taking our culture forward

Welcome to the resource page for the new DVD The Castles and Forts of the Isle of Man.

If you would like to purchase this groundbreaking DVD click here

The DVD looks at all the main fortified sites on the Isle of Man including Peel Castle, Castle Rushen, Ballachurry and the Derby Fort, as well as the much earlier sites of South Barrule, Cronk Sumark and some of the Bronze Age promontory forts.

This page is for those who would like to learn more about the sites and to read further about the archaeological digs that revealed their treasures, and who would like some suggestions for more general reading about the Island’s history.

The page also contains some maps of the sites, pdf files of the archaeological digs, the music from the film, and some stills from the film as well.

Please click on the bold titles to reveal the various files.

Castles and Forts of the Isle of Man – General Introduction

This article has been written and researched by Bob Carswell and provides an excellent background to the Island’s fortified sties.

Map of sites

These two maps indicate the positions of the known forts and castles, as well as the later canon batteries.

The Archaeological Digs

These files have been created from the reports of the various digs conducted on the sites visited in the programme. Some of them are nearly 100 years old. We have obtained permission from the various societies involved to publish these papers, and further details about the societies are included at the top of the document where known

Books on the castles and on Manx history

For those wanting to read more about individual sites, or have a general introduction to their place in Manx history, we have assembled this list of relevant books.

The Music

All the music in the programme has been written and performed by Charles Guard. Using samples of orchestral instruments to build up the textures, Charles has also sampled replica mediaeval instruments such as recorders, lutes, crummhorns and rauschpfeifers.


When filming on location it’s often necessary to record what’s called ‘wild track’ sound, that is, the general sound effects of the area, without the presenter speaking. This is used under the cutaway shots of that place. Often, though, there’s so much noise on location from tractors, aeroplanes, cars, lawn mowers &c, that we have to find other suitable places where there is less interference to get the appropriate sound effects.

This section has three such locations which give a real feeling of the Manx countryside. See if you can recognise the birds in the various places. As well as the obvious seagulls, there are choughs and oyster catchers amongst others. In the Langness recording the haunting sound of the warning bell on the buoy way out in Castletown Bay can just be heard.

Stills from the film

Some of the stills using the animation and computer graphics skills of Andrew Martin, Thomas Egan and Anthony Wilkins are featured in this file.