Onchan (parish)

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Coordinates: 54°10′26″N 4°26′20″W / 54.174°N 4.439°W / 54.174; -4.439

Parish of Onchan
Population: 8803
Sheading: Garff
Parish Church: St Peter's
Main Peaks
Slieau Ree 316 m
Main Glens
Molly Quirk's Glen Groudle Glen Bibaloe Walk Port Jack Glen
Slekby Alia-Begod Begod
Byballo Hawstrake Horaldre
Tremsare Tremott Douglas

Onchan (pronounced onk-an), is a parish (Manx: Connaghyn – Kirk Conchan) in the Isle of Man. It is also a House of Keys constituency, electing two MHKs. It is in the sheading of Garff, but was formerly in the sheading of Middle.


The village of Onchan (formerly known as Kirk Conchan, as it was dedicated to St. Conchan) is situated on a headland to the north of Douglas, of which it is a suburb, and has good views over Douglas Bay. The parish stretches from Windy Corner on the TT course in the north to Port Groudle and the town of Douglas in the south; it is bounded to the west by the River Glass and the East Baldwin Valley, to the east by the parish of Lonan and to the south by the Irish Sea. The main settlement in the parish is the village of Onchan which has the second largest population on the island.

The coastline comprises the northern part of Douglas Bay and the Banks' Howe headland, which is 120 metres (390 ft) high. The highest peak in the parish is Cairn Gerjoil, near Windy Corner, at 445 metres (1,460 ft).

The parish is largely agricultural and has only one centre of population, Onchan village. Apart from the hilly region in the north west, it is a fertile and well-cultivated district. Along the hillside near Douglas there are country villas. The parish also has several large reservoirs that store water for Douglas and the surrounding villages.

The parish has three National Glens: Molly Quirk's Glen, Groudle Glen and Bibaloe Walk, which end at Groudle Beach, where there is holiday accommodation. The Groudle Glen Railway line runs along the coast line from Lhen Coan to the Headland and then on to the terminus at Sea Lion Rocks where passengers can alight and see the remains of the Victorian zoo which until World War II housed sea lions and polar bears.

Like the other parishes on the island, Onchan was historically subdivided into "treens": areas of land bounded by natural features such as rivers. According to the 1511 Manorial Roll, Onchan contained the following treens:

  • Slekby
  • Alia-Begod
  • Begod (now Bygoad)
  • Byballo (now Bibaloe)
  • Hawstrake (now Howstrake)
  • Horaldre
  • Tremsare
  • Tremott
  • Douglas

Onchan wetlands[edit]

The Onchan wetlands (Manx: Curragh Kiondroghad) is a 1-acre (4,000 m2) reserve in Onchan village which contains a variety of habitats. The site was donated to the Manx Wildlife Trust in 1988. It is open to the public for viewing and has a boardwalk which is suitable for wheelchair users.

The site contains curragh (wetlands - willow scrub), broadleaved trees, dub (pond), neutral grassland and embankments of tall grassland. This variety of habitats leads to a diversity of wildlife and plant life. Some of the plants/trees that grow there are silver birch, ash, holly, rowan, marsh marigold, yellow flag, reed canary grass, hemlock water-dropwort, woody nightshade and cuckoo flower. Among the wide variety of birds on the site are the grey wagtail, goldcrest, woodcock, chiffchaff and hen harrier. There are also invertebrates, bats, and many frogs and spawn in early summer.

MHKs and elections[edit]

Year Election Turnout Candidates Elected Notes

General Election


  • Peter Karran (Lab) (1075 votes)
  • Richard Leventhorpe (916 votes)
  • Don Maddrell (766 votes)
  • FE Griffin (508 votes)
  • RA Payne (477 votes)
  • FD Crompton (87 votes)

By Election


  • Ron Cretney (1436 votes)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Dr Edgar Mann (748 votes)
  • PKS Leventhorpe (421 votes)
  • David Quirk (188 votes)

General Election


Ron Cretney retired from politics and Richard Leventhorpe was defeated by George Waft and future Chief Minister Richard Corkill.

By Election


  • Ray Kniveton (1283 votes)
  • Richard Leventhorpe (939 votes)
  • David Quirk (590 votes)

Called following the elevation to the LegCo of George Waft MLC.


General Election


The three sitting MHK's all held their seats.

By Election


Called following the elevation to the LegCo of Ray Kniveton.


General Election


Labour's Peter Karran and Chief Minister Richard Corkill both held their seats with increased votes, while challenger Adrian Earnshaw defeated sitting MHK Geoff Cannell to take the parish's third seat.

General Election


Former Chief Minister Richard Corkill did not stand allowing David Quirk to take Onchan's third seat.

General Election


Liberal Vannin challenger Zac Hall defeated sitting MHK Adrian Earnshaw


External links[edit]