|Manx: Balley Sallagh|
Main Road, looking south
Ballasalla shown within the Isle of Man
|OS grid reference|
|Crown dependency||Isle of Man|
|Post town||ISLE OF MAN|
|Police||Isle of Man|
|Fire||Isle of Man|
|Ambulance||Isle of Man|
|House of Keys||Malew and Santon|
Ballasalla (from Manx Balley Sallagh, meaning "place of willows") is a village in the parish of Malew in the south-east of the Isle of Man, close to the airport and the town of Castletown. The village was built mostly from the ruins of the nearby Rushen Abbey, a Cistercian abbey founded in the 12th century and dissolved in the 16th century.
The lowest-level local authority is Malew Parish Commissioners who are based in Ballasalla. There are currently five commissioners. The day-to-day activities of the authority are run by the clerk, Mr Barry Powell. The commissioners' offices are located on the main road of the village close to the Whitestone Inn.
The village has an active residents' association, Ballasalla and District Residents Association (BADRA).
Since 2010 the village has had a very popular Community Partnership set up with the involvement of the Isle of Man Government, outside agencies and local residents, with Graham Cregeen, MHK for Malew and Santon, as Chairman.
The HQ of Manx2, the Isle of Man airline, is at Hangar 9 at Isle of Man Airport near Ballasalla. The former Manx Airlines also had its head office at the Airport. At Balthane on the eastern edge of the village is an industrial estate with local businesses including Athol Garage, sellers of motor vehicles, and Pooil Vaaish, dealing in slate, marble and monumental masonry.
Malew football club play their home games at the Malew Football Ground, Clagh Vane and Ronaldsway play their home games at the Ronaldsway Aircraft Factory Fields. Both clubs compete in the Isle of Man Football League.
There are 3 buses an hour to Onchan, Douglas, Castletown, Port St Mary and Port Erin operated by the nationalised Bus Vannin. There are also infrequent buses to Peel and Foxdale. Ballasalla railway station on the Isle of Man Railway is at the eastern side of the village and the railway operates between March and November. The station used to have its own cattle dock and goods sidings, seeing intensive use in the early to middle 20th century, although these were lost to office developments in 1985 when the station building was relocated. The A5 Douglas to Port Erin road runs through the village and this is the main route to the south of the island. The Isle of Man Airport is at Ronaldsway just south of the village and also has a small request stop on the railway, a short distance from the terminal. Arriving air passengers sometimes catch trains for the novelty value of travelling by steam train.
St Mark's Church is in St Mark's Road, some distance from the village. The foundation stone was laid in 1771 and it was consecrated in 1772 by the then Bishop of Sodor and Man, Mark Hildesley. It was intended to serve as a chapel of ease and a parish school more conveniently located for those from the outlying hill district than Kirk Malew Church. There was an ancient church near the site which is said to have been dedicated to St Mark. St Mary the Virgin, Abbey Church was built from local limestone sourced from Scarlett Point south of Castletown, with the foundation stone being laid in 1895 by Lady Ridgeway, the wife of the then Lieutenant Governor of the Isle of Man, Sir Joseph West Ridgeway. The church was consecrated in 1896 and remains in regular use today, with its own substantial church hall within its grounds. Both churches are Church of England in the Diocese of Sodor and Man.
Ballasalla has had three Methodist chapels in the past. The original Ballafesson Wesleyan Methodist Chapel dates from about 1798. It was restructured in 1846, although the original roof slate is still intact. It is now a scout hall. Ballasalla (Bridge Road) Primitive Methodist Chapel was built in 1833. It closed as a chapel in 1949, but continued to be used as a Sunday school until 1975. It was sold in 1980 and the seats, pulpit and choir pews were moved to Ballafesson Wesleyan Methodist Chapel. A second Wesleyan Methodist chapel was built in the village in 1893. It closed in 1980 and was demolished in 1981 as the building was unsafe.
Amenities and events
Ballasalla is the site of the mediaeval Monks' Bridge over the Silver Burn which leads to the Manx National Heritage site of Rushen Abbey; this forms part of the Story Of Mann set of attractions established in 1989 and now part of an island-wide series of attractions. The abbey was extensively redeveloped as a heritage site in 1996, having latterly been home to The Academy, one of very few nightclubs outside of Douglas.
Also near the village is the Silverdale Glen, set amongst woodland, with a small boating lake, café and sprawling playing fields and playground including a water-powered carousel. A wooded footpath alongside the Silverburn river runs between Rushen Abbey, the Monks' Bridge, and Silverdale Glen. In a small hamlet above the village the eponymous St Mark's Fair is held annually on the third Saturday in July. The Millennium Way long distance footpath, opened in 1979, which begins at Castle Rushen and heads north towards Ramsey, runs through the village alongside the banks of the river, leading to Poulsom Park in Castletown to the south, and to St. Mark's above the village to the north.
The village has a pub and various shops. The local authority Malew Parish Commissioners office is next to the pub and a modern office development, Portland Court, occupies former railway goods yard. This was sold off in 1985 for redevelopment and the new station lies on the opposite side of the tracks.
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