Cornish flag flies proudly on Isle of Man

Cornish and Manx flags

One of the major features of Laxey on the Isle of Man is the Laxey Wheel, which is also known as Lady Isabella. It is the largest working water wheel in the world, with a circumference of 210ft 6ins, diameter 74ft 6ins and a width of 6ft. Built in 1854 it was used to pump water out of part of the Laxey lead, zinc, copper and silver mines.

Also in the village of Laxey is another impressive wheel known as Lady Evelyn. Built in 1865 and used to pump water out of the Snaefell Mine it has a diameter of 50 ft and a circumference of 147 ft. The mine closed in 1907/8 and it was sold and transported to Blisland in Cornwall where it was reassembled and used to pump slurry from a china clay pit. After falling into disuse in the 1950’s it was eventually to come into the possession of the Cornish Wheel Preservation Society. The wheel was dismantled and the parts placed in storage. After the Preservation Society merged with the Trevithick Society the wheel was loaned to the Welsh Llywernog Mining Museum.

In 2003 the Trevithick Society agreed that the wheel parts could be returned to the Isle of Man for re- assembly. After a sterling piece of work by the Laxey and Lonan Heritage Trust along with the Laxey Mines Research Group the wheel was restored and now has pride of place in Laxey Valley Gardens. On completion of the restoration in 2006 the Trevithick Society presented the wheel to the Laxey and Lonan Heritage Trust.

The Snaefell Wheel (Lady Evelyn) is an impressive site in the lower part of the Laxey Valley, downstream from the larger Laxey Wheel. Flying proudly above the wheel at the head of the gardens is the Cornish National flag of Saint Piran flanked by two Manx flags.