Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Isle of Man's 'magical' fairy fortresses 'will be maintained', says government

Fairy House Image copyright Mark Edwards
Image caption The Isle of Man is synonymous with fairy tales

The Isle of Man's "fairy houses" will be maintained, the government said.

The delicately designed mini fortresses and palaces, hidden in glens and dotted on the hillsides, only "popped up" in November but are already beginning to show signs of weather damage.

The eye-catching buildings were built by a Swedish art collective as part of a "ambush marketing campaign" by the Manx government costing £26,253.

The government said it would work with the artists to look after the houses.

Image caption Since November islanders have been captivated by the tiny fairy abodes
Image caption In a local tradition, residents wave to the "little people" when crossing Fairy Bridge

In recent months islanders and visitors have been captivated by the tiny fairy abodes, created by Anonymouse MMX.

The group is known for leaving miniature creations around the world, including houses for mice, "the world's smallest bookstore", and a tiny amusement park.

Questions had been raised on social media after the Bradda Head installation began showing damage to its roof and windows.

A government spokesperson said: "We have been overwhelmed with the interest the fairy houses have received from locals and visitors, as well as the global appeal they have had.

"The placement of the houses was carefully thought out to promote intrigue and mystery, with the house at Bradda Head being placed in the hope that it would easily be found by the public.

Image caption The Bradda Head installation is showing storm damage
Image caption It has been built on an exposed hillside in the south of the island

"We were aware this would open it up to weather damage - more so than the others - and with the help of designers, we will be looking to maintain the houses so we can keep them in good condition for all those who have expressed an interest in discovering them when they come to visit.

"We intend to maintain them and are looking at ways to sustain their look while also keeping the 'magic' of being kept out in nature and the materials that work with the natural environment."

The Isle of Man is synonymous with fairy tales, with the earliest reference to the mythical beings recorded in George Waldron's Manx notebook in 1731.

In a local tradition, residents wave to the "little people" when crossing Fairy Bridge, a much-visited landmark.

Image copyright Mikael Buck
Image caption The fairy abodes have been scattered around the Manx countryside
Image copyright Mikael Buck
Image caption The artists said they wanted to "spread magic" around the island
Image copyright Mikael Buck
Image caption Tiny chairs and tables can be seen inside the models

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