On Saturday 26th May, at 10am, Castle Rushen will re-open its gates ready to welcome visitors.
Every year, once the visitors leave in November the Castle is the subject of intensive conservation interventions to preserve the history hidden behind the walls. In recent years MNH has replaced roofs, re-pointed the masonry walls, removed gorse, and improved drainage. These are vital labour-intensive projects using traditional materials and local craftsmen to complete the task. Some of the interventions are on areas which have not needed repairing since it was changed to a prison in 1816, and are not normally visible to the public.
However, this last winter also saw the first major improvements to the public facilities at the Castle since Manx National Heritage took on the site 30 years ago. The works have seen the construction of a new fully accessible bridge to the Keep, level access to the ground floor rooms, new glazed doorways in the Gatehouse, a new shop area and an interpretation room. Castles are designed to keep people out but the new improvements will welcome visitors and have been undertaken to give the widest possible access – including those with limited mobility.
This conservation project began at the close of the season in 2017 and has taken place during a relentless winter. Our visitor’s safety is paramount and we take this opportunity to thank our supporters for their patience whilst these key works have been under way and apologise for any inconvenience it may have caused. Visitors will still see scaffolding as our contractors are still working on the roof of the Flag Tower – the very highest point of the Castle and the most difficult to access.
Manx National Heritage looks forward to welcoming both our local audience and visitors to the Island to wander the castle grounds and explore the role the Castle has played in the town over time. In the months to come there will be more rooms open and more stories told about the people who lived and worked there.
Our experienced team will be on hand during the weekend to discuss the project with visitors and to answer any questions you have about the Castle.