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Peel (page 1) Peel (page 2)

Peel (page 3)

St Patrick's Isle, 1988
Photography by John Ball, 1988
Above: Peel Castle and Cathedral on St Patrick's Isle, viewed from the beach.
Prominent on the skyline to the left is the Round Tower (see below).

  Round Tower, Peel Castle, 1985
Photography by John Ball, 1985

Right: The Round Tower, St Patrick's Isle, Peel.

The year 768 A.D. saw the first Viking excursions into the Irish Sea.
Like all holy places, St Patrick's Isle suffered Viking attacks and the original timber places of worship, known as keeils, were destroyed by fire. They were relaced by more robust stone-built churches, and in the tenth century A.D. a Round Tower was erected on St Patrick's Isle as a place of refuge. The 50-foot high tower still stands today, with its original conical roof replaced by a castellated surround. Nearby are the remains of a church dedicated to St Patrick, whose foundations date from the same period. Many exciting archaeological discoveries have been made on St Patrick's Isle.

Millennium of Tynwald

In 1979 the Manx people celebrated 1000 years of unbroken parliament. In ancient times, Norse rulers held open-air meetings of their officers and freemen at which laws were recited, new laws were submitted for approval, and judgement was given on lawbreakers. The meetings were held at a place the Norse called Thing-vollr (Parliament field) from which the word Tynwald is derived. Every year, on 5th July (Old Midsummers Day), the Manx Tynwald is still held on Tynwald Hill, St John's. During the ceremony, Manx laws are read out to the gathering in Manx Gaelic, the Island's own language.
During 1979, many special events were held to commemorate the Millennium of Tynwald, culminating on Tynwald Day itself with a visit by Queen Elizabeth II, Lord of Mann.
The Millennium of Tynwald was also marked by the epic five-week 1500 mile voyage of the Odin's Raven, a two-thirds scale replica of a Viking longboat which had been rowed from Norway to the Isle of Man. The crew of 16 included five Norwegians and eleven Manxmen. The photographs below show the crowds greeting the arrival of Odin's Raven at Peel on 4th July 1979. Peel Castle forms an impressive backdrop to the scene.

Peel, 1979
Photography by John Ball, July 1979
Above: In July 1979, crowds gather on the beach in the heat haze to welcome the arrival of Odin's Raven, the Viking longboat from Norway.
Arrival of Odin's Raven, 1979
Photography by John Ball, July 1979
Above: The Viking longboat (centre) is greeted by an escort of numerous vessels of all shapes and sizes, including a Royal Navy cruiser.
Arrival of Odin's Raven, 1979
Photography by John Ball, July 1979
Above: The crowds gather round as the crew of Odin's Raven wades ashore. Note the Norwegian and Manx flags flying from the stern of the longboat.
  Museum ticket

The Odin's Raven is on permanent display in the Peel Heritage Centre, together with many other exhibits illustrating Peel's long history.

Right: Admission ticket to the Odin's Raven display.

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