We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

The Old House of Keys

Certificate of Excellence
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: Castletown
Phone Number:
+44 1624 648000

The Old House of Keys in Castletown was once the centre of 19th century...

The Old House of Keys in Castletown was once the centre of 19th century political life on the Island. The building is one chapter in the long and often turbulent history of Manx politics which stretches back to the 9th and 10th centuries when the Viking Kings ruled the Isle of Man. The fascinating Old House of Keys building has been restored to its former appearance of 1866 – a milestone in Manx history when the old self-elected House of Keys took its first steps along the road to modern democracy by passing the House of Keys Election Bill and becoming a popularly elected body. During your visit you’ll see how democracy developed in the Island – sometimes years ahead of England – and the effect that political decisions have had and continue to have on the Manx nation. You’ll meet the costumed secretary of this historic building before taking a seat in the finely restored debating chamber where you’ll enjoy an active debate on setting the laws of the Island.

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 89 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 59
  • 24
    Very good
  • 3
  • 0
  • 2
Very interesting talk

They were not debating on the day we called but we had a very interesting talk from a knowledgeable guide.

Reviewed 5 days ago
Wrexham, United Kingdom
Add Photo Write a Review

89 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Showing 88: English reviews
Wrexham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
68 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

They were not debating on the day we called but we had a very interesting talk from a knowledgeable guide.

Thank Jrfamily15
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
279 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Visited whilst in Castletown and found it a very informative visit giving a brief history of the IOM Government. There is a debate you can participate in twice a day, we didn't but it would be good fun I guess. You can gain entry with your NT membership from the UK.

Thank AgedMan
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
621 reviews
232 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 240 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 November 2016

Amazingly Castletown was once the capital of the Isle of Man and equally amazingly this was the parliament. Worth a visit.

Thank BrushM
Level Contributor
140 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 November 2016

It is a nice place too see and find out more about Isle of Man history, but not only. A visit here is less than one hour and the place is close to Castle Rushen.

Thank photocetera
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 November 2016

Although I found it hard to find the Old House of Keys - was glad I did The staff were so very helpful and full of the history of the building, the rulers, the politics and the Island

Thank Neil P
Elche, Spain
Level Contributor
23 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 November 2016

We were in a group of ten people and hadn't booked to go into the Old House of Keys, but when we were at the Nautical Museum we mentioned that we might like to go there. The guide at the Nautical Museum arranged for us to attend a staged sitting with a parliament later in the day. We were very... More 

Thank birdersylvia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviewed 13 October 2016 via mobile

Janice and John gave me a brilliantly look into history of The House Of Keys , well worth a visit . Thank you.

Thank Marion Y
Andover, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
101 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 October 2016 via mobile

Best interactive experience I can remember ever.history comes alive as you participate in the debates in the old house of keys. The speaker is a waxwork who comes to life and You can join in the banter and the votes

Thank jean_mcleod67
Leicester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 October 2016 via mobile

Straight into carachter, you are a privileged member of the council about to debate the introduction of new laws for the Island. The innovative use of technology really enhanced the experience. I was a bit concerned before going in, but it was a great experience.

Thank Archerdra
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 September 2016 via mobile

I decided to visit, not expect to g an interactive experience. Really well done and the time flew. I would recommend it for older children but younger ones might find it dull.

Thank Sue B

Travellers who viewed The Old House of Keys also viewed

Castletown, Isle of Man
Laxey, Isle of Man
Douglas, Isle of Man

Been to The Old House of Keys? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of The Old House of Keys and other visitors
1 question
Ask a question
Leicester, United Kingdom
10 months ago

See all questions (1)

Questions? Get answers from The Old House of Keys staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?