15 comments on “The former Ravensdale Castle Hotel

  1. Hello, Peter,
    I once lived north of Ballaugh, and must confess have never seen the Ravensdale Castle Hotel. How is it located, say from the village of Ballaugh. I have to just add, I was just a chlid, and only knew my way home, passed the old parish church! So any help for me to find such a lovely place on a map, would be gratefully received. I still enjoy so much seeing all your latest views, so do keep up the good work, for such as I, thank you so much!
    David

  2. Hello Peter,
    Many thanks for your quick reply to my query,I must of passed by the hotel, and never knew it was there. But your map soon cleared it up, just where it sits. So thanks once again, and would want you to know just how much seeing your views mean to me. In a couple of weeks time I have cousin and her husband visting us here in western Canada. It will give me a chance to talk about, all that I seen on your wonderful site! Thanks again
    David

  3. Peter:

    I stayed at the Ravensdale Castle Hotel as the “Duty Yank” (range safety officer) during the early 1970’s. A USAF pilot was required to he in the range tower anytime a USAF aircraft used the range at Jurby. As I recall there was an american staying in the Ravensdale Castle for the entire time I was in the UK. We would arrive on Sunday afternoon and go home the following Saturday, only to be replaced by the next guy on Sunday.–we all stayed the the “Castle” because it was close. I was able to at least drive around the TT course but I always on the Island during winter. I never did get through all of the various bottles of Whisky in the bar. Great memories. Thanks for the photos

    All the best

    Dave Roberts, Captain USAF,
    RAF Upper Heyford, 1970-1974

  4. We stayed at Ravensdale in November 1966 on honeymoon. We visited IOM several times with our boys, now in their forties but when we tried to return in 1991 for our silver wedding were told it was an old folks home . The family found this very amusing and suggested we book in! It will be our golden anniversary next year and plan on returning and would love to find a similar hotel as we enjoyed it so much. The food was fantastic.
    Reading the other comments we remembered that when we were there an American couple were there. He was based on the Island and his wife joined us on our trips out. She was Dutch called Oinch and he was Will Stackhouse. Sadly we didn’t keep in touch. We will certainly be driving round Ballaugh when we visit but may come in the summer as in November the weather wasn’t great. You are so lucky to live in such a magical place. My husbands father was also based at Ballaugh during the war so lots of memories.

  5. Hi Peter,
    I spent two weeks at Ravensdale Castle in November 1969 as the USAF Range Officer at Jurby. Very impressed with the beauty of the IOM. Great memories! Two characters who were regulars at the bar (which I seem to remember served as the village Pub). There was a Mr Smith who owned a dress shop in Douglas, but was originally named Schmidt and was a German pilot shot down over the UK and interred as a POW in the IOM, and stayed after the war was over. The other was an old gentleman named Eric Lycett, who I believe worked with the BBC and had retired to Ballaugh. Eric was a regular every night the bar was open. All the locals knew when the new “Yank” arrived and made sure he was duly welcomed! Really enjoyed seeing your photos — brought back wonderful memories — thanks!

    Maxey Phillips
    Capt, RAF Bentwaters, 1966-1970

  6. we married on 1/8/81 (palindrome) and stayed in the Ravensdale Castle on our wedding night, wonderful place. My husband had chosen it over the Golf Links in Castletown, good choice. we are aware that it is now a private residence. we almost got to see around it some years ago as my husbands brother knew the new owner, but unfortunately the owner was called away on business. We will be on Isle of Man this year for our 35th wedding anniversary and are really looking forward to it, I love the IoM and would love to be living there again, maybe one day.

  7. Habe von 1961-1962 in Castle Hotel gearbeite,mein Onkel war zur derzeit BESITZER
    des Hotels.Der Name war ALBERT SMITH wer kann sich Erinnern!!!!

    • wer kann sich remember 1961.-1962 ich kann mich noch an Dave Roberts erinnern

      wie er mit der gesammten Famiilie ebi uns wochen weise wohnte

    • Sprichst du überhaupt English? Ich zeichne einen Stammbaum under denke,wir könnten verwandt sein.

  8. pepper Thomas, retired USAF LTCOL stayed at the Ravensdale when doing duty at Jurby range…As i recall the owner was shot down during WWII and interned and ended up acquiring this magnificent property.Great hospitality and super bar and food!

    i recall an “ole regular” there that drank Bells Scotch whiskey and when he wanted a single he ordered a “Dingl” and when he ordered a double a “Ding Dong” Go figure??>>> Loved the place and the beautiful women that out number the guys 3 to 1…i’d love to visit today!!

  9. We were just thinking of going back to Ravensdale as we are watching the original Agatha Christie, And then there were None. The white Saab that the duty Yank got to drive for a week, kippers for breakfast, the lady that could start a coal fire with twisted newspaper, ( we had coal only in our cottage in the Cotswolds and had to use fire starters), the huge sack lunch that the range officer was provided on the Thursday night bombing at the range. Also a story of a haunting. Let’s go back and have a pint.

  10. Hi Peter,
    I came across your website because I have two original newspaper pages taken from the Isle of Man Examiner, Friday, 4th October, 1974, page 26 & 27, which was given to my parents by Mr. and Mrs. Albert Smith when my parents went on holiday to the Isle of Man to visit them in 1984, and Ravensdale Castle Hotel was mentioned in the article.
    I did not know Albert personally, but my parents did, especially my father.
    Albert was a prisoner of war at the Knightthorpe camp, sited midway between Loughborough and Shepshed, Leicestershire, (the camp site no longer exists as the area is now covered with dwelling houses). Prior to the prisoner’s repatriation in 1948, the prisoners were found working on the local farms. Albert was assigned to Mr. F. S. Mee’s farm, who was known locally as Freddy Mee, in Shepshed. His farm at the time, was one of the largest farms in Leicestershire.
    My father also worked on the farm and during harvest time he would be the one cutting the corn, whilst the prisoners would follow, picking up the sheaths of corn and erecting them into stooks. (In those days it was a tractor pulling a binder, not a combine harvester). I would often go to watch my father and in doing so I be-friended the guard watching over the prisoners. Interestingly, he was hardly guarding them as it was obvious that no one was going to abscond, if fact he, (Jock), did not have any ammunition in his rifle
    During repatriation, most of the prisoners went home, but a few stayed behind and married local girls, as did Albert. I suspect the prisoner restrictions were very relaxed at the time, otherwise the prisoners would not have met the local girls. Albert met and married Elizabeth L. Dichfield, known as Lynne, in Shepshed in 1948. If it was not for the Covid pandemic and the Library being closed, I would be able to obtain the wedding announcement in the local newspaper. By all accounts, it appears that Lynne was a wealthy lady, and she lived in a large bungalow in Leicester Road, Shepshed.
    I have two original photographs of the wedding, one of the married couple, and the other a group photograph, which, incidentally, includes my father in the wedding group.
    I assume you will be able to access the archives for the newspaper, but if not, this is a brief summary:
    The couple started a catering business when they first arrived in the Isle of Man, As Lynne was a trained needlewoman and milliner, they ran the gown shop, Cavendish House, in Strand Street, Douglas for 19 years, overlapping with their ownership of Ravensdale Castle Hotel for 14 years where they lived for most of the time. They sold Ravensdale Castle Hotel in May, 1974 and moved into a purpose-built new house in the Bailaugh Glen area. The house was named ‘Valdfrieden’, which to be correct, should be spelt ‘Walfrieden”, which is German for forest peace. The article gives a detailed description of the design of the new house with many photographs.
    In 1973 they celebrated their silver wedding anniversary and in 1974 concluded 25 years of Manx residency.
    Albert Henry Smith died on the 15th February, 1994. A letter from Lynne to my mother informing her of Albert’s death also stated that his three brothers and many German friends attended the funeral.
    As far as I can ascertain, Lynne died in 1998 in the Isle of Man.
    I hope this is of interest to you.
    Gerald Berrington

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