The museum whose prize exhibit has been removed

Manx National Heritage,  the organisation responsible for protecting and promoting the Isle of Man's Heritage, yesterday moved The 'Peggy', the oldest British yacht, (built 1791),  from the cellar that it's been sitting in for over 200 years. Picture shows the boat being lifted in the Island's old capital, Castletown. See Ross Parry copy RPYYACHT : These pictures show the painstaking operation of moving the country's oldest yacht to a specialist home - after she spent over 200 YEARS entombed in a boat cellar. The Peggy, the earliest example of a British yacht, laid undiscovered for over a century in her original boat cellar on the Isle of Man, since the death of her owner George Quayle.  Built in 1791, the 'Peggy' was fitted with sliding keels, one of only a few with this eighteenth century innovation. She is also the only surviving shallop - a light boat used for rowing or sailing in shallow water, typical of the 17th and 18th century. Since being 'rediscovered' in the 1930s, specialists worked to conserve t

Manx National Heritage, the organisation responsible for protecting and promoting the Isle of Man's Heritage, yesterday moved The 'Peggy', the oldest British yacht, (built 1791), from the cellar that it's been sitting in for over 200 years. Picture shows the boat being lifted in the Island's old capital, Castletown. See Ross Parry copy RPYYACHT : These pictures show the painstaking operation of moving the country's oldest yacht to a specialist home - after she spent over 200 YEARS entombed in a boat cellar. The Peggy, the earliest example of a British yacht, laid undiscovered for over a century in her original boat cellar on the Isle of Man, since the death of her owner George Quayle. Built in 1791, the 'Peggy' was fitted with sliding keels, one of only a few with this eighteenth century innovation. She is also the only surviving shallop - a light boat used for rowing or sailing in shallow water, typical of the 17th and 18th century. Since being 'rediscovered' in the 1930s, specialists worked to conserve t

0
Have your say

You may have thought that moving the prize exhibit from a museum, in fact the very exhibit that the museum is named after, might have suggested that it wouldn’t have much of a future left.

However, with the Nautical Museum, commonly known as the Peggy Museum, nothing could be further from the truth.

Picture shows George Quayle H.K 1751 - 1835, owner of The Peggy. See Ross Parry copy RPYYACHT : These pictures show the painstaking operation of moving the country's oldest yacht to a specialist home - after she spent over 200 YEARS entombed in a boat cellar. The Peggy, the earliest example of a British yacht, laid undiscovered for over a century in her original boat cellar on the Isle of Man, since the death of her owner George Quayle.  Built in 1791, the 'Peggy' was fitted with sliding keels, one of only a few with this eighteenth century innovation. She is also the only surviving shallop - a light boat used for rowing or sailing in shallow water, typical of the 17th and 18th century. Since being 'rediscovered' in the 1930s, specialists worked to conserve the vessel - and now, Peggy has been moved into a purpose-built climate-controlled conservation facility.  Manx National Heritage, the organisation responsible for protecting and promoting the Isle of Man's heritage and culture, have now transferred her fr

Picture shows George Quayle H.K 1751 - 1835, owner of The Peggy. See Ross Parry copy RPYYACHT : These pictures show the painstaking operation of moving the country's oldest yacht to a specialist home - after she spent over 200 YEARS entombed in a boat cellar. The Peggy, the earliest example of a British yacht, laid undiscovered for over a century in her original boat cellar on the Isle of Man, since the death of her owner George Quayle. Built in 1791, the 'Peggy' was fitted with sliding keels, one of only a few with this eighteenth century innovation. She is also the only surviving shallop - a light boat used for rowing or sailing in shallow water, typical of the 17th and 18th century. Since being 'rediscovered' in the 1930s, specialists worked to conserve the vessel - and now, Peggy has been moved into a purpose-built climate-controlled conservation facility. Manx National Heritage, the organisation responsible for protecting and promoting the Isle of Man's heritage and culture, have now transferred her fr

The Nautical Museum, situated in the historic Bridge Street, Castletown, has undergone extensive restoration in the months since the boat Peggy was painstakingly lifted from her resting place of more than 100 years.

In its place, the museum tells the tale of the lifetime of the infamous George Quayle, politician, banker, ex-soldier, genius inventor and, as legend would have it, someone who was partial to a bit of smuggling here and there.

The first gallery contains relics belonging to Quayle, as well as items similar to those a man of his position would have been expected to carry. A replica of his helmet and other pieces of his uniform from his days as a Dragoon officer are on display, alongside an array of pistols.

Further on, the finds obtained from the archaeological excavation of the boatyard are there to be seen. Pistol mechanisms, iron weights, items of porcelain ware and remarkably well preserved jugs and bowls cast a glimpse into the everyday life in the late 18th century.

Interior shots of the newly refurbished Peggy Museum, Castletown

Interior shots of the newly refurbished Peggy Museum, Castletown

There are even the remains of a telescope, possibly belonging to Quayle, found buried.

He was born in a time of great international upheaval, where modern day boundaries and nations were being created and imperial wars raged across most of the continents, which is illustrated by a timeline down one side of the wall, in amongst portraits of Quayle and his family.

There is also plenty for younger visitors to do, with costumes and plenty of interactive features to keep kids happy and entertained.

The familiar upper room, with its Cabin-built style and craftily-hidden secret passages remains unchanged, as does the Boathouse, which is now dry and gives a clear picture of where the boat was stored and hidden for 100 years.

Interior shots of the newly refurbished Peggy Museum, Castletown

Interior shots of the newly refurbished Peggy Museum, Castletown

The biggest change is the dry dock. Now excavated, you can see how complex the building was, employing a mechanism similar to a canal lock to allow the boat into the dock, and then up into the boatyard. It is fascinating, and testimony to the ingenuity to the people who built it nearly 300 years ago that it is still there to be seen.

Obviously the only thing that isn’t there is the Peggy herself, but there is plenty of detail on the boat, and also on the operation to move her out of the dock and over the building to her latest resting place. Hopefully it won’t be too long before this amazing piece of Manx nautical history will be back on display again.

However, the Nautical Museum still has plenty to offer, and will make for a full afternoon’s entertainment.

Interior shots of the newly refurbished Peggy Museum, Castletown

Interior shots of the newly refurbished Peggy Museum, Castletown

Interior shots of the newly refurbished Peggy Museum, Castletown

Interior shots of the newly refurbished Peggy Museum, Castletown

Interior shots of the newly refurbished Peggy Museum, Castletown

Interior shots of the newly refurbished Peggy Museum, Castletown

Interior shots of the newly refurbished Peggy Museum, Castletown

Interior shots of the newly refurbished Peggy Museum, Castletown

Back to the top of the page