Kirk Maughold, Isle of Man

Historical Description

Kirk Maughold, a village and a parish in the NE of the Isle of Man. The village stands near Maughold Head, 3 ½ miles SE of Ramsey, and has a green, a remarkable pillar-cross, an ancient monumental slab, and a post office under Ramsey. The pillar-cross appears to be of the latter part of the 13th century, consists of basement, octagonal shaft, and entablature or capital, and shows interesting sculptures much weather-worn, but still beautiful. The monumental slab is older than the cross, is carved on both faces, and has on the edges curious interlaced work. The parish contains also the town of Ramsey. Acreage, 9094; population, 4595. Slieu Lewaigue, 1 ½ mile S of Ramsey, has an altitude of 735 feet; Ballanasag Hill, 1 ½ mile further SE, of 614 feet; the Dhoo, on the coast, in the S, of 633 feet; North Barrule Mountain, on the W boundary, 2 ½ miles S by W of Ramsey, of 1842 feet; and Maughold Head, on the coast, adjacent to the village, of 373 feet, rises in a grand pile of rock from the landward side, falls precipitously to the sea, and shows veins of ironstone and masses of quartz commingling with twisted and contorted schists. St Maughold's Well bursts from the NW side of the headland, and is named, in common with the church, from a Culdee saint traditionally said to have been a disciple of St Patrick, or more probably from St Machutus, Bishop of St Malo. This well has always been held in high repute for alleged sanitary virtue, and is still a resort of pilgrims, on a certain day of August, for carrying away its water as a specific in diseases of both men and cattle. Port-y-Vullen, between the well and Ramsey, is a picturesque retreat; and Ballaglass Waterfall, on the Comah river, 2 ½ miles SW of the village, is a very beautiful cascade through contorted clay-slate. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Sodor and Man; gross value, £224 with residence. Patron, the Crown. The church has a Norman porch and a decorated English chancel, contains a Norman font, underwent repair in 1860, and was then found to include parts or fragments of five ancient crosses. The walls of the church are of great thickness, and there are some specimens of tracery in the chancel windows. The churchyard is known, from recent discoveries of numerous fragments, to have contained many interesting ancient monumental crosses. A fragment of a large cross, discovered in it in 1854, was removed to the museum of King William's College, near Castletown. The vicarage of St Paul, in Kamsey, and the perpetual curacy of Christ Church, are separate benefices; gross value of the former, £106 with residence; of the latter, £120 with residence. Patron of the former, the Bishop.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1894-5