Geography of Malew Parish

map200Malew Parish encompasses an area from Langness and Scarlett up to Foxdale, and includes the villages of Ballasalla, St Marks and Derbyhaven.

The area includes both Ronaldsway and Balthane Industrial estates and, of course, the Isle of Man Airport.

The last census gave a figure of 2,304 population with 936 households. Administration of the Parish is undertaken from Commissioners Offices in the heart of Ballasalla Village.

  • The Parish of Malew
  • South and north
  • The coastline
  • The north part
  • The Parish of Malew (from St. Lupus, the patron Saint of the district) is bounded on the east by the Santon Burn, on the north by the Granite Mountain, and South Barrule on the south, by an irregular line from Barrule to Pooil Vash on the west, and by the sea on the east. It contains about 15 square miles.

  • The southern half of this extensive parish has for its sub-rock a thick series of carboniferous limestones, and is low and undulating, forming part of the southern plain of Castletown.
    The northern half is high, the hills which form it rising out of the low plain and swelling into the mountains of the southern range. The chief river is the Silverburn, the western branch of which rises on Barrule, and the eastern branch on the Granite Mountain. The two streams unite above Ballasalla, and flow in a S.E. direction into the sea at Castletown.
  • The coast line is low, but rocky and dangerous. It contains two great openings-Derbyhaven, a fine natural harbour, protected by a small breakwater; and Castletown Bay, a deep but exposed and dangerous inlet between Langness and Scarlett. The headlands are Dreswick Point and Langness Point, the two extremities of the long, low peninsula of Langness; and Scarlett Point, a conical mass of sub-columnar basalt.

  • The north part of the district, along the slopes of the mountains, is barren and in great part unenclosed; lower, the land is of greater value, and is carefully cultivated. The-level district around Castletown is among the richest and best worked parts of the Island. The district is chiefly agricultural, but a considerable number of its inhabitants follow other employments. At Derbyhaven and Castletown they are fishermen, at Scarlett and at Ballasalla they are employed at the extensive lime quames and kilns. At Ballasalla also were very large fruit gardens, employing in the summer a large number of women and children. Castletown used to be in this district. Ballasalla was a large agricultural village. Near it are the ruins of Rushen Abbey, founded in 1098, and dissolved late in the reign of Elizabeth, and an ancient bridge over the Silverburn, called the Crossag, or the Monk’s Bridge, too narrow for vehicles. Derbyhaven is an agricultural and fishing village. St. Mark’s, in the northern division of the parish, is a small agricultural village clustered round a chapel of ease. ‘