St Mary's Isle (Conister Rocks or Tower of Refuge)

St Mary's Isle (Conister Rocks or Tower of Refuge)

St Mary's Isle (Conister Rocks or Tower of Refuge) is part of a reef in the Isle of Man.

Conister is a corruption of the Manx _gv. "Kione y skeyr" meaning the 'end of the reef'.

It is a partially submerged rock at the tip of a reef in Douglas Bay. This reef is mostly obscured now by development into the sea, using the reef as a foundation.

Conister itself is fully submerged at exceptional spring high tides, and can be accessed very briefly on foot at the corresponding low tides.

The Tower of Refuge

The Tower of Refuge is the structure built upon it by Sir William Hillary (who helped to found the Royal National Lifeboat Institution) in 1824. Having witnessed several shipwrecks upon the semi-submerged rock, he intended it as a refuge for survivors until help could arrive. He helped secure public contributions for funding the building and contributed a high proportion of the costs personally. The islet itself was privately owned, but was contributed by its owner. In the years shortly after its construction, it continued to be well stocked with provisions such as bread and fresh water. [ [ Tower of Refuge - History] Retrieved 15 February, 2008]

The refuge is designed to look like a castle, by architect John Welch (also responsible for the design of other landmark buildings on the Isle of Man). The tower originally housed a bell for summoning of help and was stocked with dry provisions for the use of casualties. It is not far from the current ferry terminal and its eastern base (the Conister Shoals) had to be blasted away when the harbour had a new breakwater built in the early 1980s.


External links

* [ Information about St Mary's Isle (Conister Rocks or Tower of Refuge)]
* [ Picture at a very high tide]
* [ Picture of St Mary's Isle at extremely low water]
* [ History of the Tower of Refuge]
* [ Brief history of the Tower of Refuge]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • St Mary's Isle — St. Mary s Isle in Douglas Bay as seen from the Loch Promenade. St Mary s Isle (also known as Conister Rocks or the Tower of Refuge) is a partially submerged reef within Douglas Bay on the Isle of Man. The reef is situated not far from the… …   Wikipedia

  • Douglas Harbour — For the Alaskan harbor, see Douglas Harbor. Douglas Harbour Douglas Locati …   Wikipedia

  • William Hillary — Sir William Hillary, 1st Baronet (4 January, 1771 ndash; 5 January, 1847) was an English soldier, author and philanthropist, best known as the founder of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in 1824.A Yorkshire Quaker by descent, the son of… …   Wikipedia

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