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An ancient estate, restored to its previous grandeur, The Nunnery is one of the Island’s most historic establishments. The history of The Nunnery is shrouded in mystery.

The legendary date for the founding of The Nunnery is the 6th Century.  It was allegedly founded by St Bridget of Kildare, who became the first Abbess.


The more commonly accepted date of the founding of The Nunnery, by Aufrica, the daughter of the King of Man.
The Manx Chronicles record a visit to The Nunnery by Robert the Bruce, en route to Castle Rushen.
Summary of 1414 Inquisition, describes The Nunnery as Cistercian.
Dissolution of The Nunnery. Acquired by Robert Calcott of Castletown.
The Nunnery remained in the hands of the Calcott descendants.
The Nunnery passed to the Heywood Family, heirs of the Calcotts.
The Nunnery sold to John Traubman. The surname of Goldie-Traubman adopted in 1824.
In the 18th Century, the lawn was used as a drill and parade ground by Manx Fencibles.
John Pinch the Younger, of Bath, was commissioned to extend the house, but he condemned the original house, and work commenced on the first phase of the current house.
East Gate and Lodge built.
Second phase of the Main House completed.
Remains of The Chapel restored by Leigh Goldie-Traubman in the High Catholic Revival manner and dedicated to St Bridget.
In the late 19th Century, the third and final phase of the Main House was added.
St Bridget’s Chapel the only existing remains of the 12th & 13th Century buildings – Gothic doorway in the south wall; two side windows; piscina of grey sandstone and two pilasters from the cloister.
During the 1930’s, the Paddock was used for the Royal Manx Agricultural Show; Highland Gatherings; World Manx Association and Scout & Guide meetings.
Nunnery Estate acquired by the IOM Government.
Approval was granted for the use as a Country Club, Golf Course and Leisure Complex.
Estate sold to Robert E Sangster, restricting the use of the estate to that of a private residence.
Robert Sangster purchased the field now known as ‘Sangster’s Field’.
Robert Sangster constructed a swimming pool in the walled garden.
The Chapel was arbitrarily closed by the new owner, Graham Ferguson-Lacey.
Estate and Sangster’s Field purchased by the Isle of Man International Business School.
Establishment of the Friends of the Chapel of St Bridget at The Nunnery.
Ownership of The Nunnery passes from IOM International Business School to the Department of Education.
Became home to the secondary campus for degree level studies for the University College Isle of Man (UCM).
Estate sold to the International Centre for Technology Limited (ICT).
Renovations done to the Main House, now known as the Mansion House.
Owner, Philip Vermeulen of ICT, established the Sculpture Trail, with works of art by renowned South African artists and sculptors.
1187 – 1190
1540 – 1685
1685 – 1776
18th Century
19th Century
2015 – 2019


Mansion House
The present Nunnery Estate comprises of a distinguished Mansion House which sits in the heart of the estate set within formal gardens surrounded by a designed ‘parkland’ landscape. The current Mansion House was originally built in 1823 and has had many additions over the centuries. The interior contains some exceptional joinery-work, plaster work and fire surrounds – all comparatively rare in the Manx context.

Chapel of St Bridget
The Chapel’s history remains sketchy and contains fragments of historic fabric dating back to the 12th or 13th Century. It is now the only existing remains of the original establishment, dating from these bygone years.
The Chapel was reopened for worship in the late 19th Century. Until 1998 it was still regularly served by St Matthews, but the then owner, Ferguson-Lacey stopped the Anglo-Catholic services, and the Chapel was deconsecrated and allowed to decline. Along with Rushen Abbey, the Chapel has great Manx historic interest. Today the Chapel remains intact as it was at that time and can be used for a multitude of events.

Stables Building
This building is a two-storey building arranged around a courtyard and contains significant red Peel sandstone details. Today the building caters to small businesses in terms of office space .

Stable Yard
The yard, enclosing wall and cluster of small buildings, date back to the Goldie-Traubman period. The buildings have been refurbished and are home to four different businesses.

East Gate & Lodge
The Gothic Revival architecture treatment adds drama to the gateway and lodge in anticipation of what is beyond the entrance. It is the best example on the Isle of Man of a substantial gatehouse which enhances the approach to a significant house.

West Gate & Lodge
The West Lodge dates to 1833. The red sandstone gate posts at the west entrance are distinctive in a Manx context and were demolished in a traffic accident and restored and reinstated in 2010. They have features from the Traubman coat of arms and are one of the finest sets of gate posts in the Isle of Man. Today the Gate House is occupied as an office.

St Bridget’s Well
Water was taken from the sacred well for baptismal purposes in connection with the parish church and St Bridget’s Chapel. The well was restored in 1910, but since this time the well has suffered greatly through both lack of use and storm damage when a tree fell on it in 2007.

Inkerman Memorial
This memorial is an important Manx War Memorial. The cannon captured by the Russians, is mounted on the original surviving plinth. Most of the Manx memorials are dedicated to events or groups of men, but this memorial is dedicated to a significant individual. It is included in the UK National Inventory of War Memorials, held by the Imperial War Museum, London.