Views of the Isle of Man
produced by George Philip and Son

George Philip opened as stationer in Liverpool sometime in the 1840s and took his son (George Philip II) into partnership in 1848 when the firm became known as G.Philip & Son. George Philip II (1823-1902) according to family history [Phil1934] attended King's College IoM (? King William's College , Castletown however no Philip is on record of the school's pupils - G.Philip came from a strongly non-conformist background, 2 brothers were non-conformist ministers, so is somewhat surprising that he would send his only son to a strong C.of E. establishment )
G.Philip and Son opened their London office (32 Fleet Street) in 1856.

The early prints are crisp and detailed; however later issues were lithographed and lose some of the detail (G.Philip & Son installed steam driven lithographic presses in their new Caxton Buildings printing house in 1859).

As with many other publishers, the prints found many applications including letter heads, China cards, individual prints and in a book of prints "Picturesque Views in the Isle of Man" which was probably first printed c.1860 though it continued, with changes to the plates, certainly until c.1900 (my copies are all lithographed - some of the later plates are much cruder in execution) - in general the oval framed prints would appear to predate the cruder rectangular format by some 15 or more years..

The list of plates (there are some variations between issues) in c.1875 edition are:

Douglas Town and Bay (2 Plates).
The Loch Promenade, Douglas.
Tower of Refuge.
The Nunnery.
Iron Promenade Pier, Douglas Bay
Castle Mona Lawn.
Castle Mona.
Port Soderick Hotel and Bay.
Swiss Cottage and Suspension Bridge.
Rhenas Waterfall,
Glen Helen.
Kirk Braddan.

Snaefell
Castletown, from the Pier
Castle Rushen.
Port Erin.
Laxey Village and Glen.
Laxey Wheel
The Dhoon Glen and Waterfall
Ramsey, from The South.
Ramsey - Queen's Pier.
Bishop's Court.
Peel Town and Harbour
Peel Castle

Double Plate:

Douglas Town and Bay

Douglas Town and Bay

Probably c.1874 as the Imperial Hotel, built 1861 by Sam Harris, stands proudly at the foot of the red pier; the presence of the Iron Pier puts it post 1869 - the scaffolding visible centre plate is probably that for the Peveril Hotel built c.1874 - the Victoria pier opened 1875 appears to be drawn onto the plate..

Douglas
Douglas

Classic view of bay as seen from Douglas head. Post 1856 as imprint G.Philip & Son London and Liverpool (original buyer had dated it June 1858). Pre 1859 as St Mary's not shown.

 

Post 1869 as the Iron Pier is visible as is the 1859 St Mary's Roman Catholic church can be seen right midground.

Douglas
Douglas

Villa Marina
Villa Marina

 

Land for Villa Marina estate was acquired by George Steuart shortly before his death; the house was built by his son Robert whose widow sold off some of the land. On her death it became a school run by the Misses Dutton. It then became the residence of Governor Pigot which signalled the move of the capital from Castletown to Douglas.

 

Castle Mona was built as the residence of the Duke of Atholl in 1804 to the design of George Steuart. It was converted to an hotel in 1835 and still operates as such

Castle Mona
Castle Mona

Castle Mona Lawn
Castle Mona Lawn

 

Unusual in not carrying G Philip's imprint - however it was included in the 'Picturesque Views'
The view shows 'The Espanade' flanked by Derby Terrace on the left and Clarence Terrace on the right. Built to the designs of the local architect John Robinson c.1846.
It lies between Villa Marina and Castle Mona; the promenade in front was widened c.1890.

The land was owned by J.S. Jackson who became the manager of the Bank of Mona and also owned Falcon Cliff. After the terrace was built (by James Ayrton) Jackson exchanged the ground rent for freehold of five of the 10 houses. The open ground in front was held in common by the terrace.

 

Tower of Refuge of 1832 is a now the 'trade-mark' of Douglas. Original colour, probably pre 1848 as imprint is G. Banks delt, W.H.Lizars Sct, printed for George Philip Liverpool,

Tower of Refuge
Tower of Refuge

Nunnery
Nunnery

 

The Nunnery, just outside Douglas, the print shows the house rebuilt around 1820 with crenallations.

The 1000 ft Iron Pier stood at the bottom of Broadway. Foundation stone laid January 1869, opened August 1869, dismantled and sold to Rhos on Sea in 1892; the pavilion at the end of the pier was used at Groudle as Dobie's Cafe

Iron Pier
Iron Promenade Pier

Port Soderick Hotel & Bay
Port Soderick Hotel & Bay

"PORT SODERICK, distant about four miles from Douglas, is a favourite resort for Visitors during the Summer season. It is most pleasantly reached by water, being about an hour's sail. On the left of the beach, on landing, is a fine natural Cavern, which can be easily entered, and is well worth a visit. There is a good Hotel, where refreshments can be had."

Port Soderick was later developed into a popular tourist attraction

Kirk Braddan was a favourite to be included in most sets of views.

On the left can be seen the memorial to Lord Henry Murray. The graveyard seems somewhat empty and tidier than is the state at present.

Kirk Braddan
Kirk Braddan


Laxey
Laxey Glen

 

Probably c.1860 - the Lady Isabella Waterwheel soon became a tourist attraction. Laxey Church, built with money from the Mining Company, stands on probably the only flat bit of ground in Laxey.

Laxey Wheel - the Lady Isabella - started in operation in September 1854.

Laxey Wheel
Laxey Wheel

Lezayre Church and Vicarage
Lezayre Church and Vicarage

Lezayre Church was rebuilt by Bishop Ward

The Bishop Ward Church to a design by John Welch is well drawn though some artistic licence has been taken with the placing of Bishop Wilson's Tomb which is in the shadow of part of the chancel wall of the old church.

Kirk Michael Church
Kirk Michael Church with Bishop Wilson's Tomb

Snaefell
Snaefell

Snaefell, the highest mountain on the Island, now 'crowned' by two radio masts was for long a place of summer pilgramage before coming a tourist attraction especially following the opening of the Mountain Railway.

The view is from the North looking South East along the Sulby from near Tholt-y-Will.

Castletown viewed from Scarlett - the cave-like structure is proably part of the lime kilns.

Castletown
Castletown

Castletown from Pier
Castletown from the Pier

This is the 1844/5 basin and harbour riticised by Captain Washington in his 1851 report as unnecessary.

The pier at the entrance to the harbour is now extended and boasts a small harbour light - possibly the artist omitted this as a mid 1850s print (from a photograph) shows a box-like structure which was presumeably soon replaced by the tower light seen today.

Castle Rushen viewed from across the harbour (in front of what was then the Brewery).

Castle Rushen
Castle Rushen

Glen May
Glen May

Glen Maye, about 3 miles south of Peel, is still a popular tourist haunt.

Dhoon Glen

Dhoon Glen and Waterfalls
Dhoon Glen and Waterfall

Swiss Cottage and Suspension Bridge
Swiss Cottage and Suspension Bridge

Glen Helen became a major tourist attraction from the 1860s.

Port Erin was still to grow - this view probably dating from the early 1870s.

The building to the right is the rebuilt Dandy Hill Methodist Chapel of 1860.

Port Erin
Port Erin

Peel Castle
Peel Castle

My copy is on a China card - the collected views use a different and less 'romantic' view of the Castle.

The causeway to the castle, now replaced by a more modern roadway is the wall built c.1796 to protect the harbour

The classic view of St Patrick's Isle and the Castle seen from the slopes of Peel (Horse) Hill.

Peel Castle
Peel Castle

Peel Town and Harbour
Peel Town and Harbour

Note the new 'pepperpot' harbour light - a large improvement on the box like light that is shown in the similar view by Backwell.

 

Ramsey from the south
Ramsey from the South

Reference

 


 Manx Note Book   [Views Index]

 

switch to frames viewAny comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
© F.Coakley , 2001