Quarterbridge, Isle of Man

The Quarterbridge Road Junction with the A2 Quarterbridge Road and A1 Peel Road, Douglas.

Quarterbridge (Manx: The Quarters or Quarter Dub – quarterlands of Ballabrooie and Ballaquayle)[1] is situated between the 1st Milestone and 2nd Milestone road-side marker on the Snaefell Mountain Course used for the Isle of Man TT Races on the junction of the primary A1 Douglas to Peel road, A2 Douglas to Ramsey Road and the A5 Douglas to Port Erin Road which forms the boundary between the parishes of Braddan and Onchan in the Isle of Man.


The Quarterbridge forms the boundary between the quarterlands of Ballabrooie and Ballaquayle. A quarterland is an old land division in the Isle of Man, which includes a farmstead or Kerroo within the quarterland. In which four of these divisions became a Treen and land rights entrusted to a landholder, who in turn cultivated one of the quarterlands. The three remaining quarterlands were rented to freemen paying dues in the form of rents, produce, parish services including the maintenance of a small church or Keeil within the Treen.[2]


The Quarterbridge spans the River Glass at this point and forms the boundary between the parishes of Kirk Braddan and Kirk Conchan (Onchan) in the town of Douglas. The bridge at this point was washed away during a storm in 1727 and replaced with a two-arched structure 30 yards downstream. The local mason Charles Scott was contracted in 1809 to build a single arched-span across the River Glass on the present alignment for a price of £280. The bridge was extended upstream in 1862 and a further extension downstream in the early 1900s.[3] The public house on the site, The Union Hotel was damaged by fire in 1830 and replaced by the present Quarterbridge Hotel. A gatehouse and near-by Quarterbridge rail-crossing were built in 1873 for the new Isle of Man Railway company and the new Douglas to Peel railway.[4] Road widening on the A1 Peel Road during the winter of 1937 included the demolition of the Brown Bobby public hotel and road work at the Quarterbridge road junction. During the 1930s a distinctive roadside cafe is built, a modular prefabricated concrete Post-Modernist design on the junction with the A2 Quarterbridge Road. During the winter of 1953/54 road widening to the approach to the Quarterbridge occurs for the 1954 Isle of Man TT Races.[5] In 1963 a roundabout is added to the road junction at the Quarterbridge.[6] The winter of 1986/87 further re-profiling occurs at the Quarterbridge road junction with a new road traffic system including two mini-roundabouts, the removal of a traffic island and Cherry Blossom trees. In July 2008, the Isle of Man Department of Transport announced a £4 Million road safety scheme for the Quarterbridge road junction, including the building of a new roundabout and the demolition of the Quarterbridge Hotel.[7] In February/March 2011 the Highways Division, Isle of Man Department of Infrastructure modify the Quarterbridge road junction including major road resurfacing work, improved drainage, elevation changes and reposition new pedestrian barriers adjacent to the Quarterbridge Hotel.[8]


The Quarterbridge was part of the Highland Course and Four Inch Course used for the Gordon Bennett Trial and Tourist Trophy automobile car races between 1904 and 1922. The start-line for the Highland Course[9] is at the Quarterbridge and junction with the A5 New Castletown Road and the Quarterbridge railway crossing. For the 1906 Tourist Trophy Race the Highroad course was amended to a distance of 40.38 miles to prevent disruption to railway services. The start was moved from the Quarterbridge to the road junction of the A2 Quarterbridge Road/Alexander Drive adjacent to the property called 'Woodlands' in the town of Douglas. The startline for the 1908 Tourist Trophy was moved again from the A2 Quarterbridge Road to Hillberry Corner as part of the new Four Inch Course. The 1905 International Motor-Cycle Cup Races held in the Isle of Man the Quarterbridge was used as the start and finish line. The Quarterbridge road junction is part of the Mountain Course used since 1911 for the Isle of Man TT and from 1923 for the Manx Grand Prix Races.


  1. Place Names of the Isle of Man by John Kneen MA pp125 (1970) Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh The Scolar Press
  2. An Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Isle of Man by David T.Webber Revised by Frank Cowin and F.J.Radcliffe pp127 (1997) The Manx Experience ISBN 1-873120-25-7
  3. Streets of Douglas: Old and New by Stuart Slack pp125 (1996) (1st Edition) The Manx Experience ISBN 978-1873120279
  4. The British Narrow Gauge Railway No 2. The Isle of Man Railway by J.I.C.Boyde pp17 (1973)(Third Edition) Oakwood Press The Campfield Press
  5. Isle of Man Examiner pp6 dated 28 May 1954
  6. Isle of Man Examiner pp5 dated 6 June 1963
  7. Manx Independent pp3 dated 4 July 2008
  8. Isle of Man Examiner page 5, Isle of Man Newspapers Ltd (2011) Johnson Press Publishing 25 January 2011
  9. TT Pioneers – Early Car Racing in the Isle of Man pp 22 Robert Kelly, Mercury Asset Management (1996) (1st Edition) The Manx Experience, The Alden Press ISBN No 1 873120 61 3

External links

See also

Quarterbridge Railway Crossing

Coordinates: 54°09′21″N 4°30′06″W / 54.15583°N 4.50167°W / 54.15583; -4.50167

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