This castle is situated on St Patricks Isle which is an islet close to the harbour in the town of Peel (Purt ny h-Inshey) in the west of the island. This is supposed to be the first place that Christianity was brought to the Isle of Man by St Patrick. The site has ruins dating back to about 1000 AD.
The castle was originally constructed by the Vikings in the eleventh century under the rule of King Magnus III Olafson (also known Magnus Barefoot/Barelegs due his adoption of Gaelic type clothing leaving the legs bare) King of Norway from 1093 to 1103 and King of Mann and the Isles from 1099 to 1103.
The Kingdom of Mann and the Isles spanned the 9th to the 13th centuries and were known to the Norse as Sudreyjar (Southern Isles) and consisted of the Hebrides, the islands in the Firth of Clyde and the Isle of Man. This was distinct from the Nordreyjar (Northern Isles), which consisted of Orkney and Shetland.
The original Viking castle at Peel was constructed on the site of existing Celtic monastic stone buildings of which the present round tower remains. In the fourteenth century, further walls and towers and the well preserved gatehouse were added. Within the castle walls is the thirteenth century Cathedral of St German, now in ruins.
Our visit to Peel was very pleasant. A warm sunny day with the golden sands of the beach lying across the entrance to the harbour to the east of the Castle. We walked around St Patrick's Isle on which the Castle stands forming a natural defence. The hill and pathways up to Corrins Tower south of the Castle gives great views over the town and surrounding coastline.
Peel is on the west coast of the Isle of Man along the A1 west from the village of St John’s and Tynwald Hill and north from Glen Maye along the A27. The castle is on St Patrick’s Isle which is joined to the west of Peel harbour by a causeway.