The crosses in the existing Cross House within the boundaries of Maughold Church are under the guardianship of MNH and have been assessed as being amongst the most at risk of loss or damage. MNH is committed to improving the care and presentation of the Manx crosses across the Island and supporting island-wide care of Manx crosses including new facilities at Maughold. MNH does not own the crosses in the Manx Churches but actively works with the community to fulfil its “Guardianship” role.
The number of stones at Maughold, their general condition and exposure puts them at the top of the conservation agenda for MNH. MNH has funded an Options Appraisal study in partnership with the Church which recommended a new facility outside the churchyard.
The next step is to prepare outline design options for the agreed preferred site and negotiate with the landowner to arrive at an in principle agreement over the use of the land. Discussions will also need to take place with the PCC, Diocese and MNH to agree which body (or partnership) ultimately has beneficial ownership and how a new facility may be operated and maintained. Other stakeholders such as the Department for Enterprise and the Visit Agency will be important.
This process has raised the possibility that the development of a new cross shelter alone might be a missed opportunity as it would have no other facilities for visitors. The nearby Parish Hall is increasingly unfit for purpose and costly to run. The PCC have confirmed that a simple suite of facilities (kitchen, accessible toilet, flexible space) adjoining the cross shelter could provide very welcome facilities for visitors and the community. Whilst it would impact the cost it would increase sustainability and opportunities to support tourism and the wider role of the church.