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HistorySet upon the hills near the village Laxey rests a giant. Lady Isabella named after former Lieutenant Governor Hope's wife is also know as the Laxey Wheel. Built in 1854 by Robert Casement, a Laxey native and talented engineer. The Laxey Wheel remains the largest working waterwheel in the world. The wheel has a diameter of 72ft and a circumference of 227ft. It was used to pump 250 gallons of water a minute from the Laxey mines some 200 yards away and 1500ft below ground. The mines employed over 600 miners at its peak producing lead, copper, silver and zinc till the mines closed in 1929. In 1965 the government bought the wheel and site. Restoration occurred and in 1989 it was put under the control of Manx National Heritage. Tourists had long come to see the wheel, even when the mines were still in use and they continue to come to this day.
LocationOn the east coast of the Island in the village of Laxey.
From upper Laxey looking to the hills the giant red and white water wheel can be seen in the distance.
Located near the village of Laxey where the B11 crosses the A2 (road between Douglas and Ramsey). Near the Electric Railway Station take Mines Road in the direction of the wheel and turn off up a small road to the car park.
Plan your journey with our Bus and Rail Timetables.
Take the Steam Railway to Douglas. The Electric Railway to Laxey Station. Walk along the Electric Railway Lines in the direction indicated by signs. The access road and paths are just off Mines Road.
Visiting the Laxey Wheel and MinesVisitors to the Laxey Wheel have a few options. There are buses to Laxey from many places about the island. There is also the option of the Electric Railway, which runs from Douglas and Ramsey. It is a short walk from where the buses drop off in the village of Laxey or where the tram stops. There are signs which will lead the way down a road to a path which continues on up to the wheel through vegetation. This walk is not hard, though might not be for everyone. There is the car option, which means you can drive right up to the wheel and park. Parking is free.
The Laxey Wheel is best seen on a sunny or clear day, as there is little to no shelter from rain. The site is based mainly on walking about and reading signs placed in spots of interest. The site is well covered with facts, but unless you are making a day out in the sunshine with long walks and picnicking most of the main site can be seen in a couple of hours.
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