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“Unusual and brilliant attraction”

The Old House of Keys
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: 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.
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Unusual and brilliant attraction”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 May 2013

We loved this. Entrance to the House of Keys is twice a day by group. It is the old Parliament building of the island. Everyone is seated around the table and, via the "clerk of the court" takes a small put in an agenda of motions and debates which reflect the political and social history of the Island and which have been put before the House, before voting on them. We had a first class clerk who led us through the presentation and there are holograms shown via paintings on the wall which act out the discussions, film footage and a very impressive hologram of the Speaker.. Great fun and really well put together to engage and hold interest. A brilliant concept.

Visited May 2013
Thank DameJean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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89 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Maidstone, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
36 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“This is a must do!!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 May 2013

Two daily sittings in the Old House of Keys where 24 of you sit round the debating table and vote on laws that have been debated over the centuries in the Isle of Man

Great audio visual support and good fun

Suggest you book early as seats are limited. Tickets are available at Castle Rushen

Visited May 2013
Thank Tim G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
129 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“a great treat”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 May 2013

This is a lovely interactive session where you are taken back in time and have to vote on the different issues facing the Isle of Man over time. A great actor oversees the business and interacts with the digitised people - two shows a day and you buy tickets in the castle or the school house. Really entertaining and informative too.

Visited May 2013
Thank ukcamel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
348 reviews
144 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
“Good idea”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 April 2013

It was a fun little idea to sit and participate but too many votes and it went on too long. The secretary's additional comments were a bit annoying.

Visited April 2013
Thank Dnaray
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Douglas Isle of Man
Level Contributor
44 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Manx History”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 April 2013

This is where the Manx Parliament met when Castletown was the capital of the Isle of Man. Go back in time and see where the oldest elected Parliament in the world sat. Tynwald, the Manx Parliament is over 1000 years old.

Visited September 2012
Thank Malcolm O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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