Group Visits

Our Visitors Centre tells the story of Knockaloe Internment Camp on the Isle of Man, of its train and branch line, and of over 30,000 German, Austro-Hungarian and Turkish civilian men who were heldThe Model Room as internees behind its barbed wire between 1914 and 1919.

With audio visual interpretation, many original artefacts and a 1:500 interactive scale model of the Camp, your groups will find out about what life was like behind the barbed wire of Knockaloe Internment Camp over 100 years ago.

Our incredible human stories, for example of internee Joseph Pilates, interest so many visitors in so many different ways, which is why our internees have featured on:

  • BBC’s ‘Antiques Roadshow’ (telling the story of our Douglas Camp box on display);
  • Who Do You think You Are?’ with Sue Perkins of ‘Bake Off and R4’s ‘Just a Minute’;
  • Pilates related programmes, including: BBC Breakfast and BBC Northwest; both Radio and TV in the USA; and ARTE’s European language television travel show.

Whether your Group is interested in:

  • heritage railways (see our ¼ working scale model of the original Knockaloe engine);
  • 'Pilates' style exercise and sports such as football, golf, tennis;
  • gardening and horticulture and feeding 25,000;
  • 20th century British and World history and of course WW1 and its repercussions;
  • in ancestry, such as our guards and internees;
  • antiques such as incredible wood and bone craftwork from recycled waste materials;
  • in music and theatre, in education and a huge range of different religions;
  • in art and design, with stories of famous artists and designers such as:
    • Archibald Knox (Liberty of London designer) who was a Guard at the camp;
    • Charles Rennie Mackintosh, who designed furniture for the internees to make;
    • Carl Bartels, who designed the Liver Birds on Liverpool’s famous Liver building and whose artefacts he made whilst interned at Knockaloe are on display

...or perhaps it will be echoes of recent times of us all coping whilst ‘locked down’, away from our families. Whatever our visitors’ interest, our Centre tells incredible stories of human resilience by an immigrant population living in Britain, imprisoned simply because they had been born in a country Britain was at war with during WW1.

We are delighted to welcome your Group to the Centre – we are very aware that your Group is here on holiday, and you want them to have a wonderful time and go back home reflecting and telling others about their trip. This is a big story, but one of relevance and interest to so many visitors – do read our Visitors’ Book, TripAdvisor, Google and Facebook comments to get a feel of visitor reactions to their visit to our Centre.

Our Centre tells a huge story but there are so many elements which are of relevance to so many different interests, and we always attempt to tailor all of our visits around aspects specifically relevant to each group. For example: for a recent Lincolnshire group’s visit, we focussed the role Lincolnshire played in the internment story, and focussed on stories relating to the repatriation of internees via Spalding.

The more information you can provide prior to any visit enhances what we can provide - It may well be that some of your customers have specifically chosen your holiday because of the visit to Knockaloe. Please do let us know well in advance if there are descendants of internees or guards with you and we can seek to carry out specific research before their arrival to allow them to make the most of their visit.

A group visit normally starts with the group initially being welcomed in our model room by a trustee or trained volunteer, introducing ‘enemy aliens’ and the development of and experience of internment. Visitors can then explore the Centre and graveyard, enjoying a fresh “bean to cup” coffee or organic tea and chatting to members of our team. Large groups will be split into two for the initial introduction.

For a longer visit, our free ‘App’ and map then interpret their walk up through the site of Knockaloe Camp itself to the end of the line.

Fees and opening times (Groups to be booked in advance):

April to September, Monday to Saturday: £7pp including complimentary organic tea/“bean to cup” coffee. Of course, Guides and Coach drivers are FOC, with complimentary drinks. Minimum numbers apply outside normal public opening times.

Sunday and out of season visits: we are able to facilitate Sunday and out of season visits which require a little logistical juggling - there is an additional £1 per visitor charge to cover the setting up of, and manning the Centre during this out of season period resulting in a total cost of £8pp including complimentary organic tea/“bean to cup” coffee, subject to a minimum cost of £300 per group.

One of the team will always be happy to provide a brief introduction around the model upon arrival, or you may prefer your Guide to provide an introduction prior to arrival if you have an Isle of Man Blue Badge Guide accompanying the tour. We are always happy to facilitate whatever you prefer.

Please contact for initial enquiries, then Rachael Wood will liaise with you re booking your trips and arrangements etc. We look forward to welcoming you.                

The Knockaloe Charitable Trust

Isle of Man Registered Charity Number 1272