A mystical Ancient Kingdom and Two Cathedrals to explore

Peel Castle and old Cathedral by Mr David CretneyThe ‘Kingdom of Mann’, a small island in the middle of the Irish Sea should be on every visitor’s itinerary.  The Isle of Man is unique, but I want to transport you to Peel on west coast, known as the sunset city.

Here are two cathedrals, one an ancient ruin that stands inside a fortress on an Island now joined by a causeway, and the other a ‘new’ (Victorian) Cathedral which stands in the centre of the town. This is one of the oldest dioceses in the Church of England. The new St German’s Cathedral, which was designates as the Cathedral 40 years ago is gradually being transformed

Here are some things to look out for

A new Choral Evensong in the Anglican tradition at 3.30pm on a Sunday sung by choir and choristers.

A unique garden under construction with 19 different rooms that tell the story of the ancient Manx Kingdom and its church from the 5th century to the present day exploring the Celtic, Norse and Latin influences. (You can view each of these gardens from over 10 perspectives from the geology of the Isle of Man to the medicinal properties of the plants)

Kneeill floorA replica of an 8th Celtic Keeill (Manx word for chapel) and associated Crosses (there is always signposting so you can see the originals in the Manx Landscape).

The foundation stone of the glorious Labyrinth unveiled by the Cathedral’s Patron, HRH The Princess Royal which sits within the footprint of a local Abbey’s Cloister laid out as an Apple tunnel representing the Latin influence.

A Snail Mound enabling the visitor to overlook the gardens and represent Tynwald Hill (where on Old Midsummers day the oldest continuous parliament in the world continues to meet).

An open-air theatre representing John Wesley’s preaching on the Island in the open air.

My favourite garden is perhaps the 20th century garden which commemorates the fact that during World War I the Island had the largest internment Camp in the British Isles (Knockaloe) and it is surrounded by four gardens which both commemorate people being interned from the four corners of the world, but also genocides of the 20th century – all told through fables. Go inside the Cathedral and you will see in the Treasury exquisite priceless silverware made by Archibald Knox (synonymous with Liberty of London).

Peel Castle and Cathedral ruinsThe Cathedral is open 9-6pm daily – for more information: www.cathedral.im

And a 2m high Menorah made from spent missiles associated with the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, but that’s only the beginning of the Cathedral’s glories.

I hope I’ve tempted you.

You’ll be amazed at what this tiny ancient Kingdom has to offer in the centre of the British Isles.

For more information on accommodation and routes by sea and air, visit  www.visitisleofman.com

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Ravina Talbot

Travel writer

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