United Kingdom

Manx history in Peel Castle, Isle of Man

Looking for a place where you can find layer on layer of Manx history? Visit Peel Castle on St Patrick’s Isle, an isle once home to Christian missionaries, Viking warriors and kings, and be impressed by this magnificent heritage site. Constructed by the Vikings in the 11th century, Peel Castle remains an impressive place and provides an intriguing walk through history. This post will give you some background information on Peel Castle, shows Peel Castle’s main sights, introduces you to Modde Dhoo, and shows the best photos author Daphne took during her holiday on the island. Enjoy!

Good to know when visiting Peel Castle

At the Entrance of Peel Castle, I was given a handheld audio phone. This was my guide around the Isle and it helped me to explore the site. The site is covered in a thick blanket of grass and there is no set route. You can just walk around where you wish (not suitable for disabled, no paths). All the buildings and ruins are marked with numbers which can be keyed into the audio phone to hear a minute-long explanation. Once the inner castle has been visited, do not forget about the path around the outer wall, which has great views of Peel City and the sea. You might even spot some seals or basking sharks.

Background Information, Peel Castle

Peel Castle is a castle in Peel on the Isle of Man, in the Irish Sea, originally constructed by Vikings. It stands on St Patrick’s Isle which is connected to the town by a causeway. Peel Castle was originally a place of worship before becoming the fort of Magnus Barefoot, 11th century Viking King of Mann. It has a history that spreads across hundreds of years. Peel Castle has been a witness to many events and skirmishes on the island. It also served partly as a prison. After the rule of the Vikings, the castle continued to be used by the Church due to the cathedral built, but was eventually abandoned in the 18th century. The buildings within the castle are now mostly ruined, but the outer walls remain intact. Peel Castle is now owned by Manx National Heritage.

Main sights of Peel Castle

Visit St Patrick’s Church and the Round Tower which date back to the 10th and 11th centuries. The prominent round tower was originally part of the Celtic monastery, but had some battlements. The cathedral’s roof is completely missing.

Visit St German’s Cathedral and the cathedral crypt.

Stroll the castle’s extensive grounds and climb to the top of the Gatehouse Tower where you can enjoy panoramic views of Peel and beyond. Also, don’t forget to enter the 16th century Great Garrison Hall.

The giant black dog with fire-red eyes: Modde Dhoo

Modde Dhoo, in Manx folklore, is a giant black dog with fire-red eyes and razor-sharp teeth that reputedly haunted Peel Castle. The dog is said to have appeared almost every day, after the castle’s gates were closed. It terrified the guards because of its huge size and it even once killed a soldier. Whether the stories about this dog are true or not, Modde Dhoo remains an interesting part of Peel Castle’s history and attracts many tourists and photographers.


  • Adults £6.00
  • Children £3.00
The admission prices above reflect the standard  prices and are subject to change.

Have you already visited Peel Castle? What are your thoughts?

Author: Daphne

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