In the flat northern region of the Isle Man, lies the village of Kirk Andreas. Though not of great architectural merit, the Georgian Parish Church remains of great historic interest. The Church is set in beautiful grounds and commands great views of the central mountains of the Isle of Man. The Church was built in 1802 of Manx stone from the unspoilt Sulby Glen to the south on the site of an ancient Keeill or chapel dedicated to Saint Columba.
St Andrew's central aquatic role
On the east face of the Church is a rose window. The central motif is of a man at sea in a boat probably a reference to Saint Andrew's pre-apostolic trade as a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee. The boat flies a saltire - a flag with a St Andrew's cross - X shaped as per Andrew's crucifiction at Patras. [more on St Andrew]
The Zodiac Window
Around the outside of this central image are 14 circles. The top 2 images appear to be the Sun and the Moon and the other 12 represent the signs of the zodiac. The zodiac signs are slightly out of the usual alignment due to 14 windows. Each sign has an image and the words for the sign.
Photographing the window
My first attempts to photograph the Rose Window in 2009 were not successful due to the angle from the ground level pews. I returned in 2015 and met my friend, Waveney Jenkins who was organizing the decoration of the church for the flower festival. She was able to give me the keys to access the upper level gallery which had not been used for 40 years. From this higher vantage point, it was possible to get a direct view of the rose window.
Other Zodiac Rose Windows in Churches
This zodiacal design using a pre-Christian arrangement of images in churches is only known in one other case in Britain, though Zodiac Rose Windows can also be found at Parisian cathedrals of Notre Dame and St. Denis and elsewhere in France namely, Chartres, Anger and Lyon cathedrals. (Please don't hesitate to contact me to correct me if you know of another prominent zodiacal rose window.)
Who instigated the Zodiac Window?
From typed notes in the church: On 19th February 1800, a 'special vestry meeting' was attended by my ancestor the Duke of Atholl at Kirk Andreas. At the time the Church was in a poor condition and it was decided at the meeting to rebuild a new Parish Church. "Building work did not start for some years after the 1800 Act of Tynwald." "The large central Rose section was donated by Archdeacon Moore's brother, William F Moore of Cronkbourne." "Archdeacon Joseph C. Moore was appointed to the living in 1844 and remained in office for forty-two years. He devoted himself and much of his private fortune to improving the church." From this chronology it is possible that the Rose Window as a later addition to the Church during the time of Archdeacon Moore.
Early History of Kirk Andreas
Within the Church, there are also eleven Norse slabs (from 10th century) and Celtic Crosses (from 5th and 6th centuries with inscriptions in Irish Ogham).
The Zodiac Stained Glass Window in Balsham, Cambridgeshire was designed in 1932 and faces east in the Holy Trinity Church which dates back to the 13th century. Thanks to Russell von Ohlhausen identifying this and the image.
John Murray, 4th Duke of Atholl held the ancestral line to the sovereignty of the Isle of Man from the ancient Kings of Mann. However, the title and associated rights were compulsorily purchased by the Crown in 1765 so by this time King George III had become "Lord of Mann" - a title passed down to his descendants including Queen Elizabeth II. Whether it is possible to purchase a sovereignty is questionable. However, there was no choice as the British Crown had interests in controlling the kingdom of Man.
Inside, Martin read out a passage from the Bible on the pulpit that he selected at random. Psalms Ch.137 v.4:
"How could we sing the Lord's song in a foreign land?"
This was very appropriate as he was at the time in exile from his home in Holland pending updated immigration papers.
Exterior of Kirk Andreas with Ken McRitchie, astrological researcher and author and his daughter Tiffany.
Equinox Character Portrait - a full interpretation of your natal chart (personal horoscope) by Robert Currey. This synthesized analysis is more than who you are, it is about who you can become.
Your Personal Year Forecast gets you the inside track. This booklet is like a map, but set out with dates, that you can use to make the coming year successful and fulfilling.
Panoramic view of the interior of the church from the upper gallery showing the Rose Window. From left to right Karen Chiarello, Ken McRitchie and his daughter Tiffany.