We have two floors and a plan
for a mezzanine floor to increase the display area. On the ground
floor we have the infamous 'Black Hole' where the convicts were held for crimes such as
drunk and disorderly, prostitution, livestock theft and
murder, as well as those awaiting transportation to the Colonies.
During the Potato Riots of 1820 it is said that six women and
one man were held in the cell and that when they were released
the man appeared to be inexplicably exhausted!
We have extensive documentation related
to the fishing industry, including rare lists of Peel boats
and their crew, catches etc. Many old photographs, models and artefacts
of an industry sadly in decline.
Similarly, photographs, documents and tools
belonging to workers in the Boat Yards of Peel, such as
Neakle, Watterson and Cashin, and Graves are on display.
The World Wars
During WWI a huge P.O.W. camp
was built at Knockaloe Mooar at Patrick one mile south of Peel
to house 5,000 German and Turkish prisoners, as well as 3000 guards
and civilian workers.
Eventually the camp was expanded and 23,000 were held behind the
In WW2, Peveril Camp in Peel held detainees such as Dutch and german refugees,
Italian fascists and members of the IRA. A few of these internees tried to escape, and we have written documents from some of the
escapees on archive in the museum. We have memorabilia from both these camps including items made
by the internees (top right) as well as ration books etc.
Law and Order
Apart from the infamous 'Black
Hole' prison cell, we have the last birching stool to be used
in Peel in the 1880s, as well as various other items pertaining to the
Manx justice system.
In our small Research Centre
we have up to date technology to facilitate archival research and
(with permission) to copy photos and documents.
Themed walks exploring the varied history of
Peel's industry, natural history and architecture in the company
of noted local historians can be booked for groups by prior arrangement.
Informal talks and discussions on
any aspect of Peel history can also be pre-booked for groups
by contacting the Leece Museum or Peel Town Hall.
Model Nickeys 1890s
Child's ration book, WW2
of our Knockaloe PoW
Camp display, WWI