Isle of Man

Lead Mining in Laxey - Part 2


Lady Isabella Wheel


Named after the wife of the then Lieutenant General, the beautifully restored waterwheel was built in 1854 to pump water from the Great Laxey Mines industrial complex. It was capable of pumping 250 gallons of water a minute from a depth of 200 fathoms (1200).

The wheel was painted bright red, black and white and with its Three Legs of Mann, can be seen from all over the valley.

Lady Isabella Wheel, Isle of Man

it is possible to climb to the top of the wheel for views of Laxey.

Laxey from the wheel

Each of the 168 slats round the perimeter of the wheel holds 24 gallons of water and could generate around 200 horse power.

Laxey wheel



A series of lades was built to collect water from the surrounding hillsides and was collected in a cistern.

Laxey mines trail, Isle of Man

A closed underground pipe took the water to the base of the wheel tower.

Lady Isabella Wheel, Isle of Man

As the cistern was higher than the top of the wheel, water was pushed to the top by gravity. The water runs underneath the viewing platform into the slats which turn the wheel.

Lady Isabella Wheel, Isle of Man

A wooden crank turns the rotary movement into a horizontal movement.

Lady Isabella Wheel, Isle of Man

Lady Isabella Wheel, Isle of Man

It is attached to a very long rod which runs along the rod viaduct to the Engine shaft.
 
Lady Isabella Wheel, Isle of Man

Laxey wheel rod

The other end is attached to a counterweight.
 
Lady Isabella Wheel, Isle of Man

A T rocker at the Engine Shaft is connected to the pump rod in the Engine Shaft and converts the horizontal movement to a vertical movement.
 
Lady Isabella Wheel, Isle of Man

The engine shaft contained five plunger pumps at different depths. On the downward stroke, these forced water through a one way valve into the main pipe. On the upward stroke, the valves shut pushing water up the pipe. Once it reached the main adit, the water then drained away into the Laxey River.

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