|ISLE OF MAN / ELLANN VANNIN|
Laxey (Manx: Laksaa) is a village on the east coast of the Isle of Man. Its name derives from the Old Norse Laxa meaning 'Salmon River'.
In the 1800s, mining for lead and zinc began, becoming the largest industry the village has had. The Laxey mines were the deepest in the world in the 1800s. Mining in Laxey came to an end 75 years later in 1929. The village also had a fishing industry. Laxey village is now a mainly residential and a tourist area boasting several gardens to wander in at leisure, primarily Laxey Glen Gardens. There is also a handweaving mill which sells its own and many other products. The village is built around a glen with a number of steep streets and paths leading to the glen floor, from where it is possible to walk by the side of Laxey River to the outflow to the sea at the small harbour and onto the beach and promenade. It is also possible to walk around the cliffs to the north of the beach where there are stunning views of Clay Head to the south can be had.
Laxey Wheel (also known as Lady Isabella after the name of the wife of the then Lieutenant Governor of the Isle of Man) was built in 1854 to pump water from the Laxey mine shafts. Now a tourist attraction, it remains the largest working waterwheel in the world. Designed by Robert Casement, it is 72 feet 6 inches (22.10 m) in diameter and 227 feet (69.19 m) wide. It revolves at about 3 rpm. The mines employed over 600 miners at its peak producing lead, copper, silver and zinc until they closed in 1929. The wheel was owned by Mr. Edwin Kneale from 1939 to 1965 who saved it from being dismantled and ran it as a tourist attraction, before passing it onto the Manx nation, with the agreement that it should be kept in perpetual running order for the people of the Isle of Man. In 1965 the Isle of Man Government bought the wheel and the site. Restoration work began and in 1989 it was put under the control of Manx National Heritage.
[Text adapted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laxey]