Kate's Cottage, Isle of Man

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Kate's Cottage
2009 Kate's Cottage Michael Dunlop.JPG
Michael Dunlop racing by Kate's Cottage on a demonstration lap during the 2009 TT races, riding an updated version of the 1990s rotary-engined Norton RCW588
Coordinates 54°12′40″N 4°28′37″W / 54.211235°N 4.477083°W / 54.211235; -4.477083Coordinates: 54°12′40″N 4°28′37″W / 54.211235°N 4.477083°W / 54.211235; -4.477083
Built 1870
Owner Georgina Corbett and Geoff Ball
Kate's Cottage, Isle of Man is located in Isle of Man
Kate's Cottage, Isle of Man
Location of Kate's Cottage in Isle of Man
Roadside racemarker on the A18 Snaefell Mountain Road with a south-eastly aspect looking towards Douglas

Kate's Cottage[1] (The Keppel or Tate's Cottage, previously part of the sheep-gates at Keppel Gate)[2] is a historic house which is one of Isle of Man's Registered Buildings.

It is situated near to the summit of Slieau Ree (316 m) adjacent to the 34th Milestone racing road-side milestone marker used for the Snaefell Mountain Course on the primary A18 Mountain Road in Onchan parish, Isle of Man.[3]

As Keppel Gate, the section of A18 Mountain Road including Kate's Cottage and the accompanying Keppel sheep-gates were part of the Highland Course and Four Inch Course used for the Gordon Bennett Trial and Tourist Trophy car races held between 1904 and 1922.[4] The corner is part of the Snaefell Mountain Course used since 1911 for the Isle of Man TT and from 1923 for the Manx Grand Prix races.

The A18 Snaefell Mountain Road was developed in the mid-19th century from a number of pre-existing roads, carting-tracks and bridle paths. This included installation of a number of sheep-gates including the East Mountain Gate, the Beinn-y-Phott sheep-gate and Nobles Gate at Brandywell and Keppel Gate.[5] This section of the A18 Snaefell Mountain Road from the Keppel Gate to Park Mooar/Park Llewellyn (North Barrule) was built on common grazing land that were transferred to the UK Crown following the sale of the Islands feudal rights by the Duke of Atholl after the Disafforesting Commission of 1860.[6]

Kate's Cottage, looking in the opposite direction of a lap of the TT course (vehicles shown on left side of road are going north) with Creg-ny-Baa behind the camera position

Contemporary photographs of the TT races in the 1920s and 1930s show sheep-gates at Kate's Cottage and also at Keppel Gate, with the name Keppel Gate referred to at both the locations.[7] The typical nineteenth century small stone-walled cottage including sheep-folds was previously occupied by the mountain shepherd Cecil Rhodes Tate and Gladys Tate[8][9]

It has often been alluded to that a BBC commentator mistakenly referred to Tate's Cottage as Kate's Cottage. The name may have originated as a printers typesetting error with the mountain cottage at the Keppel mountain accidentally being transposed to Kate's Cottage during the printing process.[10] The property, formerly owned by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, was sold at public auction and is now in private ownership.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Isle of Man Examiner page 9 25 May 1950 ".....Visit the TT Races at Creg-ny-Baa. Half-Mile stretch of thrills from Kate's Cottage to the worlds most famous corner. Grandstands, Coach and Car-Park."
  2. ^ TT Special page 15 Editor G.S.Davison 16 June 1933 "....The view is perfect; not only can we see Kate's Cottage at Keppel Gate, but also the outline of the Snaefell Hotel...."
  3. ^ International Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Races and Production Machine Races 3 June 5, 7 & 9 1972 – Official Programme and Guide FIM The World Championship Road Races page 72 Auto-Cycle Union (1972) Fleet Studios London – Charles Frost Ltd
  4. ^ TT Pioneers – Early Car Racing in the Isle of Man page 22 Robert Kelly, Mercury Asset Management (1996)(1st Edition) The Manx Experience, The Alden Press ISBN No 1 873120 61 3
  5. ^ Isle of Man Examiner page 5 dated 5 June 1969
  6. ^ Manx Milestones pages 13–17 and pages 57–58 by Stuart Slack (1st Edition)(2003)The Manx Experience ISBN 1-873120-58-3
  7. ^ Motocourse History of the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Races 1907-1989 by Nick Harris page 24 and page 100 (1990)(1st Edition) Hazelton Publishing ISBN 0-905138-71-6 "....The Gate is kept open at Keppel Gate during the 1921 Senior TT Race. This part of the Course is now called Kate's Cottage.
  8. ^ Isle of Man Examiner page 7 dated 9 February 1951
  9. ^ Rough Landing or Fatal Flight - A history of aircraft accidents on, over and around the Isle of Man page 127 by Steve Poole Amulree Publications (1999) ISBN 1-901508-03-X, 6 September 1953 Avro Anson T20 VM418 (A) "One man, who knew the Island's hills like the back of his hand was shepherd Mr C Rhodes Tate of Keppel Gate."
  10. ^ Isle of Man Examiner page 5 9th April 1937 "OUR LETTER BOX..."I live in the house known as "Kate's Cottage," but it is a printers mistake as it should be "Tate's Cottage." GEOFFREY RHODES TATE.

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