Apart from Milntown House, there aren’t any stately homes open on the Isle of Man, so this makes it worth visiting. The house is a lovely white building with a Gothic facade and was the home of the Christian Family, a powerful and influential family on the island, until the end of the C19th when the family became bankrupt. The house became a boarding school for the daughters of gentleman, a hotel and then a private house. The estate was bought in 1963 by Lady Kathleen Edwards. It was bequeathed to the nation on the death of her son and is now run as a charitable trust. The house is open for guided tours.
These can take up to 90 minutes and visit six rooms. I was concerned there might be a lot of standing and listening to family history and admiring family paintings, so I decided to skip the house and just concentrate on the gardens.
The house is surrounded by 15 acres of garden and woodland. The herbaceous garden with its small pond at the back of the house and the walled garden are wonderful. They were a riot of colour and there wasn’t a weed in sight. At the end of the herbaceous garden is the small vegetable garden.
Gunnera grows along the leat leading to the mill pond with its ducks. The old watermill is now used as a workshop. The buildings next to it are used to display the collection of vintage cars and motorcycles collected by Sir Clive Edwards.
Beyond is the large area of deciduous woodland with carved wood statues of dinosaurs.
There are plenty of seats scattered round the gardens and it is a lovely place to drop out on a sunny day. There are more pictures “here.”:http://wasleys.org.uk/eleanor/man/north/ramsey/milntown/index.html
There is a lot of information and pictures of the Isle of Man “here.”:http://wasleys.org.uk/eleanor/man/index.html