St Lupus Church, Malew

1128 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


Review type

Things to do


Date of travel

August, 2018

Product name

Product country

Product city

Travelled with


Reasons for trip

I have always liked St Lupus. It is a lovely church and definitely worth visiting as it is one of the oldest churches on the island. Dating from the C12th, this was the parish church of the large and disperse parish of Malew, which included Castletown and Ballasalla. It was one of the most important churches on the island. In the C19th, new churches were built closer to the settlements, and St Lupus did become a bit forgotten and unloved. It has recently undergone a major restoration and is looking good again. On a sunny day, the church glows.

It is a small traditional Manx church, typical of churches before the Victorians started restoring or building new Neo-Gothic style churches. The very large graveyard, which now spreads across the road, is still the only burial ground for Castletown and much of the parish.

The original church may have been built on the site of an early Celtic keeil in the C12th. Very little remains of this church, except possibly the font. This is thought to be C12th and spent many years neglected outside the south door before being returned into the church. The base and lid are later.

The nave is the oldest part of the church. However, it has been rebuilt and altered many times over the years, and there seems to be little information about the early history.

The chancel dates from 1781, when it was rebuilt and enlarged. The north transept or ‘wing’ was added in 1782 as more space was needed in the church. It was paid for by the people of Castletown and offered them seating in perpetuity providing they funded future maintenance of it. They felt that an extension here was preferable to extending at the west end of the nave as they would be closer to the focal point of the services.

The church avoided Victorian restorations, still retaining its Georgian interior with box pews and a gallery, although the pulpit, altar and altar rails are modern. It was reroofed in 1929 when skylights were let into the roof to increase the amount of natural light in the church. A timber dated 1688 was found which now hangs on the north wall above the gallery.

The walls of the chancel are lined with memorials to the great and good of the parish. There is also a modern memorial to William Christian of Ronaldsway, otherwise known as Illiam Dhone, who was accused of high treason and shot in 1663 and was buried in the church. He is regarded by many as a Manx martyr.

The lovely stained glass windows date from the end of the C19th and commemorate many important local families. The stained glass window at the back of the nave was installed in 1922 as a memorial to those who lost their lives in the First World War. Their names are recorded on brass plates on either side of the window.

A steep staircase behind the font leads up to the gallery. The west gallery provided seating for the tenant farmers who did not own their land and could not afford to rent a pew in the nave. The pews are made from whatever wood they could find. The narrow north gallery was added in 1818 by Mr Thomas Moore of Billtown and Great Meadow as a private pew. It was restored in 2016 by the Riggall family who still own and manage Great Meadow House.

Tucked away in the west gallery are the remains of three crosses found in the local area. Two are simple boulders with crosses carved on them. The larger stone, known as the Sigurd Stone, is C10th. Only the shaft remains and the carving is now eroded and it is difficult to make out the detail of the Sigurd legend. There are plans to display the crosses in the body of the church, if money becomes available.

The church is on the A3 just over a mile north of Castletown. The nearest post code for north of Castletown is IM9 1TE. The grid reference is SC 268694. The building is open from 9.30 until dusk every day. It is a lovely church and well worth finding.

More pictures of the “church”: and “crosses.”:


Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Come feel the love on a Princess cruise. You’ll enjoy the MedallionClass experience others simply can’t, and it’s exclusively for everyone. Visit incredible destinations and be involved in the best experiences around each one of them.

Experience more with Princess and connect effortlessly with the world around you, spend time away with loved ones, take a moment for yourself, and fall in love with your holiday of a lifetime, every time.

With over 20 years of experience, Wendy Wu Tours has mastered the art of creating exceptional, fully inclusive tours which showcase the very best of each destination.

Each tour is led by a world-class guide, who will highlight the very best of their homeland, and includes authentic cultural experiences so you are not just seeing the sights, but truly immersing yourself in local life.

Say hello to ease at sea. Ambassador’s purpose is simple: they want to inspire every guest to experience authentic cruising, effortlessly and sustainably. Passionate about protecting our oceans and destinations, their ships comply with the highest industry emission standards and there is no single-use plastic on board.

On your voyage, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the Ambassador community as you sail upon the friendliest ships afloat.

This is a global co-operative co-owned by local partners using real local experts and guides, which supports local communities, environments and wildlife. It offers travellers quirky places to stay, activity holidays and learning experiences. Not In The Guidebooks gets travellers off the beaten track into local culture with day experiences and longer, immersive adventures.

From wild wellness breaks in Wales to painting in Portugal, sustainable adventures in Mauritius to food safaris in Brazil, this is immersive, exciting travel.

Seabourn’s five intimate ships carry guests to the heart of great cities, exclusive yacht harbours and secluded coves around the world, while two new purpose-built expedition ships will combine exhilarating adventures in remote destinations with the sophisticated amenities of the world’s finest resorts at sea.

From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well.