Castle Rushen Clock 20p: A Complete Guide

The Castle Rushen Clock 20p is one of those coins that spark interest if you come across it in the UK, but how much are they worth and are they rare?

Let’s dive into the history and mintage of the coin to find out!

When was the Castle Rushen Clock 20p Minted?

The Castle Rushen clock 20p was first minted in 2004 and continued to be minted between the years 2004 and 2012. The actual mintage total is unknown.

However, it was not minted by the Royal Mint but rather only on the Isle of Man. Because the Isle of Man is relatively small in population compared to the UK, the coin is considered to be fairly rare.

This is similar to other Isle of Man coins, such as the 1997 TT 50p, that are also sought after by collectors.

What Does The Coin Represent?

Castle Rushen is a medieval castle located in the Isle of Man’s historic capital known as Castletown. Castletown is in the south part of the island. The castle towers over the Market Square on one side and the harbour on the other.

The castle also serves as a home to a clock that is thought to have been a gift from Queen Elizabeth I in 1597 when the Queen was holding the island in trust. It was during a time when rival claims between Ferdinand and William’s heirs were being legally sorted out. The clock’s workings were housed inside what used to be the chapel in the castle.

The castle represents one of the best examples of a European medieval castle. Since it was built in about 1200AD for a Norse king, the castle has been used as a fortress, a place for the Manx Parliament to meet, a mint, and even a prison. Today, it is used as a museum and an educational centre.

The clock is a 16th-century wood-framed turret clock with only one hand to tell the time. It is thought to have been a gift from Queen Elizabeth.

A turret clock was among the very first mechanical clocks invented and represents one of the first engineering technologies on which all geared machinery was developed. It pre-dates pendulum clocks.

This style of the clock was used in monasteries and abbeys of Central Europe in the late 13th century. The clock was intended to sound when it was time for prayer. There are weights that hang on ropes wrapped around wooden barrels to drive the clock.

In 2009, the clock was damaged when its striking weight fixing failed. In this type of turret clock, the movement of the big wheels transfers to little pinions. These pinions take a lot of stress when operating and eventually wear out. During the restoration, all six pinions were replaced with cast iron leaf to keep them historically accurate.

In 2011, the clock was removed for repairs. It was eventually raised back into position and is still working today.

Castle Rushen Clock 20p Design

The Castle Rushen Clock 20p is a 7-sided angular heptagonal coin. 21.5mm in diameter and weighs 5.00g. It is made of Cupronickel, 84% copper, and 16% nickel. The edge is smooth.

The Castle Rushen Clock 20p features the face of the historic clock with the one hand positioned pointing to the Roman numerals and positioned at 12:00, or XII, inside a square diamond shape. To the left and right of the clock are the Manx triskelion, which is the symbol of the Isle of Man with three rotating legs.

The Castle Rushen Clock 20p

The clock is crowned above the 12:00 position with what looks to be a British Imperial State Crown, and a different crown with 7-points is seen below the 6:00 position of the clock. In the middle of the clock, to the left and right of the single hand, are what looks like the words Eliz.Reg. Which is probably short for Elizabeth Regina meaning queen, and the date 1597 below, also separated by the clock’s single hand.

The inscription on the reverse side reads CASTLE RUSHEN CLOCK above the design with a small Manx triskelion before and after. The Number 20 is seen toward the bottom of the design.

The designer of the Reverse side image is unknown.

The initials PM on the outside of the diamond shape surrounding the clock indicate that the coin was minted at Pobjoy Mint, the Isle of Man Treasury, and not the Royal Mint. On the other side, there are notations indicating what die was used. These can be seen on the coins as follows:

  • 2004 AA or AB
  • 2005 AA or AB
  • 2006 AA or AB
  • 2007 AA, AB, or BA
  • 2008 AA, AB, or BA
  • 2009 AA, AB
  • 2010 AA
  • 2011 AA
  • 2012 AA
  • 2013 AA
  • 2014 AA, or BA
  • 2015 AA or CA
  • 2016 AA or AB

The Obverse of the coin features the Fourth Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II as done by Ian Rank-Broadley. She is facing to the right and is crowned with the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara. The initials IRB are seen below her portrait truncated in her neckline to indicate the artist.

Around the rim of the coin on the Obverse side are the words ISLE OF MAN ELIZABETH II with the date centred on the bottom. In between the incuse inscription and the date as well as separating ISLE OF MAN from ELIZABETH II are the Manx triskelion, three rotating legs, which is the symbol of the Isle of Man.

How much is the Coin Worth?

Online at sites like eBay, the average selling price is £1.50. However, it is hard to say what its exact worth is since it was minted over a few years, so value changes.

You can roughly expect around £1.50 in most cases though, just make sure that you do business with a reputable seller.