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Chapel of St John (Tynwald Church)
HistoryAs the Parish Church and the National Church combined roles the small St John's Chapel in the Parish of German underwent change. Built on the site of an ancient keeill (about a 1000 years old) the chapel of St John was first referred to in 1557, but was likely built before that date. In 1847 the chapel was demolished. After the demolition the lower part of a cross with Scandinavian influence was discovered inscribed with 'But Osruth carved these runes.'. It now sits in the current chapel's porch.
In 1849 a new building made from local granite and marble was constructed at the cost of £2,535 (partly funded by the British Government, who provided £1,500). Designed by R Lane and built by B Lane of Manchester. The many stained glass windows were paid for by W H Collister. They depict the Annunciation, the Crucifixion, Resurrection, the saints of ancient island parish churches and many others.
The church organ is believed to be from the first half of the 1800s due to lowest note, Tenor C on the second manual. A rumour from a previous Organist suggests the organ was dismantled at some point and stored on the balcony till the beginning of the 1900's. Whether or not this was the case, a plaque near the organ confirms that in 1907 it was rebuilt by Moses and Jesse Morgan. (Source: Peter Jones, the Isle of Man Organ Repairer.)
The land about the church has a long history. Even before buildings were built the site was of importance to the local Celts. This is clearly marked by the Celtic cross to the sun god Lugh. It was here on mid summers day that people praised Lugh, as the sun reached its highest point in the sky for the year. As time moved on the site saw chapel buildings built and became Christian. People moved to dedicating the mid summers day to St John the Baptist (hence its current name) instead of a sun god.
LocationThe Royal Chapel of St John the Baptist is located in the village of St John near Peel in the midwest part of the island.
St John is near Peel along the A1.
St John can be reached by the following bus routes: 4, 4A, 5, 5A, 6, 6A, 6B, 7A, 8, 10, X5. Travelling from Douglas, Peel and Ramsey.
St John is not accessible by the Railways.
Osruth's Cross (no. 107)
Visiting Tynwald ChurchOn Tynwald Day, everything starts at the Chapel of St John with a service. Somethings have not changed in hundreds of years. Most will never sit inside the Chapel on Tynwald Day, but can enjoy the detail of its interior most days of the week. The Chapel of St John is as most would expect a small village chapel to be, though it holds many key features which tie it closely to the Manx Parliament. It is interesting to see the church and government held so comfortable within one location.
A key historical site for the Isle of Man. Visiting the roots of the Manx Parliament and coming to understanding the significance surrounding it. There are many points of interest within the Chapel of St John as well as nearby it. Access to the sites around St John is very easy and it makes a pleasant day out with many places to walk.