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The Old House of Keys

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Address: Castletown
Phone Number: +44 1624 648000

The Old House of Keys in Castletown was once the centre of 19th century...

The Old House of Keys in Castletown was once the centre of 19th century political life on the Island. The building is one chapter in the long and often turbulent history of Manx politics which stretches back to the 9th and 10th centuries when the Viking Kings ruled the Isle of Man. The fascinating Old House of Keys building has been restored to its former appearance of 1866 – a milestone in Manx history when the old self-elected House of Keys took its first steps along the road to modern democracy by passing the House of Keys Election Bill and becoming a popularly elected body. During your visit you’ll see how democracy developed in the Island – sometimes years ahead of England – and the effect that political decisions have had and continue to have on the Manx nation. You’ll meet the costumed secretary of this historic building before taking a seat in the finely restored debating chamber where you’ll enjoy an active debate on setting the laws of the Island.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 87 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 58
  • 24
    Very good
  • 2
  • 0
  • 2
Interesting and worth a look

Amazingly Castletown was once the capital of the Isle of Man and equally amazingly this was the parliament. Worth a visit.

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 1 week ago
Oxford, United Kingdom
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87 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 86: English reviews
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
541 reviews
206 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 210 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Amazingly Castletown was once the capital of the Isle of Man and equally amazingly this was the parliament. Worth a visit.

Thank BrushM
Level Contributor
137 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

It is a nice place too see and find out more about Isle of Man history, but not only. A visit here is less than one hour and the place is close to Castle Rushen.

Thank photocetera
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Although I found it hard to find the Old House of Keys - was glad I did The staff were so very helpful and full of the history of the building, the rulers, the politics and the Island

Thank Neil P
Elche, Spain
Level Contributor
20 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We were in a group of ten people and hadn't booked to go into the Old House of Keys, but when we were at the Nautical Museum we mentioned that we might like to go there. The guide at the Nautical Museum arranged for us to attend a staged sitting with a parliament later in the day. We were very... More 

Thank birdersylvia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 October 2016 via mobile

Janice and John gave me a brilliantly look into history of The House Of Keys , well worth a visit . Thank you.

Thank Marion Y
Andover, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
100 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 October 2016 via mobile

Best interactive experience I can remember ever.history comes alive as you participate in the debates in the old house of keys. The speaker is a waxwork who comes to life and You can join in the banter and the votes

Thank jean_mcleod67
Leicester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 October 2016 via mobile

Straight into carachter, you are a privileged member of the council about to debate the introduction of new laws for the Island. The innovative use of technology really enhanced the experience. I was a bit concerned before going in, but it was a great experience.

Thank Archerdra
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 September 2016 via mobile

I decided to visit, not expect to g an interactive experience. Really well done and the time flew. I would recommend it for older children but younger ones might find it dull.

Thank Sue B
Level Contributor
170 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 September 2016

Informative visit. Well presented and an excellent renovation of what was there before it became a bank amongst other uses. No expense seemed to have been spared in the work. Recommended.

Thank brynelfed
Port Erin, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 August 2016

This is one of several interesting buildings here you can take a tour around and see all of the buildings within walking distance.There is cafes,shops,a bowling green &tennis courts,park,swimming pool(indoor)lovely walks around the coast, a fantastic coastal golf coarse.

Thank cookie739

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Questions & Answers

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1 question
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Leicester, United Kingdom
5 months ago

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?