Reredos - St. Mary de Ballaugh Church - Ballaugh, Isle of Man
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Mike_bjm
N 54° 18.819 W 004° 32.753
30U E 399435 N 6019521
Quick Description: A small wooden reredos in the chancel of St. Mary de Ballaugh Church in the Village of Ballaugh.
Location: Isle of Man
Date Posted: 5/23/2021 7:17:11 AM
Waymark Code: WM1498E
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member pmaupin
Views: 2

Long Description:
A small finely carved wooden reredos in the chancel of St. Mary de Ballaugh Church in the Village of Ballaugh. Mounted on the reredos is a large silver cross. There are large red jewels at the cardinal points.

In the centre of the cross in the monogram 'IHS'. These are the first three letters of ‘Jesus’ in Greek; the initial letters of ‘Iesus Hominum Salvator’ (Jesus, saviour of mankind); and ‘In Hoc Signo’ [Vinces], by this sign [you shall conquer].
Source:’Hidden Histories: a spotter’s guide to the British Landscape’ by Mary-Ann Ochota (ISN: 978-0-7112-3692-9)


This church was built between 1830 and 1832 to succeed an old church at The Cronk, to the North, which was felt to be too small and too distant from the main centre of population in the Parish.

The new church is indeed much closer to the centre of the modern village and as originally designed had the capacity to seat 600, although this has now been reduced by the rear of the nave being converted into a meeting room, a kitchen, and toilets.

The pinnacles on the church and the gateposts, were intended to prevent the Devil from sitting on the building or its gateposts.

The church was built in local stone to a designed by Joseph Hanson and Edward Welch which is a restrained Early English Gothic Revival.

St. Mary’s is a nave church with a commanding square buttressed tower, housing three bells, which is topped by an octagonal lantern, which is a design unique to the Island.

Sir John Betjeman likened the tower to the much taller Boston Stump in Lincolnshire. Both have a tall lantern or drum without a parapet and the drum has small diagonal buttresses and tall pinnacles.

The church is surrounded by a large graveyard where the Parish Memorial stands and nearby is a memorial bench commemorating the centenary of the ending of WWI.

Inside the building is a list of all the fighting who fought in WWI which can be found below the gallery across the west end of the church. Below this gallery a collection of flags hang and the plaster walls have inscriptions from the Bible round them.

The gallery was used as a Sunday School up until 1910 and the opening of the nearby church. Access to the gallery was blocked off in 1966.

The interior is relatively wide when compared to many Manx churches and this results in a feeling of spaciousness which is enhanced by the white wall plain windows. There are box pews on either side and down the middle of the nave. It is alleged by some authorities that the box pews are original but other claim they are Victorian replacements.

There is a large baptismal font which has been painted white with Gold highlights can be found at the back of the nave. It is pleasantly stylish in spite of its rather bulky appearance.

The font is covered by a plain wooden circular cover which is probably not the original. The font is supported on a hexangular central column set on a plain rectangular plinth with the style of plinth replicated in the font surround. The four corners of the font surround are supported by circular 'twist' columns.

The chancel is small in comparison to the nave. The stained glass window in the east window depict the Nativity, Crucifixion and Resurrection. These windows date from 1892/3 as do those in the north and south wall of the nave and are contemporary with the restoration of the church. In front of the chancel is an angel lectern and white painted pulpit which is dedicated to the nineteenth century Bishop of Sodor and Man – Rowley Hill.

On the north wall of the nave is the highly decorated organ which was installed in 1879.

Many of the interior wall have memorials including several diamond shaped enamel memorials which share much in common with funerary hatchments. (visit link)

In the porch at the west end of the church there are boards listing the benefactors, the Rectors of St. Mary’s from 1687 to the present day and the Royal Arms of William IV.

(visit link)
Source: ‘A Gazetteer of the Isle of Man’ by Leslie Quilliam RBV (ISBN: 0 9514539 1 2)
Source: ‘Isle of Man Countryside, Coast & Churches: new ways to explore the Isle of Man on foot’ by Alan Cooper (ISBN: 978-1-911177-68-5)
Source: ‘An introduction to the Architecture of the Isle of Man’ by Patricia Tutt (ISBN: 978-1-907945-10-6)
Approximate age of artefact (Year): 1830's

Times available for viewing: Daylight Hours

Entrance fee (if applicable), local currency: 0

Relevant website: Not listed

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