Braddan New Church

Star Travel Rating

3/5

Review type

Things to do

Location

Date of travel

August, 2019

Product name

Product country

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Travelled with

On your own

Reasons for trip

Dedicated to St Brendan, Braddan New Church was built to replace the near by “old church”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/travel-product/attraction/201132-old-kirk-braddan that was too small for the congregation and in a poor state of repair.

Land was given by Lady Laura Buchan and this was the first parish church to be built in the Isle of Man by voluntary subscriptions at a cost of £6,775.19s.7d. Although completed in 1873, consecration was delayed until 1876 when all debt had been cleared. About 200 parishioners and guests attended the ceremony and a special train was laid on by the Isle of Man Railway Company.

Built of brick faced with local stone and pale York stone window frames it is described as austere early English style. It had a temporary wooden spire but this blew down in a gale in 1884. A report indicated this was due to faulty construction and inferior timber. It was not replaced.

When it was first built it was not popular and many of the congregation had wanted the old church rebuilt and enlarged. Many failed to attend the new church and even persuaded the Vicar to hold periodic services in the Old Church and to conduct some marriages and baptisms there. Because the licence for the solemnisation of marriages had been transferred from the old to the new parish church, it transpired a little later that such marriages were in fact illegal, and the couples concerned had to go through the ceremony again.

Entry is up steps through the south porch. The immediate impression is the size of the church, being built for a congregation of 500. It is built from pale red clay bricks with sandstone pillars, arches and window surrounds. There is a wood beam roof.

Steps lead up to the chancel which is small compared to the rest of the church, forming a seven sided apse with a beamed boat shaped ceiling. The stained glass windows have scenes from the life of Christ. The chancel floor is made of different coloured marbles and dates from 1901.

Next to altar is processional banner of St Brendan.

The organ is on the south side of the choir and fills the south transept. The North Transept has a small altar and is the War Memorial Chapel.

The font is at the back of the nave below a tapestry picture of the Last Supper. There is a small moveable wooden font in the choir.

The church contains some good late C19th/ early C20th stained glass although nave windows were hidden behind paper decorations.

This is a large and impressive church, although I did find it a bit soulless. I can understand why the parishioners preferred the old church.

The Church is open every day and there is parking around it. The post code is IM4 4LB and the grid reference is SC364769.

ESW

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