Royal relocation’ in Ramsey

Kings of Mann @ Crafty The sculpture of two Kings of Mann and the Isles who had strong links to Ramsey has been relocated from Ramsey town hall to the Courthouse grounds in Parliament Street.

King Godred Crovan, also known as King Orry, and his son, the statesman King Olaf, are depicted in the sculpture, the work of local artist Amanda Barton.

Crafty Cat is an Isle of Man company specialising in the production of Manx Cross-stitch kits in a series entitled ‘Around the Island in Cross-stitch’. Bringing you a selection of Manx Heritage News.

The piece was commissioned by Ramsey Town Commissioners in 2000 to mark the passing into the new millennium and references the change through the images of the old warrior King Orry and the politically astute young King Olaf playing chess. The younger man appears to be playing classical chess, the elder the ancient Viking game of Merels or mill. Other subtle cues, such as the figures’ different clothing, weapons and accoutrements, also hint at the changing times.

Ramsey Town Commissioners’ chairman Captain Nigel Malpass said: ‘Such a magnificent work of art as this has long merited a more prominent setting where as many members of the public could admire the artist’s skills and gain a sense of the epic significance of these two rulers.

‘Amanda Barton’s sculpture of these two legendary figures in Manx history representing changing times could not be a more fitting metaphor for the regeneration of Ramsey town centre. Central to that regeneration, which continues apace, has been the transformation of the Courthouse grounds, which will now serve as a worthy new “home” for two Norse kings who shaped the destiny of the Isle of Man.’

Godred Croven

The Chronicles of Mann record three invasions of the Island by King Godred Crovan, the third occasion, known as the Battle of Sky Hill, in 1079 when he gathered 300 men and fought a battle in ‘the port called Ramsey…threw the Manx men into disorder and compelled them to fly’.


Of King Olaf the Chronicles of Mann refer to a reign of unbroken peace; a king who founded Rushen Abbey and Castle Rushen and who was killed in Ramsey in 1152 after three of his nephews came from Dublin with a number of followers ‘and demanded from the King one half of the whole kingdom of the Isles for themselves.’

For more information about the sculpture visit


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