P is for Castle Peel

Located on St. Patrick’s Isle, Peel was built in the 11th century by Vikings under the rule of our favorite king, Magnus Barefoot. Initially the castle was a Celtic religious site, but when Magnus’ forces arrived they replaced those with wood battlements. The sandstone walls did not appear until the 14th century.

There are so many things that I want to tell you about Castle Peel and the role it plays in The Manx but the spoilers would pile up too high. Instead I’ll leave you with a photo of it and you can imagine your own tales that might occur here.

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This post inspired by – P

Q is for Queenies

H is for Haunted

The Isle of Man is an island of rolling hills, quaint villages and bustling towns. It also has its fair share of haunted places.  Let me introduce you to just a few.

The Milntown Estate is located near Ramsey and was built in the early 1600’s. According to Lovely Greens, the house is haunted by a former Lady of the house who is more of a friendly, vs the other ghost who is a bit more aggressive.

Ben Sowrey and Dario Leonetti are the “Ghost Hunters” of the Isle of Man and they spent a night in the Milntown house declaring it Most Haunted. Here is the video the was produced for Gef The Mongoose: The Most Haunted.

The Gaiety Theatre is another haunted place listed by Gef The Mongoose. There are supposed to be four ghosts in the theater with the most well known one sitting in seat B14. This is her favorite seat so the theater keeps it open for her. Those who have experienced her haunting initially see a kindly older woman, but it isn’t until she slides into the wall near her seat that they realize they have been sitting by a ghost.

Last, but not least, are the black dogs that are seen in many places around the island. One dog in particular is Moddey Dhoo. My readers will be happy to know that Moddey is one of the characters in my book. I will have a post coming up about who he is, but for now, let me tell you the story about Moddey Dhoo of Castle Peel.

According to legend, there is a dog seen curled in front of the fire in one room or another throughout Castle Peel. No one knew who this dog was, and once the guards had locked the gates and secured the castle, Moddey would join them in the guard-room.

The guards, without fail, would take the caste key to the captain of the guards each night and they always traveled in pairs. One night, after having too much ale, one of the guards went alone. Once down the hall there came such a wail of screams that the remaining guards were frozen in their chairs. The single man came back out of his mind and he died three days later.

If you are out at night around Castle Peel, I suggest taking a friend.

There are many more places around the Isle of Man that are haunted, and many more wrapped in folklore. Here are a few links where you can discover them for yourself:

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This post inspired by — H

I is for Isle of Man

G is for Geography

It’s time to talk geography. I have mentioned Isle of Man in previous posts, and told you how small it really is (221 square miles, in case you missed that post). Today I want to tell about the actual island and its geography makeup. This will not by your typical “this is this, and that is that” kind of post. I hated geography in school so I won’t make this tedious for you.

But, I do have to give you a few quick facts:

  • It is in the middle of the Irish Sea
  • Its highest point is Mt. Snaefell at 2,036 feet
  • Most of the coastline is rocky
  • It is treeless except in a few areas that are sheltered from the climate
  • Ramsey is a large northern town (population close to 8,000)
  • Douglas is the capital (Population 27,000+)
  • The southern most tip you’ll find Calf of Man

So, there are your facts about the Isle of Man. Now let’s take a look of some of the fun stuff like, the Drinking Dragon. At the southern tip is this wonderful rock formation that looks like a dragon dipping its nose in the sea for a sip of water.

Another fun feature of the island is Mt. Snaefell. This peak is lower than my house (I’m at 6,000 feet here in Colorado), and is not too exciting to look at.

There is an old building on top along with a radio tower. Even though it is wind blown and cloudy most of the time, if you go to the top on a clear day they say you can see six kingdoms: Isle of Man, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Heaven. Now that’s cool.

The last place we’ll visit is St. Patrick’s Isle. This small tidal island is mostly occupied by Peel Castle. This castle is where my characters, Donal and Kaitlin, will meet their first buggane, along with meeting the Witch of Slieu Whallian.

 The castle was originally a worship center until the Vikings arrived in the 11th century. It was fully constructed by King Magnus (aka Magnus Barefoot, and another in the cast of The Manx). According to legends he built this as his summer getaway. More likely this was a perfect staging area to conquer large portions of the coastal areas of the Irish Sea.

I hope you enjoyed this little tour of the Isle of Man. Although small in size, the island is large in interesting landscapes.

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This post inspire by – G