Isle of Man: Laxey Wheel

The Village of Laxey, located on the Isle of Man, is home to the largest operating waterwheel in the world. Constructed in 1854 by Robert Casement, the wheel pumped water from the Great Laxey Mines complex. Standing at 6 feet (1.8 m) in height and 72.5 feet (22.1 m) in diameter, the wheel is built into the hillside above the village. The majority of the wheel is made from wood, but certain mechanical parts consist of metal. The wheel pumps water at a rate of three full rotations per minute. Roughly 250 imperial gallons (1.1 kl) of water every minute travel underground. As a result of the village having no access to coal for a steam-powered pump, Robert chose a water-powered wheel instead. I was originally named “Lady Isabella” by Charles Hope, the Lieutenant Governor. In 1989, the wheel underwent restoration by Manx National Heritage.