Greeba Castle, Isle of Man

Greeba Castle, Peel Road
Postmarked 1906
Publisher: “A. H. & S. M.”

Google Maps.

At the base of Greeba Mountain and the Kings Forest, or Greeba Plantation, there are two Victorian castellated residences built in 1849 in an elevated position in the Gothic style, on the site of a property that had been known as Booilrenny (perhaps boayl rennee, “place of the fern”). These houses, Greeba Towers and Greeba Castle, were designed by John Robinson of Douglas, a self-taught architect who designed many properties in the town of Douglas including the Bank of Mona (now the Tynwald Building), the Falcon Cliff, Douglas Head Hotel and the Derby Castle, all in a castellated style with Gothic influence. The house was originally built for William Nowell, but it was later bought by Edward Windus, the son of a partner of the publisher, Chatto & Windus. The Victorian novelist Hall Caine moved to the Isle of Man in 1894 and rented Greeba Castle for a six-month period before residing briefly in Peel. Caine bought the house, in a poor state of repair, in 1896. He lived there until his death in 1931, and it was partly remodelled during that time. According to a folk tale, the owner of Greeba Castle lost the property in a game of cards but built Greeba Towers in front of his former property to block the view of the new owner.

The name Greeba is derived from the Scandinavian word “Gnipa” meaning “peak”. This 56 hectare plantation lies on the south east slopes of Greeba Mountain. . . . At the foot of Greeba plantation, on the TT course, is Greeba Towers and Greeba Castle. This was once the home of Sir Hall Caine, the famous Victorian novelist. The Castle and Towers were built at the beginning of the 19th century by William Norwell on the site of a property which had been known as Booilrenny. After selling the Castle in 1854 for £825, Norwell moved into the Towers. The Castle was used as both a hotel and a boarding school for boys. It was bought by Hall Caine in 1898.
Isle of

Leave a Reply