The Isle of Man, also known as just Mann, is an Island in the Irish Sea, in between Great Britain and Ireland. It is part of the British Isles. The Isle of Man is self governing, however is protected by Great Britain, and the head of State (currently Queen Elizabeth II) holds the title of Lord of Mann. The Isle of Mann has been inhabited for around 8,500 years and therefore has a lot of history including, once belonging to Scotland, Norway and bringing the title of King of Mann during the Hebrides civilization in the eleventh and twelfth century. After a period of alternating rule by the kings of Scotland and England, the island came under the feudal lordship of the English Crown in 1399. The lordship reverted into the British Crown in 1764, but the island never became part of the kingdom of Great Britain or its successor the United Kingdom, retaining its status as an internally self-governing Crown dependency. The official language of the Isle of Man is English, while Manx Gaelic has also had official status since 1985. Manx has traditionally been spoken but is now considered “critically endangered”
Besides the island of Mann itself, the political unit of the Isle of Man includes some nearby small islands: the seasonally inhabited Calf of Man, Chicken Rock on which stands an unmanned lighthouse, St Patrick’s Isle and St Michael’s Isle. Both of the latter are connected to the mainland by permanent roads/causeways. Hills in the north and south are separated by a central valley. The extreme north is exceptionally flat, consisting mainly of deposits from glacial advances from western Scotland during colder times. There are more recently deposited shingle beaches at the Point of Ayre. The island has one mountain higher than 600 metres (2,000ft), Snaefell, with a height of 620 metres (2,034 ft). According to an old saying, from the summit one can see six kingdoms: those of the Mann, Scotland, England, Ireland, Wales, and Heaven. Some versions add a seventh kingdom, that of the Sea, or Neptune.
The island has a total of 688 miles (1,107 km) of public roads, all of which are paved. In areas denoted by restricted signs in the Isle of Man, there is no overriding national speed restriction; only local speed limits are set. Rules for reckless driving and most other driving regulations are enforced in a manner similar to the UK.
There is a comprehensive bus network, operated by the government owned bus operator, Bus Vannin.
The Isle of Man Sea Terminal in Douglas is served by frequent ferries to and from Heysham. Douglas is also served by frequent summer services to and from Liverpool with a more restricted timetable operating in winter. There are also limited summer-only services to and from Belfast and Dublin. The Dublin route also operates at Christmas. All ferries are operated by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.
The only commercial airport on the island is the Isle of Man Airport at Ronaldsway. There are scheduled and chartered flights to numerous airports in the United Kingdom and Ireland, as well as further afield.
The island used to have an extensive narrow-gauge railway system, both steam-operated and electric, but the majority of the steam railway tracks have been taken out of service and the track removed. Currently there is a steam railway which runs between Douglas and Port Erin, an electric railway which runs between Douglas and Ramsey and an electric mountain railway which climbs Snaefell.
Douglas (Manx: Doolish) is the capital and largest town of the Isle of Man. It is located at the mouth of the River Douglas, and a sweeping bay of two miles. The River Douglas forms part of the town’s harbour and main commercial port. Douglas was a small settlement until rapid growth occurred as a result of links with the English port of Liverpool in the 18th century. Further population growth came as the town industrialised in the following century, resulting in 1869 with the island’s government, the Tynwald, relocating to Douglas from Castletown. The island’s High Courts are also based in the capital. The town serves as the Island’s main hub for business, finance, legal services, shipping, transport, shopping, and entertainment. The annual Isle of Man TT in motorcycle racing starts and finishes in Douglas……Read more
The International Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) Race is a motorcycle racing event held on the Isle of Man and was for many years the most prestigious motorcycle race in the world. The event was part of the FIM Motorcycle Grand Prix World Championship during the period 1949–1976 before being transferred to the United Kingdom after safety concerns and run by the FIM as the British Grand Prix for the 1977 season. The Isle of Man TT Races became part of the TT Formula 1 Championship from 1977 to 1990 to preserve the event’s racing status. From 1989 the racing has been developed by the Isle of Man Department of Tourism as the Isle of Man TT Festival…..Read more
Photo : Peel Castle gatehouse and keep. Author – Ruth Riddle
Peel Castle is a castle in Peel, Isle of Man originally constructed by Vikings. The castle stands on St Patrick’s Isle which is connected to the town by causeway. It is now owned by Manx National Heritage and is open to visitors during the summer.The castle was built in the 11th century by the Vikings, under the rule of King Magnus Barelegs. While there were older stone Celtic monastic buildings on the island, the first Viking fortifications were built of wood…….Read more
Castletown is a town geographically within the Malew parish of the Isle of Man but administered separately. Lying at the south of the island, it is the former Manx capital until 1869. The centre of town is dominated by Castle Rushen, a well-preserved castle. Much of the attraction of Castletown is in the quality of its period buildings, many constructed of the local silver-grey limestone. The layout of the town centre still retains its early arrangement, echoing the cluster of houses around the military parade ground, which still has its alternative use as market place…….Read more
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