Heritage Volunteering

The Arts Society Isle of Man runs a programme of heritage volunteering

Milntown - A Manx Stately Home

From a team of 15 (see below), The Arts Society, Isle of Man under the guidance of Bill and Marion Hastings, have been involved in a number of projects at the Isle of Man’s Stately Home, Milntown. Due to Milntown’s opening hours, the time spent on these these various projects - which started in early in 2016 - were generally limited. Pleasingly, all have now been successfully completed.

1 The Library Project - 2016 to 2017

A renovation of the Library in the style of Deemster John Christian was in hand. In supporting that project, members of the Team organised, catalogued, cleaned and renovated some 1500 legal and other books. Their work was all in accordance with the standards set down by The Arts Society

. Milntown-Library2

2 An Accession Register - 2017 to 2022

Having completed the Library Project, it became clear that no systematic recording of Milntown’s assets existed. Following the then Estate Manager’s discussion with the Society, a series of recommendations were made to the Trustees. These included the purchase of specialist software; software that satisfied international collection-management standards and offers a route to museum accreditation. That debate also involved The Arts Society’s potential involvement. Structural and staff changes at Milntown resulted in its purchase and implementation being delayed.

In the meantime, the Team began working on the 14 public rooms of the Main building. From small to large, from floor to ceiling, each asset was systematically recorded - and photographed.


Some 5 to 6 years later - even with Covid related ‘interruptions’ - the first stage of this project has now been completed. In essence, the Society has provided Milntown with a significant boost to a collection management policy; to a recording and handling policy; to an acquisition and disposal policy and to a conservation strategy.

Milntown Clothing

3 Clothing Acquisition Project - 2019

Arising from a private donation of 18th and 19th Century clothings, The Team was asked to examine and document the collection. As our work progressed, it became clear that Milntown has benefitted from a remarkable little collection. Now, a worthy story has been completely recorded, stored and assessed. In addition, it has been integrated into Milntown’s new accession register thereby becoming an integral part of a care and preservation policy.

4 Chandelier Project - 2019


A number of the rooms in Milntown have suspended ornamental lights including chandeliers. It became clear that three of them needed special attention. In this respect they were removed, dismantled and carefully cleaned by some of the Team. They were then returned to their location .. night became day!

The Team members

  • Ann Wilson
  • Anne Lambert
  • Bill Hastings
  • Doris Slingsby
  • Frances Jarrit
  • Helen Leigh
  • Isobelle Pover
  • Jane Tatchell
  • John Martin
  • Lourdes Nichols
  • Marion Hastings
  • Mike Everton-Jones
  • Pamela Martin
  • Pat McClure
  • Sheena Dyer
  • Wensley Higgins

The Project Hours

Man Hours
Project 1 The Library Books 1000
Project 2 The Accession Register 238
Project 3 The Clothes Collection 62
Project 4 The Chandaliers 15