Isle of Man

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Isle of Man (English)
Ellan Vannin (Manx)
Isle of Man
Flag of the Isle of Man
Isle of Man Coat of Arms
flag coat of arms
Motto : Quocunque Jeceris, Stabit
( lat. "Do you also throw Wherever it, it will be" for)
Official language Manx , English
Capital Douglas
Form of government British crown possession 1
Head of state Lord of Mann Elizabeth II
represented by
Lieutenant Governor Richard Gozney
Head of government Chief Minister Howard Quayle
surface 572 km²
population 84,314 (as of 2016)
Population density 145.65 inhabitants per km²
currency Isle of Man Pound (IMP)
Pound Sterling (GBP)
National anthem Arrane Ashoonagh dy Vannin
National holiday July 5th ( Tynwald Day )
Time zone UTC ± 0
UTC + 1 (March to October)
License Plate GBM
ISO 3166 IM , IMN, 833
Internet TLD .in the
Telephone code + 44-1624
1subordinated directly to the British Crown but not part of the United Kingdom
Isle of Man in its region.svg
Isle of Man topographic map-de.svg

The Isle of Man [ ˌaɪləvˈmæn ] (formerly also Isle of Mann ; German Isle of Man , Manx Ellan Vannin [ ˈɛlʲən ˈvanɪn ] or Mannin [ ˈmanɪn ] for short ) is an island in the Irish Sea . It is as an autonomous crown possession ( English crown dependency ) directly subordinate to the British crown , but neither part of the United Kingdom nor British overseas territory . Furthermore, it is a separate legal entity and has never been a member of the European Union . The Isle of Man is known as a tax haven and home to offshore companies, as well as the Isle of Man TT motorcycle race .



The Isle of Man is one of the British Isles and lies in the Irish Sea between Scotland (29 km away), England (48 km), Northern Ireland (52 km), Wales (71 km) and the Republic of Ireland (85 km).


The flat northern part of the Isle of Man from a south-westerly point of view. At the bottom of the picture you can see Kirk Michael in the middle. Ramsey can be seen as a lighter spot on the east coast.


The 572 km² island is mostly hilly. The highest point is the 621 m high Snaefell , which is reached with the Snaefell Mountain Railway .

In the far north the island is very flat, this part was created by the deposition of sediments .

With a length of 52 km and a width of 22 km, the island has a coastline of 160 km.

The longest river Sulby measures 17 km.

Sulby Glen

The Sulby Glen is a valley in the north of the island. The name of the glen (or the valley) is derived from the fact that the River Sulby flows through it in a northward direction . The valley measures three kilometers in length and has a maximum width of 300 and a minimum width of less than 50 meters.

Calf of Man side island

At a distance of less than 500 meters from the southwest tip and separated by the Calf Sound (in Manx: “Yn Challoo”) lies the secondary island of Calf of Man and some smaller islands and rocks.


Due to its location, it has a humid, temperate climate with mild winters and cool summers, so it is less snowy than Heligoland .

the Isle of Man
Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Source: WMO
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for the Isle of Man
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 7.7 7.4 8.7 10.7 13.7 16.1 17.7 17.7 16.0 13.4 10.5 8.7 O 12.4
Min. Temperature (° C) 3.4 2.9 3.8 4.9 7.2 9.8 11.7 11.9 10.7 8.8 5.9 4.4 O 7.1
Precipitation ( mm ) 86.0 60.0 65.6 55.7 50.3 54.8 56.3 67.7 80.3 96.5 97.5 93.8 Σ 864.5
Rainy days ( d ) 18.2 15.0 15.8 14.2 13.8 13.5 13.1 14.0 15.3 17.6 19.1 18.9 Σ 188.5
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Source: WMO


The Isle of Man at the time of Scandinavian rule on the outer British Isles around 1200
The Braaid in the center of the Isle of Man, with a round house and two long houses, around 950–650 BC. Chr.

The first colonists were hunters and gatherers who lived in the 6th millennium BC. Were attracted by the abundance of fish and other aquatic fauna. With the arrival of the arable farmers, the Neolithic Age began on the island , leaving behind a number of megalithic structures (e.g. Ballafayle , Cashtal yn Ard , Cloven Stones , King Orry's Grave , Mull Hill and The Braaid ). Later the Corvalley Cairn and the Isle of Man's Ogham and rune stones were created .

From the 8th century the Isle of Man was an outpost of the Vikings and until the 13th century part of the Norwegian Kingdom ( Jarltums ) of the Hebrides ( Kingdom of the Isles ) . The tomb of the Pagan Lady of Peel on St. Patrick's Isle is evidence of this phase, as are the ship graves of Balladoole and Ballateare and the Keeills .

The island's political system, the Tynwald , which still exists today, goes back to this time . Originally this consisted of the king, two advisers, the highest court servants, the council itself and the Keys , an assembly of local elites and dignitaries. The Norwegian King Magnus VI. They ceded to Scotland in the Peace of Perth in 1266 , from which it was acquired by the English King Edward I (1272-1307). Edward I ceded the direct feudal rule against regular payments to the crown. The rulership of Man ruled from 1405 to 1765 by the Earls of Derby and the Earls of Atholl . The island still has a large number of the typical cross slabs and stone crosses from this time as well as five Promontory forts .

In 1765, George III. due to increasing smuggling, the lordship itself again. He preserved the island's parliamentary autonomy, but fed tax and customs revenue from this territory to the British Treasury .

The Isle of Man was the first place in the world where women could vote on a national level, but not all women: In 1881 the Isle of Man passed universal suffrage for women and men to the Isle of Man's lower house , but the necessary royal consent was given Granted only for voting rights for single women and for widows who own real estate. In 1892 the right to vote was extended to women who had leased land, and in 1918 to women with graduates over 30. In 1919 the general active and passive right to vote for women was introduced. As of the 2016 House of Keys elections and the 2018 Legislative Council elections, Parliament had a total of only 12 women MPs.

During the First World War and also during the Second World War, “ foreign enemy states ” were interned on the Isle of Man ; they were believed to be a threat to military security. In 1939 some foreigners were interned; in May 1940 (beginning of the western campaign) there were considerably more, including Jewish emigrants from Germany. There were a total of six camps, the Hutchinson Internment Camp being the best known for many intellectuals and artists .

The inhabitants call themselves and their island " Manx " according to the Celtic language .


Population development

year population
1950 55,254
1960 48,442
1970 55,425
1980 63,551
1990 68,429
2000 72,554
2010 80,072
2017 84.287

Source: UN

Rushen Glenfaba Middle Garff Michael Ayre
Local administration on Man

Sheadings (historic districts)

The island is divided into the six sheadings (manx sheadinyn ):

  • Ayre ( Inver Ayre ) in the north
  • Garff ( Garff ) in the northeast
  • Michael ( Maayl ) in the northwest
  • Glenfaba ( Glion Faba ) in the southwest
  • Middle ( Medall ) in the southeast
  • Rushen ( Rosien ) in the south


The largest places are (in brackets: Manx Gaelic name, population, sheading):

  • Douglas ( Doolish , 25,422 residents, Middle)
  • Onchan ( Kione Droghad , 8,600 inhabitants, Middle)
  • Ramsey ( Rhumsaa , 6,900 inhabitants, Garff)
  • Peel ( Purt ny hInshey , 3.800 inhabitants, Glenfaba)
  • Port Erin ( Purt Çhiarn , 3,200 inhabitants, Rushen)
  • Castletown ( Balley Chashtal , 3,000 inhabitants, Rushen)
  • Port St. Mary ( Purt-le-Moirrey , 1,900 inhabitants, Rushen)
  • Laxey ( Laksaa , 1,725 ​​inhabitants, Garff)


The population is predominantly Anglican . Many residents profess the Roman Catholic faith or are Methodists , Baptists , Presbyterians and Jehovah's Witnesses .


English is spoken on the Isle of Man today. The original language of the island is the Manx (own name 'Gaelg Vanninagh', German "Manx-Gaelic"), a Celtic language. The last Manx spokesman at the time, Ned Maddrell, died in 1974. There have been successful attempts at resuscitation - around 0.8% of the population spoke Manx again in 1991, and there are again 28 native speakers; the oldest of them was born in 1991. Manx is taught in some schools. In 2001, 2.2% of the population reported having knowledge of Manx.


The average life expectancy on the Isle of Man is 81.4 years and child mortality is 0.4%. The population growth is 0.65%.


Status under international law


The Isle of Man is neither part of the United Kingdom nor a crown colony , but as a crown possession (English crown dependency ) directly subordinated to the British crown. As such, it was not a member of the European Union . However, some of the EU law applied on the island and the customs law of the European Customs Union applied during the membership of the United Kingdom.

The otherwise autonomous Isle of Man is subordinate to the United Kingdom in a suzerainty relationship , in which the latter takes over the worldwide foreign and security policy representation for the island state.

In the case of Internal Autonomy , the community is also governed by British Law , which means laws that apply to all parts of the UK also apply to Man.

Head of state

The head of state bears - even if it is female - the title Lord of Mann in traditional spelling with a double N. This office has been exercised by the British monarch, currently Elizabeth II , since 1765 . In the day-to-day business of the island, she is represented by a lieutenant governor , the lieutenant governor . This gives domestic political legislative resolutions the Royal Assent , the royal legitimation.

The British monarch exercises a potential veto function in person or through the Privy Council on the British mainland. In the Privy Council, the Secretary of State for Justice Affairs and the Lord Chancellor are represented as Privy Councilors for all matters that concern Man.

houses of Parliament

The island's parliament, founded in 979 , the Tynwald (Manx-Gaelic Tinvaal ), also known as Tynwald Court , is the oldest continuously existing parliament in the world, as the Icelandic Althing , which has been in session since 930, did not exist continuously. The Tynwald consists of two chambers.

The directly elected House of Keys consists of 24 MPs. In 2006 the right to vote was extended to all islanders aged 16 and over. The second chamber is the House of Lords, the Legislative Council, elected by the House of Keys or occupied ex officio . The Chief Minister chairs the Council of Ministers (made up of nine members of the House of Keys) .

National holiday

The national holiday, Tynwald Day , is celebrated annually on July 5th. On this occasion, the Tynwald meets in the open air in a solemn ceremony on Tynwald Hill near St. John's . Elisabeth II personally presided over this ritual in 2003.


Road traffic

The length of the Isle of Man's road network is approximately 800 km. There are no speed limits on many roads . The producers of the BBC entertainment program Top Gear take advantage of this fact by visiting the island as a regular film location.

Rail transport

Rail network on Man (2017)
Snaefell Mountain Railway railcars at the mountain station
Horse tram on the waterfront in Douglas

Today there is a railroad network 68.5 km long on the island; 43.5 km of this is electrified. This network is divided into five different systems:

The first three lines are operated by Isle of Man Transport . Some of the trams are more than 100 years old in their basic construction, but the engines and technology of the Snaefell Mountain Railway were adopted in the 1970s from vehicles of the Aachen tram, which was closed in 1974 .

Isle of Man Airport

The country's international airport is located in Ronaldsway near Castletown . In the summer of 1944 it was still a grass landing field with a few hangars, and a year later it was a 4-runway airport owned by the British Admiralty. It was renamed HMS Urley ( Adler ) and only operated until 1945. Then it was sold to the government of the Isle of Man and expanded from 1998 onwards. Around 700,000 passengers land every year.

The Manx Military and Aviation Museum next to the airport provides information on the history of aviation on the island.


Ferry and express boat services to Belfast , Dublin , Heysham and Liverpool are operated by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company .

The island's fixed and floating navigation signs are operated by the Northern Lighthouse Board .

Power supply

The world's longest three-phase submarine cable has been running between Great Britain and the Isle of Man since 1999 to improve the island's power supply.


The island does not have its own television station, BBC and ITV are available. The BBC broadcasts coverage of events on the island within its regional TV news window "BBC North-West today". The BBC has a broadcasting house in Douglas for radio. There are also three private radio stations: Manx Radio (broadcasts on medium wave 1368 kHz), Energy FM and 3FM.


Due to the warm water of the Gulf Stream there is a very diverse underwater fauna and flora off the coast of the island, which makes the southwest of the Isle of Man one of the best diving areas in Europe and attracts many diving tourists .

The island has its own currency, the Isle of Man pound , which is pegged 1: 1 to the pound sterling , and its own postage stamps.

The income tax for natural persons has rates between 10 and 18 percent, the corporation tax for companies of all kinds is zero percent.

Isle of Man as a "tax haven"

The most important branches of industry today are so-called offshore residencies , i.e. nominal company headquarters of letterbox companies as subsidiaries of European and international corporations without real business operations , and also offshore banking for European and international corporations and investors . The manufacturing industry and tourism also play a role. Agriculture and fishing used to be the main employers.

Due to its isolated location and lack of political affiliation with the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man is popularly known as the hiding place for British millionaires . The British actor Norman Wisdom had his retirement home here. As a tax haven for Germans, the island no longer offers itself since 2009, because Germany has agreed with the Isle of Man on more transparency.

In 2017, EU tax professionals considered whether the Isle of Man, along with Jersey and Guernsey , should be blacklisted for tax havens . If so, the island must expect not only damage to its reputation, but also economic sanctions from the EU. So far, the United Kingdom has always resisted something like this because the principle of unanimity applies in this EU area. These conditions will change if the UK loses its vote in the EU as a result of Brexit .

Despite the political pressure to close tax loopholes, the island continues to be used as a tax detour, for example to avoid VAT on EU imports. According to a report in the Süddeutsche Zeitung - based on the so-called Paradise Papers - 231 private jets have been imported into the European Union via the Isle of Man since 2011 and exempt from VAT through the use of letterbox companies. According to the newspaper, this means that the member states of the European Union have lost an estimated 900 million euros in taxes. The Süddeutsche Zeitung illustrated such a case with the purchase and import of a private jet of the type Bombardier Challenger 605 from Lewis Hamilton . Hamilton is said to have avoided paying at least 5.41 million euros in VAT with the help of Appleby .

Special features and sights

Routing of the Snaefell Mountain Course

Sons and daughters of the island


  • John Belchem ​​(Ed.): The modern period 1819-1999 , Liverpool University Press, Liverpool 2000 (The New history of the Isle of Man, Volume 5), ISBN 0-85323-716-6 .
  • Stephen Burrow: The Neolithic Culture of the Isle of Man: A Study of the Sites and Pottery . 1998.
  • Richard Chiverell (Ed.): Evolution of the natural landscape , Liverpool University Press, Liverpool 2006 (A New history of the Isle of Man, Volume 1), ISBN 0-85323-587-2 .
  • Sir David M. Wilson:  Man. In: Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde (RGA). 2nd Edition. Volume 19, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2001, ISBN 3-11-017163-5 , pp. 205-208.
  • Seán Duffy (ed.): The Medieval period 1100-1406 , Liverpool University Press, Liverpool 2015 (A New history of the Isle of Man, Volume 3), ISBN 978-0-85323-627-6 .
  • Ulrike Katrin Peters, Karsten-Thilo Raab: Isle of Man . Westflügel Verlag 2007, ISBN 978-3-939408-02-4 .
  • Norman Jones: Scenes from the Past 17: Isle of Man Railways and Tramways Part I, The Isle of Man Railway . Foxline Publishing 1993, ISBN 1-870119-22-3 .
  • Norman Jones: Scenes from the Past 18: Isle of Man Railways and Tramways Part II, The Isle of Man Tramway . Foxline Publishing 1994, ISBN 1-870119-32-0 .
  • Robert Henry Kinvig: The Isle of Man. A social, cultural and political history , 3rd edition, Liverpool University Press, Liverpool 1978, ISBN 0-85323-483-3 .
  • Richard Kirkman, Peter van Zeller: Isle of Man Railways . Raven Books, Ravenglass, Cumbria 1993, ISBN 0-9521624-0-7 .
  • Vaugham Robinson: The Isle of Man. Celebrating a sense of place , Liverpool University Press, Liverpool 1990, ISBN 0-85323-036-6 .
  • Tom Sharpe, Photos: Ian Berry: Isle of Man: Where Today is Yesterday. In: Geo-Magazin.  6, pp. 66–82, informative experience report, Hamburg 1979, ISSN  0342-8311
  • Mark Solly: Government and law in the Isle of Man , Parallel Books, Castletown 1994, ISBN 0-9518499-3-X .
  • David M. Wilson : The Vikings in the Isle of Man , Aarhus University Press, Aarhus 2008, ISBN 87-7934-370-8 .

Web links

Commons : Isle of Man  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikimedia Atlas: Isle of Man  - geographical and historical maps
Wiktionary: Isle of Man  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations
Wikivoyage: Isle of Man  - Travel Guide

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f g h i j cf. Crown Dependencies. The British Monarchy , accessed March 4, 2019 .
  2. a b c d Tynwald - Parliament of the Isle of Man - Home. In: January 5, 2019, accessed January 5, 2019 .
  3. Benjamin Isakhan, Stephen Stockwell: The Edinburgh Companion to the History of Democracy. Edinburgh University Press 2012, pp. 340-341.
  4. ^ Rüdiger Overmans: Captivity of War. The German prisoners of World War II. In: . July 16, 2003, accessed March 4, 2019 .
  5. Internees In: , accessed on December 17, 2016 (English).
  6. World Population Prospects - Population Division - United Nations. Retrieved July 28, 2017 .
  7. 2001 census, p. 36 ( Memento of November 18, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 1.5 MB)
  8. The World Factbook , accessed May 9, 2019
  9. BBC One - North West Tonight. Retrieved May 2, 2018 (UK English).
  10. Get in touch with BBC Isle of Man . In: BBC News . November 27, 2012 ( [accessed May 2, 2018]).
  11. ^ Bill Sanderson: Diving the Isle of Man: The Booroo. In: Retrieved May 31, 2011 .
  12. ^ Ten Best Dive Sites in Europe. In: SCUBA Travel Ltd, accessed May 31, 2011 .
  13. One less tax haven: Isle of Man is cracked. In: n-tv Nachrichtenfernsehen GmbH, March 2, 2009, accessed on July 26, 2011 .
  14. Brexit , in the Tagesschau on August 31, 2017
  15. Elisabeth Gamperl, Mauritius Much: Der Überflieger. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung. November 7, 2017. Retrieved November 7, 2017 .

Coordinates: 54 ° 14 ′  N , 4 ° 31 ′  W