The future of Douglas’s historic Summer Hill stables is now fully secure with the new that the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture have agreed to put the building onto the protected register; the Isle of Man’s equivalent of listed building status. The continued use of the stables for their original purpose had been confirmed earlier this year when the Department of Infrastructure completed their purchase from Douglas Borough Council but this latest news is the icing on the cake for the future with any threats to the structure hopefully now extinguished.
The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture have added both the stables and 1-3 Tramway Terrace to the register because of their historic interest. The submission not only mentions that they are of unique interest on the Isle of Man but also in the wider British Isles as they are, of course, the only tramway stables still in everyday use.
Built in 1877 shortly after tramway operations had started on the now named Douglas Bay Horse Tramway they remain the home today of the trammers who are the vital ingredient in running the trams along Douglas Promenade.
They are now in the ownership of the Department of Infrastructure who purchased them for £600,000 earlier this year for the continued use as stabling for the horses. This is just one of many aspects of major investment the DoI have made since taking control of the tramway which has included refurbishment of many of the trams and plans to redevelop Strathallan Depot.