St Michael's Isle (Chapel & Fort)
St Michael's Isle is the northern most point of the Langness Peninsula (to the east of Castletown). Previously separated at high tide it is now connected to Langness by a causeway built in 18th Century. The isle was designated as a bird sanctuary in the 1930’s and the wild vegetation and rocky coast are a great nesting ground for birds.
The chapel there was built by Norse-Celtic Christians in the 12th Century and made of local stone. It is not known when the small chapel stopped being used, but records show that it has had no roof for the last 300 years, though it did previously have a slate roof.
The Fort was required here as some of the most famous battles for control of the Isle of Man were started on St Michael's Isle (mainly 12th century). Therefore the Round Fort was built in the 1500’s during Henry VIII reign, it formed part of the coastal defensive system. These defenses were then re-fortified in the 1600’s by James 7th Earl of Derby during the English Civil War and it was renamed Derby Fort. Later in the 1700's the fort also became a lighthouse and more recent defenses were added during World War II. However nowadays the fort is unused.
Located along the bay between Derbyhaven and Castletown, the hill is an ancient place of execution, . William Christian of Ronaldsway was shot here for his part in the Manx uprising of 1651 against the Derby family, who held the Island. The ruins are of a late 17th century summerhouse known as Mount Strange, which is a possible prehistoric burial site. Its name comes from the Norse for Gallows hill, but it was renamed by the Derby family as Mount Strange in honour of the Derby heir Lord Strange.
Scarlett Visitor Centre
Scarlett Visitor Centre is between the Scarlett Quarry (the source of the limestone which helped build Castletown) and the limekilns. At the visitor centre you can find maps and displays of the area including information about the geology and fossil remains and the wildlife. There are also nature trails which lead beyond the centre and let you see the limestone pavements and volcanic rocks, including the Stack close up. The Visitor Centre is open from May to September between Tuesday and Sunday from 2pm to 5pm and admission is free.
This ancient monument is in the south of the Island near Castletown, overlooking the Bay ny Carrickey. Excavation of the site has revealed a number of significant finds including prehistoric flints, Bronze Age burials, Iron Age earthworks, early Christian graves and even a Viking boat burial. An ancient Keeill chapel dating between 900 and 1000AD and a Bronze Age grave dating to 10000 BC have also been discovered at the site.
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