Tribute to the Isle of Man
A pictorial tribute to Ellan Vannin Veg Veen ("dear little Isle of Man"), the birthplace of my maternal grandmother.
Note: Click here to open a scrollable map of the Isle of Man in a separate window for handy reference.
The Isle of Man is a small island situated in the Irish Sea midway between Ireland and the mainland of Britain. The Isle of Man has never been part of the United Kingdom. It was ceded by Norway to Scotland in 1266 and became a British Crown Dependency in 1765. It retains its own parliament (Tynwald) consisting of a crown-appointed lieutenant-governor, a legislative council, and an elected assembly called the House of Keys. It is a self-governing Island with a recognised right of self-determination.
It is perhaps best known as the source of Manx kippers, the tail-less Manx cat, and the annual Tourist Trophy ("TT") motor-cycle races, but there is much more to the Isle of Man than this. It has its own history and culture, its own language (Manx Gaelic), its own laws, its own coinage, and its own (low!) taxes.
The Island is 33 miles long and 13 miles wide at its widest point. It is slightly bigger than Singapore, and slightly smaller than Hong Kong; but the 1991 census showed that its population was only 71,267, compared to Singapore's 3.5 million (2000 estimate) and Hong Kong's 6.2 million (1995 estimate).
The Manx coastline includes sandy beaches, spectacular cliffs, and picturesque harbours, whilst inland there are remote uplands, lush green glens, ancient villages, and a northern plain. Almost all the geographical features of the British mainland are condensed into this one small island.
The Island has a long history of human settlement going back to the Stone Age, as well as later settlement by Celts, Vikings, and possibly a few survivors of the Spanish Armada.
My maternal grandmother was born on the Island in 1880 of Manx parents who themselves have a documented Manx ancestry, going back well over 300 years (see also my family history pages).
The largest town on the Island is Douglas, my grandmother's birthplace, but my tribute includes the towns of Peel (on the west coast) and Laxey (on the east coast), both of which have special memories for me, as well as other aspects of Island life.
Now join me on my exploration of the Isle of Man.
- Douglas - including: Shore and Quayside; Entertainments; Family History Connections
- Peel - including: History; Fishing Industry; Manx Kippers; Peel Town; Round Tower; Tynwald Millennium
- Laxey - Not yet available; feature still being developed
- Transport - Not yet available; feature still being developed
- Miscellany - Not yet available; feature still being developed
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