic houses, pilgrim routes, and probable pilgrim chapels (Crawford 2009: 107-181). The Isle of Man has the most intensive concentration of dedications in the northern pattern, and it is important to account for their presence. In addition, the distribution of the Patrician dedication sites within Mann is distinctive. The characteristics of the patterning become evident in comparison to the corresponding pattern for Maughold, a second saint significant in the Isle of Man.

Figure 1. Isle of Man in geographic context (by Madison Sink)
Figure 1. Isle of Man in geographic context (by Madison Sink).

This study is based on two disciplinary perspectives. As a geographer, Graham Jones has emphasized that saints’ dedications “carry meaning.” They reflect “deliberate choices,” and the occurrence of specific dedications varies according to time, place, and situation (2007: 13). Thus, the geographic distribution patterns are important; such dedications are not randomly distributed (2007: 20-21). Dedications and their distributions provide the opportunity for “unrivalled insights into cultural processes, events, mentalities and social identities...” (2007: 21). A complementary viewpoint is offered by an ethnological orientation in folkloristics, the discipline that addresses informal culture, the culture of everyday life. The dedication sites are often a focus for related folklore, the expressions of the associated communities. Such folkloric evidence includes local place-names, informal storytelling and art, family naming conventions, and local celebrations, events, and games. The recovery of the related cultural contexts involves the use of scholarship from other disciplines, as well as local or community histories. Although the work has specific disciplinary orientations, it is also, of necessity, strongly interdisciplinary.

For the present purposes, the term “dedication” is defined in its broadest sense, as the association of an ecclesiastical structure or site with the name of a saint, an angel, or a manifestation of the Christian Deity.2 The concept of dedication includes a tacit understanding that all churches are the “house of God,” consecrated to the Divinity (Jones 2007: 30). For Mann, the objects of dedication include churches and churchyards, with major dedications also reflected in the parish names. There is an equivalent in the naming of the distinctive Manx keeills or chapels, often found within a bounded area. A similar informal naming relates to springs or wells and other features of the natural landscape (Jones 2007: 18). In the Isle of Man, such informal naming is also found in the cultivated landscape, associated with lands and fields. Where a saint’s well is found in close proximity to a dedication site, it has also been included in the analysis of dedications presented here. The exclusion of isolated saints’ wells is based on practical considerations. Such wells often lack datable features and are much less likely to appear in the documentary record.

An initial context for such a discussion is a sense of how Mann is currently constituted as a society, the formal organization of an island nation. Inevitably, such a description is an exercise in qualification. Both Britain and the Isle of Man recognize the same head of state. Queen Elizabeth II is Lord of Mann, the British Crown having purchased the manorial rights to the island in 1829 (Belchem 2000: 16). There are close working relationships with the British government, particularly in relation to external affairs. However, the Isle of Man has its own governing bodies, notably Tynwald, the Manx parliament. The island constitutes a diocese of The Church of England, the Diocese of Sodor and Man, but it is commonly called the “Manx Church.” The differences go beyond alternate titles. Although the diocese is part of the English province of York, it proceeds under Manx church law (Church of England 2015: “Diocesan Registry”). The name of the diocese is a reminder of Mann’s former place in a medieval ecclesiastical province administered from Norway. The formal rituals of government also reflect older roots. On Tynwald Day, representatives of the Manx government and the citizens of Mann gather at Tynwald Hill, looking back to a medieval Scandinavian form of assembly. Additional qualifications extend to business and economics. Still primarily rural, the Isle of Man also serves as the base for an international financial services industry. Not part of Britain, not part of the United Kingdom (Belchem 2000: 2), the Isle of Man cooperates, collaborates, and goes its own way. How the Manx perceive their homeland is perhaps better expressed in common speech: in a world of islands, theirs is simply “the Island.”

Significant characteristics of the modern nation come into focus through a consideration of Scandinavian medieval history and Scandinavian place-names in the Isle of Man. Historian Sverre Bagge has summarized some of the related insights. The coastal orientation of medieval Norway made the islands to the west and southwest a “natural field” for conquest and settlement. There was already a considerable Norwegian presence in these islands at the beginning of the reign of Magnus Barelegs, king of Norway from 1093 to 1103. His military expeditions established his authority over the northern and western isles of Scotland, as well as the Isle of Man. The Norwegian kings after Magnus retained an overlordship of these islands, with varying degrees of effective rule. This sea-based territory also became part of the Norwegian ecclesiastical province of Nidaros, established in 1152/1153 (2014: 43). Norway granted both the western isles and Mann to Scotland in 1266, in return for monetary compensation (2014: 43-44). However, this did not end Mann’s formal relationship with Nidaros (Broderick 2004: f.51v.).

Gillian Fellows-Jensen provides a more detailed accounting, based on the analysis of language and place-names in the Isle of Man:

The Scandinavian place-names which originally denoted topographical features … have a fairly general distribution over the island. This makes it reasonable to assume that they belong to the period of initial Norse settlement in Man. These settlers can have come to Man either directly from Norway or indirectly via the Norse settlements in Shetland, Orkney and the Hebrides or the northern and western seaboard of Scotland, probably in the tenth or early eleventh century.... I am... inclined to think that most of the originally topographical names now borne by settlements were coined by men of Norwegian origin... (2005: 368).

Fellows-Jensen has also argued for Scandinavian influence from the Danelaw in northern England (2005: 369-370).3

A second part of the Island’s formal organization involves historic administrative districts and land divisions, also with medieval roots. Manx dedication sites and distribution patterns have critical links to these districts and divisions, and the sites cannot be properly interpreted without that context. The Isle of Man is bisected lengthwise by areas of higher elevation; traditionally, the two halves have been named “northside” and “southside” Mann (Figure 2). Each half was further divided into three sheadings or court districts, for a total of six in the Island. Earlier place-name studies in the Isle of Man involved a number of individuals, including the Scandinavian scholar Carl Marstrander. According to Marstrander, the term sheading is based on the Old Norse séttungr, referring to “a sixth part” (1937: 431; Broderick 1994: xvi). Sheading records survive from as early as the second decade of the fifteenth century.4

Figure 2. Isle of Man elevation map (by Matthew C. Gottfried)
Figure 2. Isle of Man elevation map (by Matthew C. Gottfried).

Each sheading consisted of three parishes, with the exception of Glenfaba, a northside sheading that contained two. These are now referred to as the “traditional” or “ancient” parishes. In the late eighteenth century, two parishes were transferred to different sheadings (Broderick 1994: Administrative divisions before 1796). In the second half of the nineteenth century, a wider, ongoing reorganization in Britain also occurred in Mann. The traditional parishes were replaced by civil and ecclesiastical parishes, formally recognizing separate bases for secular and ecclesiastical administration. For the Isle of Man, the new arrangements reflected an even more fundamental change. Medieval Mann was not an urban culture; it was characterized by dispersed rural settlement. A parish system developed in the twelfth century was being reshaped to accommodate urban populations. That process continues in the present day. The bulk of the current ecclesiastical parishes are centered on southside Mann. In contrast, the greatest part of northside Mann is served by only two: The Parish of the Northern Plain and The Parish of the West Coast, each with multiple “parish churches.”

Nevertheless, the sheadings and traditional parishes form an important frame of reference used in scholarly writing, and the traditional parishes still have currency in everyday reference and common speech. In the historic attestations, some parish names predate the sheading records, from as early as the twelfth century (Broderick 2002: 27-28, 253-254). Distinctive geographic characteristics also appear to define most of the old parishes (Davies 1956: 100-102). It suggests the possibility that they may have been perceived as different locales, even before the establishment of the parish system in the twelfth century.

In 1956, geographer Elwyn Davies published a detailed study of the Manx land divisions of treen and quarterland, smaller areas within the traditional parishes. As Davies pointed out, the land system in Mann “can be traced coherently in its evolution from the sixteenth century and is still preserved within the pattern of its fields and farms” (1956: 97). The treen divisions are found in the lower elevations, where the arable farmland and richer pastureland are also located (1956: 115). The marginal uplands, lower reaches of river glens, and marshes or curraghs lie outside the treen boundaries (1956: 105), probably because they were not viable farmland. The treens are composed of quarterlands, which appear to represent individual farms. Four quarterlands per treen is frequent, although slightly more than half of the treens have a greater or smaller number (1956: 107-109). The lands of the ecclesiastical landholders, the religious houses, bishop, and clergy, do not show the treen divisions, although they may have quarterlands (1956: 103). Where the treens exist, “each quarterland lies completely within a treen, each treen within a parish, and each parish within a sheading” (1956: 102).

Davies also specifically rejected the possibility that the treen might represent a subdivision of the parish (1956: 105). Based on their characteristics, the treens were most likely the original unit of land division (1956: 113). If Davies was correct, it follows that the treens were in existence before the determination of the parish boundaries, apparently developed respecting the older divisions. The treens and individual holders of quarterlands were first fully documented in the manorial rental rolls of the early sixteenth century (Talbot 1924). Nevertheless, the relationship of the treens to the parish boundaries suggests that the treens are much older than that first Island-wide accounting. Davies noted that the continuity of the treen and quarterland divisions was indirectly supported by Manx customary law, in place until 1869 (1956: 112-113). The most probable interpretation of the treens is that they originated as the medieval holdings of a secular kin-group, the farmland held by an extended family.

Another kind of context for a discussion of Manx saints’ dedications is the central written source for the Island’s medieval era, the Chronicles of the Kings of Man and the Isles, written in Latin. The Chronicles exist in a single manuscript.5 The work focuses on accounts of kings, principally those of the dynasty of Godred Crovan, whose rule began c. 1079 (Broderick 2004: ff.32v.-33v.). Although bishops are periodically mentioned, there is also a subsequent section specifically addressing the bishops. With limited later additions, a single scribal hand records the earlier chronicles of kings up to and including the year 1257 (Broderick 2004: vii, ix). The corresponding information about the bishops extends to c. 1253 (Broderick 2004: ix); it is also written in a single hand, probably contemporary with that of the first part of the work (Broderick 2004: x and xv, note 4). The entry for 1257 records the dedication rite of the church of St Mary at the monastery of Rushen in the southern part of the Island (Broderick 2004: f.49v.). That entry also notes the presence of Magnus, the Manx king at that time. As George Broderick has explained, such an occasion would have been an appropriate reason for the composition of the Chronicles, honoring both the church’s dedication and the traditional history of the contemporary royal dynasty (2004: vii).

Broderick has discussed the possibility that the Chronicles were written at Furness, the Cistercian6 mother-house of Rushen in northern England (2004: vii, f.35v.). However, references to events in the outside world appear to be drawn from the chronicle of Melrose Abbey, a Cistercian house in Scotland; it is also possible that the two works share common sources (2004: xii-xiii). Further, the Chronicles contain an unusual amount of what appears to be local information. Entries regarding Manx affairs can often be verified through external sources. However, those entries also contain a wealth of detail for which “no known source for the most part is traceable” (Broderick 2004: xiii). The modern editor of the work has spoken to the general reliability of the chronicles of kings (Broderick 2004: xiii-xiv); the scribes of the section on the bishops apparently had less information available to them. The entirety of the Chronicles may be read in another way, as rich cultural evidence.

The work is written from Manx perspectives. The initial annals form an introduction, beginning with the period of Scandinavian kingship in England. Information more closely related to the Island begins to appear in the entry corresponding to the year 1066. It records the presence of Godred Crovan in England, among the fighting men of Harald Hardrada, king of Norway. Following the Norwegian defeat at Stamford Bridge, Godred escapes to the Isle of Man. Some years later, he returns to establish himself as king (Broderick 2004: f.32v.). The royal dynasty founded by Godred Crovan was still in place in the middle of the thirteenth century. In the Chronicles, the last third of the eleventh century forms a horizon for information specific to the Isle of Man, virtually the same for the section on the bishops.

The opening rubric of the Chronicles reflects a kingdom centered on Mann, but not limited to the Island (Broderick 2004: vii). Its rulers are “Kings of Man and the Isles.” The western isles of Scotland form an integral part of this realm; loss of some of these islands is perceived as an unfortunate fragmentation of its territory (Broderick 2004: f.37v.). At times, the Manx king also rules Hiberno-Norse Dublin (Broderick 2004: f.33r. and ff.36v.-37r.). Another relationship periodically impinges upon the exercise of royal power in Man and the Isles. Events and situations reveal a tacit recognition of a superior sovereignty, that of Norway’s kings.

Within the entries for the kings, the Chronicles also contain storytelling about saints, each appropriate to an Island-based perspective. The martyrdom of St Olaf, king of Norway, is noted for the year corresponding to 1030 (Broderick 2004: ff.31r.-31v.). A subsequent account for the year 1098 tells of the saint’s appearance in a dream to Magnus Barelegs. Accepting a punishment imposed by the saint, Magnus chooses banishment over death, relocating to Mann (Broderick 2004: ff.34r.-35r.). The initial entry and the associated story are included because they provide a reason for Magnus’s prolonged presence in the kingdom of Man and the Isles.

A second saint’s story, emphasized with a separate rubric (Broderick 2004: f.47v.), recounts the miraculous power of the Mother of God, exercised on behalf of her monastery at Rushen. It relates to the monastery’s right of sanctuary, the ability to protect an individual within its precincts from secular powers. This is apparently a local story from Rushen itself. It is dated only a few years before the composition of the Chronicles, and the narrative ends with a witness of personal knowledge of the man involved: “This we have written just as we learned it from his own mouth” (Broderick 2004: ff.47v.-48r.). The story honors both Rushen’s dedication and the broader Cistercian devotion to Mary.

However, the most extended saints’ narrative is about St Maughold. It is written under a separate rubric, as well (Broderick 2004: f.38r.). Based on the date given, the account relates to an invasion of the Island that occurred approximately a century before the initial writing of the Chronicles (Broderick 2004: ff.37v.-39r.). This complex and significant narrative deserves a separate study of its own. However, for the present purposes, several points are central. The story is set in a recognizable locale in southside Mann, St Maughold’s church and its environs, a few miles southeast of the present-day town of Ramsey. The local people in the story are behaving in ways associated with the medieval veneration of saints. They have fled to the saint’s protection in the safe haven of his church and lands, taking their movable property with them. The women in the church, in extreme distress, are alternately pleading for the saint’s assistance and berating him for his failure to rescue them. The resolution of the narrative turns on the appearance of the saint himself, obviously no longer a mortal presence, and the efficacy of his staff, apparently kept as a relic in the church. In defending his territory, Maughold succeeds in turning back the entire invasion, functioning as saint, patron, and hero. This is clearly a Manx story, and it unequivocally communicates the importance of Maughold in the medieval cultural life of the Isle of Man. A narrative in the Book of Armagh indicates that Maughold’s reputation as a Manx saint was also known in Ireland (Bieler 1979: 102-107; Gwynn 1937: ff. 5-6), as early as the first decade of the ninth century (Bieler 1979: 2).

The annals of the kings contain no equivalent storytelling for Patrick. What does occur is a related place-name, given in Latin: insula sci patricii, St Patrick’s Isle (Broderick 2004: f.45r.). Another identifiable landscape, it is an islet on Mann’s west coast. In the Chronicles, medieval kings and their envoys land at St Patrick’s Isle (Broderick 2004: f.34v., f.45r., and f.46r.). An external attack targets St Patrick’s Isle, where the royal fleet appears to be moored (Broderick 2004: f.44r.). Two Manx kings die on St Patrick’s Isle (Broderick 2004: f.40r. and f.44v.), suggesting that it is the location of a royal residence. A bishop is buried there, as well, in the unfinished church of St Germanus, not long before the initial composition of the Chronicles (Broderick 2004: f.46v.).

However, the Apostle of the Irish is mentioned in the introduction to the section related to the bishops:

These were the bishops who assumed the episcopal seat in Man from the time of Godred Crovan and sometime before. The first bishop before Godred Crovan began to rule was Hrólfr who lies at St. Maughold’s Church. From the time of the Blessed Patrick, who, it is said, was the first to preach the Catholic faith to the Manxmen, there have been many bishops in Man, but it is sufficient to begin the account of the bishops from Hrólfr. We say it is sufficient because we are totally ignorant of what/which bishops there were before him, because we have found no record, nor have we learned anything certain from the tradition of our elders... (Broderick 2004: f.50v.).

This is a strong statement, an unwillingness to go beyond the limits of Manx knowledge. There is a resistance to conflicting narratives, known but not a part of local information.

Those narratives are in Jocelin’s vita or life of St Patrick, written c. 1185 (Birkett 2010: 6-8). In Helen Birkett’s study of the hagiographic work of Jocelin, she has analyzed the evidence for his career: “...the salutation that opens the Vita Waldevi reveals that by the early thirteenth century, Jocelin had joined the Cistercian community at Furness.... This latter association came to dominate the literary representation of Jocelin” (2010: 13). Birkett finds credible evidence for the hagiographer’s long-term association with the Cistercian order itself (2010: 13-14). She also notes attempts to identify Jocelin with abbots of Furness and Rushen, individuals or a single individual bearing the same name. However, Birkett characterizes these attempts as “speculative” (2010: 14).

In the preface to the vita of Patrick, Jocelin identifies his patrons (O’Leary 1904: 132-134). The first is Thomas, archbishop of the northern Irish province of Armagh. From the seventh century on, Armagh had been involved in the promotion of an association with St Patrick (Sharpe 1982).7 The second patron addressed is Malachy, bishop of Down. It was there, in 1185, that the triple grave of Patrick, Brigid, and Columba was found (Birkett 2010: 3). According to Birkett, “It is clear that the main purpose of the Vita was to provide compelling evidence that Patrick was buried in Down” (2010: 149). The third individual named is John de Courcy, an Anglo-Norman who had established himself as prince of Ulster. Marie Therese Flanagan has elucidated the relationships between these three individuals, emphasizing the mutual support that each of them needed in strengthening his position in northern Ireland (1999).

Given the Irish political contexts of the work, it is interesting that Jocelin includes a series of stories about Mann. However, it is clear that Jocelin’s central claim about the Isle of Man is a concept that he develops, not one borrowed from other sources. Jocelin uses the place-name for St Patrick’s Isle as a hook, from which he suspends assertions that Patrick converted the Manx and consecrated the first Manx bishop and his successors. In this scheme, Maughold is the fourth generation in an episcopal succession emanating from Armagh (O’Leary 1904: 239-240; 298-301; 317-319). According to Birkett, the mention of St Patrick in the Manx Chronicles is the only “medieval parallel” for Jocelin’s claim that Patrick was responsible for the conversion of Mann to Christianity (2010: 42).

At the time Jocelin wrote, Mann was part of a Norwegian ecclesiastical province. The Manx royal dynasty had granted the appointment of the kingdom’s bishops to Furness, perhaps as early as 1134 (Brownbill 1915: vi-vii; 1919c: 708-709), with additional confirmation some twenty years later (Brownbill 1915: vi-vii; 1919c: 710-711). Early in the fourteenth century, Furness was still defending its right to select bishops for Mann (Brownbill 1915: vi-vii; 1919b: 694-695). Further, the narrative about Maughold in the Chronicles does not explicitly identify him as a bishop. Maughold is a “confessor of the Lord” (Broderick 2004: f.38r.), a more general term applied to a medieval category of saints who were not martyrs, but nevertheless worthy of veneration. The resistance in the Chronicles is to outside narratives, ones that would not have been acceptable to Rushen or its mother-house, Furness. The differing views regarding the bishops are also probable evidence that Jocelin did not have, c. 1185, a past or present relationship with either house.

Interpreted as cultural evidence, the Manx Chronicles reveal a society that perceived continuity through its royal dynasty. In that respect, the work shares a dominant concern found elsewhere in the same era. According to Sverre Bagge, “dynastic continuity is a central element in the rich historical literature that emerged in Scandinavia in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries” (2014: 52). In the Manx world of 1257, there seems to have been a limited perception of the Island’s past before the reign of Godred Crovan. A notable exception is the memory of Maughold, most likely preserved through the continued existence of the related ecclesiastical site and its dedication. At the mid-point of the thirteenth century, St Patrick’s Isle is presented without reference to Patrick himself: it is an enclave of the Manx kings, with military, diplomatic, and ecclesiastical importance. The prevalence of longer narratives in the Chronicles also suggests that a lively local storytelling was a central means of remembering, thinking about, and communicating the past in medieval Manx society.

Over time, there have been several discussions of Mann’s Patrician dedications in the scholarly literature. A. W. Moore, author of the “foundation texts of Manx studies” (Belchem 2000: 3), referred to the number of Patrician dedications that he knew. That number was nine, consisting of two parish churches and seven keeills (1893: 16). In the final report of the Manx Archaeological Survey, J. R. Bruce spoke of the unusually large number of Manx dedications to Patrick (1968: 72). He noted that the keeill remains in the sheading of Rushen were almost exclusively in the cultivated lands, related to rural settlement (1968: 74). Further, there was no evidence related to the Rushen keeills that was older than the Norse era (1968: 71). However, Bruce considered the Patrician keeill dedications to be a carryover from earlier Christianity in Mann (1968: 72).

Without actual evidence for earlier dedications to Patrick, Bruce’s opinion remains just that. The continuity that Bruce proposed did not account for the multiple dedications, and it did not find support in later work. In 1983, Marshall Cubbon, then Director of the Manx Museum, confirmed that the wide distribution of keeills in the Isle of Man dated from the Christianization of the local Norse population, perhaps before the midpoint of the tenth century: “only a minority of these keeill sites were in use prior to ... Norse settlement” (1983: 19, 22). In a discussion of church names in the Isle of Man, Margaret Gelling made a similar assessment of the related dedications: “It seems most likely that keeills were in the main built and named throughout the latter part of the Viking [Norse] period. It is difficult to envisage a scenario in which a substantial number of keeill names survived from pre-Viking times...” (1991: 152-153). In general, the keeill dating has not been superseded (Johnson 2006), and Gelling’s assessment of keeill naming remains convincing.

The historical geographer E. G. Bowen noted the geographic distribution of the Manx dedications to Patrick. He described the Patrician dedications as a phenomenon of northside Mann, with additional expansion into an area of lower elevation connecting northside and southside. Bowen also interpreted the placement of the dedications as an effect of proximity to northeastern Ireland (1977/1983: 155). In his view, the dedications could have originated as late as John de Courcy’s involvement in Ulster. According to Bowen, de Courcy was responsible for a change in the dedication of Down’s church, from Holy Trinity to St Patrick (1977/1983: 155-156). The implication is that he could have orchestrated similar changes in Mann.

The Isle of Man did have connections with Ulster’s Anglo-Norman proprietor. De Courcy was married to Affrica, a woman of the Manx royal dynasty. The Manx Chronicles record Affrica as an ecclesiastical patron in her own right, the founder of St Mary of the Yoke of God (Broderick 2004: f.41r.), a Cistercian house in northern Ireland. As such, she would have been one of the earlier examples of royal and aristocratic women who founded Cistercian houses across Europe (Jamroziak 2013: 146-147). However, the Manx references to de Courcy himself are minimal. They involve his subjugation of Ulster, dated 1176 (Broderick 2004: f.39v.), and his attempt to recover it in 1205, with assistance from the Isle of Man (Broderick 2004: f.41r.). More importantly, the place-name for St Patrick’s Isle appears to be in existence before Jocelin composes his work. His claim has substance only if the name was already an established phenomenon in the Isle of Man, without origins in remembered time.

Helen Birkett has found it “both possible and probable” that Affrica was involved in Jocelin’s work (2010: 168). Jocelin describes both St Maughold’s and St Patrick’s Isle, which he also identifies as the episcopal seat of St Germanus (O’Leary 1904: 239-240; 298-301). His interpretations introduce innovation. Nevertheless, it is quite possible that Affrica provided the basic information on the more important ecclesiastical sites in the Island, those perceived to be of some antiquity. Bowen focused on de Courcy rather than his Manx marriage partner, in a timeframe too late for the related phenomenon.

Consideration of alternative connections to northeastern Ireland does not suggest other reasons for the dedications. The Irish religious houses of Bangor and Saul did hold land on northside Mann, and Saul was a traditional burial site claimed for St Patrick (Bieler 1979: 164-165; Gwynn 1937: ff. 15-16). However, the first indication of the existence of the Manx Barony of Bangor and Saul appears in the third decade of the fifteenth century (Broderick 1981-1982: 24). In the earliest part of the Chronicles, among the entries for the kings, there is a notice of the death of Nicholas, “Bishop of the Isles.” His burial at the monastery of Bangor in Ulster is recorded, as well (Broderick 2004: f.41v.). The section related to the bishops adds that Nicholas had close familial ties to the Manx kings (Broderick 2004: f.51r.).8 Such a situation might account for a royal grant to Bangor. However that may be, none of the medieval sites in Mann with Patrician dedications is found within the known area of the Barony of Bangor and Saul.

In the place-name volumes for the Isle of Man,9 George Broderick has addressed the Manx parish dedications to Patrick. While recognizing the northside/southside division, he gives a broader and significantly different account:
In contrast to the parish dedications on the South side of the Island, which seem almost exclusively comprised of local saints’ names, and hence probably of much earlier date, the dedications on the North side, in the cases of Patrick, Jurby, and Bride, involve two internationally known patrons of Ireland, Patrick the Apostle (Kirk Patrick and Jurby) and Brigid of Kildare (Kirk Bride), and seem to have taken place, according mainly to coin-hoard evidence, as a result of an apparent massive settlement from the Dublin and Meath area on the North side of Man following the battle of Clontarf (1014), but before the arrival of Godred Crovan (King Orry of Manx tradition) in 1079... (1995: 15).10

Broderick does include Maughold among the southside saints (1999: 20-21). Earlier, the work of numismatist Michael Dolley had brought the dedications into a discussion of his work with medieval coinage, discovered (and in some cases minted) in the Isle of Man (1976: 11-12, 17-22).

A scenario such as Broderick proposes is well worth consideration, given the dearth of evidence for pre-Norse Patrician dedications and the lack of context for their possible introduction during the duration of the Crovan dynasty. There are initial issues. The period involved largely predates the horizon for local information in the Chronicles. The battle of Clontarf is traditionally considered to be a critical point in shifting balances of power in Ireland, the “end of the viking era” (Byrne 2008: 884), characterized by the unpredictable and often devastating attacks of Scandinavian marauders. There is a common perception that the Manx fighting forces were decimated at Clontarf, where they fought as allies of the Dubliners. However, the sources for the details of the conflict are often contradictory and late. The eleventh-century coin hoards from the Irish Sea region are unquestionably valuable evidence, but their significance is also open to debate.

There is, however, useful evidence for the situations of Dublin, Ireland, and the Isle of Man during the timeframe under consideration. Following the battle of Clontarf, Hiberno-Norse Dublin continued to flourish as a center for commerce and international trade (Woods 2013), its leaders subordinate to dominant Irish kings (O’Flynn 2013: 25-26). According to historian F. J. Byrne, Diarmait mac Maíl na mBó, the king of Leinster, was ultimately able to assert authority over Dublin. There, he installed his son Murchad as king (2008: 891-893). C. 1061, Murchad exacted a kind of tribute from the Isle of Man that implied royal jurisdiction (2008: 879). As Byrne has stated, Diarmait was “the first Irish king to gain control of Dublin and extend his hegemony over the Isle of Man” (2008: 884).

Another way to approach the Patrician dedications in the Isle of Man is to survey the evidence for all of the dedication sites. Such a survey also provides the opportunity to explore the long-term cultural dynamics of Manx society, as expressed in saints’ dedications. The related evidence includes both medieval phenomena and the ways in which post-medieval communities have engaged with a rich inheritance of dedications. The survey presented below is arranged by traditional parish. The exception is St Patrick’s Isle and its immediate area, where the Patrician church and chapel pre-date the establishment of the parish system. Even in their later development, the related continuities spread across two traditional parishes. The order of consideration begins with the comparison site of St Maughold’s, moving counter-clockwise around the Island’s coast.

Kirk Maughold Parish

This traditional parish is in a southside sheading, but its northwestern boundary marks the point in the circuit where southside becomes northside. The parish naming, Kirk Maughold (Broderick 1999: 22-23), is an instance in which the pre-existing dedication of the major church in a given locale became the parish name.

St Maughold’s Church and Churchyard

The churchyard is within a local area which included medieval ecclesiastical lands, those held by St Bees, a religious house on the coast of northwestern England, and those held by the Island’s bishop (Broderick 1999: 61-62).11 The bishop, a medieval baron of the kingdom, also held lands elsewhere in the Island. By the fourteenth century, the church of St Maughold’s had been appropriated12 to Furness (Brownbill 1915: vi-vii; 1919c: 713). The monastery apparently still held the church at the time of its dissolution, based on related entries in the accounts of the agents of the English Crown (Brownbill 1915: vi-vii; 1919a: 656, 658, 661).

William and Constance Radcliffe, local historians for both Maughold and Bride parishes, referred to the unusual size of Kirk Maughold’s churchyard. At more than three and a half acres, it was the largest of the traditional parish churchyards in the Isle of Man (1979: 63) (Figure 3). It is unusual in other ways. In addition to St Maughold’s Church, with incorporated medieval fabric, it contains the remains of three keeills, with the known site of a fourth. That configuration is significant. In a recent article, St Maughold’s was addressed in conjunction with a series of early ecclesiastical sites in Scotland: East Burra (Shetland), Applecross (Wester Ross), St Andrews (Fife), Whithorn, and Iona. These sites all share evidence of high status, royal, ecclesiastical, or both, and all had multiple churches or chapels on the same site (Petts and Turner 2009: 292-293). Such a site is also notable in Manx contexts. It is not a typical placement for the keeills, which characteristically occur as individual chapels, found in the arable farmland or more remote areas (Kermode 1968a-e; Bruce 1968).

Figure 3. St Maughold’s Church and churchyard
Figure 3. St Maughold’s Church and churchyard.

The possible interpretations for St Maughold’s are extended through a consideration of the carved and inscribed monuments associated with the churchyard. Addressing the early Manx stones, historian Ross Trench-Jellicoe has said, “This level of literacy and sophistication is unlikely to be encountered elsewhere other than at a monastic site...” (2002a: 15). A later carved stone, the “Saints’ Slab,” displays iconography linking it to similar monuments in eastern Scotland (2002a: 16-25). The stone was recovered in the mid-nineteenth century from the church building itself, where it had been reused as part of an external stairway (2002a: 16). The slab presents a ring-head cross, with a pair of facing saints. Dressed in hooded robes, the figures are positioned in the quadrants below the cross-head (Kermode 1994: 138-139, plate xxvi). Based on the linkage with Scotland, the saints may represent two Desert Fathers, Paul and Anthony, another indicator of monastic association (Trench-Jellicoe 2002a: 23). The probable date range for this latter stone spans the late tenth and early eleventh centuries.13

These are far from the only stones preserved at St Maughold’s. The open-air Cross House displays a wealth of these memorial monuments. In addition to the carved stones recovered from the churchyard itself, there are also stones that were brought in from the area of the traditional parish, a custom observed elsewhere in Mann. P. M. C. Kermode’s Manx Crosses often records the places and circumstances of such recoveries (1994),14 a matter of ongoing interest in the Isle of Man.

The place-names associated with St Maughold occur, with few exceptions, in an area centered on St Maughold’s Church (Broderick 1999: 122, 156). The church itself is named in the oldest part of the Chronicles (Broderick 2005: 243; 2004: f.38r. and f.50v.). There is a medieval attestation as Kirkemaghald, from a quit-claim dated shortly after the year 1300, found in the register of St Bees (Wilson 1915: 75-77). Such names combine the Old Norse kirkja (church) with a saint’s name (Broderick 1999: 122), in the word-order of the Celtic languages. Maughold Glebe, land reserved for the local clergy, is also attested as a place-name (Broderick 1999: 111, 137). The settlement adjoining the churchyard is called Maughold, as well (Broderick 1999: 136-137). From the settlement, Maughold Road branches out in two directions, both routes intersecting the Manx A2.

Just as concentric ripples expand out from a stone thrown into a pond, the surrounding place-names mark the peripheries of this deeply significant place. Natural features of the local landscape include Maughold Head, the promontory to the east, bordering the sea (Broderick 1999: 117, 137). The mountainous area to the west is called Maughold Mountain (Broderick 1999: 137), although this appears to be a recent designation for peaks with older, alternate names. A few miles to the northwest, in the town of Ramsey, a nineteenth-century street was named Kirk Maughold Street or Maughold Street, and there was a Maughold Lane (Broderick 1999: 190, 195). The street would have been the main thoroughfare leading toward Maughold, from the old marketplace in Ramsey (Broderick 1999: 200).

What is known about the saint is inferential. George Broderick has compared Maughold’s name to the Gaelic Machall (Broderick 1999: 20-21 and 20-21, note 1). In the Chronicles, the Latin Machutus is used to render his name. However, as a cleric of St Maughold’s pronounces a curse on the would-be despoiler of the church, the saint’s name reverts to a form closer to the Gaelic, Machald (Broderick 2004: f.39r.). Earlier, the Radcliffes had discussed an identification of Maughold as a Breton saint, found in the older scholarship. As they reported, local residents had chosen to see their saint as Manx, rather than a Continental import (1979: 36-38).

The process of assigning other identities to Maughold had begun long before the “Breton” theory. The narrative in the Book of Armagh presents one “Macc Cuill moccu Greccae,” a Cyclops figure who lives in high, remote places and descends on unwary travelers. Patrick converts and baptizes him, and Macc Cuill requests a penance. He is immediately set adrift in a boat, his feet shackled together, without the key to the shackles. The boat comes ashore in Mann (Bieler 1979: 102-107; Gwynn 1937: ff. 5-6). The ending of the story emphasizes the penitent’s identity: “This is Macc Cuill, bishop of Mane and prelate of Arde Huimnonn.” Ludwig Bieler’s translation identifies the first location as the Isle of Man (1979: 107); George Broderick has interpreted the latter place-name as a reference to Maughold Head (Broderick 1999: 24-25). The Irish story represents the formal hagiography of the community of Armagh, written from Armagh’s perspectives, not those of Mann. Nevertheless, it does indicate that Maughold’s reputation and Maughold’s site were known in Ireland by the early ninth century.

An inconsistency in the work of E. G. Bowen has perpetuated another claim for Maughold, an identification with the Irish St Mochaoi of Nendrum. In the 1969 edition of Saints, Seaways and Settlements, Bowen counted Maughold as a local saint, venerated only in the Isle of Man (1969: 148). In a related footnote, he explained that Maughold had been mistakenly linked to another saint, Machutus (1969: 148, note 3). However, Bowen also took on board Edwin Towill’s contentions concerning St Mochaoi of Nendrum (Bowen 1969: 73-74, 191-192). Towill’s argument turned on a dubious process of association, linking the name Machutus with Mochaoi. The next step was inevitable:

In the Isle of Man it is often alleged that Kirkmaughold is derived from Machutus, who thus becomes identified with MacCoul. This makes confusion worse confounded for then both the robber MacCuil and the saint of Nendrum are themselves identified. It is perhaps too wild a thought, with too little evidence to support it... (Towill 1964: 109-110).

Here, Towill seems to have forgotten that he has earlier given quite credible reasons for rejecting the scholarly work that linked Mochaoi and Macc Cuill (1964: 103-104). He also appears to be willing to dispense with the evidence of Irish hagiography quoted in the article’s appendices, narratives that present the two as separate individuals (1964: 117-119).

The inconsistency was still there in Bowen’s 1983 reprint of the second edition of Saints, Seaways and Settlements, and the support for Towill’s work was repeated in Bowen’s Britain and the Western Seaways (1972: 87, 89). Maps in both works appear to claim St Maughold’s for Mochaoi (1977/1983: 74; 1972: 89). E. G. Bowen’s recognition of the role of sea-based cultural contact became one of the basic insights of Celtic Studies. However, in this case, it also lent unwarranted support to agglutinative associations of early saints, an unfortunate process in existence long before Bowen’s time.

The characteristics of the site of St Maughold’s are consistent with a dedication to an early saint. The cultural significance of the “confessor of the Lord” (Broderick 2004: f.38r.) is underscored by both the importance of his site and the Chronicles narrative. The survival of the related site may well be the critical factor in a veneration that apparently bridged the period of Viking incursions and initial Norse settlement, continuing into succeeding eras.

St Maughold’s Well

There is a local saint’s well, St Maughold’s Well (Broderick 1999: 156). In the 1915 reporting of the Manx Archaeological Survey, the well’s location is described as a cliff face above the sea, northeast of the church (Kermode 1968d: 20).15

Church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, and Saint Maughold

Located on the seafront promenade in the town of Ramsey, the Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, and Saint Maughold is a post-medieval successor to the early dedication of St Maughold’s. As Father Brian O Mahony has confirmed, the choice of dedication would have been deliberate.16 He has served in the Island for eighteen years17 and is currently parish priest for both the Ramsey church and Saint Patrick, Peel.18

The traditional history of the Catholic community in the Isle of Man must be understood in relation to post-medieval English laws that criminalized Catholic religious practice. Around 1900, Father Richard Gillow wrote a history of the Catholic community in Ramsey, where he had been a priest for more than three decades (Cain [2004]: 8). He recalled the old storytelling that he had heard:

... a few Irish priests ... ventured from time to time to come over to the Island, disguised in various ways. They crossed over in fishing boats, and prior to their visit, they sent warning to some of the few Catholics personally known to them in the Island. From one to another, the word was secretly passed, to meet on a given day at an appointed cottage in some out of the way place. There, upon his arrival, the priest celebrated Holy Mass, and administered the Sacraments. In various conversations with some of my old parishioners, I have learned many particulars of those times, especially in the neighbourhood of Ramsey (Cain [2004]: 16).

The most difficult times were over by the second quarter of the nineteenth century.

Around 1823, the Jesuit College of Clongowes Wood in Ireland was able to arrange for a permanent priest in the Isle of Man, Father Matthew Gahan. He served until his death in 1837, ministering to some two hundred Catholics in the Island, including those in the northern plain of Mann (Cain [2004]: 7). Father Gillow himself arrived in Ramsey in 1864. The previous year, a warehouse on the Ramsey waterfront had been purchased and converted into a chapel. In 1871, with its related indebtedness retired, the chapel was dedicated to St Maughold (Cain [2004]: 17-18). Noted for his deep loyalty to his Ramsey congregation, Father Gillow was also a keen observer of the old ecclesiastical sites in Mann’s northern plain. In his history, he describes the chapel at West Nappin in Jurby, with a priest’s knowledge of how the remains reflected liturgical usage (Cain [2004]: 16).

In 1910, a new church was completed on land adjacent to the chapel of St Maughold. It is representative of the early work of a noted English architect, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. The simplicity of the interior focuses perception on the intense color of the area of the high altar (Cain [2004]: 12-13) (Figure 4). The church’s location on the promenade, facing the sea, resulted in a “liturgical east” in the western end of the church. A massive tower at the eastern end, traditionally a “west tower,” completes the central structure. Scott’s work also included an attached presbytery, a priest’s house, to the north. The site of the former chapel became the garden of the presbytery, with the chapel’s northern wall, the location of the previous high altar, preserved as a shrine (Roman Catholic Church [n.d.]). Thus, the nineteenth-century dedication to St Maughold was carried over into the newly-established whole.

Figure 4. High Altar, Church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, and Saint Maughold Figure 5. St Maughold banner, Church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, and Saint Maughold
Figure 4. High Altar, Church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, and Saint Maughold.     Figure 5. St Maughold banner, Church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, and Saint Maughold.

With architectural significance and historic value, Our Lady, Star of the Sea, and Saint Maughold is also a registered building.19 For the 2010 centenary of the newer church, artist Gail Lawther was commissioned to design two banners for the church’s interior. The first portrays Mary, Mother of God, as the Star of the Sea. The second presents St Maughold himself, who appears as a robed and tonsured monk, facing a wheel-head cross (Figure 5).20 The cross appears to float, material and immaterial, over the fields and mountains of Mann. Two artistic motifs in the banner echo the hagiography of the Book of Armagh. Maughold’s boat is there, along with a fish, the means by which the abandoned key to the shackles eventually arrives in the Isle of Man. However, there is no folkloric tradition in the current Catholic community of storytelling about either St Maughold or St Patrick.21

Kirk Bride Parish

The traditional parish of Kirk Christ Lezayre separates Maughold from Bride, which lies in Mann’s northern plain. Both Kirk Christ Lezayre and Kirk Bride are counted as northside parishes. The latter is dedicated to Brigid, a second Irish national saint. Lezayre also has possible connections to Ireland. With a dedication to the Holy Trinity, it duplicates a dedication and alternate naming found in Hiberno-Norse Dublin, a bishopric established c. 1030 (Clarke 2000: 34-35). Dublin’s cathedral was dedicated to the Holy Trinity and was also called Christ Church (Clarke 2000: 41). In the late eleventh century, Hiberno-Norse Waterford followed Dublin in the dedication and alternate naming of its cathedral. In a third Hiberno-Norse area in Ireland, Cork’s major parish church had a similar dedication (Hurley 1998: 170-171).

Kill Patrick

The apparent site of the former “Patrick” keeill is near the southern border of Bride, a boundary shared with Kirk Christ Lezayre. The evidence rests on eighteenth-century attestations of place-names. The chapel’s location was used as a point of reference, incorporating a Manx phrase equivalent to “glen of Patrick’s church.” In 1725, the Bridge of Glonkillfarick was named in a court record; a deed of 1749 recorded Glan Kill paricks Miln or mill (Broderick 1997: 237).

The interpretation begins with unpacking the place-names. The place-name element kill, kil, or cil marks churches or chapels in a number of areas in the British Isles, often preceding a saint’s name, an arrangement which preserves the word order of the Celtic languages. Although this element has early Christian associations, it was also used in new naming in medieval Ireland (D. Flanagan 1979: 5-6). Additionally, it has common roots with keeill, the generic name for the old Manx chapels (Broderick 1994: xxv, xxvii). In Manx Gaelic, the personal name Patrick may appear as Pheric, Pherick, Pharick, or any of a number of other spellings. The orthography of the initial sound may also alternate between p, ph, and f. In the Bride attestations, killfarick and Kill parick represent a saint’s dedication embedded in later place-names.

The Radcliffes recorded that the Patrician keeill had been located to the north of the former mill (1982: 138), in the vicinity of the current settlement of Dog Mills, on the coast. They also noted a well, Chibbyr Pharick, which had been filled in. It was located on the eastern periphery of wetlands, Curragh Pharick, near the Nassau Road (1982: 52, 86; Broderick 1997: 214, 233). The wooded marsh of Curragh Pharick lies between the farmland of Curragh Beg (to the south) and Nassau Road (to the north), near the intersection with Bride Road (Figure 6).22 Curragh Beg is also a quarterland name, associated with the treen of Rennesse (Broderick 1997: 231). The keeill itself may have survived into the first half of the eighteenth century, since it appears to have been a valid form of reference. There were two mills in the area over time (Radcliffe 1982: 88-89); in the latter part of May, 2015, the house incorporating the remains of the second mill had just been demolished.23

It does appear that Curragh Pharick is an indirect reference to the dedication of the keeill. Curragh Pharick is also the name of a series of intacks (Broderick 1997: 233), smaller areas of recovered land lying outside the quarterland and treen boundaries (Davies 1956: 103-105; 111-112). In other situations, a “Patrick” place-name might reflect the name of a local landowner. However, in the early eighteenth century, at least one area of the curragh appears to have been common land, not associated with a single owner (Radcliffe 1982: 86).

Figure 6. Curragh Pharick, Kirk Bride Parish
Figure 6. Curragh Pharick, Kirk Bride Parish.

At age sixty, David Cormode has always lived in Bride parish. In that time, there has been no local storytelling about either St Patrick or St Maughold.24 In 2007, David and Jane (Callow) Cormode confirmed, through their son-in-law Robert Crowe, that no current local place-names preserve the Manx phrase for the “glen of Patrick’s church” (Crawford 2009: 132 and 132, note 871). The Radcliffes had noted, in 1982, that Curragh Beg had been in the ownership of the Cormode family for an extended period of time (1982: 85-86).

Kirk Andreas Parish

Place-name evidence in Andreas has also been associated with St Patrick, based on parallels with Ireland. In Irish scholarship, the inclusion of the term domnach in the name of a church in Ireland is still taken as an indicator of an early ecclesiastical site (D. Flanagan 1979: 2-3; Clarke 2000: 29). Such naming is already associated with Patrick in the Book of Armagh (Bieler 1979: 188-189; Gwynn 1937: f. 21); there, it seems to be an attempt to claim the early churches of Ireland for Patrick and Armagh itself. However, such site names in Ireland are not exclusively linked to St Patrick (D. Flanagan 1984: 25-31). In general, the term refers to that which belongs to the Lord, such as the Lord’s house, a church.

An equivalent of the Irish term domnach occurs in Manx Gaelic phrases such as Knock y Doonee (Andreas), Cronk y Dooney (Rushen), and Rhullick y Doonee (Malew). These are the place-names for two hills and a burial ground, all near keeill sites (Broderick 1997: 136; 2002: 161, 408). Only one is associated with a confirmed dedication to Patrick, the hill near Ballakilpheric in the traditional parish of Kirk Christ Rushen. Further, the Manx phrases are not early, unlike the Irish domnach naming. According to Margaret Gelling, “... the large category of Manx Gaelic names which are phrases, like Knock y Doonee... can at best only be drastic refashionings of pre-Viking names. They are not pre-Viking as they stand” (1991: 146). These phrases show a patterning that became, in Ireland, more common from the eleventh century onward (1991: 145-146).

Knock y Doonee is also a quarterland name (Broderick 1997: 136-138), associated with the treen of Balynessar et Kyrke Asston. The second name may indicate association with another saint, possibly Samson (Broderick 1997: 71). The relationship with Patrick is not close enough to assume that the Manx phrases indicate lost Patrician dedications in the traditional parishes of Andreas and Malew.

Jurby Parish

A medieval record of 1291 preserves the dedication of “the church of St. Patrick, Dureby, in Man....” A chaplain had been assigned to Jurby by the English king, Edward I, because the Isle of Man was “in his hands” at that point (Public Record Office 1893: 433). The present successor to that Patrician dedication stands at the end of Church Road, near the intersection with the Manx A10, the Coast Road (Figure 7).25 Sited on a rising headland near the sea, Jurby Church is a landmark on Mann’s northern plain. Despite its visual appearance of striking isolation, Jurby is part of a multi-layered landscape that has yet to be fully interpreted.26

Figure 7.  St Patrick’s Church, Jurby Parish
Figure 7. St Patrick’s Church, Jurby Parish.

Although attestations of the dedication to St Patrick are found in medieval and post-medieval sources (Broderick 1995: 205, 269), both the church and the corresponding traditional parish are commonly called by the local place-name (Broderick 1995: 205-206). Jurby is a Scandinavian name, a possible reference to a deer park (Broderick 1995: 245). Aside from the nearby chapel ruins and a former well,27 two more local place-names echo the dedication: the street of St Patrick’s Close, off the Manx A10, and a neighborhood of houses called St Patrick’s View, near Bretney Road.28 Jurby Church itself is surrounded by lands carrying the place-name of Nappin.29 The West Nappin quarterland is in the treen of Knoksewell, and the East Nappin quarterland is in the treen of Sertfell. The Nappin place-name indicates a monastic estate or abbeyland, and the name has parallels in Scots Gaelic (Broderick 1995: 257-260). There is no tradition of association with a monastic house, although there were unrelated lands of the Manx bishop within the same parish. However, Jurby’s emergence as a medieval parish church suggests its previous existence as a site of some importance.

St Patrick’s Chapel and Saint’s Well

To the southwest of Jurby Church are the remains of an earlier structure, with a well-preserved eastern portion that represents a late medieval church. The location is West Nappin. Around 1900, Father Gillow of Ramsey wrote the following description of the ruins and nearby saint’s well:

At the Nappin, Jurby, we find in the middle of a large field, the remains of what was once a Catholic Church. The northeast gable has a three-light window, embedded in the orthodox red sandstone. In the southeast wall, in the corner, are the two niches for the wine and water cruets, and underneath, the Sacrarium. I was informed that some 200 years ago, the building was cut through the middle in order to make a school. This church was dedicated to St. Patrick, and the east and southeast gables, which are still standing, afford ample evidence of its former uses as a Catholic place of worship. In the south west corner of this field there is a charming green spot, under which is a heap of stones filling up what was once known as St. Patrick’s well, the water from which still flows down to the sea (Cain [2004]: 16).

Father Gillow’s reference to red sandstone implies its characteristic use elsewhere in Mann. Elwyn Davies described an underlying formation of red sandstone near Peel (1956: 99), the town adjacent to St Patrick’s Isle; apparently that deposit is unique in the Island.

In 1911, the Manx Archaeological Survey reported the West Nappin chapel with a dedication to St Patrick (Kermode 1968c: 15). There were two nearby saints’ wells, one carrying Patrick’s name (Kermode 1968c: 20). The walls of the chapel were largely constructed of sea-worn boulders, with red sandstone used for architectural details. The east window remained, as well as a sacrarium or piscina.30 The building had two distinct parts: the eastern end was late medieval, with post-medieval rebuilding on the western end. Recovered evidence also showed that the older structure may have extended approximately another ten feet beyond the newer west wall (Kermode 1968c: 15-22). This would have made the interior measurements of the medieval church about thirty feet by eleven feet (Kermode 1968c: 16, 20), an approximate ratio of 3:1 that P. M. C. Kermode associated with early parish churches in the Isle of Man (1968b: 24). The Survey also recorded burials under and adjacent to the structure (Kermode 1968c: 17, 20), as well as an ovoid embankment around the site (Kermode 1968c: 20-21).

There was an earlier discovery at West Nappin. In 1891, Kermode arranged the removal of two parts of a carved stone slab from above the east window of the chapel. The visible edge of the larger portion of the slab carried a decorative carving, suggesting a deliberate positioning in its later medieval reuse. The larger surfaces of the slab preserved the remains of a ring-head cross (Kermode 1994: 158-159, plate xxxiii). According to Ross Trench-Jellicoe, the stone belongs to a group of “Scando-Manx monuments carved during a floruit in the early eleventh century.”31

In the 1920s, local historian J. J. Kneen claimed a different dedication for the chapel. In one of the longest entries in his published place-name research, Kneen asserted a dedication to St Cecilia, without acknowledging the previous reporting of a Patrician dedication (1979: 488-489).32 His opinion seems to rest on two cited sources. At the end of the eighteenth century, a visitor to the Island had recorded Jurby fairs in the months of April and November, without noting specific dates or locations. The April fair was on Lady Day (Feltham 1798: 73-74, 182).33 Kneen also quoted a 1749 entry from the Diocesan Register, naming a St Keyl’s Chapel. He connects the references with a Manx derivation of keyl from an Irish or Latin form of Cecilia, the name of a saint with a November feast day (1979: 488-489).

The first issue with Kneen’s work is methodological. Local fair days may reflect commemoration of a saint (Jones 2007: 18). However, such days do not necessarily represent the patron saint’s feast day. Further, church festivals themselves may not correspond to the feast day; they may honor a church dedication date or an event in the patron saint’s life. As a result, matching the days (or months) of such local events against a generic calendar of saints’ feast days is not a reliable means of determining the identity of a patron saint (Jones 2007: 18).

Other issues relate to the St Keyl reference. Kneen’s interpretation of the element keyl is a claim based on a written form, dated to a time before standardized orthography. With that caveat, a similar ecclesiastical name does appear in the Irish parish of Kilkeel, equivalent to the barony of Mourne (Ó Mainnín 1993: 5). The corresponding place-name volume for northeastern Ireland discusses a number of possible meanings for that second element, including saints’ names. However, Cecilia is not among them (Ó Mainnín 1993: 13-17). Beyond interpretation, George Broderick has discussed the difficulties in verifying Kneen’s actual citations, including those for the Diocesan Register (1995: xxxix).

In 1988, archaeologist Christopher Lowe followed the Manx Archaeological Survey in citing the dedication to Patrick (1988a: 93). Local historian Fred Radcliffe, in 1994, reported several alternate dedications: St Patrick, St Columba, and “St Keyl” (Broderick 1995: 269). Under the circumstances, there is no reason to question the earlier information of Father Gillow and the Manx Archaeological Survey.

St Patrick’s Church and Churchyard

The present church was raised in the early nineteenth century, with a distinctive bell tower of unusual height. The Manx Statutes record the circumstances of the building’s construction. A previous, smaller edifice had become ruinous by 1812. Its replacement was planned for a new location, on the south side of the existing churchyard. The older church was to be taken down, with the materials reused in the construction of a new church with a single-aisle nave. The completed structure would hold thirty-six pews, each able to seat eight persons (Gill 1883: 359-360). Two hundred years on, the spacious interior of Jurby Church reflects the realization of those plans (Figures 8a and 8b). It appears that no determination has been made regarding a possible relationship between the earlier church and the chapel on West Nappin.

Figures 8a. Interior, Jurby Church Figures 8b. Interior, Jurby Church
Figures 8a, 8b. Interior, Jurby Church.
Figure 9.  Exterior molding, Jurby Church
  Figure 9. Exterior molding, Jurby Church.

Jurby Church is surrounded on two sides by the original churchyard to the north and a newer extension to the east, to accommodate further burials. The older area incorporates “a probable Viking burial mound within the still discernable bank of an early cemetery” (Freke 2002: 73). The cemetery’s northern periphery is curvilinear; the walled western periphery has a level noticeably higher than the land outside the wall.34 The eastern extension of the churchyard has more modern graves, including those of a series of casualties related to the Royal Air Force presence at Jurby in World War II. These were pilots and crewmembers killed in training accidents, airmen from the United Kingdom, Canada, Poland, The Netherlands, and Australia (Commonwealth War Graves Commission [n.d.]b). The twentieth-century War Memorial, a ring-head cross, occupies the traditional site of the previous church, to the immediate east of the older area of burials. The memorial honors the Jurby men who died in World Wars I and II, and it is still a site of annual commemoration. On Remembrance Sunday in November, poppy wreaths are placed at the cross. In addition to the formal rituals, Polish visitors also come to the churchyard each year. Flowers are left on the graves of the Polish servicemen, and the visitors’ names appear in the church’s guest book.35

Figure 10.  Farrant window, Jurby Church
  Figure 10. Farrant window, Jurby Church.  

On the exterior of the church’s north porch, built in 1939,36 St Patrick is portrayed in the metal moldings (Figure 9). The serpent under Patrick’s feet reflects storytelling from sources such as Jocelin’s vita, recounting the saint’s banishment of snakes and other poisonous creatures from Ireland and other islands, such as Mann (O’Leary 1904: 239-240, 317-319). The shamrock in Patrick’s hand duplicates a juxtaposition found in post-medieval coinage. According to art historian Rachel Moss, the shamrock first appears in association with the saint in the second half of the seventeenth century, on “St Patrick” halfpennies minted in Ireland (2011).

The porch interior houses a series of medieval carved monuments, which would have been brought to the churchyard from within the area of the traditional parish. More than one integrates Christian iconography and artistic motifs associated with Norse storytelling. One particular figure has been interpreted as Heimdall, blowing the horn that will call the Norse gods and heroes to the last great battle of Ragnarök (Kermode 1994: 187-189, plate xlix). The neighboring parish of Andreas has a second carved stone with other motifs related to the same story: Odin, with his raven on his shoulder, is being consumed by the wolf Fenrir (Kermode 1994: 192-193, plate lii). The iconography of the Andreas stone is echoed in a glass panel on the Jurby west doors. The importance of these monuments is magnified in relation to the dating of the medieval manuscripts of the corresponding Norse poetry: these carved slabs are significantly older37 than the earliest manuscript, which originated in Iceland (Orchard 2011: xiv-xvii, xxvii-xxviii).

In the interior of the church, a fine stained glass window depicts St Patrick and St Maughold, reflecting the related story in the Book of Armagh (Figure 10). The inscription reads as follows:


WHO DIED 3rd JUNE 1891.38

Farrant was a local Justice of the Peace, Captain of the Parish, and Member of the House of Keys, the elected house of Tynwald.39 In Farrant’s time, Manx Gaelic was still used at Jurby, noted c. 1878 as one of a few northern parish churches still perpetuating the language (Kewley Draskau 2000: 318).

In recent times, the church has not had any specific celebrations for St Patrick’s Day. However, the dedication to Patrick is far from forgotten. In 2012, the use of the saint’s dedication took a whimsical turn, although the occasion was serious enough. The year before, the congregation had been informed that Jurby might be closed as a parish church, for financial reasons. Churchwarden Susan Cooke asked a friend, craftworker Jean Tucker, to help with themes and displays for fund-raising events. Not a member of the parish, Jean nevertheless agreed to support the efforts.40 She recalls the details of her continued involvement in the following year:

By the beginning of January, Sue wondered if I could help again for July 2012, so I had to think of a theme for things that I could make that would fill the whole church. Now once the weather had turned colder, Sue I remembered, had had to get help to remove a family of real mice that had taken up residence inside the church. That gave me the idea – and the Jurby Mice story was born!! They had the surname of Pheric, after St Patrick...41

Jean made the original Jurby Mice out of felt, dress material, and synthetic fur. A neighbor, Ros Richards, offered to help, but preferred to knit. Jean adapted some commercial patterns for knitted children’s toys, and the two made more knitted Jurby Mice, with a surname related to the West Nappin chapel.

As the surnames suggest, the Mice are quite human. For the initial exhibition, the diminutive figures were arranged in tableaux, depicting them engaged in activities appropriate to their human counterparts. There are scenes related to rites of passage: a new-born mouse in a cozy nursery, a wedding in the church, a wedding anniversary, and the preparations for the end of life, a final journey into eternity. There are seasonal recreations and celebrations: snow games, Mice winding a Maypole, a dance for Tynwald Day, and Christmas stockings hung by the fireplace. The Jurby Primary School helped with one display on a contemporary note, a mouse-sized version of a current television talent competition. Yet another scene echoes the world-famous Manx motorcycle races, rendered as Mice on scooters. Each tableau was accompanied by a written description in rhymed couplets. With support from the Isle of Man Arts Council, Peter Tucker, Jean’s friend and former spouse, produced a small book with the verses and enhanced photographs of the displays.42 Peter also produced a related video, narrated by artist Michael Starkey, which went up on YouTube.43 Virtual variants of the Jurby Mice were introduced, popping up from the peripheries of computer screens.44

Figure 11.  Bookstore window, Peel
  Figure 11. Bookstore window, Peel.

The debut of the Jurby Mice was an immediate success. After two weeks at Jurby Church, they were invited to appear at the Salmon Lake Centre in Laxey, for the rest of the summer season. Jean added new displays with Laxey contexts, and the Mice continued to raise funds for Jurby. There were two more exhibitions at the church in 2013, and the Mice appeared in Peel in 2014, as part of a local festival (Figure 11). In 2015, they took on an additional charitable mission, raising funds for the coronary care unit of a hospital in the Isle of Man. Jean Tucker has now designed a new generation of Jurby Mice, which were displayed at Jurby Church in July of 2016.

The Mice have all the attraction of a bright, well-crafted child’s toy. However, the appeal of the Pherics and their social circle is more than that. The Jurby Mice celebrate a significant heritage, rooted in traditional parish communities, their shared lives, churches, and landscapes. Both the purpose and the presentation of the Jurby Mice clearly resonate for audiences in the Isle of Man. It is reasonable to see them as a folk art phenomenon, linked to the Jurby dedication and the chapel on West Nappin.

A second effort is underway to save Jurby Church. The Friends of Jurby Church held their first organizational meeting on the Saturday before St Patrick’s Sunday, in March of 2014.45 The group subsequently stepped forward with a unique offer for the Bishop and Church Commissioners of the Manx Church: the Friends, as a secular organization, would accept ownership of and full responsibility for the historic church, an important focus for the religious and cultural heritage of the northern plain, but of no commercial value. The group would take on the considerable effort of raising the funds for a full restoration of the building, using it for a broad range of programs and exhibitions related to local history and cultural heritage. Further, the Friends would continue to look to the Bishop and the Manx Church for special licenses and clergy support for local weddings and funerals, as well as consent for periodic church services.

The negotiations with the established Church are ongoing, currently focused on a proposed agreement for an extended lease.46 The Diocese of Sodor and Man has arranged and paid for a complete structural survey of the building. The electrical wiring of the church was replaced, paid for by the Friends, who also funded a required asbestos survey. The planned events and exhibitions are going forward. In 2014, an exhibition centered on the community’s experience in the First World War resulted in a published local history, Jurby and World War I. The Commissioners of the local civil parish co-sponsored both the exhibition and the publication of the book.47 Two photographic exhibitions in 2015 focused on the church’s history and the traditional parish in the World War II era. An art show featured the work of northern Manx artists.48 The Friends’ entry for the 2015 Isle of Man Flower Festival drew 1,485 visitors to the church.49 The traditional major services are still being held, the Easter Service, the Civic Service,50 Remembrance Sunday, and the Carols by Candlelight for the Christmas season, a special favorite with the Jurby community and others in the northern plain.51

In the summer of 2015, The Friends of Jurby Church also established itself as an incorporated company and a registered charity in the Isle of Man, positioning the organization to seek the larger grants and funding needed for the restoration of the building. The membership of the Friends, thirty-two in 2014, has now risen to more than eighty. Most of the Friends were not part of the original membership of the church;52 some may belong to other church communities, and others may not be church-goers at all. Nevertheless, the traditional parish churches of the Isle of Man are a valued cultural heritage, part of larger landscapes with local and regional significance.

Ballaugh Parish

Ballaugh, like Jurby, omits the saint’s name from that of the traditional parish (Broderick 1995: 104-105). In this case, the patron saint is Mary, the Mother of God. In deeds of 1782-1785, the fieldname of Booilley Cheeil Faarick was recorded for a Ballaugh location. The phrase is Manx Gaelic for the “fold of Patrick’s church.” The field was associated with the quarterland of Ballacrye, in the treen of Balyvall (Broderick 1995: 112-113). Once again, a keeill dedication has been embedded in a later place-name. A saint’s well has also been noted for the same treen (Broderick 1995: 123, 129, 202). However, the name given was St Maughold’s Well, with no apparent equivalent in Manx Gaelic.

Figure 12. Spooyt Vane waterfall, Glen Mooar
  Figure 12. Spooyt Vane waterfall, Glen Mooar.

Kirk Michael Parish

This northside traditional parish marks the approximate point where Mann’s northern plain gives way to its west coast.

Cabbal Pherick

Cabbal Pherick, “Patrick’s chapel” (Broderick 1995: 53), is found in Glen Mooar, some distance below the waterfall of Spooyt Vane, or “white spout” (Broderick 1995: 99) (Figure 12). A wooded area preserved as a national glen, Glen Mooar is no longer directly accessible from the main road, the Manx A4. The keeill site may be reached via Ballaleigh Road, with a right-hand turn into the road below Ballanea Farm. A trail and pedestrian bridge lead into the glen. Appropriately enough, Ballanea means “farm... by the ford,” referring to a crossing of the Spooyt Vane river (Broderick 1995: 38).

James Curphey has lived at Ballanea Farm for seventy-two years, since he was eighteen months old. As a child of five or six, he heard oral storytelling about St Patrick and the keeill: “Patrick was supposed to have walked in from Glen Mooar, picked this place.”53 The remains of the keeill are found within a curvilinear embankment, bordering the deep ravine of the Spooyt Vane river (Figure 13).54 The Manx Archaeological Survey reported the chapel in 1911, with interior measurements in a rough 2:1 ratio, a length twice that of the breadth. The surviving evidence for walls indicated interior and exterior facings of unmortared stone, with a central core of earth and rubble. A west doorway and indications of an east window were also found, with the remains of an altar in an unusual trapezoidal shape (Kermode 1968c: 4-10). P. M. C. Kermode recovered a stone with an incised cross (1994: Appendix B, 9-10; 1968c: 6, 8), now housed in St Michael’s Church in the village of Kirk Michael.55 Only limited traces were found of possible burials; dense tree roots prevented further investigation (Kermode 1968c: 6). Just outside the embankment, evidence was recovered for a small rectangular structure, with a circular depression that had served as an apparent hearth or oven (Kermode 1968c: 6-7, 9-10).

Figure 13.  Cabbal Pherick, Glen Mooar
Figure 13. Cabbal Pherick, Glen Mooar.

There are multiple related place-names in the area. Broderick’s place-name volumes associate Cabbal Pherick with Ballacarnane Mooar (1995: 53), a quarterland in the treen of Balycrynan (1995: 22-23). In the same treen, the quarterland of Ballacarnane Beg includes a fieldname of Kilpheric (1995: 20-22). Ballanea itself is also a quarterland name, in the treen of Balystere (1995: 38-39). The nearby quarterland of Ballaleigh or Ballalheih, in the treen of Balynemade, has the fieldname Gel Perrick, “Patrick’s spring of water” (1995: 31-35). None of these Patrician names has an early attestation; the Manx Archaeological Survey, noting an Ordnance Survey map, may represent the earliest record of the name Cabbal Pherick (Kermode 1968c: 4).56 A. W. Moore thought of the term cabbal itself as comparatively recent (1906: 100); the fieldname of Kilpheric may preserve an older name for the keeill.

Although folkloristics still relies on fieldwork as its signature methodology, there have been other theoretical and methodological changes over time. Even the definition of folklore has broadened significantly. In the present day, the discipline addresses a wide range of cultural phenomena, maintained outside the official prescriptions, prohibitions, and processes of a society’s formal institutions. However, James Curphey’s knowledge of traditional oral storytelling, farming practices, and customs is still within the remit of folklorists. The situation provides an unparalleled opportunity to record the older Manx folklore again, using newer approaches.

Kirk German Parish

Killpherick a Dromma

Although the keeills of Cabbal Pherick and Keeill Pherick a Dromma are in separate traditional parishes, they are both near the Staarvey Road, perhaps two miles apart.57 The remains of the latter, “Patrick’s Church of the ridge” (Broderick 1994: 257, 264; 2005: 239), are no longer visible; they are covered by a large, irregular mound adjacent to the Staarvey Road,58 some distance north of the intersection with Ballabooie Road. The nearby Cabbal Pherick may have provided the contrast that gave Keeill Pherick a Dromma its name: the “Patrick” chapel in the glen versus the “Patrick” chapel on the ridge.

As reported in 1910, the personnel of the Manx Archaeological Survey removed enough of the mound to verify that the level of the keeill was approximately that of the surrounding field. The chapel was then recorded before the restoration of the mound. Enough of the walls remained to indicate their composition, inner and outer facings of unmortared, irregular stone with packed earth between. There was evidence for a western doorway, but the walls were reduced to such a degree that an eastern window could not be verified. The remains of the altar were found against the east wall. The keeill’s interior measurements corresponded to a ratio of approximately 2:1, and there were burials beneath the keeill floor and in the general area (Kermode 1968b: 8-12). In the unmortared walling and approximate ratio of interior measurements, the structure shares characteristics with Cabbal Pherick.

The keeill was mentioned in the Sheading Roll of 1417/18, as “Kyrke patr. opon Drom” (Broderick 1994: 264). The place-name volumes record a fieldname of Keeill Pherick for the local quarterland of Stockfield, in the treen of Scaresdale (Broderick 1994: 292; 2005: 283). An eighteenth-century deed placed the keeill beside the quarterland of Ballakaighin (Broderick 1994: 264); its current ownership is apparently with Ballakaighin Farm. The quarterland of Ballakaighin is in the treen of Sartedale (Broderick 1994: 187-188; 2005: 279).

The Isle Area: St Patrick’s Isle

Figure 14. St Patrick’s Isle, from Peel Hill
Figure 14. St Patrick’s Isle, from Peel Hill.

Adjacent to the town of Peel, St Patrick’s Isle dominates the view from both the town’s waterfront and Peel Hill (Figure 14).59 Administered by Manx National Heritage, the islet is a major focus for tourism, with access via a pedestrian causeway. It has also been a focus for extended archaeological work. Excavations carried on between 1982 and 1988 substantially modified older assumptions about the site. Ross Trench-Jellicoe has summarized one fundamental reorientation:

Previously, St Patrick’s Isle has been compared with the parish churchyard at Maughold as the potential site of an early Christian monastery, but none of the monuments so far recovered carries any convincing evidence to substantiate such a claim. Whilst the extensive graveyards in the excavated areas of St Patrick’s Isle are firm witnesses to the long-standing presence of Christianity on the site, none of the indicators has been recovered here which might typify an insular monastery... (2002b: 287).

David Freke has agreed, concluding that St Patrick’s Isle does not present “compelling evidence for high monastic status” (2002: 440). A more detailed interpretation of the carved monuments provides further insights. With few exceptions, the stones display a “rustic” design and craftsmanship suggesting lay or secular cemeteries. The external area of cultural influence appears to be the hinterland of Dublin, with northern Wales and the western isles of Scotland as other possibilities (Trench-Jellicoe 2002b: 286-287). In addition to providing a geographic orientation, the analysis of the stones supports an association with secular rather than monastic communities.

The Chronicles served as an interpretive framework for the finds that could be dated to the period of the dynasty of Godred Crovan. The discoveries support the Isle as a probable royal fortification (Freke 2002: 442), with evidence for domestic habitation. The latter was confirmed through the recovery of evidence for a high-status Norse structure, datable to the twelfth century (Freke 2002: 136-139). David Freke has discussed the existing cathedral ruins in relation to the new church mentioned in the Chronicles (Freke 2002: 140-143), begun in or before 1248 (Broderick 2004: f.51r.). He concludes that further work is required in order to establish more than a “provisional sequential framework” for the cathedral. It is possible, however, that the remains of a smaller church underlie the surviving structure (Freke 2002: 140-142).

According to the Chronicles, the new church carried a dedication to Germanus (Broderick 2004: f.51r.). Given the information in Jocelin’s vita, it may not have been the first on the islet with that dedication. The broader contexts of hagiography also counter Jocelin’s claims for Germanus as Patrick’s successor. In the Book of Armagh, Germanus of Auxerre is the Continental saint who sends Patrick to Ireland (Bieler 1979: 174-175; Gwynn 1937: f. 18). Germanus plays a similar enabling role in the Historia Brittonum, originally a work of the ninth century. In various forms, it circulated in Wales, England, and Ireland, as well as on the Continent (Dumville 1993). For St Patrick’s Isle, the adjacent traditional parishes are Kirk Patrick and Kirk German, possibly due to the prevalence of such narratives. Another indication of the pairing of the two saints is the original constitution of the corresponding sheading of Glenfaba. It was the only medieval sheading with two parishes, rather than three. At some point, the islet itself was divided between the two traditional parishes. The ultimate importance of Germanus cathedral dedications in the Isle of Man represents a significant choice, the deliberate promotion of a lesser saint. In medieval ecclesiastical contexts, Patrick far outranked Germanus. As his title indicates, the Apostle of the Irish was credited with the conversion of an entire people, giving him an unusually high status (Hayward 2004: 22-26).

During the excavations of 1982-1988, the remains of a keeill of the tenth or eleventh century were also unearthed to the north of the cathedral (Freke 2002: 13, 132-133, 441). A coin hoard was found just inside the foundations of the chapel’s north wall, two rolls of coins minted in Dublin c. 1040 (Freke 2002: 136). Numismatist William Seaby noted the parallels between the find and another hoard discovered at West Nappin, sometime before the beginning of the twentieth century. The similarities included approximate date of deposition and coins struck from the same dies (Seaby 2002: 320-325).

St Patrick’s Church and Round Tower

Figure 15. St Patrick’s Chapel, St Patrick’s Church, Round Tower, St Patrick’s Isle
Figure 15. St Patrick’s Chapel, St Patrick’s Church, Round Tower, St Patrick’s Isle.

The ruins of St Patrick’s Church stand on the highest point of St Patrick’s Isle. David Freke has dated the church to the eleventh century. There is a contemporary detached round tower to the west (2002: 13), which aligns with the church (Figure 15). The tower is typically Irish, one of only three outside of Ireland (O’Keeffe 2004: 119); the remaining two are in eastern Scotland. Tadhg O’Keeffe, archaeologist and architectural historian, has discussed such free-standing towers as bell-houses (2004: 11), constructed in spatial relationship to a specific church (2004: 57, 124). Interestingly enough, the complex and innovative architecture of these bell-houses tends to be paired with conservative church structures of significantly less sophistication (2004: 12, 123). O’Keeffe has pointed out associations of the round towers with Patrician sites (2004: 98) and secular kingship (2004: 12, 106-115, 129).

St Patrick’s Church has an east window, but the doorway is located at the western end of the north wall. The walls are constructed of local stone, including red sandstone (Kermode 1968b: 24-26). The structure exhibits evidence for multiple phases of modification (Freke 2002: 13), not delineated in the published work from 1982-1988. However, the existing ruins present an interior size more than three times that of the medieval chapel at Jurby, based on Kermode’s proposed extension. With interior measurements in an approximate 3:1 ratio, the surviving structure also appears to share the relative dimensions noted by P. M. C. Kermode for the early parish churches in the Isle of Man. George Broderick has listed the attestations of the church’s name; the earliest dates to the late sixteenth century (1994: 163).

St Patrick’s Chapel

St Patrick’s Chapel is located near the center of the islet, to the northeast of St Patrick’s Church. David Freke has noted that the two structures are “possibly contemporary” (2002: 13). Kermode compared its structure to that of the earlier keeills, but considered it to be a more advanced form. The walls are local stone, including red and yellow sandstone; the chapel has an east window and the usual western doorway (Kermode 1968b: 22-24). The Patrician name of the chapel is used in the Manx Archaeological Survey, apparently based on the Ordnance Survey (Kermode 1968b: 22).

The Chronicles provide the earliest attestation of the place-name for St Patrick’s Isle itself (Broderick 1994: 163-164). However, no associated cultural context explains the name. The dedication comes into focus in relation to a major church of the eleventh century, aligned with an Irish round tower. The matching contexts are in Irish Patrician hagiography, related to the place-name Insola Patricii (Bieler 1979: 126-127; Gwynn 1937: f. 9). This is the place where St Patrick comes ashore, when he returns to bring the Christian faith to Ireland. Ludwig Bieler identified the location as Inis Pátric in the Skerries (1979: 260), St Patrick’s Island, near the Irish coastline north of Dublin. There may be a second related context. Inis Pátric is also the presumed site of one of the earliest Viking attacks on Ireland (Ryan et al. 2004: 106-107). In the earlier eleventh century, Mann appears to be Norse-controlled territory. The name of the Manx islet may represent the symbolic redress of a deep affront to the Irish, the settlement of a centuries-old debt.

The Isle Area: Peel

The town of Peel has a Chibbyr Pherick, otherwise known as the Big Well. The latter name is recorded earlier, in a deed of the second half of the eighteenth century (Broderick 1994: 300, 303, 345-353). The historic associations of the environs of Peel would have been with the traditional parish of Kirk German.60

St Peter’s Church/St Patrick’s Aisle

It appears that St Patrick’s Church on the islet continued to be the Kirk Patrick parish church well into the post-medieval period. However, at some point, the Patrick parishioners began worshipping at an alternate location, St Peter’s Church. According to Roy Baker of Peel’s Leece Museum, local tradition gives a reason for the move. The decision was made when the folk of Patrick Parish lost a coffin to the sea on the way to St Patrick’s Isle for a funeral.

In 1993, local historian Fred Radcliffe also reported oral tradition about a “St. Patrick’s Aisle” (Broderick 1994: 326), apparently an area within the former St Peter’s Church in Peel. There is support for the tradition in the Manx Statutes. In 1710, the Island’s bishop noted the difficult situation of the people of Kirk Patrick Parish, without a church of their own. He laid out plans for the provision of a new parish church and committed to the process of freeing the Patrick parishioners from financial obligations to St Peter’s (Gill 1883: 183-186). The site of St Peter’s is preserved in the lozenge-shaped area of Peel’s old marketplace. The tower remains, but it appears to post-date the time of “St. Patrick’s Aisle.”61

Saint Patrick, Peel

The Roman Catholic church of Saint Patrick in Peel has recently celebrated its 150th anniversary. The church’s dedication is a successor to the Patrician dedications of St Patrick’s Isle, a conscious choice.62 The location is in Patrick Street, not far from the former marketplace (Roman Catholic Church [n.d.]). Until 1874, the street was called Kirk Patrick Street, and it extended to the southern limits of Peel (Broderick 1994: 316, 321, 328-329, 345-353). A figure of the saint is found in the nave (Figures 16 and 17); Patrick appears in his bishop’s regalia, holding a shamrock in his hand. A second figure of the saint presides over the attached church hall.63 In commemoration of the anniversary, an Italian marble statue of St Patrick has been placed in the courtyard of the church hall. This representation of the Apostle of the Irish was a gift of the Buckley family, honoring both the anniversary and the memory of their parents, Kathleen and Matthew Buckley.64

Figure 16. Nave, Saint Patrick, Peel. Figure 17. Figure of St Patrick, Saint Patrick, Peel.

In the tradition of the community, there was a time when local Catholics were not allowed to use the churchyard of St Peter’s for their burials. As a result, the burials took place on St Patrick’s Isle or near a mountainside keeill overlooking the sea, Lag ny Killey.65 The keeill is located in the southernmost part of the traditional parish of Kirk Patrick, and its name means “hollow of the chapel/church” in Manx Gaelic (Broderick 1994: 137). The site remains important to the Catholic community in Mann. For perhaps a decade, Mass has been celebrated there on Tynwald Day, a time to pray for the Manx nation.66 There is yet another factor in the community’s ties to Lag ny Killey. In the era when Catholic worship was forbidden, remote keeill sites on Mann’s west coast are believed to have been used as meeting sites for local Catholics and Irish priests, who made clandestine visits to the Island by boat.67

However, Catholic tradition does not associate the dedication of Lag ny Killey with St Patrick. It is linked to Dónart, a disciple of the Apostle of the Irish. From the altar area of the old chapel, the remains of the entrance align with a mountain peak across the Irish Sea, Sliabh Dónairt.68 It is the highest peak of the Mountains of Mourne, and both the saint and the mountain have a significant place in Irish tradition (Ó Mainnín 1993: 154-157).

The Isle Area: Corrin’s Hill

St Patrick’s Well

Figure 18.  St Patrick’s Well, Corrin’s Hill
Figure 18. St Patrick’s Well, Corrin’s Hill.

St Patrick’s Well is found in the hills next to St Patrick’s Isle, adjacent to the harbor moorings for the town of Peel. A footpath onto Peel Hill leads to Corrin’s Hill, where a narrow track skirts the seaward side, with precipitous drops to the rocks below.69 The well is in a hollow scooped out of the hill, next to the track (Figure 18); it has a series of names in Manx Gaelic: Chibbyr Noo Pharick, “St. Patrick’s Well,” Chibbyr Sheeant, “holy well,” and Chibbyr yn Argid, “well of the silver” (Broderick 1994: 67, 164). The flowering mass around the well appears to be the sweet-scented sea campion.70 The location is within the traditional parish of Patrick.

Kirk Patrick Parish

The name of the parish itself is attested in the early sixteenth century (Broderick 1994: 18). Patrick is also the name of the village just south of Peel, and Patrick Road leads eastward from the village (Broderick 1994: 150). An eighteenth-century deed also noted a Kirk Patrick Bridge (Broderick 1994: 131), apparently between Peel and the village.

Holy Trinity Church and Churchyard

Interestingly enough, the Manx Church no longer has a Patrician dedication in the traditional parish of Patrick. The existing church is in the village of Patrick, on the Manx A27 from Peel. It has separate stained glass windows honoring both Sts Patrick and Maughold, but the formal dedication is to the Holy Trinity.71

Early in the eighteenth century, the Radcliffe family had offered land from the Knockaloe estate for a new parish church and churchyard (Gill 1883: 183-186). Presumably, the new church carried a dedication to St Patrick. In 1760, a report of the Highways Committee referred to it as “Kirkpatrick Church” (Broderick 1994: 341-344). By 1879, the building was considered to be beyond repair, and the churchyard required expansion for additional burials. The plan at that time was to build a small mortuary chapel at the Knockaloe site, with land added to the churchyard for burials. A larger parish church would be built later on, at a new site in Glen Maye, some distance away (Gill 1894: 7-14). In all probability, the “Patrick” dedication was reserved for the Glen Maye church, which was never built. The mortuary chapel eventually became the official parish church for Kirk Patrick Parish.72

The churchyard has burials related to the World War I internment camp at Knockaloe, where the British government held civilians suspect because of their citizenship. Two areas contain the memorial stones for Jewish and Muslim internees who died during that time. The churchyard also has military burials, men from the United Kingdom who died in World Wars I and II (Commonwealth War Graves Commission [n.d.]a).

Keeill Vout

The Manx Archaeological Survey included information on this former keeill, without mentioning a dedication. The presumed site is inland, on the border with Kirk German (Kermode 1968a: 17, 19). Earlier, A. W. Moore had noted that the significance of the term “vout” was unknown (1906: 143). However, J. J. Kneen followed with a claim that it represented a dedication to Maughold (1979: 352). Carl Marstrander thought that “perhaps” Keeill Vout preserved an old version of the saint’s name (1934: 313). Both the place-name and the forms of the saint’s name are addressed in the Broderick volumes (1994: 124; 1999: 20-21, note 1). The “Maughold” interpretation appears to originate with Kneen, and it can be called into question.

Kirk Christ Rushen Parish

The traditional parish of Rushen adjoins the southern boundary of Kirk Patrick, along the coastline. Rushen marks the return to southside Mann in the circuit of the Island. Nevertheless, there are ways in which Rushen appears to align culturally with northside. Again, the dedication is to the Holy Trinity, with an alternate naming of Kirk Christ. Like Kirk Christ Lezayre, the parish may be associated with the dedications of the Hiberno-Norse cities in Ireland.

Keeill Pharick

When J. R. Bruce reported the site of the former Keeill Pharick in 1966, the location was still known, but most of the evidence for the keeill and an extensive burial ground had disappeared more than a hundred years before (Bruce 1968: 48-49). However, the old dedication survives in the name of the quarterland, Ballakilpheric, the “farm of/by St. Patrick’s church.” Seventeenth-century court records and eighteenth-century deeds (Broderick 2002: 345-347) witness another instance in which a keeill dedication has been embedded in a later place-name. The dedication is also present in the name of the related treen, Kyrke Patryk, with an early sixteenth-century attestation (Broderick 2002: 449). The same treen contains the quarterland of Cronk y Dooney, “hill of the church” (Broderick 2002: 408; 2005: 317). The quarterland name additionally exists in other local naming, echoed in Ballakilpheric Road (Broderick 2002: 347).

Ballakilpheric Methodist Church

The road to Ballakilpheric winds northward from the Manx A7, southwest of Colby. Built during the winter of 1848/1849,73 the small, gray chapel stands at an intersection on Ballakilpheric Road.74 On a Sunday afternoon, its untinted glass windows fill the interior with light (Methodist Church 2014-2016). It is a Wesleyan church, and a commemorative plate is displayed near the front of the chapel. The inscription reads as follows:

++++ 1703 + JOHN WESLEY + 2003 ++++

Originally a movement within the established Church, Methodism began in England and became an important phenomenon in Manx society. In the Isle of Man, Methodists separated from the Manx Church in 1836 (Belchem 2000: 17). Commonly, Methodist chapels were known by a local place-name. The embedded saint’s dedication in Ballakilpheric appears to have been taken in with the place-name, without any other intent.

The understated, monochromatic design of the plate is a form of commemoration, but it is not intended to portray Wesley as the equivalent of a medieval saint. Even in his later years, Wesley did not accept a distinction that existed in both western Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy: the difference between the veneration (honoring) of saints and angels and the worship due to God alone (Outler 1986: 103-114; 1987: 224-235, note 40). Presumably, the later interpretation of Wesley’s teaching caused saints’ dedications, a standard practice in the Manx Church, The Church of England, and the Roman Catholic Church, to be avoided in Methodist practice.75

Kirk Braddan Parish

In the 1918 reporting of the Manx Archaeological Survey, a former keeill site was recorded based on local information. The site, west of a cottage at Farm Hill, had been plowed for agricultural purposes at some time in the past. The dedication was not remembered. An unidentified map of the Island produced the name Keeill Pherick; in later checking, the map itself could not be found (Kermode 1968e: 18). A considerable period of time had elapsed between the survey work and its publication (Kermode 1968e: 3-4), which may account for the loss. Nevertheless, the evidence is not available for evaluation.

Farm Hill, now a modern housing development,76 was formerly the quarterland of Ballaquirk, part of the lands of the Manx bishop (Broderick 2000: 60, 100). There are no apparent attestations of a Keeill Pherick in Braddan, and there are no potentially related names reported in Broderick’s place-name volumes. The association with St Patrick is too tenuous to be taken as viable evidence.

Kirk Marown Parish

In our current circuit of the Island, Marown represents a turn inland, away from the southside coast and into the area of lower elevation connecting northside and southside. Marown was not counted as a northside parish until 1796, when it was added to the sheading of Glenfaba (Davies 1956: 98).

Keeill Pherick

In the 1909 report, the personnel of the Manx Archaeological Survey noted a special situation. Apparently they had been permitted to see the keeill site at Ballafreer.77 However, they had not been allowed to alter the site in any way, limiting their ability to record it (Kermode 1968a: 9). When Christopher Lowe recorded the site again in 1983 (1988b: 39-45, 226, 305), he noted the absence of a traditional keeill boundary or embankment (1988b: 41). The remaining structure showed a west doorway, but no evidence for windows (1988b: 40). There were no visible remains of an altar, although Lowe assumed that a turf mound against the east wall represented the site of one (1988b: 40).

Ballafreer is a quarterland name, in the treen of Glenlough (Broderick 2000: 153). Keeill Pherick or St. Patrick’s Chapel is found in the place-name volumes (Broderick 2000: 207, 220), but without early attestations. Christopher Lowe noted related folklore in a common-place book of the eighteenth century (1988b: 43-44). The related place-names seem to be limited to Keeill Pharick Park, a modern housing development.

St Patrick’s Chair

There are two monuments associated with the name St. Patrick’s Chair. One is a cross-marked boulder at Lagavolley. According to George Broderick, the name was recorded by a local vicar, c. 1780 (2000: 209). The other is in the form of an Irish leacht, a rectangular base surmounted by one or more cross-carved stones. Charles Thomas noted the Manx example in his discussion of an essentially Irish phenomenon (1971: 173, 175). More recently, Tomás Ó Carragáin has discussed the leachta of the island of Inishmurray, off the coast of northwestern Ireland. There, they are part of a complex monastic site and pilgrimage landscape (2009: 207-226). As Christopher Lowe has noted, there is no associated ecclesiastical site for the Marown monument (1988a: 173-174). In that, it appears anomalous. Again, the place-name lacks early attestations (Broderick 2000: 220).


Based on this comprehensive survey of dedication sites, it is possible to refine the distribution of medieval sites in the Island with dedications to St Patrick. The evidence of the Kirk Marown sites suggests that they, like the parish itself, are late-comers to northside associations. The earlier Manx records, the Sheading Roll, the manorial rolls, and the court records and deeds through the eighteenth century, do not yield attestations of dedications to Patrick or instances in which such dedications have been embedded in later place-names. The Marown associations with the saint may well be post-medieval, related to the period of eighteenth-century antiquarian activity in the British Isles.

In contrast, the Bride and Ballaugh dedications are found in eighteenth-century legal records, incorporated in local place-names. The treen name echoing the dedication of the Rushen keeill is attested in the early sixteenth century. The Kirk German keeill is named in the Sheading Roll of the early fifteenth century, and that name may be a comparison to the Kirk Michael keeill. The Jurby dedication is recorded in the last decade of the thirteenth century. The place-name of St Patrick’s Isle is recorded by the middle of the thirteenth century, in contexts suggesting its long-term establishment in Manx culture. The dates of these earlier attestations are not indicative of a relative chronology for the dedications to Patrick. They represent the delayed development of record-keeping related to Mann, at various levels of detail.

The probable medieval distribution for Patrician dedications spans Mann’s northside from St Patrick’s Isle to Bride, with an outlier in Rushen (Figure 19). Again, the location of Ballakilpheric in a bordering southside parish reflects cultural associations with northside that likely pre-date the parish boundary. In addition to the “northside” aspect of the distribution, all of its sites (except Rushen) are in roughly the northern half of the Island. In the redefinition of the distribution, the major church and parish dedications, St Patrick’s and Jurby, anchor the pattern. But the informal evidence, the evidence of local place-names, is critically important in detecting its full range, the involvement of the keeills and the post-medieval development of the phenomenon.

Figure 19.  Isle of Man, distribution map for medieval Patrician dedications (by Matthew C. Gottfried)
Figure 19. Isle of Man, distribution map for medieval Patrician dedications (by Matthew C. Gottfried).

A comparison of the site distributions for Maughold and Patrick highlights the distinctive characteristics of each. The well in Ballaugh and the questionable interpretation of Keeill Vout do nothing to effectively alter the Maughold distribution, a single southside location with an intensive concentration of related cultural evidence. The Patrician sites are not only more numerous. They form a pattern across northside, with more diffuse clusters of associated evidence.

The second critical comparison for the Patrick and Maughold sites is the nature of the associated medieval social groups or communities. Although St Maughold’s eventually becomes a parish church, the markers of earlier monasticism are evident. St Patrick’s Isle does not present equivalent forms of evidence. It appears, rather, to be associated with lay or secular communities. The medieval chapel at Jurby, the old churchyard of Jurby Church, and the Manx keeills dedicated to Patrick are all found in the treenlands, linked to farms, rural settlement, and extended families. In the association with secular communities, the Patrician dedications of the Isle of Man share a central characteristic with the larger northern distribution of such dedications in the British Isles, those outside of Ireland.

A chronological comparison is also instructive. Based on the Book of Armagh, the dedication to Maughold is pre-Norse, already present by the early ninth century. There is no strong context for Patrician dedications in Mann before the eleventh-century redevelopment of St Patrick’s Isle. The emergence of Germanus as the preferred cathedral dedication, coupled with the resistance in the Chronicles to Jocelin’s claims about St Patrick, would suggest that Mann’s Patrician dedications were in place before the end of the twelfth century.

The scenario proposed by George Broderick fits within the geographic, community, and chronological parameters for the Manx dedications to Patrick. A period of Irish intervention and settlement on northside Mann would account for the phenomenon, including the multiple dedications. The Hiberno-Norse do not appear to have been dedicating churches and chapels to Patrick in the period pre-dating the establishment of the dynasty of Godred Crovan. For those with a specifically Irish cultural identity, Patrick would have been a natural choice, an expression of social cohesion, as well as devotion.

The long-term dynamics of Manx culture are reflected in its saints’ dedications: the evidence of the dedications themselves, the medieval dedication sites and their successors, and the communities, past and present, associated with those sites. As has been demonstrated, the analysis of dedications can yield insights into Manx culture before the establishment of the parish system. The cultural significance of the traditional parishes themselves would indicate that dedication research has more to offer than has perhaps been recognized. In a medieval island world without urban centers, a church dedication or name signposted dispersed rural communities and local social identity. In the post-medieval era, dedications served and still serve as cultural keys to divergent religious practice, Manx Church, Roman Catholic, and Methodist, without a defining line between Protestant and Catholic. Additionally, as the case of Jurby has shown, a traditional parish church in Mann may still be a sign in the landscape, a focus for local and regional cultural identity and heritage.

As demographic shifts draw the resources of the Manx Church toward the urban areas of the Island, the historic churches and churchyards of the rural areas are being left behind. Jurby is an excellent example of a church considered for closure, which is nevertheless a functioning cultural center for local social groups. Such churches are also significant to the scholars who study dedications and the related culture. The sites still associated with living communities yield much greater concentrations of material and intangible evidence. A church such as Jurby cannot disappear or experience extended disuse without irreparable cultural loss.

The concept brought forward by The Friends of Jurby Church presents a viable solution, for Mann and elsewhere. Where local secular organizations with an independent status are willing to assume responsibility for the buildings, still in partnership with national churches, it allows these edifices to be preserved and utilized without the loss of their fundamental and historic character as churches. Secular organizations such as the Friends are likely to have broader constituencies than a parish church under closure conditions. One of the factors mediating toward the success of such groups is a cultural commonality across the British Isles: societies, communities, and individuals with an extraordinary sensitivity to the historic and cultural landscapes in which they live.

In Manx society, the cultural tension between the twin dynamics of continuity and change is always present. An island nation characterized by the successful negotiation of ongoing change is also deeply connected to its medieval roots. In the case of the traditional parish churches of Mann’s rural areas, shifting paradigms in the relationships between local groups and formal ecclesiastical authority may be the change that insures the maintenance of cherished and invaluable cultural continuities.


1 I also wish to express my thanks to Colorado College and several individuals connected with Tutt Library there: Lisa Lister, Interim Library Director, Marianne Aldrich, Circulation Team Coordinator, and Ole Bakken (retired). The College’s Office of Information Technology also provided invaluable support. Matt Gottfried, Director of Innovative Technology, and Madison Sink, formerly of the GIS Lab, were responsible for the preparation of the maps. Weston Taylor, Lab and Instructional Technologist, gave technical assistance in many ways. Students from the CAT Lab, Georgina Mburu and Claudia Finn, gave assistance with the preparation of photographs. For the first year of the work, the Interlibrary Loan department of the Pikes Peak Library District provided accesses to the printed resources. I appreciate the special efforts of Linda Munson, who secured the necessary, recurrent access to the Broderick place-name volumes. In the second year of the project, The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs also provided research support. Professor Suzanne MacAulay, Chair of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts, arranged extensive research privileges. The research librarians of Kraemer Family Library lent their expertise. Emilie Vrbancic, formerly Assistant Professor and Instruction Librarian, brought an anthropologist’s perspectives to the search for specific contexts. Don Pawl’s Interlibrary Loan department provided access to an extensive range of printed books and articles. I am grateful for the support of all of these individuals and institutions.

2 See also Jones (2007: 16).

3 However, see Gelling (1991: 149-150).

4 For a summary of sources related to the Isle of Man, see Broderick (1994: xvii-xxii). The summary is repeated in the introductions to the first six volumes of the Placenames series. Each volume also contains a bibliography of primary and secondary sources, with locations for the archival materials.

5 The manuscript is British Library, Cotton Julius Avii.

6 Both Furness and Rushen were initially part of the congregation of Savigny; the Savignac houses were received into the Cistercian Order in 1147 (Jamroziak 2013: 50).

7 For another perspective on Patrick’s association with the north of Ireland, see Koch (2003: 102-122).

8 Documents issued by this bishop, one with his seal, have been described and printed (Brownbill 1915: vi-vii; 1919c: 711-713).

9 The Interlibrary Loan department of Georgetown University provided the Broderick place-name volumes; I am grateful for the support.

10 See also Broderick (1994: 18; 1997: 19; 1999: 21 and 21, note 3; 2000: 21-22 and 21-22, note 4; and 2002: 25-26 and 25, note 3).

11 Site visits (November 9, 2007, and May 28, 2015). My thanks to Alison and Orry Turner of Woodside B&B, Ramsey, who assisted the 2015 travel in so many ways.

12 The term “appropriation” refers to the gift of a church and its income to an ecclesiastical community, such as a monastery or nunnery. The donated church normally served a secular community.

13 Ross Trench-Jellicoe, email to the author (May 19, 2015).

14 The Interlibrary Loans department of Penn State University Libraries provided access to the 1994 edition of Manx Crosses, a much-appreciated assistance.

15 My thanks to Verity Gorry, who loaned me her copies of the original printed reports of the Manx Archaeological Survey (July 11, 2005).

16 Father Brian O Mahony, telephone interview (May 11, 2015).

17 Father Brian O Mahony, interview (May 25, 2015).

18 Father Brian O Mahony, telephone interview (November 10, 2014).

19 Father Brian O Mahony, interview (May 25, 2015).

20 Site visit (May 25, 2015).

21 Father Brian O Mahony, telephone interview (May 11, 2015).

22 Site visit (May 28, 2015). My thanks to David Cormode, who showed me the related sites in Bride Parish.

23 Site visit (May 28, 2015).

24 David Cormode, telephone interview (March 2, 2015).

25 Site visit (May 26, 2015). My thanks to Sandra Kerrison, Churchwarden and Chairman of The Friends of Jurby Church, who provided transportation to Jurby Church, discussed its history with me, and took me on a tour of Jurby Parish. Sandra lived in Jurby Parish until age eighteen, obtaining her subsequent university education in England. After a twenty-year career there as a teacher, she returned to her native Isle of Man, where she has lived for the last twenty-five years (telephone interview, February 23, 2015). My thanks as well to the Rev. Cyril Rogers, who provided the initial contact information.

26 Site visits (July 13, 2005, November 6, 2007, and May 26, 2015).

27 The locations of the chapel and former well are on West Nappin, a working farm and private property. Permission should be sought before attempting to visit the sites.

28 Site visit (May 26, 2015). According to Sandra Kerrison, St Patrick’s Close is a modern name (telephone interview, December 7, 2015). St Patrick’s View is perhaps a decade old (Sandra Kerrison, email to the author, September 13, 2016.)

29 Sandra Kerrison, telephone interview (December 7, 2015).

30 A piscina is an area for the ablutions, the washing of the priest’s hands; it would be found in a niche or space with a shelf for the water and wine (Father Brian O Mahoney, telephone interview, September 13, 2016).

31 Ross Trench-Jellicoe, email to the author (April 20, 2015).

32 My thanks to Ann Davis, Interlibrary Loan Service Coordinator of the J. Murrey Atkins Library, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, who made arrangements to provide the reprint of Kneen’s place-name work.

33 Lady Day is March 25, the feast of the Annunciation. However, Manx saints’ feast days might be kept by an Old Style reckoning. For a discussion of the effects of the calendar change, see Radcliffe (1979: 36-37).

34 Site visit (May 26, 2015).

35 Sandra Kerrison, telephone interviews (December 7, 2015, and September 12, 2016).

36 Sandra Kerrison, telephone interview (December 7, 2015).

37 Ross Trench-Jellicoe, email to the author (September 18, 2016).

38 Site visit (May 26, 2015).

39 Information provided by Sandra Kerrison (May 26, 2015).

40 Jean Tucker, telephone interview (October 9, 2015). Jean and Peter Tucker had a craft shop for thirteen years in nearby Sulby Glen. Jean is still a resident of Mann’s northern plain, with an online craft business.

41 Jean Tucker, letter to the author (October, 2015).

42 Jean Tucker, The Jurby Mice: They’re Really Quite Nice! (2012).

43 Jean Tucker, The Jurby Mice Official Video V2, producer Peter Tucker, published July 10, 2013. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6wkSCKIlhg

44 The Regal Singers: Jurby Polka, conducted by Allan Wilcocks, accompanist Wendy McDowell, published July 30, 2012. Music and design by Jean Tucker, photography by Peter Tucker. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2SdQX01WQ8

45 Sandra Kerrison, telephone interview (December 7, 2015).

46 Sandra Kerrison, telephone interview (September 12, 2016).

47 Sandra Kerrison, telephone interview (February 23, 2016).

48 The Friends of Jurby Church, “Minutes of Meeting 14 October 2015.”

49 Sandra Kerrison, telephone interview (December 7, 2015).

50 The Civic Service brings together the representatives of other Manx civil parishes, members of the House of Keys, and business people from the local area. It customarily concludes with a luncheon at the Jurby Parish Hall, the former Royal Air Force church (Sandra Kerrison, telephone interview, February 23, 2016).

51 Sandra Kerrison, telephone interview (December 7, 2015).

52 Sandra Kerrison, telephone interview (December 7, 2015).

53 Interview (May 27, 2015). My thanks to Eileen Curphey, who made arrangements for the interview via telephone. The Curpheys’ son, Pheric, also provided transportation to and from his parents’ farmhouse and the trail above Spooyt Vane. He also took me to a second nearby keeill site, Keeill Pherick a Dromma, and saw me to the bus stop in Kirk Michael. On a rainy day, his help was much appreciated.

54 Site visits (July 13, 2005, November 9, 2007, and May 27, 2015).

55 In the latter part of May, 2015, St Michael’s Church was undergoing renovations (site visit, May 27, 2015). The work is now virtually complete (Eileen Curphey, telephone interview, September 14, 2016).

56 According to George Broderick, the earliest Ordnance Survey for the Isle of Man is that of 1864-1869. The corresponding name books were destroyed during World War II, as the result of an air raid on southern England (1994: xx).

57 I appreciate the assistance of Eileen Curphey, who confirmed the relative locations (telephone interview, September 14, 2016).

58 Site visits (November 9, 2007, and May 27, 2015). The site is marked with signage.

59 Site visits (July 11, 2005, and May 20-22, 2015).

60 Roy Baker, interview (May 22, 2015).

61 Site visit (May 20-21, 2015).

62 Father Brian O Mahony, telephone interview (May 11, 2015).

63 In May of 2015, Kathleen Buckley (†) kindly showed me the interior of Saint Patrick Church, Peel. As I prepared to leave, she invited me to return for a tea and coffee hour, later in the week. I was pleased with the invitation, but not sure that my schedule would permit me to return. Kathleen indicated that if she didn’t see me at the end of the week, she’d see me in heaven. “If I get there first,” she said, “I’ll put the kettle on.”

64 Father Brian O Mahony, telephone interview (September 13, 2016).

65 Father Brian O Mahony, interview (May 25, 2015).

66 Father Brian O Mahony, interview (May 25, 2015); telephone interview (July 3, 2015).

67 Father Brian O Mahony, interview (May 25, 2015).

68 Father Brian O Mahony, telephone interview (July 3, 2015).

69 I appreciate the assistance of two residents of Peel, Nigel Walker and Ian Rayner, who attended my lecture at St Maughold’s Hall, Maughold, on May 21, 2015. After the lecture, we discussed the location of the well, which I was subsequently able to find. Roy Baker of Peel’s Leece Museum verified that my digital photograph did indeed appear to have captured the correct site (May 22, 2015).

70 James Lee arranged the identification of the plant (May 22, 2015).

71 Site visits (July 11, 2005, November 9, 2007, and May 22, 2015). My thanks to David Moore, who arranged the 2015 site visit, and the Rev. Colin Fleetney, who arranged the introduction to Dr. Moore.

72 My thanks to David Moore, who worked out this sequence during his own research, related to the history of his family.

73 Howard Connell, email to the author (November 17, 2014).

74 Site visit (November 9, 2007). I appreciate the efforts of Hilary Sewell and Howard Connell, who made the arrangements for me to visit the chapel a second time (May 24, 2015).

75 Hilary Sewell’s knowledge of local Methodist history in Mann allowed me to refine my supposition related to the absence of Methodist dedications, and I am grateful for her insights (telephone interview, September 15, 2016).

76 I appreciate the help of Sophie Mills of the Henry Bloom Noble Library, Douglas, who provided information on Farm Hill (emails to the author, April 7, 2015, and April 9, 2015); my thanks, as well, to the library staffers who arranged the contact.

77 Site visits (November 9, 2007, and May 25, 2015). My thanks to the Quayles of Ballafreer Farm and Farm Cottages, who gave permission to visit the site.


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