1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Douglas (Isle of Man)

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DOUGLAS, the capital of the Isle of Man, a municipal borough and a favourite watering-place. Pop. (1901) 19,223. It stands on a fine semicircular bay on the east coast of the island, at the common mouth of two streams, the Awin-Dhoo and Awin-Glass, 62 m. W.N.W. of Fleetwood and 80 m. N.W. of Liverpool. The older streets are irregular and narrow, but the town has greatly extended in modern times, with numerous terraces of good dwelling-houses. A fine parade sweeps round the bay, which, from Derby Castle on the north to Douglas Head on the south, has a circuit exceeding 2 m. Low hills, penetrated by the valleys of the Dhoo and Glass, encircle the town on the north, west and south, the southern spur projecting seaward in the promontory of Douglas Head. The harbour, in the river mouth, lies immediately north of this; vessels drawing 9 ft. may enter it during neap tides, and those drawing 13 ft. during spring tides. A castellated building, called the Tower of Refuge, erected in 1832, marks the dangerous Conister rocks, north of the harbour entrance. The Battery pier protects the entrance on the south-west, and there is a short pier (the Red pier) within the harbour, while the Victoria pier on the north, at which passengers can land and embark at all heights of the tide, was erected in 1872. There is regular daily communication with Liverpool by the steamers of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, and during the season there are connexions with Fleetwood, Barrow, Dublin, Belfast and Glasgow. Douglas is connected by electric tramway northward with Laxey, the summit of the mountain of Snaefell and Ramsey, and southward with Port Soderick, while the Isle of Man railway runs to Peel in the west, and Castletown and Port Erin in the south-west. The town has services of cable and horse trams. The various popular attractions of Douglas include theatres, dancing halls, a race-course and two golf links Howstrake and Quarter Bridge. The shore of the bay is of firm sand (covered at high tide), and the sea-bathing is good. Among buildings and institutions in Douglas may be mentioned the legislative buildings (1893), the town hall (1899), the large free library, the court house and the Isle of Man hospital. Castle Mona, erected in 1804 by John, 4th duke of Arrol and lord of Man, is transformed into an hotel. St George’s church, the oldest remaining in Douglas, dates from 1780. Douglas was incorporated in 1895, and is governed by a mayor, six aldermen and eighteen councillors.