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Famous residents of our Island

Born or brought up on the island-

  • Bee Gee's, pop music group.
  • Mark Cavendish, professional cyclist for Team Columbia HTC.
  • Christine Collister contemporary folk singer.
  • Illiam Dhone (or William Christian) led an uprising against English rule over the island; executed in 1663.
  • Frank Kermode  literary critic.
  • Charles Kerruish in 1961 became first Manx-born head of government.
  • Nigel Kneale science fiction and horror screenwriter.
  • Archibald Knox arts and crafts designer.
  • David Knight professional enduro dirtbike rider.
  • Ned Maddrell last native speaker of the manx language, (died 1974).
  • Davy Knowles front man of Back Door Slam

Moved to the island-

  • Sir Thomas Henry Hall Craine British novelist and playwright.
  • Jeremy Clarkson motoring journalist and Top Gear presenter .
  • John Rhys Davies actor.
  • George MacDonald Fraser author.
  • Andy Kershaw disc jockey.
  • Nigel Mansell 1992 Formula one and 1993 Indy car World Champion.
  • James Toseland World Super Bike Champion.
  • Sir Norman Wisdom British actor & comedian.
  • Chris Norman an English soft rock singer, Lead singer of Smokie, an English glam rock band from Bradford, which found success in Europe in the 1970s.


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Quick History of the Isle of Mann

Ancient times to present

The Isle of Man became separated from Britain and Ireland by about 8000 BC. It appears that colonisation took place by sea sometime before 6500 bc. The first residents lived in small natural shelters, hunting, fishing and gathering for their food. They used small tools made of flint or bone, which have been found near the coast. Representatives of these artifacts are kept at the Manx Museum.

The neolthic Period marked the coming of knowledge of farming, better stone tools and pottery. It was during this period that Megalithic Monuments began to appear around the island. Examples from this period can be found at Cashtal yn Ard near Maughold, King orry's Grave in Laxey, Meayll Circle near Cregneash, and Ballaharra Stones in St. John's. The Megaliths were not the only culture during this time, there were also the local and Bann cultures.

During the Bronze Age, the large communal tombs of the Megaliths were replaced with smaller burial mounds. Bodies were put in stone lined graves along with ornamental containers. The Bronze Age burial mounds created long lasting markers about the countryside.

The Braaid, in central Isle of Man, with remnants of a Celtic-Norse roundhouse and two longhouses, c. 650 - 950 A.D.

The Iron Age marked the beginning of Celtic cultural influence. Large hill forts appeared on hill summits, and smaller promontory forts along the coastal cliffs, while large timber-framed roundhouses were built. It is likely that the first Celtic tribes to inhabit the Island were of the Brythonic variety. Around AD 700 it is assumed that Irish invasion or immigration formed the basis of the early Manx population. This is evident in the change in language used in Ogham inscriptions. MANX GAELIC remains closely related to Irish and Scots Gaelic.

Viking settlement of the Isle of Man began at the end of the 8th century. The Vikings established TYNWALD ("northern isles") of and introduced many land divisions that still exist. They also left the Manx runestones. Although the Manx language does contain Norse influences, they are few. The Norse Kingdom of Mann and the Isles was created by GODRED CROVEN in 1079 after the Battle of Skyhill. During Viking times, the islands of this kingdom were called the Súðreyjar or Sudreys ("southern isles") in contrast to the NorðreyjarOrkney,  Shetland and the Hebrides. This later became Anglicised as Sodor. The Church of England diocese is still called the  Diocese of Sodor and Mann although it only covers Mann.

In 1266, as dictated in the Treaty of Perth, Norway's King Magnus VI ceded the isles to Scotland. The Isle of Man came under English control in the 14th century. During this period the Isle was dominated by the Stanley family, who also held the title of Earl of Derby, who had been given possession of Mann by King Henry IV. In 1703 the Act of Settlement secured peasant rights and marked the beginning of a move away from Fedual government. In 1765, however, the British Crown Secured a greater control of the Island, without incorporating it into Great Britain, laying the grounds for the island's status as a Crown Dependancy. Second world wars the island was used as a location for Centrel powers and In 1866 greater autonomy was restored to the island's parliament and a full transition to democracy began. The Isle quickly developed as a finance centre and tourist destination, becoming increasingly prosperous during the 20th century. During both the First and interment camps for Axis citizens and suspected sympathisers, respectively.


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The Isle of Man is a "low tax economy" with no capital gains tax, wealth tax, stamp duty, or inheitance tax and a top rate of income tax of 18%. A "tax cap" is in force. The maximum amount of tax payable by an individual is £100,000 or £200,000 for couples if they choose to have their incomes jointly assessed. 

The £100,000 tax cap equates to an assessable income of approximately £570,000. Personal income is assessed and taxed on a total 'worldwide' income basis rather than a remittance basis. This means that all income earned throughout the world is assessable for Manx tax rather than only income earned in or brought into the Island.

The rate of corperation tax is 0% for almost all types of income, the only exceptions are that the profits of banks are taxed at 10%, as is rental (or other) income from land and buildings situated on the Isle of Man.

Offshore banking, manufacturing, and tourism form key sectors of the economy. Agriculture and fishing, once the mainstays of the economy, now make declining contributions to the Island's Gross domestic product (GDP).

Trade takes place mostly with the United Kingdom. The island is in customs union with the UK, and related revenues are pooled and shared under the Common purse agreement.

The Manx government promotes island locations for making films by contributing to the production costs. Since 1995 over eighty films have been made on the island.


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As well as the main island of Mann itself, the Isle of Man includes some nearby small islands: the seasonally inhabited Calf of Man; Chicken Rock on which stands an unmanned lighthouse; and St Patrick's Isle and St Michael's Isle, both connected to the mainland by permanent roads/causeways.

The Isle of Man is located in the middle of the northern Irish Sea, approximately equidistant from the islands of Britain and Irish. In the context of Britain, the island lies closest to Scotland followed by England and then Wales.

The Calf of Mann seen from Cregneash.

The Isle is 52 kilometres (32 mi) long and 22 kilometres (14 mi) wide at its widest point. It has an area of around 572 square kilometres (221 sq mi).

Hills in the north and south are bisected by a central valley. The extreme north is exceptionally flat, consisting mainly of deposits built up by deposition from glacial advances from western Scotland during colder times. There are more recently deposited Shingle beaches at the Point of Ayre. The island has only one mountain higher than 600 metres (2,000 ft), Snaefell, with a height of 621 metres (2,037 ft). According to an old saying, from the summit one can see six kingdoms: those of Mann, Scotland, England, Ireland, Wales, and Heaven. Some versions add a seventh kingdom, that of Ulster, the Sea, or Neptune.


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The culture of the Isle of Man is influenced by its CELTIC and to a lesser extent its Norse origins, though its close proximity to the UK, period as a UK tourist destination and recent mass immigration by British migrant workers has meant that British influence has been dominant since the Revetments period. Recent revival campaigns have attempted to preserve the surviving vestiges of Manx culture, and significant interest in the Manx language, history and musical tradition have been the result!! :)

The name 'Isle of Mann'

The origin of the name Isle of Man is unclear. In the MANX Gaelic language the Isle of Man is known as Ellan Vannin, where ellan is a Gaelic word meaning 'island'. The earliest form of 'Man' is Manu or Mana giving the name Manann leading to the word Mannin, which is LENITED when used after the feminine word Ellan, giving Mhannin. As 'mh' is pronounced like a 'v' in

Goidelic languages, in modern Manx the name becomes Ellan Vannin. These forms are related to the figure of Celtic Mythology known as MANANAN MEC Y LIER to the Manx, MHANNIN to the Irish and MANAWYNDAN to the Welsh.


A bilingual sign in the Isle of Man featuring Manx Gaelic and English.

Manx Gaelic is a Goidelic Celtic language and is one of a number of insular gaelic langauges spoken in the British Isles. Manx Gaelic has been officially recognised as a legitimate language.

The Manx Gaelic language is closely related to the Irish and Scottish Gaelic. 

In common use (amoungst others) are the greetings moghrey mie and fastyr mie which mean 'good morning' and 'good afternoon' respectively. The Manx language knows no 'evening' as it is 'afternoon'. Another frequently heard Manx expression is traa dy liooar meaning 'time enough', and represents a stereotypical view of the Manx attitude to life.


Manx triskelion.

For centuries, the island's symbol has been its ancient Three legs of Mann, a device similar to Sicily's triskelion: three bent legs, each with a spur, joined at the thigh. The Manx triskelion does not appear to have an official design; government publications, currency, flags, the tourist authority and others all use different variants.

Sculpture by Bryan Kneale called "The Legs of Man" at the terminal entrance at RONALDSWAY Airport

The three legs refer to the island's motto (adopted late in the symbol's history): Quocunque Jeceris Stabit, traditionally translated from Latin as 'Whithersoever you throw it, it will stand', or 'Whichever way you throw it, it will stand'.

The origin of the 'Three Legs of Man' (as they are usually called) is explained in the Manx legend that Manannan repelled an invasion by transforming into the three legs and rolling down the hill and defeating the invaders.

Motorbike racing

The main international motorcycle event associated with the island is the TT RACES, which began in 1907 and takes place in late May and early June. It is now an international road racing event for motorbikes and used to be part of the World Championship. The Manx Grand Prix is a motorcycle event for amateurs and private entrants that uses the same 37.73 miles (60.72 km) Snaefell Mountain Road in late August and early September.


Pictured above is the Cushag- The national flower of Mannin!

The Cushag

Now, the cushag, we know, must never grow
Where the farmer's work is done;
But along the rills in the heart of the hills
The Cushag may shine like the sun,
Where the golden flowers
Have fairy powers
To gladden our hearts with their grace,
And in Vannin Veg Veen,
In the valleys green,
The Cushags have still a place.

Written by Josephine Kermode (b.1852-1937)


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Tynwald, the island's parliament, was nominally founded in AD 979. It is the oldest continuous parliament in the WORLD. The annual ceremonial meeting in July on Tynwald day! the island's National day, continues to be held at Tynwald Hill, where titles are announced and a brief description of the new laws enacted by Tynwald during the previous year is given.

Tynwald is believed to be the longest continually running Parliament in the world - if Westminster is the mother of Parliaments, Tynwald is the very approachable grandmother. The date usually given for the first Tynwald (the name is a corruption of the Old Norse thingvollyr, meaning field assembly) is 1079, when the Viking Godred Crovan conquered the island and imposed the Norse custom of such law giving gatherings on the people there.

Tynwald Day is a wonderful throwback to those times, taking the Parliament back to the people - surely there is a lesson in that for other politicians?
Every year on July 5, or if circumstances dictate a day very close to it, a gathering is held at Tynwald Hill, St John‚s, near Peel. The officials may carry no weapons within the bounds set on the hill, another throwback to more turbulent Viking days.

The business of the day is firstly to proclaim, in both Manx and English, a summary of all the laws passed in the Parliament during the previous year; and secondly, to hear petitions of redress from those islanders who have a grievance which they would like sorted.

So not only do the officials have to come to the people, but the people get to air some views to the officials too. Without the proclamation to the people the laws passed are not strictly legal, a way of reminding the politicians whom they govern for, not whom they govern.


A satellite image of the Isle of Man.

The United Kingdom is responsible for the island's defence and ultimately for GOOD GOVERNANCE (?) and for representing the island in international forums, while the island's own parliament and government have competence over all domestic matters.


The island's parliament is Tynwald, which dates from at least AD 979 and is the oldest continuously existing ruling body in the WORLD. Tynwald is a bicameral legislature, comprising the House of Keys (directly elected by universal suffrage) and the Legislative Council). These two bodies meet together in joint session as Tynwald.

The executive branch of government is the Council of Ministers, which is composed of members of Tynwald. It is headed by the Chief Minister. The Council of Ministers comprises the greater part of the House of Keys.

VICE REGAL functions of the Head of State are performed by a Lieutenant Governor.

External relations and security

Under British Law, the Isle of Man is not part of the United Kingdom. However, the UK takes care of its external and defence affairs, and retains paramount power to legislate for the island. There are no independent military forces on the Isle of Man. There is an independent Isle of Man police force, which is controlled directly by the Isle of Man Government, but which nonetheless voluntarily submits to inspection by the UK inspectorate of police.


Citizenship in the Isle of Man is governed by UK law. Passports issued by the Isle of Man Passport Office say "British Islands - Isle of Man" on the cover but the nationality status stated on the passport is simply "British Citizen". However, although Manx passport holders are British citizens, because the Isle of Man is not part of the EU, those without a grandparent born in the UK (or who have not lived continuously for a period of five or more years in the UK) do not have the same rights as other British citizens with regard to employment and establishment in the EU.

Isle of Man passports can be issued to any British citizen in the Isle of Man (whether or not that person has "Manx status" under the local Isle of Man employment laws). They can also be issued to Manx-connected British citizens residing in the UK or any of the other Crown Dependencies. The Manx Nationality is determined from the person's parental nationality or if they have lived on the Isle of Man for their whole life.

European Union

The Isle of Man holds neither membership nor associate membership of the EU. Protocol 3 of the UK's Act of Accession to the Treaty of Rome permits trade for Manx goods without tariffs. In conjunction with the Customs and Excise agreement with the UK, this facilitates free trade with the UK. While Manx goods can be freely moved within the EU, capital and services cannot be. EU citizens are entitled to travel and reside in the island without restriction.

Commonwealth of Nations

The Isle of Man is not itself a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. By virtue of its relationship with the United Kingdom, it takes part in several Commonwealth institutions, including the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and the Commonwealth Games.


Isle of Man local authorities and sheadings

Most Manx politicians stand for election as independents rather than as representatives of political parties. Though political parties do exist, their influence is not nearly as strong as in the United Kingdom. The largest political party is the recently established LIBERAL VANNIN PARTY, which promotes greater Manx independence and more accountability in Government. A nationalist pressure group MEC VANNIN advocates the establishment of a REPUBLIC. A new party, called the MANX INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENT has recently been formed which aims to reverse the Islands status as a Crown-dependency to become an Independent state. (

Local government

Local government on the Isle of Man is based around the concept of ancient parishes. There are two types of local authorities: a corperation for the Borough of Douglas, and bodies of 'commissioners' for the town districts of Castletown, Peel and Ramsey, the village districts of Kirk Michael, Laxey, Onchan, Port Erin and Port St. Mary, and the 15 'parish districts' (those parishes or parts of parishes which do not fall within the districts previously mentioned). Local authorities are under the supervision of the Isle of Man Government's Department of Local Government and the Environnment (DOLGE).

Join Mannin Seyr (contact us page) today and play YOUR part in keeping the Manx spirit ALIVE!


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