The parish church is St Sanctan. The parish is popularly known as Santon instead of the correct Santan. St Sanctan's stands on the site of an ancient 1500 year old chapel Keeill - well before St. Augustine came from Rome to Canterbury. The name St Sanctan is of Irish origin and according to legend, the saint was a disciple of St Patrick and Bishop of Cell da Les (Church of Two Forts). Occasioned by an error, the church was referred to as St Ann(e) during the 17th century and this lasted until it was officially corrected in 1891.
The living of St Sanctan's, together with that of twelve other livings in the Isle of Man, is solely in the patronage of the Crown, in the person of Her Majesty the Queen, the Lord of Mann. Before the dissolution of the Monasteries, it was in the hands of the Abbot of Rushen Abbey. When the Queen appoints a new vicar, the Lieutenant Governor receives presentment documents signed by the Queen. At the Service of Institution and induction of a new vicar, these documents, together with the new vicar, are presented by the Lieutenant Governor to the Bishop of Sodor and Man with the request that the Bishop institute the nominee of the Crown. This duty is always carried out by the Governor in person.
The southern boundary is shortly before Ballalonna Glen and the modern Fairy Bridge.
The coastal extremities stretch from the mouth of the Crogga River at Port Soderick over Santon Head, Port Grenaugh and Port Soldrick to the mouth of the Santon Burn - which rarely encroaches on Santon territory but forms the northwestern (inland) boundary for much of its course.
What the parish lacks in size and good soil is more than compensated by high cliffs, ancient monuments and ruins and breathtakingly beautiful scenery.
All along the Manx coastline, and particularly on the rocky slate headlands of the south, are the remains of promontory forts which date back almost 2,000 years. Four out of more than twenty have been excavated and several, especially in Santon, can be visited using the coastal footpath. All have a rampart on their vulnerable landward side, and excavations at Cronk ny Merriu (Map) have shown that access to the fort was via a strongly-built gate.
The Scandinavians who arrived in Mann in the eighth and ninth centuries sometimes re-used these Iron Age promontory forts, often obliterating the old domestic quarters with their characteristic rectangular houses; the fine example at Cronk ny Merriu has been used as the basis of the reconstruction in the House of Manannan.