Arbory Church of St Columba

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Things to do


Date of travel

August, 2019

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Travelled with

On your own

Reasons for trip

This was one of the original churches established when the Isle of Man was divided into parishes in the C12th, and was probably built on the site of an old keeil. Although the present church dates from 1759, it was built alongside its C16th century predecessor and part of the old North wall forms part of the south wall of the present church. The sun dial above the south door is thought to have been part of the earlier church. A new chancel was added in 1763 which may explain the slight difference in the colour. There were repairs in the late C19th when the pews were replaced.

It was originally built with a simple bellcote at the west end. The tower was added in 1915 as a memorial to a well loved physician from the parish. Set in a large grave yard, the outside of the church is pebbledash giving it the appearance of a large and rather boring church.

Entry is through west door under the tower into a small vestibule. The inside is much more interesting than would be thought from exterior. Walls are whitewashed with a lot of memorials and there is a dark wood ceiling. The floor is brightly coloured patterned Minton tiles.

The stone font is at the front of the nave near the pulpit.

There is wood panelling around the base of the small chancel and the open carved box altar has green curtaining behind the panels.

The east window depicts the Mount of Olives.

The gallery across the back of the church has the organ.

The war memorial commemorating the dead of both World Wars is at the back of the north wall with flags on either side.

The nave contains several attractive stained glass windows, including one to Captain John Quillam who was born in Marrown in 1771 and served under Admiral Lord Nelson in HNS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. He died in 1829 and is buried in Arbory churchyard.

The church is set back from the A7, the main road through the village and is opened daily. There is parking along the side of the road. The nearest post code is IM9 4LH and the grid reference is SC 247704. It is worth visiting.


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