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This charming town of swaying palm trees on the south coast is easily recognised by its harbour and the medieval castle which commands the area.
It was the island’s capital for hundreds of years until the parliament moved to Douglas in the 1870s and retains its Parliament Square while Parliament House is now the town hall. Today it is home for several small museums and is also close to the island’s main sailing centres.
Built from limestone, Castle Rushen commands the town, having also served as an asylum, prison, Parliament House and the Court of Justice (which it is today).
On Castletown’s doorstep is the untamed wilderness of the Langness peninsula, but it is also within easy reach of major Isle of Man heritage attractions such as The Nautical Museum, Old Grammar School, and the Old House of Keys.
Just beyond Castletown is Derbyhaven where the first Derby horse race was inaugurated to encourage local horse breeding by the Stanley Earls of Derby, Lords of Man. The course itself has been subsumed by King William’s College, founded in 1830.
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