Castle Rushen – Decay & Restoration

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The 18th century saw the Castle’s gradual decay and, later, its conversion into the lsland’s prison. Its decline was only arrested at the turn of this century when, under the watchful eye of the then Lieutenant Governor, Lord Raglan, the accretions of the last few hundred years were stripped away to reveal the medieval structure. The Castle Rushen Isle of Man has also served as an administrative centre, including use as a mint to make local coinage in the 18th century, and culminating in its continued use as the lsland’s southern lawcourt.

Following the construction of a purpose-built prison for the Island in 1891 and the restoration work of Lord Raglan, the Castle was handed over by the British Crown to the Manx Government in 1929, to be administered by its properties division.

Leg restraints and handcuffs from the Prison era - photo: Manx National Heritage.Control of the Castle was vested in the Manx Museum and National Trust in 1988 when the restoration and redisplay of Castle Rushen was undertaken by Manx National Heritage.

In July 1991 the newly restored Castle was opened by The Rt. Hon. The Earl of Derby mc., as the first major Manx heritage site to be fully presented as part of the award-winning “Story of Mann.”

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