Isle of Man

St. Michael's Chapel, Isle of Man

A very particularly Manx structure, St. Michael’s Chapel stands by the coast at the south end of the island. It is of Celtic/Norse construction and although is largely 12th Century was built on the site of a much older Celtic keeill (a kind of Chapel very specific to the Isle of Man).

The very unusual nature of Manx history means that Celtic/Norse structures are found virtually nowhere else (a few on the Scottish islands) and St. Michael’s – which strictly speaking stands on an island – is a very good example dating to the early 1100s. A slate roof once covered the chapel and the interior was separated into three sections – under the bell tower would have been the altar, the middle section was for the congregation and the end section would have been a locked room for the resident cleric.

There is no record of when St. Michael’s stopped being used – but it has lacked a roof for around 300 years, so at least that long. The grounds were used for burials right up to 1870 for the local Catholic community and also for shipwreck victims.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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