The Nautical Museum, Castletown, is a branch of the Manx National Heritage and
was opened in June, 1951. It centres on the 18th Century yacht Peggy,
and occupies the boathouse built for her by her owner, Captain George
Quayle, in 1789. The small, three-storeyed building stands in the
shadow of Bridge House, the Castletown home of the Quayle family
of the Bridge House and Crogga, which dominates the north-eastern
side of the harbour and reflects the prominence of the Quayle family
in the life of the Islands capital in the 18th century.
George Quayle (1751-1835), eldest son of John Quayle, a learned
and patriotic Clerk of the Rolls, was one of the striking figures
of his period. He was a member of the House of Keys for 51 years
and during the time of the wars with France from 1793 was an able
officer in successive Manx forces raised for Island defence. He
was a co-founder of the earliest bank in the Isle of Man. An enthusiastic
inventor, he won the gold medal of the Society of Arts for one of
his inventions. He was widely travelled, and journeyed as far afield
The owner of the Peggy was a man of ingenuity and the boathouse
he erected has many curious features which reveal his lively and
inventive mind. It is a happy stroke of fortune that it has survived
the years intact to become the home of the Island's Nautical Museum.
There could be few more appropriate settings than this old building
built in 1789 tucked in by the harbour of the ancient capital of
Mann, and looking across the tide to Castle Rushen and the spot
where the Norse kings long ago drew up their ships and made a fortress
from which to rule their kingdom of Mann.
We are indebted to Manx National Heritage for their
assistance with copyright text and photographic images.