About Manx Museum
The Isle of Man has been inhabited since before 6500 BC and the Manx Museum in the island’s capital of Douglas tells a fascinating, absorbing story of the first hunter-gatherers, through Viking, Celtic, Gaelic, Scottish and even Norwegian rule, the island’s amazing natural habitat and all the way up to the world-famous Tourist Trophy motorcycle races, better known as the Isle of Man TT.
Manx Museum history
The Isle of Man is a self-governing Crown dependency in the Irish Sea between the English mainland and Northern Ireland. HRH Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state (also holding the official title Lord of Mann), it measures 572 square km (roughly a third of the size of Hertfordshire) and has a population of around 85,000.
The museum itself was founded after an act passed in 1886 to preserve the island’s cultural and historical heritage and is housed in what was formerly Noble’s Hospital Building. The hospital lay empty until 1922 when it was reopened as the Manx Museum.
Manx Museum today
Open between 9.30am and 4.30pm daily, the Manx Museum in Douglas on the island’s eastern edge takes visitors on a fascinating interactive journey through ten millennia if Manx history. The national art collection includes work by John Miller Nicholson, Archibald Knox and Hugh Dachinger, an Austrian-Jewish artist who was interned on the island during World War Two.
The Viking Gallery displays incredible hoards of gold and silver; you’ll hear the story of Tynwald, reported to be the world’s oldest continuous parliament (from 979) although there is some conjecture as to the actual date. Also discover the varied natural habitat and find out how the island turned from a Viking stronghold to a quaint Victorian holiday destination.
Finally, see the bikes and hear the stories from the world-famous Isle of Man TT motorcycle race which has been held here since 1907.
Getting to Manx Museum
The easiest way of reaching the Manx Museum within Douglas is by foot from Douglas Promenade, by crossing the footbridge in Chester Street Car Park or getting the Horse Tram to Sefton Hotel Stop on buses 3, 3A, 22, 22A, 23 or 23 and walking for 10 minutes.
A list of the best Viking sites, museums and ruins to visit, from the fortress at Trelleborg to Jelling archaeological site and more, includes an interactive map of Viking places to visit.