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Tynwald Library Exhibition Space  

Located on the ground floor of the Legislative Buildings in Finch Road the Tynwald Library exhibition space provides schools, youth, community and sporting organisations, as well as private individuals and commercial enterprises, with a secure, easily managed area in which to mount Manx-themed displays.  There is no rental charge, only a small commission fee for sales by commercial operators.  
Tel:     +44 (0)1624 685520


On Now:


The Tynwald Library is currently displaying an exhibition celebrating 600years of Customary Law in the Isle of Man.

In 1417, Sir John Stanley II, Lord of Man, had the laws of the Isle of Man written down for the first time. First among them was the procedure for Tynwald Day, much of which is followed to this day. Referred to as the ‘Constitution of Old Time’, this customary law describes a practice originally established by the Vikings. The name of Tynwald comes from the Old Norse Thingvöllr, meaning meeting place or assembly field, the place where the Vikings met to uphold the law, settle disputes, and make decisions affecting the community. Over the centuries Tynwald has met at various locations around the Island; today, it continues to meet in the open air once a year, at Tynwald Hill in St John’s, as per the customary law.

At the same time as the 1417 customary law describes an ancient ceremony, it also asserts the authority of the Stanleys as the newly established Lords of Man. The Island had been granted to Sir John Stanley II’s father, who never visited the Island, only twelve years earlier. When Sir John Stanley II visited in 1417 and later in 1422, he had to contend with rebellions against his Governor and the competing power and influence of the Church in the Island. The procedure for Tynwald Day, along with the other customary laws that accompany it, vividly represents the relationship between the Lord of Man and his subjects, and in particular asserts his primacy over the Church Barons.  

1417 is also an important date in the history of recordkeeping in the Isle of Man. Although the original written laws from 1417 have not survived, they have had an interesting transmission history via 17th and 18th century manuscripts and 19th century printed editions. Other records that began to be kept from 1417 onwards are names of the Members of the House of Keys and legal precedents or law cases.      ​


There is more information about 1417 on our History pages. ​


The Tynwald Library is open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. The Tynwald Library is on the ground floor of the Legislative Buildings on Finch Road. 


For more details on any of the Tynwald Library’s exhibitions or the exhibition space please call 685520 or email