Castle Rushen is located in the Isle of Man's historic capital, Castletown. The castle is amongst the best examples of medieval castles in the British Isles, and is still in use as a court house, museum and educational centre.

The exact date of castle is unknown, although construction is thought to have taken place during the reigns of the late 12th century and early 13th century rulers of the Isle of Man – the Kings of Mann and the Isles. The original Castle Rushen consisted of a central square stone tower, or keep. The site was also fortified to guard the entrance to the Silver Burn. From its early beginnings, the castle was continually developed by successive rulers of Mann between the 13th and 16th century. The limestone walls dominated much of the surrounding landscape, serving as a point of dominance for the various rulers of the Isle of Man. By 1313, the original keep had been reinforced with towers to the west and south. In the 14th century, an east tower, gatehouses, and curtain wall were added.

After several more changes of hands the English and their supporters eventually prevailed. The English king Edward I Longshanks claimed that the island had belonged to the Kings of England for generations and he was merely reasserting their rightful claim to the Isle of Man.

The 18th century saw the castle in steady decay. By the end of the century it was converted into a prison. Even though the castle was in continuous use as a prison, the decline continued until the turn of the 20th century, when it was restored under the oversight of the Lieutenant Governor, George Somerset, 3rd Baron Raglan. Following the restoration work, and the completion of the purpose-built Victoria Road Prison in 1891, the castle was transferred from the British Crown to the Isle of Man Government in 1929.

Today it is run as a museum by Manx National Heritage, depicting the history of the Kings and Lords of Mann. Most rooms are open to the public during the opening season (March to October), and all open rooms have signs telling their stories. The exhibitions include a working medieval kitchen where authentic period food is prepared on special occasions and re-enactments of various aspects of medieval life are held on a regular basis, with particular emphasis on educating the local children about their history. Archaeological finds made during excavations in the 1980s are displayed and used as learning tools for visitors.

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Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Dorothy Warren (12 months ago)
Have visited many Scottish castles but never seen anything as grotesque as the medieval inhabitant on his throne with accompanying sound effects. Fantastic views from the top. Well worth the climb.
Julie Corteen (12 months ago)
Lovely medieval castle in the old capital, Castletown. (South of the Island). It's next to the market Square and the harbour. It's in the most amazing condition, a brilliant example and a credit to Manx National Heritage who maintain it. It's full of exhibits and information, windy staircases, and you can go right to the top for amazing views of Castletown and the south. Well worth a visit 5*s.
Deana Emsley (12 months ago)
Really enjoyed this place. So complete! It makes a nice change to not just be walking round a ruin. Well worth the money to get in and the surrounding shops are also nice ?
Hugh McGivern (13 months ago)
This is a proper old castle, not a mock-up stately home. It is the dominating feature in a well groomed visitor friendly town. A well spent hour self tour was quite expensive but there aren't that many tourist to help with upkeep so no complaints.
adop (2 years ago)
perhaps the conch and jt is
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