of the Isle of Man
of the Isle of Man
and recognition
a brief history


The Isle of Man first appeared as an Island approximately ten thousand years ago when the glaciers of the last Ice Age retreated and the sea level rose. It was first settled in approximately 850BC. Although it has Celtic origins the recorded history of the Isle of Man essentially starts in the 10th Century when it was conquered by the Vikings, whose occupation gave rise to the basis of law-making in the Island and to the longest continuous parliament in Europe, Tynwald.

Whilst occupying an important strategic position during that period this importance declined and emerging from the “Dark Ages” the Island was largely in private ownership until the 1760’s when it was sold to the Crown, re-establishing sovereignty which remains to this day.

The Island was predominantly a farming and fishing community until it benefited from the mass tourism boom of the late Victorian and Edwardian periods but this market declined continuously from the outbreak of the First World War, although by virtue of the world famous Isle of Man TT motorcycle races the Island still attracts tens of thousands of visitors to its shores each year.

The most important date in recent history was 1961 when a policy of low taxation was adopted in an attempt to establish the Island as a finance centre.

There was something of a wobble caused by the uncertainty of the position of the Island on the UK joining the EU in 1973, but once this was resolved the development of the Island as a finance centre proceeded at an unabated pace and is now the Island’s largest industry, contributing approximately 50% of the Gross National Product.

The current population of approximately 85,000 is a significant indicator of the growth, prosperity and stability of the Island’s economy. With a highly skilled workforce serviced by the latest technology, successful individuals and companies are being attracted by the high quality of life in an attractive, unspoilt and relatively crime-free environment.


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