The Isle of Man has been continually let down by the British Government in its pursuit of world heritage status for Tynwald Hill, a member of the Tynwald House of Keys (MHK) has claimed... continues...
Visited 25th August 2003: Tynwald Hill is smaller than I'd expected. It doesn't look like a prehistoric mound, largely because of the terracing that runs up it, and the staircase built into the eastern side. Is it prehistoric? I'm not sure that this particullar site it is, but perhaps the parliamentary customs that surround it started off at a similar Bronze Age mound nearby (a cist was discovered).
As well as the hill, it's worth visiting the Royal Chapel of St. John (which is very modern) and Ballaharra Stones, just opposite.
There's some debate as to how old Tynwald Hill is, and what it originally represented. The web site Isleofman.com has this to say about the origins of the hill:
The mound is nowadays thought originally to have been a burial mound of the Bronze Age. Similar sites were found throughout the Scandinavian lands and are said to have been raised as altars to the god Thor. From religious sites they developed into places where people of a community gathered together.
The hill has never been excavated, so nobody really knows. A burial cist was discovered near Tynwald Hill (50 yards to the north) and some people believe that this (not the existing hill) represents the site of a mound, which was re-used as the original parliamentary meeting place. Presumably this theory places the existing hill within the Viking period.