Thursday 26th July 2012
This venerable pub is set in an idyllic location on the edge of the harbour wall sandwiched between Rushen Castle and the waters edge. Castletown was once the Isle of Man's seat of parliament and the town centre has many ancient buildings. The castle itself is acknowledged to be one of the best preserved medieval structures of its type. It was said to have been built in the early 13th century and is open to visitors.
The Castle Arms claims to be located nearest to a castle wall than any other pub in all Great Britain and is the light orange painted building in the photograph above. It is thought that it was built around 1750 although it is not known when it first became licensed premises. It was however, a hostelry by 1845, when it was known as the Queens Arms. In 1853 it was called the Castle. It is not known exactly when it became the Castle Arms.
It is known locally as the Glue Pot. Although not confirmed, it is believed that this nickname comes from an era when smugglers used the pub to dispose of their "imports" and refers to the difficulty in getting them to vacate the premises.
There is a small outside seating area on the quayside and you can from here observe the former Castletown Brewery across the outer harbour, now with its chimney demolished. It has been converted into flats, yet there is still one obvious clue to its former identity as the glass-sided electric lantern bearing the brewery's logo still hangs over the entrance to what was the off licence.
Back to the "Glue Pot" and its beers. When myself and fellow consumer Russell visited they had their three regular beers: Okell's Bitter and IPA, also Bass. The guest beer was Dr Mortons Ball Relief (4.0%), one of the Abbeydale Brewery's seasonal beers. This one was for June and it was a Euro 2012 beer. Rounding this good selection up was Weston's Old Rosie Cider on hand pump.
The interior of the pub's two main rooms have polished wood-panelled walls and very comfortable seating.
There are many nautical artefacts and pictures along with some historic views of the town. There is a full menu available. This is a beautiful pub that is well worth visiting.
The Castle Arms, The Quay, Castletown, Isle of Man. IM9 1LD. Tel: 01624 824673
Open: Sunday-Thursday 12.00-23.00; Friday & Saturday 12.00-24.00
Castletown is served by bus routes 1, 2, 11 and 12.
These all run from Douglas through all the major towns and villages along the southern coast. They also serve Ronaldsway Airport which is just a mile away.
Bus route 8 also runs through the town and connects it with Peel.
The station on the Isle of Man Railway is about ten minutes walk away.
The railway connects Douglas with Port Erin via stations in all the important towns and even has a request halt at the airport which was used on this trip.
This must be the world's only steam-hauled airport rail link!