The Archaeology of the Isle of Man

Sunrise at Douglas Lighthouse
Sunrise at Douglas Lighthouse
Peel castle, constructed by Vikings in Peel city
Peel castle, constructed by Vikings in Peel city
Castle Rushen
Castle Rushen
View of Castle Rushen from the harbour
View of Castle Rushen from the harbour
Celtic cross war memorial at St. John's, near Tynwald Hill
Celtic cross war memorial at St. John's, near Tynwald Hill
The Great Laxey Wheel, Isle of Man
The Great Laxey Wheel, Isle of Man

Ellan Vannin – the Isle of Man – boasts a rich archaeological heritage from the Neolithic period and the Iron Age, a Celtic and Norse past, and times under the control of the  arls of Derby, the Dukes of Athol and then the British Crown. Add in the Great Laxey Wheel and Archibald Knox, and you’ll wonder why you’ve not explored before.

  • Visit Tynwald Hill, where the Isle of Man parliament has been meeting since the 13th century
  • See the world’s largest working waterwheel at Laxey
  • View striking examples of Celtic and Norse crosses
  • Discover a Viking ship burial at Balladoole

Themes

  • Vikings

Itinerary 2020

Day 1

We meet in Douglas, Isle of Man, at our hotel. There will be a welcome lecture from our expert this evening before dinner, which will give us an interesting introduction to the surrounding area. 

Hotel: Sefton Hotel, Douglas
Meals: Dinner included

Day 2

This morning we pay a visit to King Orry’s grave, a Neolithic chambered cairn, the Neolithic tombs at Cashtal yn Ard, and Ballafayle, which is also a Quaker burial ground. Kirk Andreas houses cross-slabs dating from the 7th to 11th centuries and Kirk Maughold is the site of an early monastery with Celtic and Norse memorials.

Hotel: Sefton Hotel, Douglas
Meals: All meals included

Day 3

Today, we start with the Neo-Gothic Kirk Michael church, which boasts an impressive collection of Norse crosses. Then we explore Peel Castle, which was originally constructed by Vikings in the 11th century, before moving on to the House of Manannan museum. Here, we will be guided through the island’s fascinating maritime, Viking and Celtic past. We also visit Tynwald Hill, which still plays a prominent role in Manx government, and Saint Trinian’s medieval church at the foot of Greeba Hill. This particular structure is known in Manx as the ‘Keeil Brisht’ and has long been associated with a folktale called ‘The Buggane of St Trinian’s’. 

Hotel: Sefton Hotel, Douglas
Meals: All meals included

Day 4

First up this morning is a visit to the Neolithic Meayll Circle, which is believed to have been built thousands of years ago, and also the village folk museum in Cregneash. Then it’s on to Chapel Hill in Balladoole to see an Iron Age fort, a Viking ship burial and a Celtic/Norse chapel. Afterwards, we visit Castle Rushen in Castletown and Rushen Abbey in Ballasalla before the chapel and Derby Fort on Saint Michael’s Isle.

Hotel: Sefton Hotel, Douglas
Meals: All meals included

Day 5

Our day begins at the Great Laxey Wheel – the world’s largest working waterwheel, which is also often fondly referred to as Lady Isabella and was built back in 1854. Moving on via Cronkbourne village, we visit Braddan cemetery, the Old Kirk Braddan to see the Braddan crosses. Afterwards, at the Manx Museum, we will have lunch and some free time to explore.

Hotel: Sefton Hotel, Douglas
Meals: All meals included

Day 6

After breakfast this morning, our tour comes to a close. We say our goodbyes and we make our way home independently from here.

Meals: Breakfast included

What's Included

  1. Expert Guide Lecturer
  2. Tour Manager
  3. Local Travel - Private a/c coach
  4. Meals - Most meals included with wine at dinner
  5. Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
  6. Field Notes
  7. Hotels

Travel Information

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2020 Tour Details

Mon 22nd Jun - Sat 27th Jun

Available

£1,495

Full Price £1595 Save £100

without flights

sgl supp: £95

IOM20A

Led By: Andrew Foxon

Mon 7th Sep - Sat 12th Sep

Available

£1,795

Full Price £1895 Save £100

without flights

sgl supp: £95

IOM20B

Led By: Andrew Foxon

Guide Lecturer

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