Abbey Lands (Lonan)/Ballaragh Wesleyan Methodist Chapel 1858


Originally known as Abbey Lands Lonan - changed name in 1952 to Ballaragh (partly to avoid confusion with Abbeylands Onchan

Closed - now a private dwelling

Grid Reference SC449853


Founded in the midst of controversy. In the early 19th Century the nearest place of worship to Ballaragh was the old Dhoon, Anglican, church in the adjacent Maughold parish. However this church was in a poor state of repair, and when the Established Church was donated a large sum of money as a thank offering by two ladies for safe delivery when their carriage overturned, it decided to build a new church, two miles nearer the main centre of population, rather than repair the old church. On the opening of the new Dhoon church in 1855, the Ballaragh farmers and miners continued to hold services at the old church much to the annoyance of the church authorities who then locked the doors and forbade further worship. Hence the decision to build a chapel.

In 1857 Mr and Mrs Looney conveyed land to the trustees to build a chapel - the conveyance had said chapel and premises not to be used for any other purpose except for a Sunday School in which children shall be taught to read and understand God's Holy Word and be further instructed in strict accordance with teaching Wesleyan Methodism

Trustees were John Kewley, Robert Lace, John Kerruish, John Caley, John Mylecraine, William Quilleash and James Skillicorn.
Building started in 1857 and the first service was in 1858. Chapel reseated in 1925; porch added in 1935.

Frank Lowey was precentor before the chapel had any musical instrument.
At one time there were 84 boys and 44 girls in the Sunday School.
The name was changed to Ballaragh in 1952. Closed in 1960s at which time the pulpit and part of the furniture was given to Baldrine. Now a private residence.

Centenary GuideBallaragh Methodist Church Centenary Celebrations 1856-1956
J.Gair Methodism in the Sheading of Garff MMHS #12 pp2/3 Autumn 1990

Additional information kindly provided by Mr Jack Gair

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Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
© F.Coakley , 1999