Explore Castle Rushen and Castletown Sites
Today, Douglas is the Isle of Man’s capital–the main centre of population, home to it parliament, Tynwald, and the focal point of its economic growth over the last few decades.
But you only have to scratch the surface of the Island’s history to realise that, until relatively recently, Castletown and its surrounds were where the power resided for the best part of a thousand years.
It’s a tale of Vikings, civil war, ancient manuscripts, and Royalist courts. Rushen Abbey and Castle Rushen, both built for Viking kings, were power bases for around 400 years. Around these key sites, a chapel became the Old Grammar School and the Island was defended during the English Civil War by Derby Fort on St. Michael’s Isle. Democratic parliament began in the Old House of Keys, and a rich eccentric politician and inventor built a home for his yacht, which today is the Island’s Nautical Museum.
It all forms a fascinating story which saw this area establish itself as the Island’s historic seat of power.