HistoryThe Nautical Museum was opened in 1951. It holds many past maritime exhibits, but centres around the 18th century yacht Peggy. Built in 1789, it was the love of George Quayle, a lively and inventive man. The Quayle family of Bridge House and Crogga, were a prominent family living in the then capital of the island, Castletown. The Peggy, named after George Quayle's mother was launched into Castletown harbour in 1791. From this harbour she saw many years of smuggling and trade. In 1796 she sailed to England then brought over land to Lake Windermere to participate in the 'Regatta' and only barely made it back home through rough seas.
Not long after George Quayle's mother died and he locked the Peggy up in her boathouse for the last time. There she would lay for almost 120 years, until re-discovered in 1935, still in her boat house, over one hundred years after the death of her owner. The museum is based on the nautical history of the Isle of Man and particularly George Quayle, who lead such a life of mystery that no one dared to enter his boathouse or rooms above till the last family member had died.
LocationCastletown in the south of the island near the harbour.
Castletown is a main southern town, served by a multitude of roads. Just follow the road signs.
Plan your journey with our Bus and Rail Timetables.
Castletown can be reached by the taking the Electric Railway to Douglas and then the Steam Railway to Castletown.
Castletown can be reached on the Steam Railway from Douglas going to Port Erin or by taking the Port Erin (Port St Mary) train going to Douglas.
Visiting the Nautical MuseumWhen first entering the small harbour side building with a model boat in the window one is not really prepared for all the museum has to offer. Do buy a guide book, it makes the museum easier to take in and can be kept as a memento of the detailed tour.
The first part of the museum is mainly based on walking around, reading signs and looking at exhibits. The second part of the museum is more of a guided tour and begins at the boat house with a look over the Peggy. A guide will take you around from that point onwards and tells the history of this classic ship, the man who owned and loved her, and the men who sailed her. The tour leads on from the Peggy up into the rooms above her. Once there visitors are shown hidden cupboards, secret passages, treasonous plans, evidence of smuggling and other evidence of George Quayle's creative mind.
This museum is well worth a visit.
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