Tower Of Refuge, Douglas, Isle Of Man
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Situated on Conister Rock ( or St Mary’s Rock) in Douglas Bay, the Tower Of Refuge was the idea of Sir William Hillary.
Hillary moved to the Isle of Man in 1808 and began to get to know the dangerous waters of the Irish Sea which surrounded Douglas Bay.
In 1824 he came up with the idea of a rescue boat service manned by a trained crew. The idea was new, but soon prompted the creation of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
When Hillary took part in a rescue for a Steam Packet vessel in Douglas Bay and was washed overboard, he realised the coast was too far to swim to, yet a place was needed for sailors to wait for rescue on Conister Rock.
So in 1832, the Tower of Refuge was built, a granite haven in the form of a small castle. It cost £254, of which Hillary himself contributed almost half. The tower was kept well stocked with fresh water and bread, ready to offer shelter from the weather and sea.
Date: 4th August 2009.
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