The History Of The Viking Castle In Peel, Isle Of Man

The Peel Castle situated on St. Patrick’s Isle, a small island connected to the seaside town of Peel in the Isle of Man, is a castle which was originally built by the Norsemen during the Viking Age. During the late part of the 11th century, the Isle of Man was under the control of King Magnus III of Norway (also known as Magnus Barefoot) along with other nearby islands in the Irish Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean.

The Isle of Man, together with the Hebrides and the islands of Clyde, constituted an early medieval kingdom known as the Kingdom of the Isles (or as the Kingdom of Mann and the Isles), which went on an eventful period of skirmishes between the King of the Isles, the rulers of early medieval Ireland as well as with the Kingdom of Norway (either through the Norwegian monarchs or through their vassals, namely the earls of the Orkneys).

Peel Castle, Isle of Man, 19th century engraving by William Miller. Image source: www.commons.wikimedia.org

Viking raids are known to have unfolded on Manx soil commencing from the late part of the 8th century. Initially, the Norwegian Vikings raided the Catholic abbey of Iona which was located on a small island in the Inner Hebrides, but they subsequently voyaged southward to reach the Isle of Man as well. When King Harald Fairhair (Harald Hårfagre) became King of Norway, many of his rivals fled to Scotland or to the islands in the Irish Sea, at least according to Orkneyinga Saga.

When the Norse conquered the Isle of Man, they introduced the Manx legislature (the Tynwald) as well as many land divisions, still in use today. In the 13th century, King Magnus VI of Norway ceded the islands to Scotland in the Treaty of Perth.

Peel Castle, Isle of Man, in June, 2006. Image source: www.commons.wikimedia.com

The castle in Peel was most likely built for King Magnus III of Norway sometime during the late 11th century. Below you can watch a footage of the Peel Castle on St. Patrick’s Isle, Isle of Man from a youtuber’s channel:

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1 Response to The History Of The Viking Castle In Peel, Isle Of Man

  1. Erich Schubert says:

    awesome.was this castle ever attacked or taken by an opposing force?never realized the Norse were such impressive builders.thank you ,this was very interesting.

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