Repairs begin to preserve Laxey Wheel

Scaffold is built in preparation for the maintenance work at Laxey Wheel

Scaffold is built in preparation for the maintenance work at Laxey Wheel

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It’s a major project to protect the island’s most iconic landmark.

Crucial maintenance has begun to preserve the world’s largest working waterwheel, the Great Laxey Wheel.

Surveys have revealed work is needed to the stone masonry on the wheel housing, together with timber repairs to both the cladding and the wheel structure.

Initial works will involve cleaning the waterwheel, followed by removal of vegetation and fungicidal treatment to both woodwork and masonry. A complex tank structure will be built below the waterwheel to prevent biocides washing into the river.

Old render which has suffered decay caused by natural weathering will be replaced, and then the wheel, housing, risers and viewing platform will be repainted.

Manx National Heritage director Edmund Southworth said: ‘This major project will help insure the integrity of the Laxey Wheel as a national landmark for future generations to enjoy and demonstrates Manx National Heritage’s commitment to the ongoing preservation of the Lady Isabella as one of the Isle of Man’s most iconic historic monuments.’

The £250,000 project will be completed by a local team of contractors, employing workmen from across the island including tradesmen living in both Laxey Village and neighbouring Lonan.

The Wheel was completed in 1854 to pump water from the depths of the Laxey mines.

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