Isle of Man

Graveyard surveys on the Isle of Man.

Following the massive efforts of The Isle of Man Family History Society in transcribing the inscriptions on the external memorials in Manx graveyards, this project is capturing new data on the forms, materials and spatial locations of the monuments, as well as reviewing the state of the inscriptions.

Malew graveyard on the Isle of Man

The project data is being created in a format that allows digital archiving with Manx National Heritage, the funders of the project.

Research questions addressed are:

  • When did external commemoration begin on the Isle of Man?
  • To what extent were the shapes, decoration, and arrangement and content of inscriptions influenced by traditions in England, Wales, Scotland or Ireland?
  • What changes in styles can be identified over both time and space across the Isle of Man?
  • Are any signs of Manx national identity visible in the memorials?
  • At what point do imported materials affect the choices in memorials on the Isle of Man?
  • How did Manx graveyards develop spatially over time?
  • What proportion of the population was commemorated on memorials, and how did this change over time?
  • What is the state of memorials made from Manx Series shales, and is there any cost-effective way to conserve these memorials which often suffer badly from erosion?

Thus far, efforts have concentrated on St Mark’s and Malew but further sites will be surveyed in due course.

We are particularly keen to see as wide a participation in this project as possible. If local individuals or groups would like to contribute to the project, please contact the project Director Prof Harold Mytum.


  • H Mytum 2013 'Loyal yet independent: archaeological perspectives on remembering and forgetting World War I on the Isle of Man'. In C. Dalglish (ed.) Engaging the Recent Past. Boydell & Brewer, Woodbridge, 35-53
  • H Mytum 2011 'Church and Chapel: Focal points in Welsh and Manx churches'. In C. King & D. Sayer (eds.) The Archaeology of Post-Medieval Religion. Woodbridge, Boydell & Brewer and Society for Post-medieval Archaeology, 145-163.

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