Manx National Heritage, the organisation responsible for protecting and promoting the Isle of Man’s heritage and culture, has announced an extensive programme of events and activities for 2015 including new exhibitions, updated displays, lectures and family fun days. Visitors to Manx National Heritage sites will also be able to see some of the conservation and improvement works, which have been undertaken throughout the winter months, when the attractions re-open from February and March 2015.
This year’s Manx National Heritage projects include ‘History in Heels’, a multi-site look at the women who ‘made Mann’. From March 2015 across the Island’s heritage sites, pop up displays and events will showcase and celebrate the contribution and legacy of women to Manx history.
The major summer exhibition is ‘Ulster’s TT Heroes’, opening 28th March to 6th September 2015 at the House of Manannan in Peel. It tells the personal stories of the great TT riders from the Ulster region including the Dunlop dynasty, Philip McCallen and Adrian Archibald through a selection of their personal TT memorabilia, together with items loaned by Northern Ireland’s Ballymoney Museum.
Later in the year, an exciting display of Viking artefacts, including items loaned by York’s Jorvik museum, will open as part of the ‘Heroes’ exhibition at the Manx Museum in December 2015. The exhibition, which will run for four months, will narrate the personal histories of some of the legendary names in the Viking world including Godred Croven, also known as King Orry, one of the most powerful Viking kings of Man and the Isles, as well as other legendary characters such as Eric Bloodaxe and Harald Bluetooth.
Although the Manx Museum’s hugely popular First World War exhibition will close in April 2015, the War remembrance theme will continue with a new exhibition of Manx cartoonist Dusty Miller’s satirical World War II work. Miller’s cartoons, which appeared regularly in the Isle of Man Times, represent the Isle of Man’s war experience through one man’s eyes. It launches on 19th September, to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, at the House of Manannan.
Work from leading Manx artists, including John Miller Nicholson, William Hoggatt and Archibald Knox, will return to the Art Gallery at the Manx Museum in May 2015, while the ‘Exploratorium’ will take you on some nostalgic happy holidays. The House of Manannan’s Kingdom of Mann area is set to close in February for the installation of a new gallery display which will be unveiled in May.
Rushen Abbey and Castle Rushen will be the first of the Manx National Heritage sites to open in 2015. Both will re-open at weekends from 7th February. The Nautical Museum is having work done to one of its main galleries over the winter months to tell more of the story of owner George Quayle and to incorporate new information and artefacts uncovered in the recent excavations of the boat yard. During the winter, the Peggy herself is planned to be moved from the boatyard to a new storage unit for urgent conservation work. The Nautical Museum is expected to re-open in late May 2015.
The Manx Museum and i-Museum in Douglas and House of Manannan in Peel remain open all year round. The rest of the sites , including Cregneash, The Grove, Peel Castle, the Old Grammar School, Laxey Wheel (subject to completion of the repair and redecoration works) and the Old House of Keys, will operate their seasonal hours from 28th March to 1st November with the Grove and Cregneash staying open until 8th November.
This April sees the continuation of the British Museum Live programme at the Manx Museum, a film and talk cinema screening live from the British Museum. Previous subjects, based on the British Museum’s major exhibitions, have included Vikings and Pompeii presented by Michael and Peter Wood respectively. Details of this year’s subject will be announced early in the New Year.
Manx National Heritage will be running a number of family orientated events and activities in 2015, with many timed to coincide with children’s half-term and seasonal holidays including the popular ‘Egg Rolling’ at Cregneash at Easter and ‘Little People’s Picnic’ returning in summer.
All Isle of Man school children receive free entry to all Manx National Heritage sites with their ‘Ace Card’, a scheme run in partnership with Lloyds Bank. The cards are distributed through the Island’s schools.
Manx residents can purchase a season pass for £20 that provides unlimited entry to all Manx National Heritage attractions for one year from date of first use. Holiday passes giving unlimited access to MNH sites for visitors for up to 14 days and multi-site passes which include all of the Island’s transport options including the heritage railways, trams and bus services are also available and provide excellent value for money. All passes are available from all MNH sites and manxnationalheritage.im.