Castle Mona - Douglas, Isle of Man
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Mike_bjm
N 54° 09.699 W 004° 28.423
30U E 403776 N 6002510
Quick Description: Castle Mona was once a fine stately home. This building completed in 1804 at at a cost of £30,000, stand somewhat hidden, just off Douglas Promenade.
Location: Isle of Man
Date Posted: 2/17/2020 2:14:12 PM
Waymark Code: WM123JE
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 3

Long Description:
Castle Mona was once a fine stately home. This building completed in 1804 at at a cost of £30,000, stand somewhat hidden, just off Douglas Promenade. It was built for the Fourth Duke of Atholl, who insisted on the use of stone from the Scottish Island of Arran.

The building's ornamentation includes four Coade stone medallions set below Arran stone swags decorating the front (seaward) elevation of the building. All the medallions have Murray or Atholl emblems with mottos ‘Tout prest’ (in Modern French ‘toutpret’ – always ready), ‘Fur Futune’ (Furth, Fortune and Fill the Fetters) and ‘Avancez’; and refer to the battlefield and the Manx motto (quoqunque jecerisstabit). They are marked at the base ‘Coade – Sealy'.

More information on Coade stone can be found at the following link: (visit link)

In Pevsner's 'Architectual Glossary; Second Edition' (ISBN:978-0-300-22368-2) 'Swag' is described thus:
'Ornament in the form of drapery suspended from both ends.'

On Castle Mona the Swags take the form of round 'beads'.

Built for the Duke of Atholl, his use of the building was short-lived, after the Isle of Man Government refused it as a gubernatorial residence or for any other civic functions. It has suffered many indignities and has had several incarnations as a hotel. It closed in 2006 and is fenced off and boarded up.

The architect of the building was George Steuart (1730-1806) who was architect to both the third and fourth Dukes of Atholl.

Following the fourth Duke’s appointment as the Isle of Man’s Governor in 1774, the Lord’s apartments in Castle Rushen were permanently occupied by the Lieutenant Governor. Prior to this the Governor’s accommodation had ben in the George Hotel. Between 1795 and 1797 George Steuart work for the fourth Duke at his residences at Port-e-Chee and Lough House in central Douglas. However, the Duke determined to establish more fitting residence for himself as Lord of Man, and thus he started construction of Castle Mona, which he mistakenly believed the English Treasury would pay for.

One of the most spectacular aspect of the Castle Mona in 1804 was its setting and the layout of its grounds. The house was set between the shore and the cliff behind it. The seaward boundary, overlooking the old promenade was demarked by a wall with projecting bastions. There were extensive landscaped gardens in front and to either side of the house. While the slope of the cliff was heavily wooded. All of this was lost when the land was sold off and today the house is in the midst of area of hard-standing, which served as the Hotel’s car parking area.

At the following link is a picture of the Castle Mona in the late 19th Century (visit link)
Along with photograph is the following description:
DESCRIPTION: The Castle Mona overlooks Douglas Bay on the east coast of the Isle of Man (NGR 23860 47683). Brown's Popular Guide to the Isle of Man of 1876 says, "...and still further northwards the hill sides sweeping up from the shore are overhung with wood of the darkest, thickest verdure, forming a beautiful background for that grey, square, massive, yet unpretending modern house - the Castle Mona Hotel. That house has a history. It was built at a great cost by the last of the princes of Man, the Duke of Athol. (p.15) and "Arrived at Castle Mona, we cannot fail to be struck with the substantial character of the building, a magnificent mansion erected by the last Lord of Man, at a cost of £40,000, the cost being much increased by the carriage of the stone, which came from the Isle of Arran." (p.67) Brown's Popular Guide to the Isle of Man of 1900 says, "...the unique pile of Castle Mona, once the palace of the last Lord of the Isle of the Derby-Athol line, and now a first-class residential hotel."

For more photographs follow this link: (visit link)

A Gazetteer of the Isle of Man by Leslie Quilliam RBV (ISBN:0-9514539-1-2)

An Introduction to the Architecture of the Isle of Man by Patricia Tutt (ISBN:978-907945-10-6)

(visit link)

(visit link)
Artist: Unkown

21 Castle Street, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 2EX

Web URL to relevant information: [Web Link]

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