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The Old House of Keys

+44 1624 648000
Review Highlights
Visit doesn't take long, but is well done

It's free so you can't complain. But check the opening times, we missed it twice because they had... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Kent, UK
Part of the story

If you are interested in the Manx democracy this is an important part of the story. A quick view of... read more

Reviewed 4 weeks ago
John E
Kenilworth, United Kingdom
via mobile
Read all 113 reviews
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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.
  • Excellent67%
  • Very good26%
  • Average5%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
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+44 1624 648000
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Reviews (113)
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1 - 10 of 110 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago

It's free so you can't complain. But check the opening times, we missed it twice because they had an event on. That said, I would recommend going. Spent about half an hour to have a well done presentation on the history.

Thank GlyderFawr
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

If you are interested in the Manx democracy this is an important part of the story. A quick view of a cleverly reconstructed council chamber and with an opportunity to take part in debate. Must mention the very knowledgeable and helpful guides. Next door to...More

Thank John E
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We visited for one of the debate shows, which provided some insight into the characters that dominated the IOM government in the 19th century. The two rooms inside were well renovated, but there was not a great deal of information, and though we used a...More

Thank PeterLanky
Reviewed 5 weeks ago

This was the last stop on our tour of the key sites in Castletown – early afternoon on a Wednesday – greeted by Lindsey who described the role of the chamber – and the opportunities to debate different issues including whether the IoM should join...More

Thank PeteD60
Reviewed 16 September 2017

We arrived 2.30 for 2.45 session sitting in old parliament. It was brilliant well worth the time. Excellent staff very informative friendly. Recommend ed

Thank malcolm f
Reviewed 5 September 2017

Whilst the concept was good, we felt that the guide was over the top and did not add to the enjoyment. It should have been a 'fun debate' but he seemed to want to steal the limelight all the time, and did not give the...More

Thank Brian P
Reviewed 10 August 2017 via mobile

Called in to have a look, not a great deal to see but staff happy to take the time to talk you through history and answer any questions! Can imagine the debate session to be good and fun if you can manage to make one.

Thank IanG9290YB
Reviewed 5 August 2017

Sounds boring but go during these times and you are a participant in the meetings. The man who ran the event made it really fun and informative. Don't take yourself too seriously and you will have a great time. Would be nice to see anyways...More

Thank Funinthesunadventure
Reviewed 29 July 2017

They were just about about to have lunch but we had a quick visit to the Old house of Keys and a quick talk from a very friendly guide. I think the debate would be quite good to see if you could arrange to go...More

Thank adam_nwuk
Reviewed 26 July 2017

I don't want to spoil the surprise of this attraction so won't give you details. Sufficient to say its an interactive attraction which is great fun. Its also educational. Its not suitable for small children, I would say from 12 upwards as they have to...More

Thank 15traveladdict9
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Questions & Answers
Pam E
17 May 2017|
Response from John N | Reviewed this property |
Debates most days. No ticket office on site, available from castle Rushen other side of the square. Entry free. For debate £6 charge. Enjoy!
susan H
24 June 2016|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Freddie M | Reviewed this property |
Don't know but the front steps were not very high.