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Castle Rushen - Introduction

Castle Rushen from the air - photo: Manx National HeritageWelcome to Castle Rushen - probably the finest medieval castle in the British Isles - situated at the centre of Mann's historic capital, Castletown. This is one of Europe's most finely preserved medieval castles and its origins can be found in the Norse period when Norse Kings fortified a strategic site guarding the entrance to the Silverburn River.

The Castle was developed by successive rulers of Mann between the 13th and 16th centuries, and its towering limestone walls would have been visible over much of southern Mann - a continual reminder to the local population of the dominance of the Kings and Lords of Mann.

The history of Castle Rushen is long and chequered. As the seat of the Kings and Lords of Mann, it embodies the often turbulent position of the Isle of Man in the medieval period as a strategic possession on the western seaboard of Britain.

Through the following pages through which we hope to stir your imagination and whet your appetite in a tour through history from the very early days of Castle Rushen in the Viking era, through the Earls of Derby, Dukes of Athol to the Revestment - where the Castle and the Isle of Man returned to the Crown, the Prison, and to the present day.

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We are indebted to Manx National Heritage for their assistance with copyright text and photographic images.

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