taking our culture forward

The old Douglas courthouse in Athol Street has been redeveloped into a bar, restaurant and nightclub, although the magnificent facade has been retained. It was originally built in 1841 for the Oddfellows, a charitable organisation. It was taken over in 1860 and used as the Island's main courthouse as well as for sittings of Tynwald and the House of Keys before they moved to their premises on Prospect Hill. It continued to be used as a court until 1996 when the new courthouse opened on Buck's Road. The old building had also served as a police station and a children's prison. Until the 1970s juvenile offenders were imprisoned on the top floor of the courthouse and were looked after by a warden and his wife. The conditions were Victorian and there was no fire escape from that floor. Food was brought in on a daily basis from a nearby caterer. The photographs below show the interior and exterior of the old courthouse before and during the demolition process.