St. Michael’s Isle – Fort Island

At the entrance of Derbyhaven Bay sits St. Michael’s Isle, a rocky island dating from the Mesolithic period.

Opening Times

Open access all year round


No admission fee – open access

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Fort Island or St Michael’s Isle is first mentioned in ‘The Chronicles of the Kings of Man and the Isles’ as the site of a battle in 1250 and the location of St. Michael’s Chapel. Built upon
the site of a Celtic keeill (early Medieval period chapel), St. Michael’s, along with St. Trinian’s Church, is one of the best-preserved examples of early Manx Christianity, with the area
around the chapel being used for burials well into the eighteenth century.
The most prominent of the island’s attractions is the circular Derby Fort. Built on the orders of King Henry VIII, to repel any possible French or Spanish invaders, it was one of many such
forts built along the coast of the British Isles. In the 1640s it was refurbished and modernised on the orders of James Stanley, the Earl of Derby, during the English Civil War.
After the war had ended, the fort was converted into a lighthouse and remained as such until a century ago, where it fell into total disuse.


Map Reference: SC 2947 6737
By Car: From Douglas takes 25-30 mins – Follow the (A5) and signs for Castletown and the Airport. Continue past the Airport and King Williams College – both on the left. Turn left at
the roundabout onto Shore Road, after 180m turn left at the junction onto The Promenade and continue for 1.3km. At the end of the long straight, turn right onto Fort Island Road.
Please beware, as this corner is narrow, and difficult to see around.
Follow Fort Island Road and pass the Golf Links car park. The access road to Fort Island can be difficult to see but continues on from the road. Please keep to given speed limit as the narrow causeway bridge can be dangerous and, at points, has no walls.
Once across the bridge you will be in the car park

Essential Info

For full site accessibility information please click HERE

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