Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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Kirk Lonan


Around 447 AD, Irish missionaries known as "Culdees" began to populate the island and spread the message of Christianity. These monks built small shelters called "keeills" and worked on local farms for food, while they served as priests. This site dates back to the 5th century, based on the oldest cross (the Lonan Wheelcross).

In 1188, the small chapel first known as Keeill-ny-Traie (The Chapel by the Shore) was given in land to the monks of St Bees and the building was rebuilt. When the island moved into English control and the land divided into parishes. Keeill-ny-Traie became known as St Adamnan, the parish church of Lonan (Kirk Lonan).

In 1733, Bishop Wilson was requested to petition a new church by parishioners. The new church was completed a hundred years later, in 1833. The conditions of moving the parish church to a new location was the destruction of the old church, though this was never done. Soon after the old church fell into disrepair, till in 1895 when Rev John Quine was appointed Vicar and saved the small building with restoration.

The Friends of St Adamnan's was formed in 1968 to keep the old church in good repair and ensure it remained a as a working historical site and House of God.

Celtic crosses are held in a shelter built in the corner of the old church yard. One large cross is still in its (believed) original position within the old keeill churchyard.


In the village of St. Adamnan on the east coast of the Island between Baldrine and Onchan.
Map Ref: SC 428 793

By Vehicle:
Head to the A2 and along it between Baldrine between Onchan. Take the road sign posted for Lonan Church.

By Bus:
Reachable by bus routes no. 3, 3A, 3B, and 3C from Ramsey and Douglas. Take the stop at Baldrine Methodist Hall and then walk back along the A2 to Ballameanagh Beg and follow the road and signs to Lonan Church (total walk just over a mile.

By Railway:
Take the Steam Railway to Douglas. The Electric Railway to Halfway House. Walk along the footpath towards Ballameanagh Mooar and at the road follow the signs on to Lonan church (total walk of a mile).

The Site

  • Church
  • 9 Crosses
  • Graveyard
Cross Slab (no. 23)

Cross Slab (no. 27)

Cross (no. 71)

Lonan Wheelheaded Cross (no. 73)
Celtic ring headed cross, roughly carved from around 401-500AD. Mostly Scottish influence with some Irish. Measuring just over 8ft (99in) high with a head of about 3ft (38in) wide.

Rectangular Slab (no. 75)

Cross (no. 76)

Cross (no. 77)

Cross (no. 160)

Cross Slab (no. 177 or 59-148)


Services are held in the church of St. Adamnan for Epiphany and Harvest Festival. Also every other Wednesday at 7.30pm from the 3rd Wednesday in May till the 2nd Wednesday in September.
St Adamnan's Church

St Adamnan's Church

St Adamnan's Church

St Adamnan's Church

St Adamnan's Churchyard Crosses' Shelter

St Adamnan's Churchyard Crosses Inside Shelter

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