He's one of triplets.  Or at least it's the first time we've seen three identical heads guarding a window.  This one was at the top and the other two on either side of the window, at the ends of what I believe is called a hood mould.

We had to go to Kirk Malew to take photographs for a book we're working on, and spotted him and his brothers outside the church over and around the east window.

The church is dedicated to St Lupus (the Latin for wolf, which is interesting for a saint) - Malew is the name of the parish - and we thought that the head might be an artist's impression of St Lupus.  It seems not though.  The head is thought to be a representation of the sea god Manannan, the island's traditional protector.  Christian and pagan in an uneasy truce perhaps.

Talking about Christian in a rather different sense, the church also contains an excellent bust of William Christian, better known as Illiam Dhone.  Depending on your point of view, Illiam Dhone (Manx for Brown William) was either a Manx freedom fighter and martyr, or a betrayer of trusting employer and turncoat.


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