The Isle of Man is a self-governing British Crown dependency situated in the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Ireland. The head of state, Queen Elizabeth II, holds the title of Lord of Mann and is represented by a lieutenant governor. The United Kingdom has responsibility for the island’s military defense, under the Lord of Mann’s Constitutional Obligations.

Humans have lived on the island since before 6500 BC. Gaelic cultural influence began in the 5th century AD, and the Manx language, a branch of the Goidelic languages, emerged. In 627 King Edwin of Northumbria conquered the Isle of Man along with most of Mercia. In the 9th centuary, Norsemen established the thalassocracy Kingdom of the Isles, which included the Isle of Man. Magnus III, King of Norway from 1093 to 1103, reigned also as King of Mann and the Isles between 1099 and 1103.

In 1266 the island became part of Scotland under the Treaty of Perth, after being ruled by Norway. After a period of alternating rule by the kings of Scotland and England, the island came under the feudal lordship of the English Crown in 1399. The lordship revested in the British Crown in 1765, but the island never became part of the 18th-century kingdom of Great Britain, nor of its successors, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the present-day United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It has always retained its internal self-government.

In 1881 the Isle of Man parliament, Tynwald, became the first national legislative body in the world to give women the right to vote in a general election, although this excluded married women. In 2016, UNESCO awarded the Isle of Man biosphere reserve status.

Insurance and online gambling each generate 17% of the GNP, followed by information and communications technology and banking with 9% each. Internationally, the Isle of Man has known for the Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) motorcycle races and for the Manx cat, a breed of cat with short or no tails. The inhabitants (Manx) are considered a Celtic nation.


The culture of the Isle of Man is often promoted as being influenced by its Celtic and, to a lesser extent, its Norse origins. Proximity to the UK, popularity as a UK tourist destination in Victorian times, and immigration from Britain has meant that the cultures of Great Britain have been influential at least since Reinvestment. Revival campaigns have attempted to preserve the surviving vestiges ofManx culture after a long period of Anglicisation, and there has been significantly increased interest in the Manx language, history and musical tradition.


The official language of the Isle of Man is English. Manx has traditionally been spoken but has been stated to be “critically endangered”. However, it now has a growing number of young speakers.

Manx is a Goidelic Celtic language and is one of a number of insular Celtic languages spoken in the British Isles. Manx has been officially recognized as a legitimate autochthonous regional language under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, ratified by the United Kingdom on 27 March 2001 on behalf of the Isle of Man government.


Manx is closely related to Irish and Scottish Gaelic but is orthographically sui generis.

On the island, the Manx greetings moghrey mie (good morning) and fastyr mie (good afternoon) can often be heard. As in Irish and Scottish Gaelic, the concepts of “evening” and “afternoon” are referred to with one word. Two other Manx expressions often heard are Gura mie eu (“Thank you”; familiar 2nd person singular form Gura mie ayd) and traa dy liooar, meaning “time enough”, this represents a stereotypical view of the Manx attitude to life.

In the 2011 Isle of Man census, approximately 1,800 residents could read, write, and speak the Manx language.


The predominant religious tradition of the island is Christianity. Before the Protestant Reformation, the island had a long history as part of the unified Western Church, and in the years following the Reformation, the religious authorities on the island, and later the population of the island, accepted the religious authority of the British monarchy and the Church of England. It has also come under the influence of Irish religious tradition. The island forms a separate diocese called Sodor and Man, which in the distant past comprised the medieval kingdom of Man and the Scottish isles (“Suðreyjar” in Old Norse). It now consists of 16 parishes, and since 1541 has formed part of the Province of York. (These modern ecclesiastical parishes do not correspond to the island’s ancient parishes mentioned in this article under “Local Government”, but more closely reflect the current geographical distribution of a population.)

Other Christian churches also operate on the Isle of Man. The second-largest denomination is the Methodist Church, whose Isle of Man District is close in numbers to the Anglican diocese. There are eight Catholic parish churches, included in the Catholic Archdiocese of Liverpool, as well as a presence of Eastern Orthodox Christians. Additionally, there are five Baptist churches, four Pentecostal churches, the Salvation Army, a ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, two congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses, two United Reformed churches, as well as other Christian churches. There is a small Islamic community, with its own mosque in Douglas, and there is also a small Jewish community.


The Isle of Man is known for its rich and diverse cultural and artistic history.

The Isle of Man is an island in the Irish Sea, situated between England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland and since the 18th century has been a British Crown Dependency. There is evidence of human settlement dating back thousands of years, such as Neolithic monuments and Iron Age hill forts. The history and culture of the island was shaped by Celtic and Norse influences and the Vikings established Tynwald over a thousand years ago, making it what is believed to be the oldest continuously running parliament in the world. The picturesque coastline has miles of sandy beaches and popular activities include sailing, diving, walking, cycling and motor sports, with events such as the famous Isle of Man TT.

The Manx Museum houses collections reflecting the islands heritage, including natural history, Viking and medieval artefacts, social history and works of art. Built during the medieval period Castle Rushen in the town of Castletown, is well preserved and visitors can walk through rooms furnished and decorated to recreate a sense of life in the castle centuries ago. Other attractions in the Isle of Man include the Grove Museum of Victorian Life in Ramsey, The National Folk Museum at Cregneash, the Gaiety Theatre in Douglas, the ruins of Peel Castle, Summerhill Glen and Milntown House, which is set among beautiful gardens and woodlands.