Old Kirk Braddan Church - Braddan, Isle of Man.
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Mike_bjm
N 54° 09.659 W 004° 30.416
30U E 401606 N 6002481
Quick Description: Old Kirk Braddan Church at Braddan Bridge in Braddan.
Location: Isle of Man
Date Posted: 8/15/2021 9:31:21 AM
Waymark Code: WM14RDK
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Alfouine
Views: 0

Long Description:
Old Kirk Braddan (Church of St. Brendan) at Braddan Bridge in Braddan. The church is set back from the A1, Douglas to Peel Road, at Braddan Bridge and the A23 roundabout. There is some free parking in front of the church.

It is an ancient parish church which houses a magnificent collection of stone crosses.

The Celtic and Scandinavian crosses date from between 800 to 1265 AD. The earliest cross is from around 600 AD.

Old Kirk Braddan 'is the first of the 17 churches in the annual Parish Walk and is 1.5 miles from the start line: race leaders usually reach here 15 minutes after the start. The church gate is not touched here for safety reasons as walkers are on the other side of this busy road. The route continues west along the Peel Road.'
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)

Old Kirk Braddan is an ancient but much rebuilt church which seems to have been built on or near the site of an earlier keeill (small chapel), believed to date to the 7th Century. Parts of the building appear to date to the 12th Century. The West Gallery was added in 1737 and extended and in 1861. There was a major reconstruction and re-roofing in the 1770s during which the tower was built. The pinnacles on the four corners date from the rebuilding period.

Following a recent detailed investigation by Frank Cowin it is now believed that the nave is substantially original, with just the east end rebuilt, and the tower built anew. This would accord with John Mason Neale's interpretation in 1848 part of which is reproduced below:
'I have seen many a lovely churchyard, both in England and in other lands... But never yet one of such perfect loveliness as Kirk Braddan. It lies to the right of the road , in a little hollow: all round the holy ground tall ashes, limes, and elms shoot up towards the sky, and enshrine the building in a kind of mysterious evening.'
Source: 'An introduction to the architecture of the Isle of Man' by Patricia Tutt (ISBN: 978-1-907945-10-6)

'Inside the church has not been refurbished since its construction in 1770s and remains plain and austere with clear glass windows (stained glass was only reintroduced to Manx churches from early Victorian period). It has a remarkable Georgian Three Decker Pulpit, testimony to how important the sermon was in that era: parish clerk on lower tier, vicar conducting the service in the middle and preacher on top. Extensive burials were found underground by the altar when the church was rebuilt - the original church floor is two feet below the current floor level. The box pews were originally 'owned' by major landowners whereas others of lesser means sat in the rear seats. There is a display of Norse crossed that were found in the graveyard and nearby. The choir and musicians would originally have sat in the gallery (no church organs in those days). There is a safe in the wall right at the back dating from 1817 - unfortunately the key as been lost.
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)

'Unlike the exterior, the interior does fall into a definable class - 'an auditory church', that is to say it is a single rectangular room with no screen, arcaded or transept. The church has that distinct, almost puritanical, Georgian atmosphere and one of the few that have become known as 'the churches the Victorians forgot' - no Milton tiles, harsh stained glass or other Gothickisms added improve the spiritual thought.'
Source: 'Old Kirk Braddan: short history and tour' by the Friends of Old Kirk Braddan with generous assistance from the Isle of Man Bank and Mr Cecil Clutton CBE.
The "Official Tourism" URL link to the attraction: [Web Link]

Hours of Operation:
During daylight hours.

Admission Prices:

Approximate amount of time needed to fully experience the attraction: Up to 1 hour

Transportation options to the attraction: Personal Vehicle or Public Transportation

The attraction’s own URL: Not listed

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