Search records

Tower of Refuge

Description: The Tower of Refuge is built on Conister Rock off the east coast of the Isle of Man (NGR 23885 47555). Brown's Isle of Man Guide of 1879 says, "In the south-western area rests the Tower of Refuge, an extremely picturesque object, and in case of shipwreck on the dangerous reef (the Conister rock, or St Mary's Isle) on which it stands, a precious point of safety for the mariner." (p.15) and "To reach the Tower of Refuge we must hire a boat ...and, by either rowing ourselves or engaging a boatman for the purpose, we may in a few moments be landed on the small rocky islet in Douglas Bay...Landed upon the island, then we enter the arched doorway, and ascend a flight of steps, which lead to a small terrace and to the lower apartment of the Tower. Either here or on the tower above we may partake of "refreshment" in the shape of confectionary and various liquors...Previous to 1832 the Conister Rock was wholly unprotected, and was a constant source of danger to vessels crossing Douglas Bay, but more especially at high tide, when it was completely submerged beneath the waves. In that year, however, Lady Hillary, wife of Sir William Hillary...hit upon the idea of erecting some signal by which the dangerous locality should be noted...In the rough winter's weather the doors are never closed..." (p.45)


Optional, not displayed

Manx National Heritage (MNH) will always put you in control of the information we send you. Read our privacy policy